Devilman: The Classic Collection, Vol. 1

Go Nagai, trans. from the Japanese by Zack Davisson and Adrienne Beck. Seven Seas, $29.99 (680p) ISBN 978-1-62692-757-5
A demon horde from primeval Earth awakens in this raucous collected volume of the seminal 1970s horror adventure manga by Nagai, which has birthed multiple multimedia spin-offs in Japan over the decades. Brave but hapless Akira Fudo is abruptly enlisted by his mysterious best friend to merge with the ferocious hell warrior Amon, control his powers by the virtue of his innocent soul, and rend all other demons to bloody shreds as he becomes the creature called Devilman. As Devilman, Akira rampages through a whirlwind of outlandish battles (he defeats one foe with the baffling might of his eyebrows), and even travels through time to vanquish demons tampering with historical figures such as Joan of Arc, Adolf Hitler, and Marie Antoinette. The pace is breakneck, the plotting is nonsensical, and the main male characters are clichéd while the women provide stereotypical fan service (there’s no shortage of breasts or curves, human and otherwise). Although there are creative monsters, kinetic action, and striking scenes, the cartoonish quality of Nagai’s artwork drains any dread from the destruction. An acquired taste, Nagai’s work will feel dated to many contemporary readers, but fans of manga such as Berserk and Parasyte will likely be eager to venture on this weird, wild ride through a grotesquerie of demon death matches and flying body parts. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/21/2018
Release date: 05/22/2018
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