Vol 1: The Shadow Threat, illustrated by Eric Zawadzki
House of El is a story of Kryptonians before Superman is even born. There is an impending doom of the planet that the Tribunes refuse to admit is real, but citizens are starting to act out and investigate what's happening. A group of dissenters recruits Zohn, of the House of Re, who is part of the upper caste and destined to become one of Krypton's future leaders. Zohn knows that the earthquakes are getting worse and could be a sign that the planet is near to collapse. Elsewhere, Zohn's cousin, Lara, wife of Jor-El, is experimenting with rewriting the genetic code of Kryptonians in order to introduce missing elements left out from generations of genetic manipulation. Their chosen subject is Sera, an Ur, a lower caste, genetically engineered soldier bred to be completely loyal to Krypton. Urs are modified to live life without fear, without questioning orders, and without regard to their own lives. Lara hopes to create a better soldier with some semblance of self-preservation, believing that these omitted traits are essential for Kryptonians to fully serve their society.
The invasion Border has been preparing for is here, and Neighbor gates begin opening up all over the city. Destruction of one type of neighbor Trion soldier gives way to a “new model,” one that has a very hard outer shell and that can sense trion-users and black triggers in the area. Yuma and Osamu work together to stop the new warriors, but Border’s ban on Yuma’s use of his black trigger deployment hampers his abilities. That is, until Border caves in the face of daunting odds and lets Yuma attack with his full strength. Meanwhile, Chika helps students escape from the school they all attended, and it’s going to be a close call in getting them all out before the Neighbors attack!
This 20th anniversary edition collects vols 1-2 of the original run of Chobits.
Hideki is a broke, cram school student trying to get into his dream college. He wishes he had enough money to afford a persocom, artificial intelligence beings who look strikingly like humans. Hideki’s luck turns around one day when he finds a persocom in the trash pile. He takes her home and tries to fix her up, even though he knows absolutely nothing about technology. His cram school classmates tries to help him out, but there’s something different about Chi - she has no memory and no operating system! Hideki seeks out opinions from other experienced persocom programmers but has little luck. Meanwhile, he has to teach Chi everything, from language to manners and how to wear clothes (panties are not worn on heads!).
MNGR João da Silva is assigned to the Homestead mining colony on Titan after their previous MNGR becomes suddenly ill, and the station returns another unprofitable quarter. What he finds is a station on the brink of exploding, with tensions high between the Terran management and their Titan workers. The Titans were genetically modified long ago to be stronger and larger than Terrans, able to withstand the harsh conditions on Titan. João decides that what the workers need are trackers so that he can analyze immense amounts of data to figure out where the inefficiencies lie. The Union workers, through their liaison Titan Phoebe Mackintosh, disagree with João’s assessment whole-heartedly, and instead assert that the station needs upgraded machinery. Phoebe and João try to work together to save Homestead, while others decide a violent coup will fix the problems of the mining colony, and finally bring liberation to all Titan.
Vol 2: The Dead Sea, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen
Andy gets fished out of the ocean and healed only to be sent to a Vamp Camp as food. Mother arrives in the nick of time to “save” him, but only to use as part of her tracking spell to find Mila. Telsa and Helda take Mila to an island where they have hidden their space ship, and a daring rescue reveals Helda’s love for her captain. Meanwhile, an attack on Mother’s coven forces her back to her lair, where she discovers all of the mothers, and the source of her powers, is gone. She is visited by her former self, and we see her terrible path to become Mother.
This story begins in the year 2125, years after a strange plague called Cagaster has broken out and wiped out 2/3rds of the human population. This plague turns infected humans into giant, human-eating bugs. Kidow is an exterminator, tasked with killings infected humans and bugs alike. On an expedition, Kidow stumbles upon a father and daughter who had been attacked by bugs. The father is past saving, but he makes Kidow promise to take his daughter back to the city, E-05. Kidow gets Ilie a job at the boarding house and restaurant where he stays, and the owner, Mario, quickly takes a liking to Ilie’s positive attitude. Mario sends Ilie on an errand that has her tangled with the Mouse Brigade, a band of orphans-turned-pick-pockets. Meanwhile, a dark and mysterious stranger is targeting exterminators and killing them in brutal ways, and Kidow might be the next target!
Adapted by Damian Duffy, illustrated by John Jennings
Lauren is a teenager living in a walled-in community in the middle of a dystopian LA basin. Society has collapsed, and the outside world is full of scavengers, prostitutes, drug addicts, murderers, and violent criminals. Police could come and investigate, but it costs money. Lauren also “suffers” from hypersensitivity - she can feel the pain, or pleasure, of others. After a night of unrest forces Lauren from her home, she decides to travel north where water isn’t as expensive and there might be some work. She also plans on founding a community dedicated to Earthseed, her belief in a God as Change, amongst other ideologies. Along the road, Lauren picks up strangers who travel together for safety, but may one day believe in Earthseed.
Most of this volume is the fight between several squads on a mission to steal Yuma’s black trigger. In the end, Jin fights most of them off with his black trigger. He then brokers a deal with Headquarters to make sure Yuma will be allowed to enlist as a border agent. The day finally arrives, and Yuma stuns all the new recruits and trainers with record times trials. Amatori impresses a trainer with her skills as a sniper.
Yuma, Mikumo, and Amatori have joined the Tamakoma branch of Border, and their hope is to rise to the level of S-Rank so that they can be chosen for a mission to the Neighbor home world. We learn that Yuma, as well as Jin, possess Black Triggers, the strongest of all triggers, and Border wants to take Yuma's trigger from him. But, Black triggers are made when someone sacrifices their life for you, so transferring of Black Triggers is nearly impossible. Yuma and Jin both tell the story of who sacrificed for their black triggers: for Jin, it was his mentor; for Yuma, it was his father during a battle when he was young, preserving Yuma as a twelve-year-old. Yuma also has a limited amount of time to solve the problem of his preserved body, because it is deteriorating. We also learn that Yuma's side-effect is really handy, especially when it comes to dealing with the squads from other Border branches who come to steal his black trigger!
Osamu meets up with a young girl named Chika, who is the younger sister of one of Osamu's friends, previously killed by a Neighbor. Chika has a strange gift - she seems to attract Neighbors exorbitantly! Yuma sheds some light on the case, and it turns out that Chika's Trion levels are off the charts! He also explains that Neighbors come to Earth to capture humans because they need to use them as Trion batteries, so there's a chance that Chika's brother is still alive. As Yuma explains everything, another Border team comes to take him out, but they are woefully unsuccessful. Osamu believes that neither Yuma nor Chika will be safe at this rate, so he decides to come clean Border command and demand protection for his friend.
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