Dark Mists

 D3Z4   (AP, 2005-2006)

™ and © AP

In 1936 Kyoto, a select group of geisha is asked to take part in a secret operation. It sounds simple enough. They’ll listen to the conversations around them as they entertain men, and if they hear anything suspicious, report it to the authorities. There will be no danger, and they can help put a stop to rising yakuza crime. But as the geisha body count starts to rise, they realize too late that their “secret operation” isn’t such a secret. Are they willing to risk their occupations and their very lives to see a crime-free Kyoto?

— Lorie Witkop

From the Comics Buyer’s Guide:

This 23-page story is about geishas in 1936 Japan. It’s bold subject matter, and the creative team delivers the first part of a compelling tale. The Japanese government recruits geishas Hoshi and Kimi for a secret mission: To help Japan, they must break their sacred vow of keeping secrets. Unfortunately, they must contend with Yakuza overrunning the streets and, probably, the aspirations of the Japanese army. This is neither manga nor an excuse to create a “butt-kicking” geisha comic book. The feel is like that of a historical movie adaptation. It’s nice to see some creators make interesting female characters that are more than window dressing.

Lee Garbett’s art is really something. He darkens the lines around the eyes in the opening panel, and ultimately it will be these eyes that betray one of the geisha. If it was intentional, it was brilliant.

— Tony DiGerolamo

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