cover image Terror Man

Terror Man

Dong-Woo Han and Jin-Ho Ko. Ablaze, $19.99 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-68497-131-2

A reluctant hero becomes an accidental terrorist in Han’s sporadically clever but unfinished-feeling manga series launch, which marks his English-language debut. Wimpy teen Jungwoo Min has a secret superpower: he has “eyes that can detect misfortune” and sees a purple haze wherever trouble is about to occur. His other asset is Lilia, a sexy Russian housekeeper with a shady past. Jungwoo, Lilia, and handsome mystery man Bongchun team up to use Jungwoo’s power to rescue people from imminent danger like a collapsing mall and, later, terrorist attacks, but the police and media pin the blame for every disaster on them. In short order, they’re the most wanted terrorists in South Korea. (Maybe having Jungwoo dress up in a gas mask and threaten crowds at gunpoint when they’re reluctant to obey evacuation orders isn’t the most effective way to win the public’s trust.) The story is an awkward mélange of action genres—superhero fantasy, gritty espionage, gung-ho boys’ adventure manga—and the art is likewise uneven, with character designs that seem to come from different comics and backgrounds that are sometimes workmanlike technical drawings, sometimes cut-and-pasted photos. Though the concept of a terrorist antihero is intriguing, this first volume struggles to find its voice. [em](Aug.) [/em]