Vol 12, Dionysos, The New God
Dionysos is the child of Zeus and yet another mortal, who was tricked into death by jealous Hera. Hermes delivered Dionysos to the Satyrs to be raised, where he learned to be boisterous and have lots of fun. As an adult, Dionysos discovered the beauty of fermenting grapes and drinking it, and he brought his madness-inducing liquid to several mortal cities. He wasn't always thanked for sharing his drink, though! Tragedy also seems to follow Dionysos and many people around him die unexpectedly, prompting a trip to the Underworld.
Vol 1: Shadows, illustrated by Scott Hampton, P. Craig Russell, Walter Simonson, Coleen Doran, and Glenn Fabry
When we first meet Shadow, he is at the end of a three year prison sentence for armed robbery. He's just about to get out when his wife is killed in a car accident, along with his best friend, who was going to give Shadow a job when he got out. Lifeless, penniless, and jobless, Shadow is reluctantly recruited by Mr. Wednesday, a peculiar man with one eye and a penchant for some supernatural business. Mr. Wednesday and Shadow encounter several larger-than-life beings who claim to be from various pantheons from around the world, brought to America by immigrants for centuries. Shadow is abducted a few times by some other powerful beings working against Mr. Wednesday, but he always manages to escape or be set free with only a few bruises. After one of these occasions, Shadow comes to work at a mortuary in Cairo, Illinois, for Mr. Ibis and Mr. Jacquel. This volume concludes just as Shadow and Mr. Wednesday reconnect, and the real work is about to begin.
Adapted by P. Craig Russell, illustrated by Jerry Ordway, Mike Mignola, Jill Thompson, Piotr Kowalski, and David Rubín
This series is an adaptation of the book, Norse Mythology that Neil Gaiman published in 2017. Presented in this volume are a few of the major myths of Norse mythology: the creation of the world in Odin’s slaying of the giant Ymir; how Odin lost his eye but gained all his wisdom; the treasures of the gods obtained by Loki as he pitted two dwarf craftsmen brothers against each other; the way in which the Aesir gods got their wall around Asgard; Loki’s children and how Odin dealt with all of them; and, the “marriage” of Thor, pretending to be Freya, to a giant who stole his hammer.
The Sailor Scouts have a new enemy who has put a spell over the entire Jûban district of Tokyo, and is setting loose little concentrated spheres of evil - lemures - to turn all the beautiful dreams into nightmares. This new enemy is headed by Queen Nehellenia, the queen of the New Moon, of the dark side of the moon. She has found a way in through all the protections on Earth, and is attacking it from the inside. The Dead Moon Circus is her front to besiege the people of Jûban, and her efforts are affecting Mamoru-san. To complicate things even more, the scouts find they can’t transform in the face of this new enemy, but instead have to gain a new power up.
This is a mega-sized volume with the conclusion of the Death Busters arc, and inclusion of two side stories. Mistress 9 tries to use Chibi Usa's hostia and the stolen Mythical Silver Crystal to provide enough power to Master Pharaoh 90 to merge with Earth and make it their new home planet, However, Mistress 9 wasn't counting on her host's body being so difficult to control. And, after Mistress 9 awakened, no one thought the final Sailor Scout would awaken. The conclusion is sweet and wrapped up pretty tidy, but the final pages, of course, hint that the peace they just achieved is threatened again. There are also two side stories in this volume, contributing to its girth. Chibi Usa's second Picture Diary, "Beware of Tanabata," is a side-adventure where an enemy uses popular Sailor Moon watches to manipulate the emotions of young girls. The second side story is "The Love of Princess Kaguya." This beautiful story focuses almost entirely on Luna, and her falling in love with Kakeru, a human astro-physicist who saves her from being run over by a car. Kakeru and his childhood friend, Himē, both pledged to become astronauts and travel to the moon to see if the Princess Kaguya from legend really lives there. A new enemy manipulates Kakeru and puts his life in danger, while Himē is chosen for a NASA mission to save the Earth from a comet barreling towards it.
This volume begins the "Death Busters" story arc, or the Sailor Moon S series for those watching at home. A new enemy is on the horizon, which means the hard-fought peace after dealing with Black Moon is over. The enemy seems to be centered around the Mugen Academy built upon a triangle of reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay. At the center of it all is an elite private school that attracts talented students, like violin virtuoso Michiru Kaiō, or the star race car driver, Haruka Tenō (spelled Ten'ô in this translation). Both have frequent run ins with Usagi and Mamoru, and seem to know more about the new enemy than they let on. Chibi-Usa makes a new friend, Hotaru, whose father runs the Mugen Academy and has been known to conduct questionable genetic experiments. Later, the Outer Sailor Guardians make their first appearance, but it's not the happy team-building moment that Usagi wishes it was!
Volume three is the start of the next story arc. In this portion of the story, the members of the Black Moon are trying to steal the Mystical Silver Crystal, and they’re after Chibi-usa, a strange girl who literally fell out of the sky and demanded Usagi’s Crystal. Chibi-usa pledges not to let Usagi out of her sight until she has the crystal, so she casts a spell over Usagi's family and moves in as a "cousin" of the family. The Black Moon pick off the Sailor Scouts one by one and weaken Usagi’s confidence in herself and her team. Towards the end, Chibi-usa finally opens up and reveals who she is, where her "home" is, and why the Black Moon is after her.
The five sailor scouts are finally all together, just in time for the Dark Kingdom, headed by the evil Queen Metalia and Queen Beryl, to start tearing them apart. Kunzite steals Tuxedo Mask away from them just as they all regain their memories of their past lives in the Moon Kingdom. The group finally finds their lost Moon Princess, and they must protect her from the Dark Kingdom. A trip to the moon helps shed some light on who the enemy is and how it impacted their former lives.
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.
This review series will focus on the newly published Eternal Editions of Sailor Moon. I have also reviewed the entire series previously.
Usagi Tsukino is a 14-year-old 2nd-year middle school student who wants nothing more than to play games, sleep all the time, and eat delicious foods. She's not a great student, and she's not sure about what high school she wants to go to. One day, she meets a talking cat with a crescent moon spot on her forehead, and the cat, Luna, reveals that Usagi is a legendary guardian, Sailor Moon! Together, Luna and Sailor Moon must track down the rest of the guardians and protect the Princess of the Moon Kingdom. Along the way, they meet a strange figure named Tuxedo Mask, and it's not abundantly clear if he's an enemy or not. Sailor Moon and her Guardian friends must fight against the sinister Dark Kingdom and keep the Mystical Silver Crystal from falling into their hands.
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