Monday, March 23, 2009

King of Hell vol. 20 and 21 Impression

Ah, King of Hell, one of the best manga that is really a manwha but oh so good. Story by Ra In-Soo with art by Jae-Hwan Kim (Warcraft Sunwell trilogy artist) the story of Majeh is easy to follow and packed with action. Volumes 20 and 21 do not stray from this course as the fights are fast and furious and the good guys don’t always win. Let’s take a closer look …

 King of Hell volume 20
King of Hell volume 20
Majeh, Young, Chung Poong and Dohwa are all in the Sa Gok headquarters and each are faced with a unique challenge. Majeh is teamed up with the formerly missing Insane Hounds, Young and Chung Poong have a date with a wolf man and a steel bodied fighter while Dohwa and Cerberus take on a series of living dolls. Majeh encounters a female fighter who offers him the choice to follow for a better fight, which he takes up while Young and Chung Poong realize they have a ways to go to go with their strength and technique promoting flashbacks for Poong. It seems almost everyone is overmatched except for Majeh

Not a lot of commentary in this volume, the meat comes from Chung Poong’s history. Both Majeh and Dohwa find themselves advancing on their paths, one through his own choice the other through being captured. Seeing also that Poong is not as strong as he believes offers a layer of depth that most action based stories gloss over, the hero always wins but not here. The story continues in this volume but by no means is it resolved. The art is sweet as always. I’ve said it before that it’s not the best in the world but it reminds me so much of DBZ in not only action and speed but some of the design.

 King of Hell volume 21King of Hell volume 21
All the fighters are now in one place and the Sa Gok present Majeh with an interesting dilemma. Face his allies in battle, over a snake pit of course, or the captured Dohwa dies. As she hangs Dohwa must reflect on her past, ties to the Sa Gok and how her brother is still the same age as when she last saw him and on top of that in with the Sa Gok (whew!) its’ time for a look at Dohwa’s background, and a fight to the death for Majeh as he takes on first the Insane Hounds then Hyur who unexpectedly shows up.

More action, but meat of this story is Dohwa background. The way Majeh pounds on the hounds is a trip, and the brutality surprises even the Sa Gok. The arrival of Hyur allows for the two fighters to have their long awaited re-match but also to take pot shots at the Generals watching … which they of course are accused of cheating by doing. The story ends with Majeh and Hyur exposed for what they are trying and like every volume of King of Hell it’s over much too soon. BUT the best part of this book, the additional CSI spoof that takes readers through the murder of Majeh. It’s good and shows a different side of King of Hell.

Overall this is a great action series, but because of how heavy on action and light on text it is I’d suggest picking up 3-4 volumes at a time for best enjoyment. The art is outstanding and unique, action fast and sweet to read. A great series, something fans don’t need to be told but that noobs need to know.

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