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Ronin (Ronin Complete)

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  4,230 ratings  ·  197 reviews
Frank Miller wrote and illustrated this tale of a silent, unstoppable warrior from 13th-century Japan who is reborn into 21st-century New York City to do battle with his ancient demonic enemy.
Paperback, 302 pages
Published March 1st 1995 by DC Comics (first published 1983)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan
Meticulously conceived and executed, beautifully coloured and produced (for its time), ambitious, bold, energetic, pop-culture obsessed (manga, Moebius, 2001: A Space Odyssey, etc.), derivative, shallow, humourless, clumsy, self-righteous, pompous. Historically significant in terms of comic-book marketing (genre diversity, older target audience, artsy ambitions, more creative control, higher production values), but not the masterpiece it was made out to be when originally published back in 1983.
Kevin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael
Read as part of a bossy book challenge on a group on here. This had always been on my mental "to read" list, but not terribly high up - kind of a "one day / someday" sort of thing. Full disclosure - this is the third book by Frank Miller I've read after Batman: Year One (which I think is brilliant) and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (which I think is good but a little overrated).

So, Ronin.

This is actually a review in two parts:

As a contemporary reader
This isn't that great. The premise and plot
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Hayden
This was absolutely fantastic, a mindbending, ecelectic mix of a Lone Wolf and Cub style Samurai epic, thrown in with a little bit of 2001: A Space Odyssey, with a pinch of demonic horror, just for good measure. All wrapped up in Frank Miller's first original outing, a story for which I find incredibly hard to believe I went this long without hearing any praise.

It follows a dishonored, masterless, 13th century Japanese warrior, a Ronin, who has failed his master in battle, leaving the Ronin to w
...more
Doug
Feb 27, 2011 Doug rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics
Just ok... I don't understand how some reviews are just dying over the art work. It looked as if a 12 year old drew it. Seriously. There were some decent scenes but that's about it. To compare this work to Sin City or DKR is just ludicrous. I hear they are making a movie of it which should be pretty cool. Just don't read this thinking you're gonna be nail biting it every page like Sin City or staring at amazing art like in DKR. Just good. Sketchy storyline.
Mammen Thomas
When I normally read a comic, I normally look out for 2 things- the storyline and the artwork.
And I did not enjoy the artwork in this comic at all. I found the shading which was made of a lot of hatching and the colours (especially that of blood) a nuisance- it really felt like going through a very very old comic. But if due consideration is given to the fact that this was published in the 80s, then the artwork is pretty cool.
On the other hand, the story was actually very interesting. I was neve
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Dave Maddock
The first Frank Miller book I've read. The fact that it happens to be early Miller wasn't intentional. I enjoyed the writing, but didn't love the art. The "bubbly" design and sickly coloring used for the bio-circuitry future was god-awful. The regular two-page spreads showing the growth of the Aquarius complex worked conceptually, but again the art wasn't great. Multi-page spreads need to be worth the extra real estate and these weren't; they were scribbly and ugly, but not in an intentionally g ...more
Nemo
I am not used to read graphic novels. "Ronin" of Frank Miller is the first american graphic novel/comic that I read.

I found it awful. I did not like the story, it did not make any sense. Also, I did not like the graphics.

This graphic novel was suppose to be written/drawn in the spirit of cyberpunk esthetic. However, in my opinion, this book fail to fulfill this goal.

My rating 1/5.
Stefano Black
Apr 28, 2015 Stefano Black rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All comics fans, sci-fi lovers, and pulp lovers
As much as I shame Frank Miller for his descent into hate speech these last few years, you have to give credit where it's due. Rōnin was considered one of the most influential comics of the 80s, and rightly so.

