Rampage Vol 1 by Yunosuke Yoshinaga Manga Review

 

Title: Rampage Vol 1

Author:  Yunosuke Yoshinaga

Publisher:  CMX

ISBN:  9781401224103

May Contain Spoilers

From the back of the book:

China: 184 A.D., a time of great turmoil. Zhang Fei stumbles upon a slaughtered village and has a chance encounter that will change his life forever. Guan Yu, second in command of a volunteer army, recruits the brash but inexperienced young Zhang. The army’s first duty is to repel an invasion of a walled city, and although Zhang misses most of that action, he has his own. As he saves the life of a little girl, an arrow to the neck throws him off a cliff. He is rescued my two wizards who give him the power to resist all wounds. Zhang is about to become the most powerful soldier in the army, but at a price that could cost him his soul!

Though I was occasionally confused by the rapid presentation of events and changes in perspective, I enjoyed this introductory volume of the action heavy Rampage.   The art is stunning, with big, bold battle scenes dominating many of the pages.  I thought the book skillfully captured the chaos of ancient China.  Peasants are at the mercy of anyone stronger than them, and marauding armies prey upon peaceful villagers.  Even the soldiers who claim to be fighting for peasant rights trample carelessly through their fields, murdering and plundering every village they encounter.

Zhang Fei decides to volunteer in Liu Bei’s army.  Life hasn’t been easy for him, and he’s more concerned about eating than battling enemies.  His true motive for joining the army is to prove a point – he thinks he’s been dissed by the second in command, and he wants to prove that he’s just as brave and strong as the next guy.  With no battle experience and little stomach for fighting, his first skirmish is a disaster.  A chance encounter with two mysterious beings grants him the power to go toe-to toe with even the best fighter but their gift has an unwelcome side effect; it could mean losing his soul forever.

Though it’s the art that initially hooked me on this title, the plot is politically charged and the personal wrangling for power kept me intrigued.  When Zhang Fei is possessed, he is a kick-ass fighter, and his battle scenes are thrilling and involving.  Now I want to know more – will Zhang Fei lose his soul?  Will Liu Bei’s secret destroy the army?  Why does Zhang Jiao have a chip on his shoulder the size of China?

Rampage is a thrilling, non-stop roller coaster of action and excitement, and it’s a tale that will leave readers hungry for more.

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by CMX

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