Vol 5: Imperial Phase: Part 1, illustrated by Jamie McKelvie and Kevin Wada, colored by Matt Wilson
The Pantheon has to deal with the repercussions of Persephone’s actions from the previous volume, and a disagreement on how to proceed has them in factions. Some favor taking their enemy head on, some favor researching their options more, while others believe a path of anarchy is the best.
This volume is prefaced with an interesting edition of "Pantheon Monthly," a magazine that presents as one written in-universe, and that gives insights to how the remaining pantheon members feel about what’s happening. This also serves as a recap of sorts for some of the major incidents of previous volumes.
Vol 4: Rising Action, illustrated by Jamie McKelvie, colored by Matthew Wilson
There is no way to summarize this volume without spoiling the ones that come before, so I'm not going to try. I will instead just provide my review.
This volume provided a lot of clarity to some action in previous volumes, but the underlying motivation of our "bad guy" is still unknown. Every new chapter gets us closer, gives some small tidbit, but there's still a big mystery to solve. The art is back to normal, without guest artists and colorist, so that was a major improvement from Volume 3.
Vol 3: Commercial Suicide, illustrated by Jamie McKelvie, Tula Lotay, Kate Brown, Stephanie Hans, Leila del Duca, Brandon Graham
We are reaching the point where reviews will need to be super vague because of spoilers to previous volumes and future volumes.
This volume provides some serious flashbacks into how some of the other pantheon was awoken by Ananke. To this point, we know nothing of Tara, but we see her awakening. We also see the beginnings of The Morrigan and the love of her life, Baphomet. Amaterasu makes another appearance, as we haven't seen her since volume one. There are some insights into some of the mysterious happenings from the first two volumes. Not all is revealed, and the reader is left with more questions by the end, but more to continue wanting to read the series.
Vol 2: Fandemonium, illustrated by Jamie McKelvie, colored by Matt Wilson, lettered by Clayton Cowles
Laura is reeling with the events of the first volume, something that other gods and Fans constantly bring up and remind her about. But Laura is determined to get to the bottom of the murder plot, and she dives head first into the Fandom scene to figure out who the guilty ones are. This means attending concerts, fan conventions, and asking questions. It also means communing with gods at their concerts, something Laura is afraid to venture into since her friend was murdered. Ananke, meanwhile, is busy finding the rest of the 12 gods to complete the pantheon, and you might be surprised at a couple of them.
Fushigi Yûgi has been in and out of publication since 1995. The original series, Fushigi Yûgi: The Mysterious Play, is one I've previously reviewed. There is also another series, Genbu Kaiden, that came out after the original, but not one I have had the chance to get my hands on. Genbu is a prequel to the original series. Byakko Senki is set after Genbu and before the original, but you don’t really have to read any of the others in order to understand this story. This book makes reference to Genbu, but Watase explains all you need to know.
Suzuno is a sweet, ten-year-old child who loves her parents very dearly, growing up in 1920s Tokyo. Her father has a book, The Universe of the Four Gods, that he forbids Suzu from touching. Then, the Kantō earthquake of 1923 strikes and destroys her home. Suzu’s father tells her to open the book in order to save her, and she is transported into the book to the country of Xi-Lang. There she meets Ning-lan, a woman who can turn into a tiger. Later, Ning-Lan and Suzu meet brothers Karm and Kasal, who tell Suzu the legend of the Priestess of Byakko. When Ning-Lan turns on Suzu, Suzu is transported back to Japan, and is immediately beset upon by human traffickers. She is rescued by a boy named Seiji and Dr. Oikawa, a friend of her father’s, but she loses the book in the process. A significant time jump occurs. Suzu is in high school, struggling with dreams and slivers of memories from losing her family to being attacked by a tiger. Seiji joins the military in hopes of establishing a life for himself, and while an injury ends his military aspirations, he asks Dr. Oikawa for Suzu’s hand in marriage.
Vol 1, The Faust Act: illustrated by Jamie McKelvie, colored by Matt Wilson.
Every ninety years twelve deities are awoken as teenagers. They live for two years as cultural icons and then they die. Unfortunately for Luci (Lucifer’s incarnation), she’s on trial for murder and none of her fellow deities will help her out. We follow the efforts of fan girl Laura as she tries to prove Luci’s innocence and even teams up with a skeptical investigative journalist to do so. Laura hopes to become part of the Pantheon she loves, and her adventures lead her to encounters with the rest of the reincarnated gods.
Many of us probably know the tale of Persephone and Hades, and a cursory background knowledge may help, but is not mandatory, for understanding this story.
In Persephone, Locatelli-Kournwsky takes cues from mythology, but crafts a world very different from Greek mythology. Persephone is the adopted daughter of Demeter, a powerful witch who fought in the war against Hades. Now, the way to Hades is sealed, and Persephone lives a normal teenage life in the Studio Ghibli-esque city in the kingdom of Elesius. That is, until she is tricked into passing through the portal to the netherworld, and forced to bite a cursed Fruit of the Damned. One lock of her hair turns blue, instead of her whole head, a sign to others that she has tasted the fruit. She is rescued by some passing merchants and taken to the castle, where Rhadamanthus has been trying to rule the kingdom in his father's absence. Meanwhile, Demeter must convince the Council of Elesius to let her break the seal on the portal so she can rescue her daughter. For good measure, a trip to Tartarus rounds out this adaptation of the classic myth.
Illustrated by Kunieda & Suzuhito Yasuda
Here's a cute and whimsical title for adventure-fiction lovers (once they get over the ridiculous and long title!). This story follows Bell, an up-and-coming adventurer in the service of his goddess, Hestia. Bell adventures in the dungeon below Orario, a city inhabited by gods from all sorts of pantheons who have descended into the mortal realm because their lives in paradise grew too boring. Unlike other gods with multiple adventurers, Hestia's Familia is just Bell. Bell falls in love with Ais Wallenstein, an adventurer in the powerful Familia of Loki, and he aspires to be strong enough to earn her affections. In order to do this, Bell has to "level up" by beating monsters in the dungeon.
I've been reading Manga and comicbooks for years. Now, it's time to share my knowledge with you.
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