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This issue contains the Usagi Yojimbo story "Homecoming Part 1" by Stan Sakai, the Gnuff story "The Ultimate Orva?" by Freddy Milton, and the Lionheart story "Suspicion" by Tom Stazer.


"Homecoming Part 1" was reprinted in Usagi Yojimbo TPB #1: The Ronin.

Plot of "Homecoming Part 1"

Usagi is travelling to his home village to pay his respects to his father's grave. On his way, he encounters a group of Mogura Ninja. He tries to avoid conflict, stating he is just a traveller, but the Ninja assume he was sent by the village they just raided and attack him. Usagi slays one of the Ninja, and a child flees from his ninja captors to Usagi's side. The villagers, chasing after the ninja then appear, and the ninja, being outnumbered, vanish.

As the group of villagers and Usagi meet, Usagi and his childhood sweetheart Mariko recognise each other. Usagi flashes back to his last meeting with Mariko, but his memories are interrupted by the child he rescued calling out to his mother. Usagi learns Mariko is the boy's mother and she married his childhood 'playmate' Kenichi, who was always more of a rival than a friend. Although grown up, the rivalry between the two remains strong. The group returns to the village and Usagi joins Mariko and Kenichi back at their home. Usagi learns that Kenichi has become the magistrate of the village, after the death of Usagi's father. Mariko tells the tale.

Before Lord Hikiji's victory at the Battle of Adachigahara Plain, when Lord Mifune was still Lord over the village, Hikiji visited the small village demanding provisions. Usagi's father, the magistrate of the village refused to aid his lord's enemy. For his defiance, Hikiji murdered him ruthlessly in front of the whole village. After claiming he will defeat Mifune as easily, Hikiji points to Kenichi and appoints him the new magistrate, and again demands provisions. Kenichi complies.

Finishing her tale, Mariko recollects how the loss of food resulted in many villagers starving that winter. Here Kenichi interrupts her pointing out that his actions saved the village from complete destruction. He tells Usagi that he is not welcome. Offended, Usagi asks if he is to be prevented from paying his respects to his father's grave. Kenichi consents to this, but only does so because Usagi had just saved his son Jotaro's life. He demands Usagi leave in the next morning, and storms off.

After Kenichi leaves, Mariko apologises for her husband's behavior. While the two talk, they are alerted to another attack by the Mogura Ninja by the screams of Jotaro. Usagi rushes to aid the boy and discovers a ninja holding him captive and the boy's body guard mortally wounded.







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