So it appears that Carl Horn was on to something when he kept referencing vol. 13 of “The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service” in his notes from the current volume. There’s also more Yasuhiro Nightow manga than you can shake a stick at here... which is apparently two volumes. But one of them is a three-in-one omnibus. No points for guessing which series is being collected in that format. There is (as always) more “Star Wars” collections worth a look this month, and an omnibus collecting a series I’ve long been interested in because I read somewhere that it was good. No, it doesn’t take much to get me to buy something sometimes...
Blood Blockade Battlefront vol. 3: According to a recent Japanese sales chart, this series is up to vol. 5 in Japan right now. I certainly hope we get to that point here -- if only to see more of this year’s sensational character find in “Lucky” Abrams -- but the third volume seems to be the cutoff point for a lot of Dark Horse manga if they’re not selling. “Satsuma Gishiden,” “Museum of Terror,” “Scary Book,” just to name a few. This hasn’t been lighting up the sales charts like Yasuhiro Nightow’s previous series, but as “Trigun’s” sales were driven by the success of the anime that’s not too surprising. Though the title is very much “style over substance” these first two volumes have been good fun and I hope we see more after this one arrives.
The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service vol. 13: (Continuing on from the header text...) Horn mentioned that this volume would not only feature spirit medium Karatsu and hacker Sasaki together on a vacation in Okinawa, but also the return of the “Shirosagi Corpse Cleaning Service.” This essentially means that the mystery of the spirit behind Karatsu’s powers, which serves as the ostensible “main plot” of the title, should be seeing some advancement here. It’s noteworthy because the last time writer Eiji Otsuka touched on this was in vol. 8. Fortunately the series is driven by the strength of its individual stories, and they’ve been strong enough so that this has been more of a “nagging concern” as opposed to an “outright annoyance” these past few years. Plus, seeing these two in Okinawa should be a lot of fun as Sasaki’s not-crush on Karatsu may also be addressed here. Good times await in November for sure.
Nexus Omnibus vol. 1: This was one of the most well known and longest running creator-owned comics of the 80’s from writer Mike Baron and artist Steve Rude. I don’t actually know much about it beyond its rep, but this has been a series that I’ve always wanted to know more about. Unfortunately, beyond tracking down the original issues, the only way to read this has been in Dark Horse’s “Archive” format, and $50 a volume is a lot to pay for something I know so little about. Now it’s being released for half that price in Dark Horse’s “Omnibus” format and checking it out now becomes a no-brainer.
Orchid #9: Hey, I guess it isn’t cancelled. I’m still planning on buying the first collected edition, so “watch this space” in July to see if I made the right choice.
Star Wars: Dark Times vol. 5 -- Out Of The Wilderness: Artist Doug Wheatley returns for this volume, so it’s going to look as fantastic as the first and third volumes did. However, writer Mick Harrison has been replaced by writer and Dark Horse co-founder Randy Stradley. Stradley’s best-known comics work is the original “Alien vs. Predator” mini-series, though he has done a lot of other work on various titles for the company over the years. Harrison did fine work for the first three volumes, but I can’t say that his voice was distinctive enough that I’m upset he’s being replaced. At least, that’s what I feel now. Things could change after I read this, but I’m betting on Stradley to deliver consistency if nothing else.
Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic vol. 10 -- War: While it made sense for “Legacy” to get another volume in mini-series form, so that it could wrap up its story, I’m kinda curious as to why we’re getting one now for “KOTOR.” Everything was wrapped up nicely in its final volume, so any attempt to extend the story is either an attempt to milk the franchise cash cow a bit further or that they had a story that was really, REALLY good and needed to be told. I... want to believe that it’s the latter, but while John Jackson Miller is a decent writer this would have to be on a much higher level of quality than I’ve seen him deliver on the franchise. I’m going to buy it anyway, if only to give myself a reason not to buy more if the title continues in mini-series format.
Trigun Maximum Omnibus vol. 1: Because you can never have too much Yasuhiro Nightow in one month. Like “Hellsing” I didn’t buy this when it came out because a friend of mine was already doing it and I just borrowed his copies. For some reason, the manga never grabbed me the way the anime did probably because the anime pulled off a rare bit of creative alchemy that you usually never see when a title is adapted to TV. You see, when it came time for the anime to tell its own story after exhausting the first two volumes of “Trigun” the series didn’t jump the shark but managed to tell its own uniquely compelling tale of the characters on its own terms. I think that’s because it had a supremely talented writer at the helm in Yosuke (“Infinite Ryvius,” “Scryed”) Kuroda to plot things out. You also can’t discount the fact that director Satoshi Nishimura also knew what he was doing, as the man proved that you can go back home again with the excellent “Trigun: Badlands Rumble” movie which was released last year. All this said, I’m still not sure if I’ll ever pick this up. What’s more likely is that I’ll probably borrow it from my other friend who still lives and breathes the series after all these years.