When it comes to superheroes in manga One-Punch Man brings a flavor that’s unique, but also action packed. I enjoyed the last volume immensely, but is this week’s volume 6 any good?
One-Punch Man Vol. 6 (Viz Media)
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
Nothing about Saitama passes the eyeball test when it comes to superheroes, from his lifeless expression to his bald head to his unimpressive physique. However, this average-looking guy has a not-so-average problem—he just can’t seem to find an opponent strong enough to take on! An emergency summons gathers Class S heroes at headquarters…and Saitama tags along. There, they learn that the great seer Shibabawa left the following prophecy: “The Earth is in danger!” What in the world is going to happen?!
Why does this book matter?
That sounds rather heavy and actually drops perfectly into the American blockbuster summer reading schedule. A threat that requires multiple heroes to tackle? Who cares about Civil War 2–this sounds bigger than that!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
And boy is this volume action packed! It opens with all the heroes gathering for a private meeting to find out a threat of unimaginable strength is on its way. Like the calm before the storm the heroes act as they normally do, but then the enemy strikes and all hell breaks loose. The heroes have faced incredible enemies before, but writer One ups the ante tenfold with multiple high-powered villains and a threat from outer space maybe even One-Punch Man can’t tackle.
The other heroes of course underestimate him (at this point, shouldn’t they be aware he can take out high level villains?) but he quickly proves he can do a lot more than most of them all by himself. Yusuke Murata draws one hell of a volume here, as One-Punch Man punches his way into a giant spaceship and proceeds to make his way to the bridge. On his way he takes out monstrous enemies, navigates a labyrinth (drawn with incredible detail) and actually shows off a bit more heroics than usual due to the difficulty of this villain. As One-Punch Man makes his way to the leader a bunch of heroes fight an enemy on the ground that can shapeshift and is nearly indestructible. As the story bounces back and forth between these stories the pace is exceptional, with quiet moments of One-Punch Man cutting to action-packed moments on the ground at the perfect times.
This manga ends on a major cliffhanger and then cuts to a backup story of One-Punch Man dealing with a person who is threatening to jump off a building. In his customary relaxed attitude he’s fine with the guy offing himself, but through his zenlike approach the man learns a lesson. It’s a solid story and one I’m sure is more impactful in Japan where suicides like this one may be more prevalent.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I kind of wish the story wrapped up at the end, but you can’t win them all.
This is a fantastic volume that rivals anything DC or Marvel is going to put out for their “summer event” series. It’s action-packed from cover to cover and well worth your dime even if you’re new to the series. It’s funny, looks great, and will keep you turning the pages.