Saturday, November 21, 2015

Review: JOJO'S SBIZARRE ADVENTURE: Part 2, Volume 1


MANGAKA: Hirohiko Araki
TRANSLATION: Evan Galloway
LETTERS: Mark McMurray
ISBN: 978-1-4215-7882-8; hardcover (November 2015); Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
370pp, B&W with some color, $19.99 U.S., $22.99 CAN, £12.99 U.K.

VIZ Media's English-language publication of the legendary Shonen Jump manga series, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, continues.  VIZ Media is publishing the manga as a series of deluxe edition, hardcover, graphic novels with color pages and new cover art.  Created by Hirohiko Araki, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is a multi-generational tale that centers on the heroic Joestar family and their never-ending battle against evil.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure begins with the “Phantom Blood” arc.  Now, the series moves on to the “ Battle Tendency” story arc.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Part 2 – Battle Tendency, Vol. 1 (Chapters 1 to 18) introduces Joseph “JoJo” Joestar, the grandson of the original hero, Jonathan “JoJo” Joestar.  It is 1938, and JoJo arrives in New York City to meet his paternal grandmother, Erina Joestar (Jonathan's widow).  Shortly after his arrival, JoJo rescues Smokey, a young Black man being abused by two policemen.

That is just the first of many fights in which JoJo will find himself.  Somewhere in Central America, JoJo's “uncle,” Robert E.O. Speedwagon, has found Nazis and something called the “Pillar Man.”  Called Santviento, this Pillar Man's revival could mean extinction's arrival for mankind.

The JoJo's Bizarre Adventure manga was first published in 1986 in Weekly Shonen Jump.  This manga has quite a reputation, because even I had heard of it, and I have only been a regular reader of manga this past decade.

After reading the “Phantom Blood” arc, I did not know what to expect of the series as it moved forward.  Would I even care, I asked myself.  JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Part 2 – Battle Tendency, Volume 1 answers that with a resounding “Yes!”  I like Joseph Joestar.  Like his grandfather, Joseph Joestar is a hero, but whereas Jonathan was brave and resolute, Joseph is daring and rowdy.  He is certainly willing to be a hero, but he also likes experiencing the physical sensations of adventure and battle.  So the series is in good hands, and I look forward to more.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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