Thu, 18 September 2008
Manga Review of Zombie Powder Volume 2 by Tite Kubo, creator of Bleach. Translated by Akira Watanabe. Originally published in Japan by Shueisha. Published in US by Viz Shonen Jump, $7.99, Rated T+ for Older Teen.
Volume 2 opens with the aftermath of Gamma's battle and ultimate defeat of Ranewater Calder, the leader of the Ash Daughter Bandits, and owner of a Ring of the Dead. Calder left Gamma and the others a present before he died, namely of rigging the entire hideout to explode skyhigh! Then it's on to the town of Alcantara, where rumor is that a Ring of the Dead is housed at the local hospital. Of course, Gamma isn't the only person interested in finding the Ring. A powerful super villain named Balmunk the Mystic arrives on the scene to look for it, sporting magical abilities that let him go toe to toe with Gamma's armor encased limb. Adding to the mix is a crusading investigative reporter named Wolfina Getto who feels it his her duty to protect the hospital from Balmunk. She is a champion of justice, but she also wants to protect her comatose brother, who is housed there.
While not as polished or as funny as Bleach can somtimes be, White Powder is nonetheless an interesting and entertaining debut work from Tite Kubo. Wolfina has quickly become one of my favorite characters with her personality stolen from Captain America and boobs supplied by Dolly Parton. She also serves as good comic relief. The art style is nothing new to fans of Bleach even though the character designs are a bit boring in this series. Kubo makes up for this with excellent panel layout and carefully choreographed action sequences. This volume also includes Kubo's very first attempt at writing and drawing a manga, called "Ultra Unholy Hearted Machine". It concerns a mercenary hitman, uncleverly called a "deleter", and his android TinaTina (a young female right out of the 1980s) who are hired to take down a major drug cartel. That's about all I can tell you about Unholy since it was so dreadful, I didn't make it past the first few pages. One interesting thing about it was the art, which was much more generic and lacked the characteristic Kubo look.
My Grade: B