Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Manga for the Comics Guy: Gantz Vols. 3 and 4

It's getting harder to tell where one volume ends and the other begins. The breaks make for great cliffhangers, while at the same time, flowing as if there was no break.

It's basic Western comic book storytelling. Hell, it's basic serialized storytelling period. As a matter of fact, Grant Morrison's Batman, Inc. is currently taking the cliffhanger to a whole new level of awesome, by harking back to the cliffhangers of the good old days and the old Batman TV Series. So, basically, here's something manga and American comics have in common.

There are some moments of pure male adolescent sexual fantasy in this. This is fine, but I hope the characterization of the girl gets some more dimension soon or this will fall into being too stereotypical. How many times do we have to see her getting naked? And for that matter, how many guys have to try to rape her? Is this a common thing in Japan? I don't think so. There are hints of her being a bit more clever than we are seeing, which is a good sign.

I enjoyed the way the new characters were introduced in chapters that focused exclusively on the new characters and left me a little disoriented until the end. I almost wanted a few more chapters like this before getting back into the main plot and action.What you get from it is actually more of a sense of familiarity with the main characters when you get back. We've seen the technique many times in TV shows and I think it was very well done here.

While some questions were answered, a lot remains a mystery. And now that the one person who seemed to know is apparently dead, the stakes are even higher. Can't wait to get deeper into the mystery. Speaking of mysteries, today is new comic book day and out this week is Nick Spencer's Morning Glories #8, another great mystery that is slowly building.

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