A samurai revenge epic in a sci-fi setting, Rōnin plays with expectations in fun, exciting ways. Although plagued by lazy clichés in a few spots and by several of Miller's characteristically "is this offensive?" racial/gender characterizations (spoiler: it always is) - and although the eve
...more
matt
Jul 07, 2007 matt rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of creativity
Shelves: comic-books
This is a very fun story, well-written and engaging -- but what really blew me away was the artwork. When drawing images of an imaginary future, people tend to pull from sterotypes in design, but Miller has created a new visual world, unlike any other. His interpretation of what a bio-mechanical city would look like is unique -- but also, simply the way he is using pen and ink to make the images on the pages is exhilarating.
Daniel
I read this many many years ago, after it first came out. This is one of a very small group of graphic novels that, in my opinion opened the way for the decades afterwards of graphic novels and longer stories, many of which would not have a mature setting or plot, as this one does. Talking about Frank Miller's works is something that has been done many times and by many a better writer than I. I must say though that Ronin rings bells with me that only a few other graphic novels ever have, and ma ...more
Jake
Mar 02, 2008 Jake rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics
A classic, often eclipsed by Frank Miller's more prominent work. First one of his books I ever read, before I was old enough to know who he was. Incredible artwork and an amazing story that is begging for the big screen treatment, like Kurosawa-meets-Blade Runner!
Matt Mongiello
Fluctuates between dull and disjointed. More important and visionary than it is enjoyable. The artwork is ugly, which sometimes works in setting the mood for distopic fiction, but here it hides any clear vision of city/world. The problem is particularly bad in the depictions of biocircuitry. In seeking a surprise/twist reveal, Miller hides too much and leaves the ending unclear. Reality and fantasy are layered to the point where the resolution of the Billy/Ronin dynamic is confusing. Peter's exp ...more
Emilio Conacentoenlae
Nos cuenta la historia del alma peregrina de un samurai que pierde a su señor. La espada del señor es mágica y ha sido creada para acabar con un demonio, cosa que sucede pero el demonio no desaparece y le regalan al samurai una maldición que llevará su alma al futuro en la lucha contra el demonio.
La he leído porque es de Miller y me ha decepcionado bastante. Siempre me ha dado la sensación de que Miller crea historias narrativamente descabaladas con la intención de hacerlas parecer más complejas
...more
Mohammed
Art wise not near the high levels of his seen in Sin City,The Dark Knight Returns,Daredevil,300.
Cassidy  Charles
"Our lives are as fragile and as brief as a cherry blossom's. And as fragrant."
Liz
I DO NOT LIKE FRANK MILLER…….NOT AT ALL.
Brian
The reason I liked this was that it wasn't what I expected of Frank Miller. I was surprised to see a strong female lead, but not surprised he lead it to its apex. While the art is not in favor of today's standards, I think it fit the time it was published. It was a lot like Moebius and even some Star Wars books that came out after Return of the Jedi. Special thanks to Matt for lending it to me for a day. I'm grateful to have had a chance to read it, even if I'm not a fan of the man, I can apprec ...more
Angus Stirling
Scattered, unpolished cyberpunk story about a samurai and a demon transported to the future. Created, written and drawn by a pre-crazy(?) Frank Miller, it forged a new direction for comics in the 80s, became the template for the phenomenal Samurai Jack series, and hugely influenced the first few years of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics in terms of style and theme, (as well as TMNT's early narrative left turn into interplanetary cyberpunk). This comic broke new ground, but does not hold u ...more
Charles
What just happened?

I mean, yes, I do know what happened but that was one helluva trip to get where we were going. Might be blasphemy to criticize Miller, but I still consider myself a noob and as a first foray into his work I have to say I was left either awestruck or dumbstruck. Not sure.

Now the art is an entity all to itself. A mechanically-organic nightmare that is repulsive, disorienting, confusing and enthralling all at the same time. It seems primitive but futuristic and dreamlike. It’s do
...more
Zack! Empire
I think I purchased this book either late in junior high or early in high school, but haven’t actually gotten around to reading it till now. I’m not sure why I waited so long to read it. I certainly remember flipping through the book a number of times; I even started and stopped reading it a number of times. I guess after 10 years of it sitting on a shelf I thought I should finally read it.
The best thing I like about this book is that it’s nearly impossible to sum it up with just one sentence.
...more
Wenfeng
This was an amazing book. Even though i thought it was very confusing the pictures told the story for me. Ronin was a the main character that was played in the story. He is looking for revenge for his master. His master was killed by a Demon. This story was very adventurous, a lot of blood and killing. The story itself is traveling back and forth and being told in 2 places. One in the fantasy world and another in the real world. i was confuse if the settle for the real world was high tech or not ...more
Jacob Ethington
Frank Miller is not a name that carries the connotation it used to hold. Once considered one of the greats of the comic world, his work had plummeted into what can only be described as the depths of hell (his last graphic novel "Holy Terror" can only be described as a work so awful its existence has damaged the entire medium of comics). But early in his career, when he still had artistic merit, he created "Ronin." This graphic novel is... Bizarre to say the least (it was the prime inspiration fo ...more
Jerantino

