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Kabuki, Vol. 5: Metamorphosis
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Kabuki, Vol. 5: Metamorphosis (Kabuki #5)

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  705 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Image Comics offers the latest collection of David Mack's acclaimed Kabuki epic. The latest tale of the enigmatic assassin of the Noh. The book - which Mack says "represents my most diverse range of fully painted and mixed media artwork, and marks my most evolved work as a writer" - collects all nine painted issues of the recent series titled simply Kabuki.
The story that
Paperback, 280 pages
Published January 31st 2006 by Image Comics (first published December 11th 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
What the bleep does David Mack know? This book could have been so much better, but Mack had to ruin it by devoting the entire closing chapter to stating his half-baked new age philosophy taken straight out of the psuedo-scientific movie What the Bleep Do We Know? He has the right to believe in whatever he chooses, of course, but he could have presented his views in a more interesting way by incorporating them into the story rather than having his characters stop in the middle of a chase scene an ...more
Great art. Morphing symbolism and metaphors. great pace and awesome visual acrobatics, Add some fresh insights into Causality, existentialism, quantum mechanics. Just a thrill basically. David's work is pure genius. Entertaining all the way… and inspiring too -- my best passage in the whole series:
" When we realize that all action is art, that the entire universe is an orchestration of living creation and creating life, and the very ac
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
this volume took a lot longer to finish than I originally thought it would. The last third of the book was especially dense, not just in ideas, but also shape and form. While it may be frustrating at times (more on that later), deciphering all the squiggles, processing all the motifs and taking the time to dissect each frame and pack truly enhances the experience.

Metamorphosis is testament that the Kabuki series is more than just a graphic novel – it is equal parts academia, art, experiment, poe
get this for the brilliant wall to wall art (collage, watercolor, drawing, lettering, photography and on....) and stay for the non-linear story about transformation of identity, alchemical intersections of future/past consciousness. if scarred, tattooed cyberpunks dreaming quantum physics laden poetry, rogue government agents with a zen philosophy, homoerotic, transgressive genders who employ psychoanalysis as theatre do it for you, DM is your guy!
Jun 19, 2013 rated it liked it
This went complete art house on me. Completely understand why but wow! That was a lot of art house graphics. Hope the next book is a little more traditional in its layout - I could use the break. Not that the art work takes away from the story, as a matter of fact it adds on to it very well. It was just a little much when it was 2 books straight.
David Katzman
Aug 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Kabuki is a series about transformation. Yes, it has beautiful art. Yes, it has great writing. And while the central theme of the narrative is transformation, what I found even more powerful is the way the art of the stories transforms from collection to collection, seeming to mirror the character’s evolution.

I have met David Mack a couple times at Comicon, and I’ve been meaning to ask him if he always intended from the beginning for the story to be about transformation and to move from standard
Britt Freeman
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of my first introductions to non super-hero books. Jae Lee set the stage with his ill fated Hellshock book. I wanted it to succeed as you don't see a lot of examinations of psychological issues in comics, at least not during the height of Image and variant covers in the 90's. Kabuki deals with the internal struggles of a highly technological society that no longer requires the services of the hero it helped create. This book is most likely the most(non Raymond Carver)well-crafted fiction eve ...more
Oct 15, 2011 rated it liked it
I love David Mack's artistic sensibility and this book is a great step towards 'The Alchemy' which I thought was just brilliant. Some of the pages are works of art in and of themselves but sometimes it was too much and just difficult to read. If you like the standard graphic novel with panels and straightforward story-telling, this is not that story. However in his attempts at stepping outside the comics-box, it becomes a bit muddled. This book has Kabuki in a psych ward for defective government ...more
Dec 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite collected volume from the series, though I expect only until The Alchemy gets its own book. Plot really disappears for long portions of the book, and most any semblance of traditional panels vanishes along with it. The pages are often so overwhelmingly full of graphic and textual information that I can only process a small portion of the full impact with each reading. Of course, this means that each return to the book rewards me with some new aspect of the story that I hadn't taken i ...more
Emma Fite-Wassilak
Aug 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
The artwork is stunning (in fact, I only bought this because I picked it up and was amazed at how beautiful it was-- I never usually buy out of order in a series) The story bends and twists just like the words on the pages-- the interaction this requires reminded me somewhat of books when I was a kid, with little letters to pull out, etc. but the ideas are sophisticated and complex: an interactive book for the intellectual young at heart, perhaps.
May 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel, 2009
Very confusing and multi-layered. I've only read the first volume in addition to this one and must express doubts about what he could have thrown into the other volumes. The story of Kabuki seems to flow pretty seamlessly from vol 1 to vol 5. The fact that everyone is mentally or emotionally fucked up makes this a much harder read, and sometimes they go off on rambling manifestos, but it is beautiful visually so that is something very cool too.
Jul 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mixed media collage, art, comics, japan
Shelves: comics
A prime example of the melding of words and images, proof that the comic book is no longer the territory of sweaty twelve year old boys. From the intricate storyline to the amazing art...which varies from pen and ink to heavily collaged images to lush watercolor...every aspect of this series is extraordinarily well done.
Michaela Hutfles
Dec 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
After Circle of blood I think most of the remaining books were a let down. Lovely, but they have nothing left to say, no tale to tell. Full of beautiful art I completely recommend them for the completest, but you don't really learn anything more about what happened, than what was inside Kabuki's head.
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
Very artistic and everything but I don't feel like I should have to work so hard to read a graphic novel. Words strewn all over a page, in different colours, going round in spirals or through a maze - looks great but hell to read.
Nov 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
My favorite of the series to date
Feb 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga-comics
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mikael Kuoppala
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A psychedelic, colorful, bright and yet extremely claustrophobic. An odd joyrney seen through the filter of madness.
Dec 08, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
At first the artwork looked fantastic but the story was a drag. Trying to be a lyrical action/thriller I guess. Boring.
Jul 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
The artwork in this graphic novel is exquisite. Mixed media drawings and watercolors fill every page. Layout unlike any other graphic novel I have read. Truly a work of fine art.
Feb 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous, simply gorgeous. Really enjoyed reading this.
Apr 15, 2007 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

This guy is very artsy. I think i like it. Want to read to find out.
Nov 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like art
I don't love all the Kabuki series, but the artwork in this book is stunning.
Jun 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
loaned to Kevin 8/15/07
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Nice art but I found the story hard to follow (review circa 2006)
Jul 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
i want this book. its so beautiful. so beautifully written, illustrated, and designed. i love his work. bloody as well.
Aug 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: divine
Another great series of comics by David!
May 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The most beautiful graphic novel I have ever seen...David mack is a phenomenal artist and writer....themes of identity, lost, revenge, and transcendence. READ IT!
rated it really liked it
May 09, 2012
rated it liked it
Jul 17, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Dec 29, 2013
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

David W. Mack is a comic book artist and writer, best known for his creation Kabuki and his work on the Marvel Comics titles Daredevil and Alias

The author of the Star Trek Novels is David Mack
More about David W. Mack...

Other Books in the Series

Kabuki (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Kabuki, Vol. 1: Circle of Blood
  • Kabuki, Vol. 2: Dreams
  • Kabuki, Vol. 3: Masks of the Noh
  • Kabuki, Vol. 4: Skin Deep
  • Kabuki, Vol. 6: Scarab, Lost in Translation
  • Kabuki, Vol. 7: The Alchemy
  • Kabuki Library Volume 1
  • Kabuki Library Volume 2
  • Kabuki Library Volume 3
  • Kabuki Library Volume 4

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