Yongbi the Invincible Vol. #01 (Mania.com)

By:Mike Dungan
Review Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Release Date: Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Ki Woon Ryu/Jung Who Moon
Translated by:Chan Bak
Adapted by:

What They Say
A mysterious stranger rides into town. The peaceful village of Gang Ho is disturbed when Yongbi, a seemingly foolish bounty hunter, comes to town looking to claim the bounty for the leader of an assassin clan. Will Yongbi collect the bounty unscathed, or will he fall victim to a vengeful pack of assassins hell-bent on retribution for their captured leader?

The Review
The Review: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Goo-Hwi is a fearsome assassin who's very name strikes terror in the hearts of all who hear it. And then he's captured by Yongbi, who is little more than a kid. Yongbi is an youthful bounty hunter with a taste for gold and women. His horse is his accomplice in hunting down both. While taking Goo-Hwi off to prison, he encounters a young boy who offers him a reward of a valuable pendant if he'll take him to Hobook Castle. The boy is being chased by an unknown enemy, but Yongbi is able to deliver both of his charges to their respective destinations. Things go poorly at Hobook Castle, however. The master of the castle, Bosoon Hwang, wants the pendant, which is far more valuable than Yongbi realizes. He's willing to kill to get it. In the meantime, Goo-Hwi has already escaped from prison and is after Yongbi to kill him for his trouble. While sneaking around the castle, he finds the young boy, Yul Mugi, who lies to him and tells him Yongbi has already travelled to Mount Gwe Hung, in a successful effort to get Goo-Hwi to take him there. Using his horse as a diversion, Yongbi escapes the castle, but is later captured by a new character, the dangerously beautiful and very intelligent Yemong Hong, leader of the Red Blood, China's most feared spies and loan sharks. Yongbi "borrowed" a bit of money from them. Enough that if word comes out about his thievery, it would be enough to totally destroy the underground economy. She has her own plans for Yongbi, and carefully manipulates him into heading to Mount Gwe Hung.

The lecherous but almost supernaturally gifted fool seems to be a mainstay of Korean martial-arts manwha. Yongbi is another in this long line. The relationship between him and his horse is a lot of fun, with his horse sharing his love for money and women. The story is much like others of the genre. There are plenty of fart jokes and crude humor, as well as some genuine humor, such as Goo-Hwi's motormouth or Yemong Hong's clever manipulation. The art is solid and even impressive in places. The fight scenes are dynamic, though I had a hard time figuring out what I was supposed to be seeing from time to time. The women are stunningly beautiful, but Moon isn't afraid to give them ugly expressions when the scene requires it. I found the story and art entertaining, but not especially memorable. The cover is Yongbi in a dramatic pose against a pale black and white image from the story. The back cover is an unusually detailed closeup color image of Yongbi on his horse. There are a couple pages of character profiles and a foreward by the author. The art reproduction is up to CPM's current fine standards.

Although there is moiring of screentones at times, one has to look to find it. The level of detail is quite good. I noticed one typo and one instance of an out-of-place modernism, but otherwise, the text came out well. I think fans of martial arts manwha should enjoy Yongbi just fine.

Mania Grade: B
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: A-
Text/Translatin Rating: B
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: CPM Press
MSRP: 9.99
Pages: 200
ISBN: 1-58664-967-1
Size: B6
Orientation: Left to Right