Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Manga for the Comics Guy - Gantz Vols. 7 - 8

There have been many epic battles in comics. Superman vs. Doomsday comes to mind. That lasted four full issues of nothing but battle. Invincible # 60 did almost the opposite by having an entire crossover event contained in one slobberknocking issue. Right now, though, I hold up Gantz as the king of epic battles. This fight started in Chapter 61 and went all the way to Chapter 93, with nothing but bloodbath throughout the whole thing. Here, Kei sums up what reading Gantz does to your brain.

It's become clear now that there is no safety in this series. This appears to be a theme with the things I like to read (see Walking Dead). The Gantz world may have virtual reality undertones, but the stakes are all real. People died in this issue in rapid succession, in bloody ways, and each character death was increasingly important. The thing is, it would be easy to dismiss the mayhem as gratuitous, if not for the great character moments peppered throughout. I think my favorite was the Pretty Boy and the girl that was stalking him. When we first met them, before they entered the Gantz room, he was constantly trying to get away from her and she was always just out of view, hair draped over her face. It was kind of funny, actually, how nobody noticed her most of the time. During this battle, little by little, you realize, along with the Pretty Boy, that he actually cared about her, possibly because she was the only connection he had to his "real" life. These characters were not just filler. They had depth. You want to know more.

Although Kei has been the hero up until now, here, he winds up in a position of needing the others. Lucky for him, they rise to the occasion. Just when you think all is lost, it gets turned around. And just when you think it's turned around, all is lost. There is so much back and forth with the tide of this battle that it's hard to keep from panicking as you read it. I think I was sweating the whole time.
I have to say, Gantz has taken it's place among the best things I'm reading, and possibly the best things I will have read when I'm done. I have a feeling I'll be caught up with it very soon as I am growing more and more anxious about what is going to happen next with each chapter. I'm not sure how my mind will be blown further by it, but I'm pretty sure it will. And speaking of mindblowing, but in a different way, today is new comics day and out is Axe Cop Bad Guy Earth #2, by Malachai and Ethan Nicolle. This is a crazy fun comic, written by 6 year old Malachai and drawn by his 30 year old brother. The first issue was among the most imaginative things I've ever read. It's just out there fun and I highly recommend it.

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