Panda Man vs. Chiwanda

Sho Makura and Haruni Kato. Viz/Vizkids, $7.99 trade paper (96p) ISBN 978-1-4215-3522-7
Hard-luck hero Panda Man, forced by hunger to abandon his training, finds himself drafted into an effort to catch the audacious masked jewel thief Chiwanda. Promised a fine meal in exchange for his services by jewelry store magnate Madame Stone, Panda Man foils Chiwanda's next attempted theft, but the diminutive thief manages to escape; the costumed adventurer pursues his adversary, using his cunning and skills. With simple, iconic art, this manga for younger readers portrays broad, sometimes crude, humor but also encourages kids to try their own hand at solving the puzzles Panda Man is confronted with. The creators demonstrate considerable sympathy for his wealthy antagonist, and Panda Man's crippling poverty is as much a source of humor as his comic pratfalls and absurd martial arts. The result is a strange combination of bathroom humor and intellectual challenges in a world where virtue brings few rewards but crime can pay. Ages 6–9. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/02/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Genre: Children's
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