In the prequel to one of the most important manga stories of all time–Astro Boy— robots with artificial intelligence battle to the bitter end in “robot wrestling.” Called Atom: The Beginning, its science fiction elements mirror issues of control vs autonomy for artificial lifeforms. It’s the kind of thing found in all sorts of cyborg and robot stories, like Blade Runner or Dollhouse or Bloodshot. The story, now available in English, also has a very accusatory looking cat and the visual vibe is very Ultron. The original Japanese manga inspired an anime series adaptation in 2017.
Hitotsu Yokoshima is the artist behind the manga Kamen Rider Kuuga, also now available in English. It’s the third manga based on the popular Japanese Kamen Rider Kuuga live-action television series. The genre for this manga is a mix of supernatural fantasy and horror. Story and scripts were written by noted Japanese creators Shotaro Ishinomori and Toshiki Inoue.
Both manga titles are now available from the Titan Manga imprint. Take a look at a preview of several covers and interior pages for both below.
The villainy of Kamen Rider Kuuga is especially dark, ghoulish, and violent. It’s something out of The X-Files or Grimm. Beginning with the kind of fantasy origin story found in The Mummy, Black Adam, or Tomb Raider, it takes on the feel of The Dresden Files as police detectives try to track down a serial pyromaniac.
Here’s a look inside the Kamen Rider Kuuga graphic novel:
For more fun and a sci-fi/action fix, try Atom: The Beginning, an original manga based on legendary creator Osamu Tezuka’s world-famous series Astro Boy. It works both as a prequel to the original series, telling the stories of the developers of the artificial intelligence that would eventually give birth to the iconic Atom, and as a standalone sci-fi manga about the turbulent lives of two robotic engineering students and their latest revolutionary project: A106, or “Six.” Fans of Alita: Battle Angel and Ghost in the Shell will appreciate these books.
Here’s a look inside Osama Tezuka’s Atom: The Beginning, with covers from the different volumes:
This is a video trailer for the Atom books:
You’ll find something here whether you’re after some good sci-fi storytelling or supernatural horror. Order Osamu Tezuka’s Atom: The Beginning and Kamen Rider Kuuga now from Elite Comics or your local comic shop, or catch them here and here at Amazon.
C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg