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PotW: Twin Spica, Young Avengers, Toradora!

Slim pickin’s at Midtown Comics means a bit of cheating this week. Thankfully, the Manga Bookshelf bloggers find ways to spend money under any conditions.

From Melinda: I’m at a bit of a loss looking at this week’s list from Midtown, so I think I’ll cheat and pull from last week’s ComicList as quoted by David in his Upcoming post, especially since Midtown missed this book’s actual release! That would be volume six of Twin Spica, one of my picks for best new manga of 2010, and an ongoing favorite as well. I’m a few volumes behind (I’ve just bought volume four) but this is a great time to finally catch up. From my review of volume three, “Everyone in this series has suffered loss of some kind, but what is rare in a story with a teenaged protagonist is that the pain and loss of the story‚Äôs adult characters is given the same weight as the pain of its teens … By the end of this volume, I had tears running down my face, and I challenge any reader to avoid the same fate, adult or teen.”

From David: Choices are thin on the ground, aren’t they? Since you went with Twin Spica, I’m forced to cheat even harder and go with a comic from Marvel: Avengers: Children’s Crusade: Young Avengers. (That’s a lot of punctuation for a comic, isn’t it?) I’ll try and describe this succinctly: the Avengers are one of Marvel’s long-running teams of super-heroes, which means horrible things have happened to them, both in narrative and creative terms. During a period when they’d disbanded, possibly out of shame over their last crossover, a young group of heroes tried to fill the gap. These interesting teens starred in a few very enjoyable comics, but they had to mark a lot of time while the writer, Allan Heinberg, did other stuff. Now they have a mini-series where one of their members, an adorable gay super-teen named Wiccan, is looking for his amnesiac mother, and this comic is apparently related to that somehow. It’s drawn by Alan Davis, who is one of my favorite super-hero artists, and it features adorable gay super-heroes. (Wiccan has a boyfriend named Hulkling. Ignore the names and focus on the adorableness.)

From Kate: I’m going to order off the menu this week and go with volume one of Toradora! Imagine a shonen version of Kimi ni Todoke, and you have a good idea of what this romantic comedy is all about: its hero, Ryuchi, is a high school student whose scary face has doomed him to social obscurity. When he crosses paths with the class firecracker, however, his life is turned upside down, as his classmates wrongly assume he’s dating Taiga. (Do I even need to say, “Wacky hijinks ensue”?) Toradora! isn’t perfect by any means — the female characters are either relentlessly perky or relentlessly bossy — but a smart script and appealing hero make it enjoyable nonetheless.

Readers, what are your Picks this week?

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  1. David, I’d just like to say, I love the Young Avengers! It’s one of the few super-hero teams I’ve actually been able to get into. I have some very persuasive friends to thank for even getting me to try them, but I’m so glad they did!

    • David Welsh says:

      Oh, I’m glad! I think it has just about everything a person could want from a super-hero team comic: snappy dialogue, likable and varied characters with interesting dynamics, and a fair amount of soap opera to get you through the dull patches when they’re fighting stuff.

      • Yes, exactly! I still get bored when they fight, but I feel the same way when I read shounen battle manga, so I can deal. :D

        • David Welsh says:

          Truth! In my secret heart, I’d even have to admit that I sometimes tire of the battle scenes in One Piece, but only occasionally. Because then Oda will completely edit one out of the narrative and just show you the aftermath, and I’m in love again.

  2. I’ll have to cheat with Melinda. I still haven’t snagged Twin Spica 6, since none of the bookstores around me carry that series up to date. I’ll have to make a special internet order for that one…

  3. Cathy Yan says:

    Hulkling and Wiccan are possibly my favorite Marvel couple. I only got to read their Civil War crossover with the Runaways (and their introduction trades, of course), so i am definitely going to try to find Children’s Crusade. :D

    • I feel a little silly calling them my favorite Marvel couple, since I really don’t have any others at all (I’ve read so little in superhero comics), but I like them very much!


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