Spider-Man: The Manga #9

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Al Sjoerdsma (E-Mail)


Concluding the three-part Kangaroo arc.

Story Details

  Spider-Man: The Manga #9
Summary: The Kangaroo
Arc: Part 3 of 'Spider-Man: The Manga Third Arc' (1-2-3)
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Writer/Artist: Ryoichi Ikegami
Retouching and Production: Dan Nakrosis
Translation: C.B. Cebulski, Mutsumi Masuda

Spidey scours the city looking for the Kangaroo. When he finds him, the two fight, with the Kangaroo managing to find time to tell his origin between blows. The Kangaroo is astonished that Spidey can withstand his dropkicks and Yu tells him that "For a few moments, I concentrated all my power into my chin" (I am NOT making this up!).

The Kangaroo claims that he is not a villain but that he has been treated like a criminal because he is "just too strong". He believes that it is the possession of powers in and of themselves that turn the rest of the world against him. In despair, he drops the capsule containing the bacteria. It breaks open and wipes out Tokyo. (Actually that last part is all in Yu's imagination.) Yu saves the day, captures the Kangaroo (who DOESN'T die for a change) and gives up being Spider-Man (again) by throwing his costume into the river.

General Comments

There's a hint of pathos and humanity here, though it is somewhat spoiled by some dumb moments. The child Spider-Man rescued at the wrestling match was a "homeless child". A homeless child that can afford to attend pro-wrestling matches? A homeless child who later is out and about with his teacher? Maybe that's just poor translation, so try this one. After being battered previously by various blows from the Kangaroo, Spidey stands still and let's Kanga have a free punch at his face. He shrugs the blow off, explaining that he "focussed all of his power into his chin." Bwahahaha!

Despite these flows, this the best of the Manga stories so far. This is the first story arc that even felt like it was worth telling. It has a number of compelling plot elements and striking visuals from Spidey's accidental alliance with the Kangaroo to the motorbike accident to the imaginary holocaust. Sure, there are still silly moments (such as the scene where JJJ hires Yu) and the fight scenes are still the most boring moments in the books but Ikegami succeeds in asking interesting questions about the state of being a super-human. This time around, he asks if the very nature of having powers, of being "just too strong" will ultimately work against you, no matter how you conduct yourself. With the best of intentions, Yu seems to be feeling the sting of that curse now, too.

Overall Rating

The series is steadily improving. Here's hoping that continues. Three webs. Of course, that's just "average", so don't read too much into it.

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Al Sjoerdsma (E-Mail)