Tuesday, May 09, 2006


I'm going to be getting reviews in soon on our newest graphic novel, Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa - Rain. But, before the flood gates open up, I would like to calm my nerves and post the last review that we got on our last graphic novel, JTOT - DEFIANCE.

It makes me smile.

Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa - Defiance (80 pages/Black & White)
By Martheus Antone Wade and Janet Wade
Review by: Chris Hansbrough

Originally I was going to review this book in a manner that could be considered comedic. I think the book deserves more than that though.

The book Chronicles the tale of Shianndrea Toshigawa. Who has fled to America to escape her father the Emperor Terminus who is attempting to wipe out the Toshigawa clan. Throughout the course of the book we are introduced to many interesting and fun characters such as Kat; the former thug who became Shianndrea's training partner and friend. Dan, the rock star, who after almost being killed by Shianndrea falls in love with her and gives her the name Jetta. The book builds and builds its way to the climax but keeps you guessing all the way through. Will she survive?

This is where it gets tricky. The people at shooting star described it as Buffy the Vampire Slayer with ninjas. I describe it in a different way. Well done. Is it the greatest story in the world? No. But you know what? It works. And with the style of the book it works even better. At no point in the book was I ever bored. Whether it was the fresh and interesting characters or the funny jokes every now and then it was a great read from start to finish. There were a couple points where the dialogue felt a little forced but they were few and far between.

Having a strong female character helps too. I've always been a fan of strong female characters and Shianndrea Toshigawa fulfils all those requirements as the rebellious beauty and central character of the story. Another important aspect of the book is the well-developed supporting cast that consisted of some very fun and interesting characters. From Gaudient the Master and protector of Shianndrea to Kat, the thug turned friend, every character feels rich and is well developed in the story.

RATING: 8.5/10

I think I have to preclude this by saying that normally I despise the "American manga" style art. Notice how I use the word normally because this book is absolutely gorgeous. If I had to compare it to any artist going I would consider the work of Martheus Wade to be something akin to Mike Turner if Mike could actually put meat on a woman. Yes I do absolutely love not just the look of this book but the way it uses style to it's advantage in many places. A scene that would normally be somewhat boring can be made entertaining when you can actually see the emotion on the characters face and an action scene can be better when the art works for it. The first real big fight about half way into the book shows exactly what I mean by that with some of the funniest facial expressions I've seen in a while. Not only that but Martheus shows that he has a grasp of both anatomy and true martial arts. Nothing really seems forced or fake during the hand-to-hand fight scenes. Is the art perfect? Of course not. While he shows a fantastic grasp of anatomy and perspective there are times when it seems a little off. There are 2 kisses in the book that for some reason just feel a little strange. I don't know why it is but the perspective just felt off to my eyes. The different inkers had an effect as well. You could tell the difference between Martheus' inks and Janet’s inks. They both still look fantastic and it doesn't detract at all however you can still tell the difference between the 2. When all is said and done though some of the pages I can only think to myself one thing "This is what Mike Turner wishes he could be."

Rating: 8/10

Overall: 8.25/10

This was a fantastic book that will keep you guessing right up until the end. Will Shianndrea survive? Find out by ordering Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa - Defiance today.


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