The manga differentiation just keeps on trucking with a diffinitive mix of old school lore and sci-fi impulsivness in three new titles:
Red River Vol. 25 The aspect of a dying race like Rome or England in the 16th century is borne of certain irrefutable rights allowed by a heir to the throne. The aspect of the politics undeniably comes into play and most times, in likelihood, religion. These elements are kept to the broadside here in deference to magic and sexual trysts. Like Hamlet, the aspect here is in particular to the mother although this one is much more scheming. The thought up for grabs in this volume is the aspect of whether the prince, soon to be king, is the rightful heir. Most believe that Urhi who has been close with the family is possibly the father. He reveals a kept secret that leaves no question to the proceedings. Predictable and without much tension.
Dogs: Prelude The aspect of this manga series takes the point of review within different kinds of criminals in their minds as a group called the Dogs though they rarely intermingle. Mihai is the older mentor, a Kenobi type who still operates as a killer but realizes that he created a monster when he comes back and sees that a mobster’s son has killed his father in cold blood. A lesson needs to be learned. Badou is a little more frisky with a hard core punk side. She has a glint of what Avril Lavigne as an icon could be but with the edge of Joplin. She gets in over her head but it transfers within another Dogs story. Naoto by comparison comes out more masochist since she trains in swordplay with the person who killed her parents only to want to kill him. Elements of “Kill Bill” in essence to be sure. Lily’s story is the most visual and satisfy with a little bit of Trinity from “The Matrix” mixed in. She finds a genetic mutant in a teen girl with angel wings and no voice. She gets in where her nose doesn’t belong and makes people mad. After an extensive gunfight, she gets thrown out a window to her death but she is not over. Badou helps out hitting the gangsters hard. One specific image where she enters the hideout has an uber-neo edge which shows her crisscrossing guns in full blast with both her respective targets on either side in perspective. It jumps out at you and is a brilliant visual. Lily comes back and edges her vengeance giving the story a nice balance. The ending of the volume is a little weak trying to show Mihai as a little more humanistic but doesn’t seem a fitting end when compared to the previous story.
Black Lagoon Vol. 2 The key in this A-Team meets Underwater Dirty Dozen is the mix. The best working is, of course, melding Dutch, an ode to Schwarzenegger’s “Predator” character and Revy, a Lara Croft type with an attitude and issues to boot. On the other end is Rock who is more of suit whom they rescue. It is a jump in belief to see them together although they seem to try to make the most out of it, However the chemistry that is supposed to be created doesn’t really click. The first story has a “Raiders” angle combined with “U571” and contains some interesting action inside a sub that had gone missing some years earlier. Nazi treasures are involved. Ultimatey the big revaltion is that Rock disagreed with Revy, the leader, and that doesn’t sit well with her. As a result in the next story, Dutch sends them on a milk run to pick up collection money and order elements for their smuggling. One particularly interesting scene has them negoatiating with bad nuns including one smoking a cigarette and chewing bubble gum. Rock talks them through while Revy has her guns drawn. They have it out in the next square over with a gun drawn to Rock’s head. He stands his ground. This works a little better but Rock needs to relax a little bit with the suit wardrobe because he comes off as too much of a nerd. The ending story is a little discombobulated and seems more like a tease for the next volume which it probably is. There is a rash of murders of the Russian Underworld ultimately targeting the boss Balalaika who herself is a former Soviet commander. The actual culprits are two venemous Romanian children who kill while spouting glee and innocence. It is a cliche for sure but connections to vampire mythology which one would think is not brought to fruition. The freakishness of one specific sitting room scene where there victim’s head is impacted with nails is quite chilling. Depends though if the story can create a significant progression in future volumes. Right now it just plays as a mercernary story. This title has the possibiliy for a lot of good stories but the kinks still need to be worked out.