STORY BY: YU SASUGA
ART BY: KEN-CHI TACHIBANA
ENGLISH TRANSLATION: JOHN WERRY
PUBLISHED BY: VIZ SIGNATURE/VIZ MEDIA, LLC
RATED M FOR MATURE (EXPLICIT CONTENT)
GENRE: SCI FI, HORROR, ACTION
RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 18, 2014
In the late 26th century, overpopulation on Earth is reaching the breaking point, and humanity must find new frontiers. The terraforming of Mars has taken centuries but is now complete. The colonization of Mars by humanity is an epoch-making event, but an unintended side effect of the terraforming process unleashes a horror no one could ever have imagined...
A new expedition to Mars, Annex 1, is under way. Their mission: crucial research into the A.E. virus currently plaguing mankind. The mutant Terraformars, giant humanoid cockroaches, may hold the key to a cure. Unfortunately for the crew of the Annex 1, the Terraformars have somehow gotten on board the ship and have only one goal - total extermination! Led by Akari Hizamaru, the crew will need to rely on their superhuman powers to survive...if those powers don't kill them first!
If you're following this series, by now you should be familiar with the general story and where it's headed. For those who are unfamiliar, do yourself a favor and grab a copy of Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 from Viz Signature. Trust me, you will enjoy this series.
In this volume, it's all about survival and startling revelations as their exigent mission to find a cure is suddenly in danger of failing. The story is action packed from the first to the last page. A plethora of gut-wrenching fatalities is what makes this volume stand out for me. For those of you complaining about Vol. 2 being slow paced after an excellent Vol. 1, well, the series is back to form.
I won't go into details to avoid major spoilers but on this expedition, the crew discovers that the Terraformars have evolved into highly intelligent and meticulously strategic beings. Yet, as dire a situation it is for our protagonists, they too, get the opportunity (not that they have a choice) to showcase their evolved super insect-i-fide powers in order to fight for their lives. The author really doesn't hold back when it comes to killing off any known characters here. It's kind of similar to stories like The Walking Dead or even Game of Thrones, in that you think you know which characters are gonna die but your shocked face proves otherwise when a total curveball is thrown at you. We also get to see a little backstory of Marcos E. Garcia, who's given much deserved screen time here.
The artwork is phenomenal as usual, especially the details on the gruesome fatalities. I'm amazed with some of the creative kills. If I have to nitpick, I have to say that the background art is a bit weak and felt a little neglected in favor of a more detailed characters. Other than that, there's not much to complain about. The art actually reminds me of an old series called Project ARMS.
Since this is an ongoing series, there are still questions left unanswered. But it also provides a lot of pertinent information and revelations that will further shed light to the mystery that surrounds the Terraformars. Some of you might get turned off by the subtle racial and sexist undertones but if you're able to get passed that then you'll surely enjoy this series. Major props to Viz for a superb quality print. Overall it's a fantastic read and I can't wait for the next volume. So give it a shot! You might end up becoming a fan.