cover image Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Part 1: Phantom Blood, Vol. 1

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Part 1: Phantom Blood, Vol. 1

Hirohiko Araki. Viz, $19.99 (255p) ISBN 978-1-42157-879-8

This 1980s manga classic is a cross between “The Eye of Argon” and glam rock. Muscular bodies that rival Fist of the North Star, dapper fashion, occasional duo-tone, and bold yet intricate pen lines tell a Victorian tale of manhood, complete with an archeological artifact that demands blood sacrifice. Jojo, a somewhat simple yet strapping young British lordling, is determined to be a gentleman despite his man’s man personality, but the introduction of Dio, a conniving usurper who’s better than him in everything—including looks—forces him into corners time and again. Jojo’s good nature gradually perseveres, however, and when he’s given the chance to confront the truth about Dio, a mystical stone mask from Mezzo-America that gives Hulk-like powers gets caught up in the mix and changes the dynamic between Dio and Jojo forever. Partly because of when it was created, the book tells rather than shows, making it a slog at times; but the target audience of middle school boys will no doubt forgive for the excitement and showy brawn. (Feb.)