This new edition to the extensive collection of Pokemon manga does not disappoint. Author and illustrator Gomi, keeps Ash, Brock, and Misty’s life of adventure catching pokemon exciting and action packed. This story is an adaptation of the 2020 Netflix original film by the same name, which is a remake of the first film in the Pokemon franchise. There is a lot that happens in this story. In order to fit it all into one volume as they have here, they had to condense it. There are scenes that fans would be familiar with from the movie, that do not exist in this version and instead different panels are included to keep the story flowing, which also don’t exist in the movie. The differences make this manga version shorter. However it doesn’t take away from the overall sequence of the story. 

The story begins with researchers creating Mewtwo from a fossil of the mythical pokemon, Mew. They want to create the most powerful pokemon ever, for their own benefit. They successfully genetically modify Mew and get Mewtwo. However, Mewtwo is highly intelligent and decides to take control over its own life, thus leaving humans as its enemy. Ash, Brock, and Misty have to act quickly or they risk the entire world as they know it falling apart. 

This is a fast paced story that covers a lot of ground quickly. It will not take long to read. Like other Pokemon manga, the stories do not have a lot of depth to them. They are fun, humorous, and silly with recognizable characters that don’t deviate from how you would expect them to react. Team Rocket wasn’t as prominent in this version of the story, which causes a bit of humor to be lost. Additionally, some of the more important dialogue from Mewtwo didn’t make it into this version of the story, which takes away from the message of having heart, or making the most of your life, despite your origins. 

Machito Gomi vibrantly gives us page after page of lots of action, and not as many words. The panels are filled with very expressive characters. He uses many close ups on pokemon and people, which heightens the drama as the characters face danger and unexpected challenges. His drawing style seamlessly looks like the original Pokémon characters; he doesn’t stylize them in a unique or new way. This manga reads from right to left and is in black and white. 

Overall, this would be a good comic to add to an existing manga collection, especially if you have Pokémon fans. The author does a good job of staying true to the characters that fans know well. There is humor, drama, and lots of cuteness. However, this book would be a bit confusing for anyone who is new to the world of Pokémon. There is not much time spent giving the full background of the characters, as this is a long-running franchise and fans know what to expect.

Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution
By Machito Gomi
ISBN: 9781974715527
VIZ, 2020
Publisher Age Rating: 8-12
Series ISBNS and Order

Title Details and Representation
NFNT Age Recommendation: Middle Grade (7-11), Tween (10-13)
Character Traits: Japanese
Creator Highlights: Japanese

  • Kendra

    | She/Her


    Kendra Perkins has worked at libraries in Canada, the U.A.E., China and South Korea where she has been everything from Founding Head Librarian to volunteer. She was Ambassador of China for the International Librarians Network, and she was elected to be Coordinator for the Shanghai Librarians Network (SLN), which is a community of almost 100 library professionals from more than 20 schools. She has completed her ALA accredited Masters in Library and Information Studies program at the University of Alberta. She has traveled to over 90 countries, learned to speak basic Mandarin Chinese along the way and kept up with too many graphic novel series to keep count. She has led workshops, created webinars and done library consultations in fun places like Italy and Hong Kong. She has been a guest blogger for multiple technology and education related websites and is a published book reviewer for Urban Family magazine. Find out more at her website, which she should update more frequently:

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