Hegemons always resent heaven, because only hell awaits us at the end of our path. - Guo Jia to Cao Cao
The Ravages of Time ((火鳳燎原) or as I like to call it, THREE KINGDOMS OF BADASS, is a Hong Kong comic based on the Romance of Three Kingdoms. It is full of (hundreds of) characters (spanning multiple, sprawling storylines) who can beat up entire armies, sometimes armed only with a hoe; pull spears out of their own bodies and wield them saying "thanks for the weapons", throw horses across the battlefield, eat their own eyes, crossdress super convincingly, etc.. Yet for all these oddities, Ravages remains IMHO the most complex, clever, engaging and unbelievably human Three Kingdoms interpretation you can find today.
So we have seen Guo Jia pull off shit like: using spiked trenches to send Lu Bu's cavalry packing, then connecting the trenches in order to flood Xiapi in the rainy season... Which was only possible because the traps had forced Lu Bu's army to pull back and not notice all the Wei army digging going on. Oh Guo Jia if only you had lived longer!! Instead of Zhuge Liang you would be the one prancing around history books with a giant fan, practicing necromancy, divination, sorcery, and juggling. (I've never understood why juggling, but it's officially one of Kongming's special tricks.. OF WHAT USE IN WARTIME, IDK)
But Ravages is pretty brutal to all its characters, even the genius ones dying of tuberculosis
Preview for chapter 319. So great, I cannot lie, even though this filled me with fear of never seeing him again I laughed like hell. RUN GUO JIA RUN
Am pretty sure he has a graceful exit strategy up his sleeve, as someone said "this guy is a god of faking being in danger.".. but his OH SHIT expression at seeing Wen Chou running the fuck at him seems to be genuine. In the event that his plan B fails which valiant general is going to come to his rescue??? I imagine Jia Xu would pop up out of nowhere and carry him off somehow. "I ONLY SAVED SO I CAN WATCH YOU DIE OF TB, WHILE SAYING I TOLD YOU SO"
Poor GJ. But at least he has friends... Unlike Mouri Motonari who is simply an unpopular man
Wei propaganda of Cao Cao's three monsters: Dian Wei, GJ and Xu Chu. For 'Cao Cao's three biggest fanboys' simply replace XC with Xia Hou Dun.
Few things fill me with such nostalgia for the past / looking forward to the future. I started reading Ravages via Remnantwarriors in 2004? 2005? When the scans stopped I bought the books and read them via Merc's text translations on LJ haha I felt like such a nerd. You can read them now via Merc and Ki Shodar's translations, although if you can read traditional Chinese the books are fairly cheap and available throughout most of East Asia (I get mine from Kinokuniya). Buy them anyway and support one of the greatest Chinese comics ever. Thanks Chen Mou for a great story.. AND THANK YOU MERC FOR TRANSLATING MANY MOMENTS OF BADASS. Also many of great sorrow. But mostly badass.
PS. I had this post typed up last week, but before I posted it a lot of very kind and well-meaning people crashed my webhost (in the best of all possible ways; thank you for your many kind words), placing me in a state of shock, disbelief, and extreme mortification. I wanted to hide under my bed all day, except there was a lot of stuff under it already so I couldn't. But so far all seems good! No one has emailed me angrily to complain, also more pressingly I have not had to explain Sengoku Basara and/or ojisans to any RL friends whom I know follow Mr Gaiman's twitter. The feeling of relief is pretty intense. Although I will work hard to draw some proper Sandman fanart by way of apology
PPS. Speaking of Sengoku Basara, "Ishida Mitsunari" is a front page pixiv tag! I invite everyone to celebrate by mentally picturing our beloved ▽-kun as a belligerent kemonomimi with fox ears and huge fluffy tail. In fact why isn't this his alt costume.
PPPS. Okay I am a huge nerd I found the meaning of Mitsunari's crest and am sobbing. DOES HE NOT UNDERSTAND THIS IN BASARA OR SOMETHING