Written by Roy Miranda and Inaki Miranda, illustrated by Inaki Miranda, colored by Eva De La Cruz, lettered by Dave Sharpe.
Earth has suffered through extinction events, wars, and horrendous weather cataclysms. Humanity has almost been wiped out, save for nine mega cities around the globe and smaller villages scattered through the wilds. One day, Earth receives a message from benevolent aliens that the planet will soon be ravaged by yet another weather event, but there is hope in saving the children. Five thousand bracers are sent down with the instructions to put them on children, who will then be transported to another world to restart the human race. Tala finds one of these bracers and puts it on her younger brother Hototo. They then must start the dangerous journey through the wilds to the extraction point in one of the megapolis cities, battling beasts, zealots, and other humans along the way.
Shiva’s auntie comes back for her and is horrified to find an Outsider chasing after them! Town guards load the two into the back of a wagon and shoot arrows at Teacher, which do nothing but stun him, and they manage to get away. Shiva and her aunt set back up in their old house in the eastern village of the town, but Shiva misses Teacher. Shiva doesn’t have any signs of having been touched and cursed by an Outsider, but that isn’t true for other folks in the town. She runs away from the king’s men once again and finds herself in the forest with Teacher. The two go back to their house but Shiva is so exhausted she falls asleep on the floor of the hallway, unable to make it to her room.
Illustrated by Yusuke Nomura
Team Z is back in tournament play, and they have to not only win, but outscore their opponent to stay in Blue Lock. One of their own betrays them, however, hoping to be able to stay on after Team Z is kicked out by being a top scorer. All of their weapons and strategies are leaked to their opponent, and the betrayer even stops helping Team Z midway through the game, making it effectively 12-on-10. Against these tremendous odds, they still managed to bring together the team and overcome their adversaries, but their betrayer plans to do it all over again with their next opponent. Luckily for Team Z, their next opposing team believes they can win on their own terms and reject the chance to win by cheating. Now, Team Z will have to figure out how to play with a teammate who clearly doesn't want to be on their team any more!
We open on a castle under siege, and Lady Talli receiving the final words from her father, Lord Borin, before he sends her and her noble knight, Alan, off on into the wilderness on a speedy horse. Cunning archers see the fleeing pair, and one lands an arrow in the horse’s haunches while other soldiers on horseback pursue. Lady Talli and Alan manage to evade capture in the next town over with the help of a bumbling old man and his grandson. The two agree to take Lady Talli to the port in exchange for lots of money. Lelo, the grandson, and Pavel, the old man, have some secrets of their own - Lelo is a highly skilled fighter with unnatural speed, and Pavel used to be a famous adventurer and treasure seeker. The four are helped along the way by true believers who recognize Talli for who she really is: a descendent from the Moon Goddess, and the last Summoner.
Arisu and his friends are slackers who couldn’t care less about high school or even what comes after it. Arisu is especially bored with how his life is playing out, and he often wishes to be swept away into another world. He soon learns to be careful what to wish for, because he and his two friends are mysteriously pulled into a future dystopia. The city is starting to be reclaimed by nature, but what's happening in this place is far from natural. Arisu, his two friends, and a mysterious girl are forced together into a team and must play twisted games in order to stay longer in this world. The failure for playing is instant death, so they're damned if they do, damned if they don't.
Illustrated by Pius Bak and Roman Titov
Warning, this review contains spoilers, but then again, so does the title.
Joey and her boyfriend, Astor, go to Astor’s family home for the summer - Crestfall Bluffs. Astor is worried about coming back home as a recovering alcoholic, so while Joey is apprehensive about meeting his family, she pulls it together to help him keep it together. She also wants to make a good impression as she may land an internship at a prestigious law firm owned by one of the many affluent families of Crestfall Bluffs. But, when she sees Astor’s father murder a man and the rest of the rich eat him, she has to come to terms with what is expected of people in this world. She decides to do the unthinkable in order to be accepted, and it comes with an even bigger price - those who start eating human flesh can no longer be satisfied with other foods. Joey befriends and later falls in love with the nanny of Astor’s much-younger brother. The two work together to turn Crestfall Bluff on its head and instead of eating the poor, they eat the rich.
Vol 2: Split the Party, illustrated by Stephanie Hans
From the previous volume, the party gets stuck in the middle of a war zone, and the only way to escape it is for Angela to make yet another sacrifice. Once out, the party splits. Isabelle feels responsible for the people of Glass Town and wants to find a place for them to live, while the rest of the party is still insistent that getting home should be their number one priority. Chuck decides to go with Isabelle, but the rest of the party is off to Angria to confront their past, specifically some of the consequences of their actions from the last time they were in Die, with the hope that something will come of this to get them home. Ash is reunited with Zamorna, a vampire Lord and the father of her son in Die, and Ash decides the only way to leave Die is to save it all, not just Glass Town.
Illustrated by Yusuke Nomura
Isagi and his teammates of Team Z must survive a round robin tournament in the 5th group of Blue Lock. In their first game, Isagi chose to be the center forward, but too many of his teammates stole the ball from each other in order to be the highest scorer and potentially save themselves from being totally eliminated in the tournament. This style of play earned them a loss, but it showed them that each of them have a “weapon” they can use on the field to help them win. The team sets out to practice a new strategy where each team member gets ten minutes of the game to use their special skills while the rest of the team supports them from the various other positions. If they lose their second game, they’re out for good, some Team Z bets everything on their new strategy in order to keep their soccer dreams alive.
Illustrated by Jo Mi-Gyeong, colored by Brittany Peer
Eve spends most of her days learning skills preparing for future tasks with her father. He continuously tells her she’s the one who is going to save the world someday. She learns science, survival skills, and swims in the ocean. Then, she wakes up. The world has been destroyed by humans, and what remains is a deadly virus that changes children, as they hit puberty, into flesh-eating monsters they call Sumers. Eve’s favorite teddy bear, who is actually a complex android named Wexler, tells her she needs to travel across the country to a vault that contains the tools to hopefully save the planet. Eve finds out so much on her journey that her parents didn’t plan for, including clones, dangerous robots, and so much more.
Another Outsider has broken into the house and threatens to curse Shiva. Teacher takes an ax to it and chops off its head, but that doesn’t kill it. The stranger mutters some things about Shiva’s soul, and its “mother,” and it intrigues Teacher. The now-headless one teases Teacher, saying he knows how to lift the curse, and he brings Teacher to “Mother,” who is under the water in a deep lake. Teacher only learns of more disturbing news rather than a cure for Shiva, so the two head home in defeat. Strangely though, Shiva doesn’t show any of the classic signs of one who is cursed. Inside, a Father sets into motion the plan to bring back the girl from the other side for some unknown purpose.
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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