This is an often overlooked classic. It's difficult to emphasize how radical this book was when it appeared. Well before Miller did the Dark Knight returns, he realized, here, most of his well-known tropes---from the apocalyptic Nazi dominatrix to the CHUD to the samurai to the hero who is haunted by his past, to the point of incapacitation---and then driven to act by the evil in the world. If you read this after reading his other work, it's like a Rosetta stone to everything he made afterward.
...more
Dave Johnson
okay, so, i liked it.

i have to say that i dont think everyone would like this, though. it is almost a strange mix, blending samurai with sci-fi, but i thought it was entertaining enough. the art was pretty good--not miller's best, but still pretty good. obviously, he took a lot of influences from japanese manga in this, and you could tell that because DC was looking over his shoulder, her couldnt draw everything he wanted. and i think you know what i mean if you've seen any of his other stuff. i
...more
Julian

I am uncertain about my feelings for this book. I enjoyed it, and I didn't enjoy it. I suppose that would be what's called conflicted. I usually judge my enjoyment of books by how quickly I burn through them coupled with how easily or often I fall asleep reading something. This book is only 304 pages and I read it over the course of about 5 days. Too long, in my mind, so I started to wonder why.
The ideas I liked: the severely deranged and developmentally challenged telepathic/kinetic man fascina

...more
Aditya Mallya
When I started reading 'Ronin', I was already aware of the enormous esteem it was viewed with in the comic book industry. With lofty expectations thus set, the initial part of this book was disappointing - I found the writing a tad middlebrow, teeming with clumsy exposition and cliches like laughably solemn 'oriental man of mystery' dialogue ("Many battles have I won..."). Then I found out that Frank Miller wrote and illustrated the series (which would later be consolidated into this graphic nov ...more
Mars Weston
This was a very cool graphic novel. It focuses on a samurai from feudal Japan who is out to avenge his master who was killed by the evil demon Agat. Sound pretty cool so far? The samurai (now a Ronin- samurai without master) is cursed together with Agat and their souls are trapped inside a sword until they are released- in sleazy, run-down 21st century New York! Yes. Sounds like a plot to an awesome 80's sci-fi movie. In some ways this reads just like one, just in comic book form. There's also s ...more
Angel
I really wanted to like this, since I do enjoy most of Frank Miller's other work, but in the end, it just quite did not work for me. The premise of a feudal samurai transported to the future to confront his nemesis was an awesome one. The future dystopic setting was pretty good as well I thought, and the way the spirit of the ronin samurai taking over the limbless test subject was pretty good too. However, a lot of the plot is a pretty disjointed mess, and the art at times is extremely cluttered ...more
Alexander
This is an overlooked classic. It's difficult to emphasize how radical this book was when it appeared. Well before Miller did the Dark Knight returns, he realized, here, most of his well-known tropes---from the apocalyptic Nazi dominatrix to the CHUD to the samurai to the hero who is haunted by his past, to the point of incapacitation---and then driven to act by the evil in the world. If you read this after reading his other work, it's like a Rosetta stone to everything he made afterward.

Narrat
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Frank Miller is an American writer, artist and film director best known for his film noir-style comic book stories. He is one of the most widely-recognized and popular creators in comics, and is one of the most influential comics creators of his generation. His most notable works include Sin City, The Dark Knight Returns, Batman Year One and 300.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the
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Other Books in the Series

Ronin (6 books)
  • Ronin tome 1: Sacrifice
  • Ronin tome 2: Déchéance
  • Ronin tome 3: Retour
  • Ronin tome 4: Enfers
  • Ronin tome 5: Pièges
  • Ronin tome 6: Assaut
Batman: Year One Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Sin City, Vol. 1: The Hard Goodbye (Sin City, #1) 300 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #1

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