Time for a quick look at this week’s ComicList:
I’m looking forward to reading the second volume of Motoro Mase’s Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit, a creepy, slice-of-death story about a place that has taken social engineering to a slightly absurd but undeniably chilling new level. To promote order and the value of life, a government is randomly choosing citizens to die in their late teens or early twenties, and readers are invited to follow an ambivalent civil servant tasked with informing the soon-to-be deceased that they really lost out in life’s lottery. In episodic science-fiction or fantasy series, I’m almost always less interested in underlying subplots than the episode-to-episode structure, but I’m hoping Mase continues to build on the civil servant’s growing discomfort with the system he supports. I enjoyed the first volume, and I’ll certainly stick around for a while.
I meant to review the first issue of the Marvel Divas mini-series (Marvel, needless to say), but I kept forgetting to do so, which I guess amounts to some kind of a critique. It’s about four B- to C-list Marvel super-heroines who hang out, sip cocktails, and help each other through their personal problems, which range from terrible exes to questionable currents, booty calls gone wrong to power-driven health crises. The featured heroines mostly track with my preferred portrayals of them, assuming I had an opinion in the first place. Writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa seems to like and respect the characters, Tonci Zonjic is a competent illustrator, and Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic’s cover for the second issue, due out Wednesday, is a vast improvement over J. Scott Campbell’s first-issue travesty.
CMX debuts a new series, Shouko Fukaki’s The Battle of Genryu: Origin. It’s a martial-arts manga about a boy with a mysterious family and an equally mysterious monthly power-up that significantly boosts his natural abilities. (Insert your own PMS joke, if you must.) I read a preview copy from the publisher, and I have to say that I’m just not the audience for this kind of thing. Most of these bare-knuckled-combat series seem virtually identical to me, and this one doesn’t offer any quirks or novelty to overcome the familiarity. It’s not as offensive as some or baffling as others, but still..