Vol 4: Seasons of Mist, illustrated by Kelley Jones, Malcolm Jones III, Mike Dringenberg, Matt Wagner, Dick Giordano, George Pratt, P. Craig Russell
We open up on the Garden of Destiny, who is visited by the Three Fates. He is unsettled by what they reveal, so he calls the rest of his family to a meeting: Despair, Desire, Delirium, Death, and Dream. The family chides Dream for his short temper, particularly in the case of his former lover, Nada, who he condemned to torment in Hell for not agreeing to become his queen. He eventually sees their side, and decides to re-enter Hell to free Nada. This might be the end of him, as Lucifer told him so on their last encounter. He says his goodbyes and readies his kingdom, but when he enters Hell, he finds it eerily empty. Lucifer meets up with him and tells him he’s let all the demons go, he’s released all the tortured, and the dead have gone back to wherever they came from. He gives the Key to Hell to Dream and peaces out, knowing the possession of the key is going to make Dream’s life miserable. Shortly thereafter, hosts of deities show up at Dream’s castle, all with a claim to the Key to Hell.
Parasyte vol 3 by hitoshi iwaaki
With Migi’s cells now infused all throughout Shinichi’s body, is he becoming less human? Murano, the girl he likes, is starting to think he’s changed in a bad way — he’s colder, more violent, and maybe starting to become a punk. While Shinichi and Migi try to figure out what he’s doing to give off this vibe, another parasite comes to the school: Shimada, who claims that he isn’t eating humans and he’s come to learn how to co-exist with them. Neither Shinichi nor Migi trust him for a second, and it turns out that Tamiya, the parasite posing as a teacher who crossed paths in previous volumes, is the one who set Shimada on Shinichi’s path! Another classmate tries to find out more about Shimada and accidentally sets off another murder-spree at her school. But, thanks to this incident, the authorities have finally started to crack the code on these alien invaders.
Mao vOl 3 by rumiko takahashi
Mao and Byoki's disembodied head square off in a battle that has been building for the last several volumes. Mao unleashes his other form, which looks very much like it could be Byoki's missing body. During the fight, Nanoka's younger self comes through the gate into the battle, and present day Nanoka begins to remember some of the flashes that traumatized her that day. Byoki realizes Nanoka could also be a vessel for his power, so he runs after her as she retreats back through the gate to her time. Mao releases an ayakashi and sends it after little Nanoka to protect her. Present day Nanoka returns to her time to sort out who the ayakashi is, and to determine who Byoki is in her life. Mao, meanwhile, must begin to sort out what happened to him hundreds of years ago when Byoki attacked, which is complicated by him discovering several other apprentices from hundreds of years ago are still alive when they should all be long dead.
Illustrated by Werther Dell'Edera, colored by Miguel Muerto
In volume one, Erica succeeded in killing one of the monsters in the woods that was eating children, but there are a lot of babies that were left behind, and they're hungry. Some of the surviving kids in town are now attracting the young monsters and putting them into a feeding frenzy. The town sets up a make-shift morgue at the high school and has families coming in to identify their loved ones, but one of the siblings waiting in line is attracting the monsters, and there are plenty of kids around with their families - families who already lost at least one kid. Another hunter arrive from the House of Slaughter headquarters. The Order is worried that the situation is getting too out of hand, and that Erica is not well equipped enough to handle everything.
Illustrated by Álvaro Martínez Bueno, colored by Jordie Bellaire
A group loose associates find themselves in a large, extravagant house on a beautiful lake, seemingly without other people or houses around them. They all discover they know Walter - some grew up with him, some crossed paths with him only a few months ago - but he was always heavily invested in them, someone who was right there at the right time and maybe faded away since. Then, Walter appears in the house and explains his intentions. He reveals he is part of an alien race, and his people intend to destroy the Earth, but he was tasked with picking the best of humanity to be saved. They will all be safe from the coming apocalypse in this lake house, where they will also have all their needs provided for, but everyone else they know and love will be horrifically killed. And they’re supposed to be thankful. But not all of them can sit idly by and enjoy the bounty of their sanctuary. Some of them start exploring their idilic prison and discover what was probably meant to be hidden from them forever.
I am a hero vol 1 by Kengo Hanazawa
Hideo is dissatisfied with his life as a manga assistant. He used to have a running serial, called Uncut Penis, but it got cancelled after only a few issues. He has his share of eccentricities and probably several social anxieties. He thinks he can see evil spirits in his apartment and often talks to one of them. The only way to get rid of them is to form a prayer circle with wholesome manga and textbooks around him. Hideo's girlfriend will cook delicious food for him and be intimate with him. She gets bit by a little kid on the way home from work and no one thinks anything of it. When Hideo comes to her apartment the next day, he can’t believe she’s been turned into a creature. He’s pretty sure it’s because he had to pull an all nighter at the manga job, not that there are actually zombies trying to eat him. The whole building might be scary zombies, or they might be figments of his imagination.
Parasyte vol 2 by Hitoshi Iwaaki
There are some pretty big spoilers ahead, so be warned!
At the end of volume one, Shinichi's parents go away on a vacation that Migi hypothesizes would be safe. A disturbing phone call from Shinichi's father has him on edge, just in time for his mother to come home, who has been possessed by a parasite! She stabs him through the heart and leaves him for dead, but Migi uses his abilities to send bits of himself to Shinichi's heart for repair. This disperses little bits of Migi all over Shinichi's body, which gives him some extraordinary abilities, but may be infecting his basic humanity and ability to empathize with others! Shinichi goes to the remote village of his parent's vacation, where is dad is hospitalized, and vows to protect his father from the parasite coming back to finish the job. While on guard duty, Shinichi meets another like him, where the parasite didn't make it all the way to the brain. The man and parasite share custody of the mouth and nose, and they all decide to team up against parasites who are hell-bent on destroying other humans.
Mieruko-chan vol 1 by Tomoki Izumi
Miku suddenly starts seeing really gruesome evil spirits. Instead of reacting to them, she’s convinced that if she pretends she can’t see anything, they’ll go away. It works for the most part, but it doesn’t stop Miku from feeling terrified every time one of them shows up. Miku and her friend try to live normal lives — getting tea, going shopping, but Miku’s constant moments of fear start to freak everyone else out. Miku buys some prayer beads to hopefully keep the spirits away from her, but every strand she puts on breaks and scatters beads everywhere. A vendor and spiritually powerful fortune teller gives Miku her best set of prayer beads, which also breaks, forcing the fortune teller into retirement in disgrace. All the fun and games are pushed aside when Miku comes down for breakfast, and finds much more than a terrifying spirit in her kitchen.
Mao vol 2 by rumIko takahashi
Nanako and Mao continue to battle some evil deeds that are coming out of a local shrine. The priestess is able to predict the deaths of villagers, with amazing accuracy. However, there is some Tom-foolery at play, and the curses are not what they seem. Mao is able to release the demonic spirit that has been harnessed to carry out the curses, and the spirit rebounds upon the caster. On her way to jail, the priestess predicts the end of the world: fireballs engulfing the town while a huge earthquake rips open the streets. Nanako goes back to her time to research what this event could be, and finds it coincides with a terrible earthquake that does much of what the priestess said. She goes back to Mao’s time to try and prevent or at least save some of the townsfolk, but like everything in Mao’s time, the historical record of what happens isn’t as accurate as the truth, especially when more evil spirits — and possibly Byouki — are involved.
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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