The TokuNet Comics Corner is back from holiday break with another round of new releases.
Welcome back to the TokuNet Comics Corner! This month we’ve got two returning series, an anthology, and we’re celebrating the birthday of one of tokusatsu’s most important creators. To see what we had to say about MMPR #0, go here.
January’s New Releases:
Pacific Rim: Tales from the Drift #3: Tales from the Drift continues the heartbreaking story of Duc and Kaori Jessup, the married couple who pilot Tacit Ronin. Following their close brush with death in the last issue, the Jessups find out they can never drift again without causing fatal damage to their nervous systems. When a new kaiju crosses the breach and brand-new Jaeger Victory Alpha can’t handle it alone, Duc and Kaori have to make an impossible decision.
At this point, I’m comfortable with saying that Tales from the Drift is my favorite monthly series right now. This issue brings in some fan favorite characters from the movie, which does a great job of connecting the book emotionally to something readers are more familiar with. Writer Joshua Hale Fialkov has admirably been able establish a connection between the readers and the protagonists despite their ultimate fate being a forgone conclusion.
I can’t heap enough praise onto the art team of Marcos Marz and Marcelo Maiolo. The way they illustrate the difference between reality and experiences in the drift is breathtaking, and there are multiple pages in the last three issues that I wish I could hang on my wall.
Monstress #3: This book is definitely not for the squeamish. Every month, Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda use Monstress to take an unflinching look at a grim world built on some of humanity’s worst impulses. In this issue, our hero Maika learns more about the monster inside her, as she and her companion Kippa continue to flee from their pursuers.
The focus of the issue is on the being trapped inside Maika’s arm. We slowly get to see more of the world behind the world of Monstress as the mystery behind the giant dead kaiju and the source of the world’s magic deepens. Personally, I’m starting to get a little impatient. I’m not a fan of drawn out mysteries, but that seems to be the entire point of Monstress. Hopefully upcoming issues reveal enough to keep my interest.
The Tipping Point Part 1: Humanoids is a comic book publisher in Europe known for housing the work of visionaries like Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius. To celebrate their 40th birthday, they put together this anthology featuring short stories from modern comics legends like Paul Pope and Naoki Urasawa. The digital edition is out now, and the print edition comes out next month.
Urasawa’s story, “Solo Mission,” is of particular interest to tokusatsu fans. The eight-page story is a parody of Ultraman, and stars an alien superhero saying goodbye to his family as he leaves for a dangerous mission which involves protecting the people of “The Death Hell Planet of Evil.” To say anymore would spoil the fun, so trust me when I say it’s worth your time.
The various works of Shotaro Ishinomori: January 25th marked 78th birthday of Shotaro Ishinomori, the legend responsible for the creation of the “Big Two” of tokusatsu, Kamen Rider and Super Sentai. This “King of Manga” created some of Japan’s most beloved characters, and recently some of his work was released in English for the first time. Digital comics distributor Comixology acquired the rights to Ishinomori’s work in 2012, and released all of Kikaider, Inazuman, Kamen Rider, Skullman, and the first ten volumes of Cyborg 009.
I’ve only finished Kikaider, but other members of Team TokuNet speak highly of all of Ishinomori’s work. He’s an expert at crafting tragic characters and enthralling drama. The facet of his art that stood out to me were his layouts. His work has a certain dynamism and flow to it, and I often found myself pausing to appreciate a beautiful landscape or a tense stare-down between rivals.
Do yourself a favor and visit Comixology’s Ishimori Production page. Each volume has a free preview, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.