In both of the movie adaptations of Mulan, Mulan sneaks away from home to join the army. I suppose this was done as a way to maximize the dramatic tension in the story, but I much prefer the way the original poem has Mulan leave home. Namely that she does so with the blessing of her loving parents. This is first and foremost a story about duty and sacrifice for one’s family. It’s hard to justify the sacrifice if it flies in the face of duty. As a side note you’ll see there’s no training montage when she arrives at the base. This is a feudal cavalry. The king expects his gentry to be ready for combat when called for duty. Whatever the circumstances that surround Mulan’s training with horse, bow, and sword, it took place long before the draft orders reached her town.

Don’t forget, you can totes order the book that this story appears in on Kickstarter. You can even order some of my original pages! I do 90% of my work using traditional media on paper, so what you see here is pretty close to what the original pages look like. I do them in two steps: india ink on paper and then Copic markers on a high-quality photocopy of the inks. If you order an original page you get both versions.