Black Lagoon v10 (Viz Media)


CREDIT: Viz Media

Rating: 5/5 – The Boys (and Girls) are Back in Town
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Al Sparrow

If it seems like it’s been a few years since the last volume of Black Lagoon came out, that’s only because it actuall has been a few years. In the afterword to this latest volume, creator Rei Hiroe talks about how a number of things prevented him from continuing the series, and how he wished he’d simply announced a hiatus from publishing it, as apparently the rumor mill went crazy trying to figure out what the delay actually was. Hiroe shoulders the blame and apologizes, saying he took the situation “too lightly”. He might find a kindred soul in G.R.R. Martin, as people are no doubt jumping up and down for the next Song of Ice and Fire book to come out. Whatever the case, volume ten is now with us, and whether it’s been three years or three months, the gang is back and it’s like they never really left.

Greenback Jane returns, and she’s set up a hacking sting operation targeting the Chinese government. When the patsy she sets up to take the fall realizes she’s been set up, and finds herself hunted by her former employers, it’s up to Rock and Revy Two-Guns to help her survive just one more day. If those sentences made no sense to you, you have some catching up to do. Fortunately volumes one through nine are still available and every one of them is worth your time – volume ten follows right along in that same vein.

When I reviewed the first volume of Black Lagoon I described it as “a love letter to people who love bad action movies,” and I wrote those words with total affection because I adore bad action movies. Ten volumes later, that summarization still stands, but along the way we’ve seen amazing characters who have actually evolved over the course of this series. Central character Rock has gone from hapless victim of the corruption surrounding him to becoming every bit as corrupt and mercenary as the people around him. Breaking Bad? Walter White was never this calculating, and for those of you who remember Fabiola’s “The Reason You Suck” speech at the end of Volume 9, know that those words still weigh heavy on Rock in this new book.

Hiroe did half the book digitally this time, and while a studious eye might catch the differences between the art done on paper vs. a computer screen, it does little to change the overall story. Black Lagoon is always a top of the stack book for me when it arrives. Let’s hope this time around we won’t have another three-year wait before volume 11 hits.

Reviewed by: Al Sparrow
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