A slow week at Midtown Comics can be painful, but the Battle Robot finds a few books to love, both on and off the list.
SEAN: I’ve become accustomed to the fact that both titles I’d like to talk about this week fall into the category of ‘will never, ever gain new readers no matter how much I review them’. With that in mind, this has been one of the most enjoyable arcs of Negima! to date, and this volume, although technically a breather, advances a lot of plot points. The four sports girls each get some lovely character moments, particularly Yuna and Akira, and we get some nice (if tear-jerking) backstory. We also get a good look at Fate’s group, showing that even thought they may be the villains that doesn’t mean that they’re irredeemable or acting out of evil. (cough) Well, except Tsukuyomi. Who reaches new levels of terrifying. For Negima fans, it’s a must buy. For casual readers, go read the 2nd omnibus instead.
MJ: This week’s meager offering is nearly a bust for me, but fortunately my favorite talking cactus saves the day! Things take a fairly dramatic turn, romance-wise, in volume 9 of SangEun Lee’s 13th Boy, and I have to admit it’s all going my way, at least for now. I can’t think of a girls’ comic I’ve enjoyed more in the past year or so than 13th Boy, and I’m already mourning the fact that it’s only going to last me through July of next year. Beatrice now, Beatrice forever!
KATE: This week’s manga offerings are mighty slim, so my choice is the third issue of Dorothy and The Wizard in Oz (Marvel). As a child, I only read the first Oz novel and, truth be told, found it kind of ponderous. In Skottie Young and Erik Shanower’s capable hands, however, all of Baum’s Oz novels have been a genuine pleasure to read: they’re beautifully and playfully illustrated, bringing Baum’s weirdest creations to vivid life. Dorothy and the Wizard is the fourth novel in the original series, reuniting Dorothy with the balloonist-cum-wizard from the first book. The episodic plot is perfectly suited to a serial medium like comics, offering readers enough variation to keep them interested while allowing each of the supporting characters a memorable turn in the spotlight. A great choice for younger readers.
MICHELLE: Oh dear, there is indeed a paucity of choices from Midtown Comics this week. Since MJhas so ably recommended volume nine of 13th Boy, I shall go off-list and pick something that should be on this list but isn’t, and that’s volume one of Shugo Chara-chan!, due out this week from Kodansha Comics. Honestly, I have no idea whether this will actually be good, but I’ve been looking forward to checking it out for a while. It’s by Peach-Pit, the same team who wrote Shugo Chara! itself, and is essentially a 4-koma comic strip starring the “guardian characters” from the main series. It’s possible that it will be painfully unfunny, or perhaps only suited for young audiences, but I am hoping for the best!
Readers, what looks good to you?