Super Sentai: Himitsu Sentai Gorenger—The Classic Manga Collection

Shotaro Ishinomori. Seven Seas, $24.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-64505-941-7
The influential 1970s manga from Ishinomori (the Cyborg 009 series) is collected for the first time in English in this rip-roaring omnibus. The action kicks off immediately as teen martial artist Kaijo Tsuyoshi is given a super-suit with incredible powers (“A costume from a cartoon! With a cape and everything!”). He’s recruited by the secret organization EAGLE and joins its five-member fighting team against the evil Black Cross Army. Ishinomori draws with an adult’s drafting skills but a grade-schooler’s sensibilities and enthusiasm, furiously scrawling gung-ho heroes, outlandish foes, pulp sci-fi technology, and fights that tumble on for pages. The characters look like action figures, their world like a sprawling playset. The heroes tend to battle robots (a favorite loophole to keep the violence palatable), but Ishinomori doesn’t shy away from bloody deaths, cruel betrayals, and unexpectedly mature political concerns. (The Black Cross Army sabotages renewable energy research because “if we start using solar energy instead, fossil fuels will drop in value!”) The speedy pacing and childlike simplicity belie how well-crafted Ishinomori’s work remains. While the original series was aimed at a younger audience, canny (and nostalgic) adults will also get a kick out of this blazing retro collection. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 04/02/2021
Release date: 04/20/2021
Genre: Comics
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