Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

Ant-Man+ Review


Time for the next Marvel one shot with Jump. This time Scott Lang gets to take the center stage. I’m assuming this was probably for some cross promotion with the movie which makes sense. The story is longer than Deadpool’s and has more of a focused plot. I’d say that this story is actually a little stronger even if Ant Man doesn’t make for quite as solid a lead. Scott does his best either way which is the important part.

In this story his daughter decides to visit Japan for a week. Scott thinks this is a little dangerous so he tags along, but quickly finds out that she is doing okay without him. Scott gets a little bummed out by all of this and starts reflecting on his old life of crime which has led him to hie current situation. His original fears are soon validated though as Cassie (the daughter) gets sick and lands in the hospital. While the doctors are confident they can cure her on their own Scott shrinks down to see what’s wrong for himself. It turns out that a super villain is inside of her and plans to mind control Cassie. Scott can’t have any of this so he gets ready to take action.

While Scott humiliates himself with the villain as he lets her appearance get the best of him, he mostly looks good in the other scenes. The guy may have low confidence and not be the strongest hero but at least he means well and is always doing his best to do the right thing. He did become a hero and stop committing crimes so that is certainly a start. His abilities are also pretty useful when you think about it. You get to shrink and you keep the normal strength of a full grown person. That’s perfect for sneak attacks and in this case saving his daughter from a tiny villain.

The villain had a quick sob story to try and justify her evil actions. It was definitely a tough situation for her, but I think she did jump to the whole kidnapping angle pretty quickly. There should be a few more things she can try, but all’s well that ends well I suppose. The art is pretty good here. Some of the big zoom ins on Ant Man and the other characters may not always work, but for the most part it’s definitely really good. The brief fight scene we get with the virus is also sharp and probably the best looking part of the story. I always do prefer detailed art like this when given the chance, but it also has a high risk of error. I think as an artist the simple designs are the safest but the payoff is just so good when you can really hammer out the details. I feel like you should also have more time with a one shot so that makes it more feasible to get the detailed artwork in.

Overall, Ant-Man+ is a solid one shot. At around 40 pages there is enough time here to develop the characters and even give you a quality fight scene. The writing is solid and I liked the portrayal of the Ants. They all did have their own personalities and weren’t afraid to stand their ground. The fire ant who walked back on over after Ant Man shooed him away definitely had guts. I think this story will serve as a good introduction to Ant-Man for the casual fans. It may not leave too much of a lasting impact unless they look him up right away but I do think these one shots are a good idea and I hope Marvel does more of them. Finally, keep a lookout for an Ultraman reference in this story.

Overall 7/10

Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

Mega Man 11: The Gears of Fate Review


It’s time to look at the one shot manga that was created to hype up the game. This one’s a little longer than the last one shot I reviewed as it’s around 20 pages. That’s a good thing since it allows for a fight and that’s one of the reasons why this artist has always been so solid. It’s nice to see Mega Man back in manga and it would be awesome if he could get a full length series again at some point. The character has had a great track record so far and I have no doubt that a sequel would fare just as well.

The story starts with Wily wrecking havoc on the world once more. This time his robots have been equipped with the Double Gear system so even Mega Man is basically helpless to stop them. Fortunately Dr. Light has one as well so he gives it to Mega Man. Still, he warns the robot that if he ever uses both gears at once he will probably die. Mega Man agrees not to use it unless necessary and hops into battle. He’ll have to go through Fuse Man though and this may be his most dangerous task yet.

The author perfectly gets across how serious of a threat this is. Since robots run the world in the future every time they turn evil it is a catastrophe. No matter how many times this may occur, there isn’t much that the humans can do since their whole economy depends on them. Fuse Man in particular is difficult to stop since he controls all electricity in the area and can turn it all off on a whim. The only way to stop his ability is to destroy him which also forces Mega Man to make some tough choices. At his core Mega Man is always a hero though and so he does what he can to find a better way.

The battle between Mega Man and Fuse Man is top notch as you would expect from this artist after the brilliant Megaman NT Warrior series. He does a good job of showing off Mega Man’s speed and then also keeping Fuse Man at a higher level. He did have to rush the ending a bit as Mega Man never quite gets past the speed advantage but secures the win anyway though. I assume that had he been given more time then the fight would have been even more satisfying. Still, the art was fantastic and the action was amazing. This manga already has a more interesting environment and atmosphere then the rest of the Mega Man series. Imagine if Mega Man 11 actually played out like this. Full disclaimer, I think Mega Man 11 looks like a lot of fun so no shots at it, but imagine it in the art style of something like Sonic Forces. That’s basically what this manga looks like and it works pretty well. I’d love to see a third person shooter for Mega Man at some point or even a beat em up. The lore of the universe would work pretty well around that, especially if we get a proper robot invasion kind of story.

Overall, Mega Man 11 is definitely a real page turner. The pacing is almost too good since the story ends so quickly and you are left wanting more. Hopefully the fan response to both the manga and the game is positive enough where the franchise gets completely revived and we see a whole lot of extra material. That would just be a lot of fun. If you haven’t checked this manga out yet then you definitely need to do so. It really shows you why Mega Man is still considered to be one of the most likable of the original video game icons and his character has stayed consistent through the years.

Overall 8/10