Five Great Sword Wielders In Comics
Not as clumsy or random as a blaster; an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars
Old Ben knew what was up. Swords may take more skill and risk than squeezing a trigger, but that's what makes them so cool. The Jedi may use laser swords, but their taste applies to steel weaponry, too. Here are five swordmasters whose comics are great reads.
Michonne of The Walking Dead
There are many styles to surviving a zombie apocalypse. You could seal off an island, hoard ammunition, travel by weather balloon... or in the case of Michonne, use your ex-boyfriends as zombified pack mules and camouflage and hack any threats apart with a katana. Michonne made a huge impact in the Walking Dead comic as a no-nonsense character who could take care of herself, and was a definite highlight when she arrived in the TV series, too. In a mature, gritty series where anyone can be killed, Michonne seems safe with her razor-sharp protection.
Roronoa Zoro of One Piece
Zoro’s single ambition in life is to fulfill his promise to a childhood friend that he would become the greatest swordsman who ever lived. No wonder, then, that Luffy, the hero and pirate captain in One Piece, immediately recruits Zoro as the muscle of his crew. Zoro’s speed and strength allow him to fight off an entire crowd of pirates at once, with a sword in each hand and a third in his teeth. Despite his rough personality, he is a perfect fit for Luffy's madcap crew.
Rurouni Kenshin (self-titled)
In Japan’s early Meiji era, Kenshin the hitokiri (manslayer) of the Bakumatsu War takes on the role of a benevolent ronin. Turning his back on a career bathed in blood, he reverses his katana blade and adopts a philosophy of peace and atonement, helping those in need with his masterful skills. In Tokyo he learns of a plot to overthrow the government, one which would render Kenshin’s early sacrifices meaningless, and he resolves to use his new method of swordfighting in the name of peace. While he carries the memories of slaughter, his skill translates to taking out lesser swordsmen without even removing his sword from its sheath.
Ogami Ittō of Lone Wolf & Cub
An elaborate and bloody coup has shaken the foundations of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Ogami Ittō, executioner for the state, has been framed for treason and driven from his home. He travels the Japanese countryside with his three-year-old son Daigorō, meeting danger and horror along the way. Ogami uses any weapon at his disposal, including hidden blades in his son's carriage. This mature series from the 70s still outclasses many samurai tales today and led to several well-received movie adaptations.
Utena Tenjou of Revolutionary Girl Utena
Ohtori Academy has never met a tomboy like Utena. On her first day at the academy, Utena notices a classmate in an abusive relationship and stands up for her. Little does she know that she has entered a culture of duelists who compete for a mysterious “power to rule the world.” Her speed and precision with a rapier blade (or even a broom handle, at one point) make her a powerful opponent for the outrageous and cunning boys and girls of the student council in a school that makes more sense as an elaborate storybook castle than anything approaching private education.