Heroman, Vol. 3Created by Tamon Ohta, Original Concept by Stan Lee and BonesVertical, 192 ppRating: Not Rated
With the Skrugg invasion in full swing, the only things standing between the insectoid aliens and world domination are Joey and Heroman! The climax to the opening arc of Heroman comes full of action and twists, as Tamon Ohta's adaption of the Stan Lee and Bones anime series continues with Heroman, Vol. 3!
The story continues to be very straight forward, but the action and threats ramp up considerably as the Skrugg invasion enters into its final phase. As if wrapping up the driving plot for the series from day one wasn't enough, it also envelopes the simmering rivalry between Joey and Will's crew, folding the interpersonal and schoolyard drama into the larger, more epic invasion arc. If that was enough, we're also introduced to Doctor Minami, whose hair strongly indicates that he's a scientist of the mad variety! The result is a volume that feels like a non-stop roller coaster, with near constant developments and action packed into every page, and despite dealing with so much it never feels disjointed or confused, it all just flows together rather nicely. Will's arc is probably the most interesting in the series so far. He's seemingly driven by the desire to do the right thing, but almost always ends up making bad choices that lead him to a rather unpleasant situation in this volume. There's also some nice stuff mixed in about fighting and battling for the correct reasons, something that comes to the forefront of the story during the final confrontation between Heroman and Goggor, the Skrugg leader. Alas, it's not all roses. The translation issues which plagued the series from the first continues here, with odd sentences, strange phrasing and more cropping up throughout the volume, often to the detriment of the action of emotional impact of the story. I'm given to understand that this will be changing for the better in the fourth and fifth volumes, so that's definitely something to look forward to.
Tamon Ohta's artwork continues to be pretty solid. There are times where the action becomes too muddled due to the various effects and speed lines flying about, but generally Ohta does a wonderful job at conveying the force and sense of power and energy in Heroman's battles. There's a few splash pages and two page spreads which highlight what a fantastic job he can do, but then there are the odd panels which are just too hard to interpret. They become a mass of lines and sound effects that just leave you scratching your head. Even within the context of the rest of the page it can be a bit difficult to decipher these when they pop up. Despite these small hiccups the art is still pretty enjoyable, with the character designs being spot on translations of the original anime series designs. It's a little early to say this, but I kind of hope something else of his makes its way Stateside at some point, I'm a little curious to see how he develops and what he creates on his own, away from any restrictions imposed by working on an adaption.
Heroman, Vol. 3 is a pretty entertaining read! It sticks incredibly close to the anime series, meaning that fans of that will recognize and see things coming from a mile away, but thankfully the anime series was a ton of fun and highly enjoyable, and the manga's no different really. I know I've mentioned it a couple of times but it's worth saying again, this is the perfect Saturday morning manga, very reminiscent of the superhero/adventure cartoons or comics from yesteryear and should appeal to fans of solid superhero stories without the overwrought angst, or grimdark feel.
Heroman, Vol. 3 is available from Vertical Inc.