science fiction

Black Bullet, vol. 1

Black Bullet Cover

In the year 2021, the Gastrea Virus overwhelmed humanity and turned the majority of the human race into ravenous beasts. The rest were forced to retreat, unable to stand against the incredible power of the infected victims. Ten years later,…

Arpeggio of Blue Steel, vols. 1-2

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Seventeen years ago, strange, ghostly ships and submarines appeared all over the world, quickly decimating the navies of every country on Earth. Dubbed the Fleet of Fog, these ships are nearly indestructible. They rule the waves, shooting down aircraft and…

Time Killers

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  The title Time Killers—placed on a wraparound cover with a vast cast of characters and featuring a kimono, ninja knife, katana, school uniform, cape and goggles, UFOs, first aid box, and even Native Americans on horseback—screams time travel. Sure, the subtitle says, “short story…

Finder: Third World

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Jaeger, the titular Finder of Carla Speed McNeil’s intricate creations, has a full, colorful book to himself in this installment. The color is a first and it is gorgeous, adding to the reality of McNeil’s world. The reader no longer…

Ultraman, vol. 1

Ultraman Volume 1

   I revisited various incarnations of the storied Ultraman property before reading the all new manga, mostly to remind myself about the character and the main touchstones, but also as an excuse to take a trip down the good old…

Star Trek: New Visions, vol. 1-2

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Starting with the 2013 Star Trek Annual Strange New Worlds, IDW assigned John Byrne to turn some classic episodes of the original 1960s Star Trek into “photonovels.” A photonovel uses film stills from the episode itself and imposes dialogue boxes…

Earthling

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Whether it be in Germany or anywhere else, the suburbs seems like the perfect setting for a story that examines alienation, malaise, and uncertainty. In Earthling, Aisha Franz explores this subject through the stories of a young girl named Mädchen, her older sister,…

Hinges: Clockwork City

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Although the webcomic Hinges started in 2011, Image has only recently published its first collection in print form, subtitled Clockwork City. The first book is nearly wordless and the main character, Orio, is silent until its last pages. Orio lives in Clockwork City, a steampunk-inspired village…

Accel World, vols. 1 & 2

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  Based on the award-winning light novel by Reki Kawahara of Sword Art Online fame, the manga adaptation of Accel World is a fast-paced and engaging story that combines futuristic “full-dive” virtual reality technology with the everyday struggles of ordinary middle school…

All You Need Is Kill

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One of my favorite video games is a dark fantasy role playing game called Dark Souls. Developed by From Software, the game is notorious for its extreme difficulty. While most games take the time to teach users the rules and controls,…

Monsters! and Other Stories

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From cave paintings to Medieval stained glass windows to silent movies, wordless stories have long been a part of our culture. In recent times, they seem to have lost some of their appeal as creators have struggled to produce quality stories. Thankfully,…

Iron Man, Vol. 1: Believe

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The grand irony of Tony Stark’s former life was that he was a futurist who lived for the moment. Born into power and privilege, Tony’s only thoughts of tomorrow involved the technological marvels he could create to increase his family fortune and personal glory. Everything changed when a…

Trigun: Multiple Bullets

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  Trigun is perhaps one of the most popular anime series among Western audiences. Set on the hostile planet of Gunsmoke, this sci-fi western focuses on the exploits of Vash the Stampede: a gunfighter who has embraced a life of nonviolent heroism after a case…

Sanctuary, vol. 1: Fresh Meat

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When a boorish male panda is found beaten to death the day after his much-touted arrival at a mysterious, isolated wildlife sanctuary, suspicion immediately falls on the new neighbors he went out of his way to offend. But as the…