For most people, prepping to start high school might mean picking up some new notebooks. For Luna Collins, it means acquiring a family.
Genetically engineered by the Agency, a secret government organization, Luna is a super-strong and super-skilled sixteen-year-old, designed and trained to be the perfect agent. Recently, one of her missions brought some strange intelligence: Count Von Brucken of the small rogue nation of Bruckenstein has been gathering information on the students at prestigious Nobel High School, most of whom are the children of diplomats and other government high-ups. To find out why, someone will have to infiltrate Nobel High School. And the Agency just happens to have a high-school-aged super-spy! Luna will be the perfect agent for the job – won’t she?
To avoid suspicion from the school’s administration, Luna is outfitted with “parents.” Her mother is Jennifer Kajiwara, a.k.a. Control, the agent who engineered and trained Luna, and her father is Dr. Andy Collins, famed child psychologist, whom the Agency hopes will smooth Luna’s transition into high school. Because while she’s learned several languages and can jump from street level to a rooftop, Luna has never been taught alongside other kids, and she has no idea what’s in store.
Luna soon makes two good friends, Francesca and Oliver. Of course, the norms of New Girl at a Fictional High School dictate that Oliver has a crush on Luna, and he’s not the only one interested. But Luna has eyes only for bad boy Jonah . . . who, unfortunately, is the son of Count Von Brucken. On the other hand, gathering intel on Bruckenstein gives Luna a great reason to spend time with Jonah – about the only reason acceptable to Control, who sees no reason whatsoever that Luna should have an actual social life. Though maybe Dr. Collins can show her the value of loosening up a little . . .
Meanwhile, Nobel High is full of top-grade weirdness. Teachers aren’t what they seem, and clones of animals and people are running amok as Von Brucken’s agents work toward the count’s ultimate goal, the sinister Project Scion.
And Luna? She’s as bewildered by the school’s social hierarchy as by Count Von Brucken’s plans, but for the first time, she has friends – and maybe even romance. The school’s family week even brings her more family, in the form of Control’s estranged parents! Luna is having the time of her life – except, of course, for those oh-so-high-school days when the world is awful and she hates everyone. And if her bad days include more rooftop ninja battles than most people’s, well, such is the life of a teenaged secret agent.
The art here is done in a fun manga style that often turns into chibi characters for humorous moments. It’s a great fit for the tone of the series. While there are serious points – as when Luna is forced to violently bring down the helicopter of an escaping villain who knows her identity, a necessity that haunts her – the plot is generally light and fun. High school dramatics compete with spy work for Luna’s attention, and even when spy work wins out, the baddies are often comical in their own way, Von Brucken especially.
I’ve already reviewed the two-part prequel to this series, Amazing Agent Jennifer, which gives the backstory of Luna’s “mom,” Control. The main thing to know about these two series is that, as with the eponymous characters, Jennifer is much more serious than Luna. This applies to the art as well as the storylines and characters. (If you’re a fan of the rather bumbling and silly Count Von Brucken, for example, don’t look for him in Amazing Agent Jennifer – there, he’s more dangerous and less funny.)
I read these first seven volumes in omnibus form – there’s one compilation for the first three volumes, then one for volumes 4-5 and one for volumes 6-7. These seem well-constructed and are a nice choice economically.
With authentic, modern-sounding dialog and fun, sympathetic characters, plus lots of action, Amazing Agent Luna is a fast and entertaining read that I would happily recommend to a broad audience.
Amazing Agent Luna, vol. 1-7
by Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir
Art by Shiei
Omnibus vol. 1 ISBN: 9781933164748
Omnibus vol. 2 ISBN: 9781934876664
Omnibus vol. 3 ISBN: 9781935934158
Seven Seas Entertainment, 2008-2012
Publisher Age Rating: All Ages