Vol 1: Before the Storm, translated by Greg Pak, illustrated by Keng, lettered (English edition) by Joe Caramagna
In an extremely non-linear plot line, we are introduced to Lei Ling, also known as Aero, a hero in Shanghai who has control over the air. When she’s not flying around her beloved city, Ling is an architect who designs homes for Shanghai citizens. Aero is currently battling animated buildings, some of which she designed, and desperately trying to stop a floating city from crashing into Shanghai. In the alternating scenes, we see glimpses of Ling’s past, where she and her boyfriend dine at a fancy restaurant just before he might get the courage and opportunity to propose to her, but she has to sneak away to save some folks trapped in a cyclone on a ferry. And then we meet Aero’s mentor, Madame Huang, who Aero is battling in the present while past Ling meets her for the first time.
Readers who want and appreciate action will definitely enjoy this story, as the main present-day plot line is entirely a fight scene. There are also fight scenes in Ling's flashbacks, so hopefully readers will be able to keep them all straight. The plot moves forward almost exclusively by Ling’s inner monologue and narration, and the dialogue is rather sparse. It's nice to see heroes outside of major US cities, and I hope there is more intertwining of Chinese society or culture as this goes on because there was relatively little other than several illustrations of the Shanghai city-scape. Other than Ling mentioning often that she is in Shanghai, this story could have been set in any major city since there wasn't much that made it specifically Chinese.
The art is beautiful and in a very manhua style, including drawing Ling/Aero with very emphasized and voluptuous bosoms. This story might be a good bridge for manga readers to jump over to comics.
Sara's Rating: 7/10
Suitability Level: Grades 10-12
Publication Date: February 25, 2020
ISBN: 9781302919443 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 7/10, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Superheroes, Action Adventure, Marvel
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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