Upcoming 2/23/2011

We’re back to a more substantial ComicList this week. You can click here for my Pick of the Week.

As for this week’s arrivals, there’s the third volume of 7 Billion Needles (Vertical), Nobuaki Tadano’s manga homage to Hal Clement’s novel, Needle. I’ve been enjoying the series for its balance of character development and monster mayhem, but the proportions seem a bit off in this installment.

Our sulky heroine Hikaru now finds herself host to not one but two powerful entities. Seeing as those beings have been acting in opposition forever, I was hoping for some focus on the new arrangement. Unfortunately, the triad is forced to adapt almost instantaneously, as outside forces demand their attention. Benevolent Horizon and malignant Maelstrom seem to have spun off and are causing evolutionary mayhem. This invites the intervention of a third powerful entity and drives our heroine and her tagalongs to try and set things right before the world is changed forever.

In short, there’s too much mayhem and not enough moping. I was enjoying Hikaru’s emotional progress, and it felt like that was shoved into the background in favor of incursions of instant monsters. It’s not devoid of emotional moments, but they tend to be drowned out in favor of the more visceral events. I’m hoping the fourth and final volume strikes a better balance, but, even if it doesn’t, this will have amounted to a very appealing series overall. And, if your reaction to either of the earlier volumes was that there wasn’t enough mayhem, this is a good opportunity to reintroduce yourself to the series.

(Comments are based on a review copy provided by the publisher.)

Other highlights for the week include:

What looks good to you?