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The Mysterians: Volume 1    by Jay Antani, Michael Uslan & et al order for
by Jay Antani
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Of all the Original English Language American manga I have read, The Mysterians - created by Chuck Russell and Michael Uslan, with script by Jay Antani and art by Matt Hentshel - comes the closest to a traditional American comic. Yes, it does have a manga style, but the story itself and some of the ways it is conveyed are in more of a comic-book style.

Trust-fund baby Logan, fraternal twins Jenna and Jamie, computer geek Tony, and Chinese Olympian Leelee are all very different. However, they have one thing in common: each lost a parent (or two) under strange circumstances. When each one of them gets a mysterious message from Vox, the last remaining member of an underground resistance, they meet in New York to learn they have much more in common than they could ever imagine. It turns out that each possesses some superhuman ability, activated by an alien spore implanted in their brains. What is more surprising is that their parents, who were part of the resistance, were the ones who planted the spores so that their children could fight the alien invaders. Now the fate of the planet is in the hands of these five teens that is, if they can learn to work together.

Volume one tells how The Mysterians came to be, so a lot of the volume is exposition. Luckily, Antani is good at introducing characters and giving their background information without making it drawn-out and boring. On the other hand, Hentschel is at his best when it comes to the action panels, which do not appear much until the second half of the volume. The story itself takes a number of tried and true concepts and puts them together to create an original tale.

The Mysterians is an interesting story that both manga and comic book fans will enjoy. With the two creators being in the movie business, it makes the reader wonder if - and hope that - The Mysterians might be the first American manga to hit Hollywood.

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