The 7th Sword, From Darby Pop, A Sci-Fi Samurai Western? ~ What'cha Reading?

The 7th Sword, From Darby Pop, A Sci-Fi Samurai Western?


So Darby Pop (IDW) is coming at us with their third offering and in my opinion it could be a huge hit, or a train wreck. It’s a futuristic Japanese western-ish story, I guess. Seems screenwriter John Raffo is taking a Samurai story, with that ronin/gunfighter save the town vibe and setting it on another planet in another time.

I’m probably not explaining this very well, here read the press release:

7thsword01_cvrAThe 7th Sword, Darby Pop’s Third New Series

An Unwilling Warrior versus an Unstoppable Enemy

San Diego, CA (January 8, 2013) – From the minds of writer John Raffo (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story) and artist Nelson Blake II, Darby Pop Publishing’s The 7th Sword will make its debut this April!

“I’ve always loved the mid-century habit of retelling of Japanese Samurai stories as American westerns (and vice-versa). They were all simple tales of redemption and ambiguity cast in vastly different worlds. I wondered what would happen if you took that combination and refashioned it again with elements of fantasy and Science Fiction. I thought you might wind up with a modern and compellingly different hybrid…” said John Raffo, “but as I started hacking away I realized this was a story that had to be told visually. Darby Pop and their incredibly talented artists helped me develop this bit of oddball alchemy into what I think is a beautiful comic series.”

On a planet where explosive weaponry is unusable, Daniel Cray — a Samurai mercenary — stumbles upon the legendary city of ZenZion, a mysterious desert outpost currently under siege from a vicious warlord. The peace-loving citizenry beg Cray to help defend them… forcing Cray to reluctantly draw his deadly “Malathane” sword one last time to battle a relentless army of robots and their savage masters.

Science fiction meets samurai in this epic seven-issue adventure with covers by Andrew C. Robinson (The Fifth Beatle) and interior art by Nelson Blake II (Witchblade, The Darkness).

John Raffo is a screenwriter who over the last twenty years has worked on a variety of credited and uncredited projects including Dragon, The Bruce Lee Story, The Relic, and The Interpreter. His original screenplay Renko Vega and the Jennifer Nine appeared on the 2011 Black List.


So, we could get High Plains Drifter with swords or Yojimbo on an alien world. Either could be cool if handled correctly. Guess we’ll wait and see. I’ll be requesting a review copy, so stay tuned!

About Author

Chuck Suffel is the Owner/Editor-in-Chief of He loves comics, movies, tv shows. When it comes to comics his first loves are independents and small publishers. Feel free to drop him a note anytime at

Got a comment? Let's hear it!