Illustrated by Stephen Green, colored by Rico Renzi
After the Shaman tried to rip the War Club out of Kadyn's body in the last bit of volume one, the boy and his father, Gil, are once again separated by light years. Gil and the Shaman end up on the menacing Space Leviathan who attacked the temple on the Sacred Moon in volume one. With them is Monkey and Dolphin, who spent most of volume one tagging along with Kadyn. Meanwhile, Kadyn is stranded in wild space with Dalla, and he’s not sure he can trust her after what she pulled with the evil shaman. The dark spirit inhabiting the Shaman leaves him and infests Gil, which gives him the ability to commune with the Leviathan and see a path to Kadyn. Swirling around all of this is still the magic War Club and what its power means for these space people and creatures. Kadyn must do some soul searching in addition to searching for his dad.
Based on Astro Boy by Osamu Tezuka
A beloved robot and a man are murdered and have their bodies staged in similar manners, but what do they have to do with each other? Enter Geischt, one of Europol’s best detectives, who happens to also be a sentient robot. He discovers that someone or something is out to destroy the world’s seven best robots, and he’s one of them. The first target was a wilderness loving gentle giant. Another target is a fierce killing machine who has a second life as a Butler fit an eccentric movie score composer who wants nothing to do with a destructive menace. Geischt suspects another target is a robot skilled at hand-to-hand combat and adoptive father to many children. Geischt must fighter out who the remaining targets are and how to stop the killer before all of them, including himself, are destroyed.
Citizens of the Great Tokyo Empire are somewhat struggling to survive, and they violently take over rescue ships and any other humanitarian aide. It’s all in the name of their new savior and emperor, Akira, who blesses them with his presence at least once a day. His right-hand-man, Tetsuo, is really calling all the shots as Akira doesn’t seem to care about ruling over tons of people. On the other side of the destroyed Neo-Tokyo is Lady Mikago’s temple, where she welcomes in refugees and all sorts of folk, and blesses them with her presence at least two times a day. Caught in the middle of these two factions is everyone else: Kei and Chiyoko, who are trying to keep Number 27 (Masaru) and Number 25 (Kikuyo) safe, the Colonel, who also wants the kids safe but is also trying to stop Akira and Tetsuo, and a number of other loose factions trying to keep alive in this barren, desolate city.
Zaha Sanko is cursed - one bone from his body will grant the bearer any wish they desire, so you can imagine how many people are after him. When some junkers catch Zaha floating in space, they realize who he is by his injuries and his special dark paggy (special space backpack). Sanko and his skeleton friend, Avakian, overpower the crew with their special “Dark Flesh” armor and weapons. We then saunter down memory lane as Sanko recounts his time on an elementary school station where he made friends with a creature of death named Shimada, who feeds off of souls and finds Sanko amusing. Shimada, fortunately, is a perfectly content being, and thus has no reason to try and take one of Sanko's bones.
Colonel Shikishima is used as the latest scapegoat to explain why the Sol rocket was used and parts of the city destroyed, and he loses his command. Despite the disgrace, the soldiers are still severely loyal to him, and he employs his forces to help recover Akira before the boy fully awakens. Kei and Kaneda try to bring Akira to a safe place, but they find themselves being betrayed by someone they thought an ally. The Colonel uses the three super-powered children to track Akira, while Lady Miyako deploys three of her own children to bring Akira to her. All of these opposing parties chase each other through the streets of Neo-Tokyo during a city-wide lockdown, which means the protector robots are also after them all for breaking curfew.
Illustrated by Dev Pramanik, colored by Alex Guimarães
House Atreides is the prequel to the original Dune series. In this story, we follow along with several different plot lines. Baron Vladimir travels back and forth between Arrakis and Giedi Prime, overseeing his spice production. Teenaged and Duke-Presumptive Leto travels to the planet Ix, the Machine Planet, to learn from the House Vernius. Upon arrival, Leto finds a desolate place and is surprised to discover the entire planet operates underground. In another part of the galaxy, the son of Emperor Elrood Corrino plots to assassinate his father and take the imperial seat. Shaddam and his advisor slowly poison the Emperor in the hopes that no one will suspect assassination. The Emperor also sends the planetologist, Pardot Kynes, to Arrakis to begin study of the planet and how it has such deposits of Spice. On Giedi Prime, Rabban participates in hunts of real people, including a child Duncan Idaho, who is fighting for the freedom of his family.
The second volume in this series sees an uptick in the amount of action (not that volume 1 lacked). Tetsuo recovers quickly from his gunshot wounds and demands answers from the doctor who seems to be running the experiments on gifted people. He finds out that there are more kids in the facility with powers and forces the doctor to take him to meet them. Meanwhile, Kei suddenly has powers she’s never had before and uses them to break out of her cell and evade capture, in the same facility . She gets Kaneda out as well and tries to stop Tetsuo. The other three gifted children are actually controlling Kei in an attempt to stop Tetsuo because they’ve seen what future he brings about, and they don’t like it. Tetsuo learns of the existence and location of Akira, and plans to free him.
Adapted by Ryan North, illustrated by Albert Monteys
This story starts out in World War II with a scrawny soldier, Billy Pilgrim, and three others, sneaking through Germany and trying to evade detection. There are some odd things about Billy, besides the fact that he's in the Army and has no muscle - Billy doesn't live his life entirely chronologically. He's become unstuck in time, and he periodically visits future points in his life, like after he's opened a successful optometry practice, or that one time he cheats on his wife, or when aliens from the planet Tralfamadore scoop him up in their flying saucer and place him in a zoo where they can view him like an exhibit. Billy learns much from his time amongst the aliens, like the saying "so it goes" after someone dies, or how they view time as if they are seeing a slice of the Rocky Mountains - kind of all at once. In between all of these moments, Billy is captured and center to a labor camp in Dresden - just before it is taken off the face of the map by the Allied Forces.
After the cliffhanger of volume one, we conclude the fight that Kiddy was in the middle of and learn a lot more about her and how she came to have super-human strengths and abilities that make her an asset to AMP. Next, we get into an adventure with Katsumi. A powerful Lucifer Hawk has targeted her because of her family legacy of magic use. After the being injured and temporarily vanquishing the Hawk, Katsumi is led through mind control to a talking obelisk that is also interested in her because of her family. This volume also leaves on a cliffhanger with another member of the team, Yuki, left in a dangerous situation that is reminiscent of her childhood, which is only hinted at, but could be the reason she has some supernatural abilities as well.
Hideki sets up Chi with a spot at his old job where he used to help sell cakes and other baked goods. This is much better than the sketchy job she had before in volume one. The mysterious person who sent the photo of what looked to be Chi sends another photo, and this time there’s another person in the photo, someone Hideki recognizes. If that isn't creepy enough, three more volumes of the picture book series Chi likes is published, and the books seem to be revealing more and more about Chi’s life and purpose. Hideki tries to figure out just what the books are trying to tell him about Chi, but he doesn't figure it out in time before something terrible happens to Chi and he must enlist the help of his friend Minoru to save her.
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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