Grim_Noir Treats A Flu With Heavy Follow-Up Doses Of My Hero Academia

 

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Title: My Hero Academia Volume 3

Story and Art: Kohei Horikoshi

Editor: Mike Montesa

Touch-Up Art & Lettering: John Hunt

Translation & English Adaptation: Caleb Cook

Publisher: SHUEISHA Inc

Licensed by: VIZ Media, LLC

Reviewed by Grim_Noir

For the last two weeks, I suffered through a horrible cold/flu. I was miserable and reached out for my comfortable chair and “comfort food,” such as chicken soup. I also sought out reading material that makes me cheer the good guys and boo the bad guys. Usually, that’s a Silver Age or ’80s comics collection, but this time I was more than happy to settle into the third printed volume of My Hero Academia.

Volume three picks up from the cliffhanger at the end of volume two of My Hero Academia: The freshman class of “Quirks” (mutants) at Yuei High School (a.k.a. “U.A. High”), while on wilderness rescue training, have been attacked and held hostage by a large band of adult super-villains. The bad guys’ real objective is to kill All Might (the Superman of the M.H.A. universe). Somehow, they have been given inside information that his powers are waning. Fortunately for the students, what no one knows is that All Might has passed a part of his powers onto the formerly quirkless Izuku Midoriya.

After a hard fought battle, things end in a draw with both sides suffering losses and brutal injuries. The villains retreat and cannot be traced, leaving our young heroes feeling jumpy and slightly lost.

MHA Ch 20 p 10

In another book, things could get very, very dark, at this point. Thankfully, writer/artist/creator Kohei Horikoshi clearly loves The Tick as much as X-Men and Naruto. That isn’t to say there’s no psychological depth to the situation, rather Hirokoshi understands the energy and emotional elasticity of fifteen-year-olds.

Once the police questioning and physical clean-up are completed, the faculty of U.A. announce a Sports Day. This is a standard contrivance of a “battle school” Shonen manga and even the students call-out the teachers on this. Our heroes are quickly reminded that everything in this school is a test and their grades and student placement are dependent on their performance. (There are always other students looking to take their places in the advanced class.)

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As the athletic competition goes on, Horikoshi shows us wheels-within-wheels as the teaching staff reveals their ulterior motives to the readers. As they compete, the young superheroes learn they haven’t lost anything and have gained a level of real world battle experience that no other class at U.A. High has ever garnered at such a young age.

Through the Sports Day games, we are also given a glimpse into some of the other academic tracks at U.A.. There’s the Support Course; engineering majors who will design and field test all the gadgets that superheroes buy (in case anyone has wondered where they get those wonderful toys). There is also a Business Course, where all the marketers of superheroes square off to put their spin on what the general public thinks about various heroes.

And the Tick-like flourishes continue as we are introduced to “Midnight (“the “R-Rated Heroine”), the faculty member refereeing the games. (“R-Rated? Should she really be in a high school?” asks one of the students.)

MHA Ch 21 pp 16-17

The artwork is as strong as ever. The battles are energized & spectacular, the architecture grandiose and the earnestness in the students’ faces is palpable. Everything left me smiling and wanting more.

In the foreword to My Hero Academia Volume Three, Horikoshi writes, “Every week, I find myself thinking, ‘If I don’t do my best, I’m gonna die!’ It’s pretty thrilling.”

Yes, Mr. Horikoshi, it is indeed. And this feverish guy says “Thank you very much. I needed that”

Quirks-In-Training

 

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* GRIM_NOIR is convinced that the internet is a figment of his imagination. Please comment below and/or follow @Grim_Noir on Twitter or Friend on Good Reads or Facebook to end his self-delusions.

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