Manga Review: One-Punch Man V 6 by ONE & Yusuke Murata @shonenjump


May Contain Spoilers

I don’t know how this happened, but One-Punch Man has catapulted into one of the top spots on my favorite manga list. How did this happen?! I remember being totally unimpressed with V 1 & V 2, but now, wow! The art is spectacular, and the story, while firmly shonen battle manga fare, is so much fun! There’s humor, edge of your seat battles, and clueless Saitama, cheerfully meandering from one adventure to the next. He always seems like he’s in somewhat of a fog, but he really comes through when he is needed the most.

An unprecedented prophesy has caused the Hero Association to call together all of the Class S heroes. Because Saitama just happened to be at Silverfang’s dojo, he tags along with the older hero and Genos to City A. There, we finally meet most of the Class S heroes, and it’s a wonder how they haven’t turned on each other and destroyed the world themselves. I can hardly wait to see how these heroes interact later in the series. They bicker, allow their enormous egos to get the better of them, and bemoan being called suddenly away for a calamity that may or may not happen. Of course disaster, in the form of deadly aliens in a monstrous space ship, quickly descend upon the Earth, destroying everything in City A but the heroes’ headquarters.

While most of the heroes are busy attempting to defeat Melzargard, a super strong alien with regeneration powers, Saitama infiltrates the star ship, merrily causing havoc with every step. I love how every character except Saitama is drawn with expressive detail. Saitama, on the other hand, is basically an egghead. He is simply rendered, with few realistic features, and little emotive detail. He usually appears unaffected by the events going on around him, regardless of how dire they may be. Detailed emotions are sparsely parsed when events are dire.   I used to hate how he looked, but over six volumes, it has grown on me, and I look forward to his steady resolve. He never gets the accolades he deserves, but I think that bothers me more than it bothers him.

The pacing for this volume is phenomenal.  After the quick set up, we have battle upon battle upon battle. Things look grim for all of our heroes, but they manage, somehow, to put their bluster behind them and work together. Even Puri-Puri Prisoner got a thumbs up in this volume. He is such a caricature that he normally bugs the snot out of me, but he got down to business and tried so hard to protect the men of City A that I have to give him a few props. This ends on a cliffhanger, so I’m happy that I have the next volume already loaded on my Kindle.

Grade: 4.5 stars

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book:

Nothing about Saitama passes the eyeball test when it comes to superheroes, from his lifeless expression to his bald head to his unimpressive physique. However, this average-looking guy has a not-so-average problem—he just can’t seem to find an opponent strong enough to take on!
An emergency summons gathers Class S heroes at headquarters…and Saitama tags along. There, they learn that the great seer Shibabawa left the following prophecy: “The Earth is in danger!” What in the world is going to happen?!

Micro Review: Vader’s Little Princess by Jeffrey Brown

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Vader’s Little Princess is a funny look at Vader as a dad to the spunky Leia. The author’s sense of humor shines through his touching illustrations that borrow from the movies, giving a new look at Vader. Occasionally overwhelmed by his clever daughter, the Sith lord finds his hands full as he tries to juggle fatherhood with ruling the galaxy. Moments of tenderness and frustration abound, delighting the reader with lines from the movies put into a new light. This comic book is highly recommended for fans of the original trilogy.

Grade:  B+

Review copy borrowed from my local library

In this irresistibly funny follow-up to the breakout bestseller Darth Vader and Son, Vader—Sith Lord and leader of the Galactic Empire—now faces the trials, joys, and mood swings of raising his daughter Leia as she grows from a sweet little girl into a rebellious teenager. Smart and funny illustrations by artist Jeffrey Brown give classic Star Wars moments a twist by bringing these iconic family relations together under one roof. From tea parties to teaching Leia how to fly a TIE fighter, regulating the time she spends talking with friends via R2-D2’s hologram, and making sure Leia doesn’t leave the house wearing only the a skirted metal bikini, Vader’s parenting skills are put hilariously to the test.

Comic Review: Red Sonja: Berserker by Collins and Casas

Red Sonja: Berserker

Writer: Nancy A Collins

Art: Fritz Casas

Cover: Joseph Michael Linsner

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

Review:

I received this review copy at a most opportune time – during my lunch break.  I decided to read it because it’s been a long time since I’ve read a comic book, and because it’s a one shot.  Complete in one gulp.  My biggest problem with graphic novels and comics lately is the length.  I find that I am lacking the patience for long, drawn out series that ever seem to end!

Read more

Review: Dark Swan: Storm Born Vol 1 by Richelle Mead & Grant Alter

Title: Dark Swan: Storm Born Vol 1 by Richelle Mead & Grant Alter

Art by Dave Hamann, Colors by Nelson Cosentino De Oliveira

Published by Sea Lion Books

For Readers 18+

Coming to a comic book store near you May 18, 2011

As a huge fan of comics, it’s always exciting to see some publishers stick their necks out and publish titles that go against the super hero grain.  Sea Lion Books has a couple of series in the works that I am excited to get my hands on, and Dark Swan: Storm Born is the first.  In addition to the Dark Swan series, Richelle Mead is also the author of Vampire Academy,  as well as a number of other paranormal romances.  I haven’t read any of Mead’s prose novels, so I thought Storm Born would give me a good introduction to her Dark Swan series.  Despite a few misgivings, I did enjoy this read, and I even snapped up the novel from Amazon ($4.30 for the Kindle!).

Eugenie is a shaman, and she earns a living sending spirits and fairies back to the Otherworld.  She is one tough chick, wielding  a knife or a gun with equal aplomb.  She’s approached by Wil Delany to find his sister, who has been abducted by the fey.  Only problem; Eugenie will have to cross over in her physical body, instead of sending just her spirit over, and that’s a dangerous endeavor.  There’s no guarantee that  she’ll make it back over.  But the thought of 14-year-old Jasmine a prisoner of a powerful fairy king doesn’t sit well with her…

I like Eugenie a lot!  She’s got courage in spades, so much that it crowds out her common sense.  She’s got a dangerous job, as well as a reckless personality, and that doesn’t add up to a long and uneventful life.  She can hold her own against big, scary death spirits, but she caves like a house of cards when she meets a handsome, charismatic stranger in a bar.  While thoroughly delectable, I would have held out until I at least was treated to a decent meal, but apparently, Eugenie is lacking in the patience department, too.

I enjoyed this first volume of Storm Born, and I’m looking forward to reading more.  I did feel confused at times, though, because I am not familiar with Eugenie, and the world-building here is only skimmed over.  This is a problem that I have found with most of the prose novel to comic book adaptions that I have read; there isn’t enough backstory given for me to feel comfortable at first, and the lack of familiarity occasionally frustrates me.  As Storm Born is presented in pamphlet comics of about 30 pages each, it requires that I invoke my non-existent patience while I wait 30 days for the next volume to hit stores.  I’m not good at that, and I see that I have a lot in common with Eugenie.  It doesn’t help that when it comes to comics, I am accustomed to reading them in 200 page chunks.

The art is expressive and conveys a realistic sense of movement.  While I like the character designs for the most part, I am not so wild about Kiyo.  He reminds me of Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, especially when they are in the bar, and the resemblance is not a good thing for me.

This is a nice introduction to the Storm Born series, and I am looking forward to learning more about Eugenie.  I know she is going to ignore all of the good advice she’s been given and take Wil’s case, so I am dying to see how much trouble she gets into while trying to rescue Jasmine! 

Grade: B

Review copy provided by publisher