Illustrated by Francis Manapul
In a world full of filtered realities known as "veils", Sam Dunes is an ex-investigator who must take on a challenging case - figure out an apparent suicide of his ex-wife, which he believes could have been a murder in an altered reality. He receives a clue in the mail, and suddenly other entities are after him, wanting what he now possesses. Sam reconnects with many of his criminal underworld contacts to bring himself deeper into the twisted world of black veils, virtual realities deeper inside other realities, and the elite that manipulate everything others can see and believe about their worlds, all while staying just a bit ahead of the actual police who are investigating everyone involved.
Detective Ellis is under pressure to as the lead investigator hints that he is going to bring Al in as the primary suspect in the murder of London's mayor. Ellis has no hard evidence that Al isn't the murderer, but he makes a couple of final moves to help those involved make some moves, some wiser than others. Al's bosses open up to him about being racially profiled by the policy when they were younger, and they offer Al guidance and free food, as well as a shoulder if he needs it. Finally, Al is contacted by his half brother and given and ultimatum.
Illustrated by Mengo Yokoyari
The twins are about to begin school at a prestigious academy for teens who are part of Japan’s entertainment industry, but in order to do so, they need to contracted entertainers. Ruby is determined to become an idol, but Aqua wants to protect her from that devastating industry. To help keep away from predatory agencies, Aqua convinces their adoptive mother, Miyako, to sign Ruby to Strawberry Productions as their first idol since Ai. Aqua’s contract comes from his constant mentor, Director Gotanda. Once they begin school, Aqua reconnects with Kana Arima, the genius child actor he starred alongside in volume one. She once again wants Aqua to join her on screen, this time for a campy tv drama where the studio is pushing male models and ruining her career. From this roll, Aqua now finds himself a reluctant contestant on a dating show!
One year for his birthday, Yuta's mother gives him a smartphone and requests that he record her often, as she is dying and won't know which moment will be her last. Yuta complies and tries to capture as many memories as he can, but he can't bring himself to go into the hospital to see her last breath. Then, he runs from the building just in time for it to explode. Then, we realize we are in a theater and have been watching a movie Yuta put together of all the footage of his mother, and he's debuting it in front of his classmates. Most of them are horrified, and Yuta takes their criticism very harshly. He runs to the roof with the intention of killing himself, but instead meets Eri, a girl who loved his film but believes he can make a better one. The two of them spend many days in Eri's secret hideout, watching movies together, until Yuta gets the inspiration to make his second film. This film also has a surprise twist, as Yuta can't help himself.
Elise is, for all intents and purposes, the "law" on the most elite space station full of Earth's 1% who have escaped a dying planet below. There's hardly any crime aboard, so she feels ill-equipped when there are multiple murders to investigate! Someone is going after the station's Board of Directors, and they're not just dying quietly. Each body is made into a spectacle that would disgust even the most heartless of the working-class citizens. While she's trying to solve the murders, Elise is also trying to kick her habit of taking the highly addicting, hallucinogenic substance known as "Blue". Her paranoia is heightened when it seems like she might have had a hand in one of the murders in an intoxicated stupor, but she's determined to figure out what is really happening on her station.
Vol 5: The Eleventh Hour
Magnus, Taako, and Merle are dispatched yet again for another Grand Relic. This next one is inside a small Western-style town in the desert that is currently protected by a bubble that keeps it separated from the rest of time. The relic they seek is a chalice that allows the wielded to control time itself. The three manage to pieces their way through the bubble and are immediately apprehended by a deputy, who is a suit of armor and a small talking bird. They are just becoming acquainted with the town when they are sent back to the beginning again, and they realize they’re stuck in a time loop!
Vol 2: On a Cold Winter's Night, illustrated by Marcos Martín & Muntsa Vicente
Friday is on her own to solve the biggest case of her life, but she'll have to get over crippling depression and through tons of cryptic clues in order to do it. As she starts to piece together the last few cases Lancelot tried to solve, she realizes there's a much bigger picture that she'll need to look at to connect all the dots. Some of her sleuthing introduces some magical objects and mystical beings, so Lance's hunches for the supernatural being involved prove correct!
Illustrated by Carola Borelli, Gab Contreras, and Tom Chu
Three sisters - Rose, Poppy, and Violet - try to solve the mystery of the murder of their mother, Jasmine. Jasmine and Rose ran a flower shop together, but previously, Jasmine hunted Nazis in World War II, and even brought home an older pistol as a trophy. She trained all of her daughters to be fighters, even to regard each other as competitors and enemies, in order to strengthen them for the violent world they would grow into. Now, Poppy is married with two kids, Violet has a successful modeling career, and none of them speak to each other nor use the fighting skills they honed. But, they come together and try to follow leads faster than the detective on the case so they can deliver their own brand of justice to whoever murdered their mother.
Illustrated by Hayden Sherman
Five women from an inmate-staffed fire crew in California are battling the latest blaze in the drought-stricken state. One of the inmates on the line realizes she knows the forest they're in, and tells the rest of her line-mates that her previous partner, the one who set her up to go to jail, has a mansion in a few valleys over. She tempts the crew with promises of it being abandoned because of the fire, but even more so with the promise of tons of cryptocurrency that she knows how to steal. With it, the five could set themselves up, disappear, and get back to the lives they had before being arrested. It seems like an easy heist and fast ticket out of their current problem, but just like the many stages of a wildfire, much of it goes wrong.
Adapted and illustrated by Yoshinori Kisaragi
Sometime in the near future, humans willingly submitted to the installation of “Your Forma” devices - thin, string-like machines implanted in the brain that record everything the user interacts with. This was initially used to combat an outbreak of encephaitis, but it became a normal part of everyday life very quickly. Inspector Echika is with the Electronic Crimes Division of Interpol, and she’s a diver - someone who connects to another human's "your forma" and dives through the Mnemosynes of their brain to look for clues in solving crimes. She’s so gifted at this that she often burns out her Belayers - the aides who help a diver from going too deep into another person’s memories. Echika has newly been paired with Harold Lucraft, who is actually an Amicus - an advanced android, whose particular processing speeds can match hers. The main problem now? Echika hates Amici. But the two have been forced together on one of the biggest cases of Echika’s career: they must find the source of a machine-viral outbreak that causes its victims to hallucinate and believe they are in a blizzard.
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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