The danger gets real in Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #3. If it got any more real, someone would be dead. Oh, wait…

Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #3 normal cover.
“It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this puppy.”

To recap the last 2 issues of Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory: the story is basically an old Wise Dog (a dog sorcerer), recounting his tale of his (mis)adventures in Allied-occupied Japan. The previous issues showed Mr. Wise Dog recruiting a local dog to his cause. They investigate a series of odd murders involving a bunch of headless bodies. They find out that something is making the peoples’ heads pop right off, and turn into zombie heads. After killing a bunch of them, and encountering a bunch of supernatural creatures and beings, they end up facing a group of adorable yet menacing Shiba Inu dogs. What do these puppers want? Well, that’s what we find out in this issue.

All issues of Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory are the work of writers Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer, artist and colorist Benjamin Dewey, and letterer Nate Piekos. Benjamin Dewey is responsible for the normal cover art, while Stephanie Buscema is responsible for the variant cover art.

Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #3 will go on sale on June 2, 2021. You can preorder them at Dark Horse Comics‘ own website for a mere $3.99, or purchase the comic book when it launches on that date. And while you’re at it, check out the previous issues, because dogs are cute even in a supernatural horror story.

Warning: spoilers for Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #3 ahead. If you have any interest in reading this comic book, paws here and come back once you’re done, lassie.

Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #3: Plot Summary

Cute and fluffy Shiba Inu dog.
The only thing you can focus on for most of the chapter.

So as it turns out in Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #3, the Shiba Inu dogs from the last issue are very good dogs. They were only trying to prevent our heroes from walking right into an ambush by an oni. There also only 2 of them, but that’s okay. A pair of Shiba Inu dogs is always better than just 1.

2 cute and fluffy Shiba Inu puppies.
Twice the cuteness!

But yeah, both Shiba Inus dogs in Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #3 are also Wise Dogs. Or at least, Japan’s version of them, since they can both use magic. Anyways, the Shiba Inu try asking some of the other yokai for help finding out where the creepy crawling heads are coming from. However, they’re all very unhelpful, thinking that this is a human problem that doesn’t affect them. All except for the tanuki, who tell them precisely where not to go. Good job, tanuki. I didn’t think you had it in you.

A pair of cute and fluffy tanukis.
And just as cute as the Shiba Inu dogs too.

So our doggy heroes of Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #3 make their way to where the tanuki tell them not to go, looking for the source of the creepy crawly heads. However, they not only find them, but also a bunch of jorogumo, who apparently really find dog meat to be yummy. The dogs are much tougher prey than mundane humans though, especially magic dogs. However, all the magic in the world doesn’t prevent one of the dogs from getting bitten by a creepy crawly head. The curse they transmit is apparently fatal to dogs too, because the bitten dog dies in seconds. However, our Wise Dog promises to try something to save the dog. We’ll just have to find out in the next issue if he succeeds or not.

Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #3: The Good

Inugami drawing.
Magical doggies are the best doggies.

Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory is about adorable, fluffy, magical doggies fighting horrific supernatural monsters in Japan. If that premise alone doesn’t catch your attention, it probably never will. I mean, seriously, this is like Supernatural in Japan, but with talking dogs instead of the Winchester brothers. What wouldn’t you like about that concept?

This issue in particular even turns up the drama compared to the previous issues. When one of the cute doggies actually dies (presumably), you know that the danger is getting real in this story. Lassie probably might not come home this time. It worked in Old Yeller. It definitely works in this comic book.

Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #3: The Bad

Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #3 variant cover by Stephanie Buscema.
This is a better jorogumo than the ones we got.

Seriously, Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory is one of my most favorite comic books. I have to nitpick like crazy to find anything bad to say about it. I guess I’m not entirely a big fan of the jorogumo‘s design. There’s nothing wrong with the quality of the design itself. I just kinda want my jorogumo to be more of a half-human, half-spider kind of creature. Yes, these jorogumo are spider-themed, but that’s not the same thing.

Jorogumo from Dororo, and a better one than we got in Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #3.
Now this is what I’m talking about.

That’s my only complaint about Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #3. You won’t be getting any more out of me.


Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #3 really ramps up the danger meter for our fluffy heroes. It’s always the case whenever a character gets killed off. Interested in finding out who dies? Check this comic book out on Dark Horse Comics yourself, and see some magical doggies ruff up some horrific monsters.

Source: Dark Horse Comics