Backderf's latest novel is a meticulous account of the events of May 1-4, 1970 at Kent State University. The storyline follows Jeff, Allison, Bill, and Sandy, the four students who were killed during anti-Vietnam-war, anti-military conflicts on Kent State's campus, as well as several of the wounded students and a few of the soldiers of the National Guard. Rising tensions between student protestors and National Guardsmen were stoked by sleep-deprived soldiers and commanding officers, a governor infused with law-and-order politics, and persistent student protests that were unrelenting for several days. Throughout, there are pages of exposition offering insights from Backderf's extensive research.
Akira and Amelia decide to adopt the not-so-0fierce demon kitty. Amelia heals him, and Akira names him Night. Akira and Night form a new pact as master and servant, which will allow the demon king to still be able to see everything with the link inherent between demon king and all demons, but will give Akira and Night special abilities. Night reveals that there are three other dungeons in the world, and each dungeon challenges a different aspect of the character's skills. A portal opens at the end of the labyrinth, and Akira decides to travel to the next labyrinth in the forest of the Elven people, where Amelia is being hunted by her twin sister. With Akira caught right in the middle of the power struggle in the Elven kingdom, will he ever make it to the labyrinth to continue his development?
Illustrated by Posuka Demizu
Emma, Ray, Don, Gilda, and two kids from Goldy Pond begin a search for the Seven Walls, something that Mr. Minerva told them to find in order to rework The Promise and potentially close down all of the factories. There are some significant time jumps as the group has to travel around the demon territory chasing down leads, but just shy of two years after the escape, the group finally cracks the code and discovers the entrance they were searching for. This has given plenty of time for the enemy to find them as well, as the Ratri clan has sought out every shelter and supporter to track down the wayward “food”.
Illustrated by Hiroyuki Aigamo
Akira has retreated back to the labyrinth his class went to in volume one, determined to gain maximum levels in as much as he can. He’s been in the labyrinth a month before he finds Amelia trapped inside a slime monster. She’s an elven warrior who has come to the labyrinth for the same reason, and the two decide to team up to defeat the most challenging monsters at the end of the labyrinth. Back in the castle, Kyosuke, another classmate whose class is samurai, wakes to find himself in the princess’s chamber, having just cut through six black crystals. He has no idea what he’s doing or what the crystals are until the next day when hero Tsukasa announces he’s going off to fight the demon king. The rest of the class ridicules him, all except six classmates, Kyosuke among them.
The beginning of this wraps up the storylines that happen around Christmas time, then launches into a new story arc - Takane’s grandfather is frustrated that Takane won’t give him details about how his relationship is going with Hana. He decides he’s spoiled the kid too much, so he takes away all his stuff: freezes his accounts, sets him up in a shoebox of an apartment, gives him two cheap suits, and around $91 to live on for the month. He says Takane must climb back up to the top from the bottom to prove himself. Takane is so embarrassed by his new situation that he refuses to see Hana. But, based on the advice of her friend Okamon, Hana takes a page from Takane’s book and decides to pester him for a change.
France continues to decay as the royal family amasses an amazing amount of debt, and the citizenry refuses to acquiesce to more taxes until an Estates General is called. Oscar’s father decides he will marry Oscar off to a wealthy noble, and claim a male child of Oscar's as his heir, but Oscar will have none of it, and sabotages the arrangements. The people of France demand the king reinstate a minister of finance who was sympathetic to the plight of the commoners. As the Estates General Meet and try to erode the power of the king even more, Louis I’d advised to bring in the military to squash the rumblings of the Representatives from the Third Estate (commoners). Oscar is torn apart by her sense of duty to follow the orders of the king and the military’s goal of protect her countrymen.
Tatsu, The Immortal Dragon is back at his antics. He's brandishing a bottle of bug spray against The Black Bullet - a cockroach - who has been sent by an unknown enemy group. Later, he takes a gig serving food in a restaurant to some really jumpy gentlemen who are probably still in the business. Bargain hunting at the supermarket is made even more entertaining when a down-and-out mob boss' wife takes a job as a checker and double charges Tatsu for an item. Tatsu tries to help his wife Miku relax after several long days at work, and he of course takes it to the Nth degree. A touching reunion with his former boss allows The Immortal Dragon to show his domestic side to the fearsome former head of the Yakuza Crime family.
Illustrated by Posuka Demizu
The Battle at Goldy Pond rages on, and the group is left with Leuvis, the most fearsome of all the hunting demons. The attackers are a smaller group than originally intended, but they use their intellect to find more ways to hurt Leuvis. They discover several things that can add up to victories. Firstly, if they use flash bombs on him, he has to use his regenerative power to repair the damage to his optic nerve, which takes some of the efforts away from healing from regular bullets. The kids try to use their small size as an advantage by trapping Leuvis in smaller spaces. Then, they get help from Adam, the giant, simple “child” who flings pieces of buildings at Leuvis and throws him up in the air. Together, the just might beat Leuvis and be able to leave Goldy Pond behind for good.
In this world, two neighboring kingdoms often try to make peace for a little while by marrying their children off. Both kingdoms prize black hair coloring over all others, and the least desirable of all is red hair. Princess Nakaba, aka Nak, is married off to Prince Caesar so that the kingdoms can have a little bit of peace. On the surface, Caesar can’t stand Nak because of her hair and her closeness to her servant, Loki. Inwardly, Caesar is jealous that Nak has distain for him, especially because she is a less desirable red-headed princess. Loki comes to Nak's aid in front of the king, and has to go on the run because of it. Nak strikes a bargain with Caesar that could ultimately lead to Loki's pardon, if Caesar can convince his father, that is.
Illustrated by Pedro J. Colombo, colored by Aintzane Landa
This story is based on true events of the life of Francisco Boix, a prisoner of war interned at Mauthausen.
Boix is a Spaniard and a newspaper photographer and communist who is captured in France and sent to several camps before ending up at Mauthausen. For a while, Francisco works as a translator, tasked with translating the insults German soldiers hurl at the prisoners. Later, Francisco is moved up to working in the photography lab at the camp, where he discovers that the SS are meticulously documenting the deaths of prisoners, but staging them and classifying them as suicides or escape attempts. Despite the dangers to his life and the life of those in the camp, Francisco decides it is exceedingly important to get the negatives of these photos out of the camp to show the world what the Nazis were really doing in these extermination camps. After the war, Francisco participates as a witness in the Nuremberg trials, but he finds that most people cannot fathom the photos so many risked their lives to save.
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