Gangsta: Cursed, a prequel to the edgy crime manga, Gangsta, is largely set in the crime-ridden city of Ergastulum. The story explores the dark and violent past of key characters from Gangsta, with a focus on Marco Adriano a.k.a. “Spas.” “Hunters” find and kill “Twilights,” humans who have powers and abilities that normal humans do not. Spas belongs to the most notorious group of Hunters, the quintet known as “The Second Destroyers,” but he is loosing his sense of “justice.”
Gangsta: Cursed, Vol. 5 (Chapters 14 to 18) opens in the aftermath of Spas killing Maverick, fellow Hunter and his mentor. Spas has come to believe that Twilights are not monsters, but that he, as a prolific killer of Twilights, is the monster. Now, Spas must confront the rest of “The Second Destroyers” (a.k.a. the “Second Destroyers Group”): Beretta, Minimi, and especially Striker. This rift in Spas and Striker's moral stances will scar them forever.
Plus, Don Luca Cristiano and Galahad gather the remaining Twilights as the recent violence against their community subsides. Don Luca and his wife, Shelly, welcome their first child into the world, but it is another child that the Don welcomes into his larger family that will generate consternation.
[This volume includes bonus manga, “0.5” and four-panel comics.]
THE LOWDOWN: I had told you, dear readers, that I was initially skeptical of the Gangsta: Cursed manga. After reading the first volume of Cursed, I was impressed. The series certainly offered a lot of kinetic action scenes and plenty of ultra-violence. Gangsta: Cursed is written the original series' creator-writer-artist, Kohske, and is drawn by Syuhei Kamo.
Gangsta: Cursed Graphic Novel Volume 5 is like the rest of the series, but it is the best volume by far. Perhaps, because this volume is the concluding one, it has clarity of purpose – depicting the costs that the main players pay for their actions. Kohske and Kamo balance the displays of savagery with the theme of redemption. Can redemption come to someone who has committed as much savagery as Spas? This questions permeates every panel of this graphical narrative.
So the impressive fight scenes and explosive actions scenes repeat in Vol. 5. However, the final volume, with its explorations of forgiveness and revenge, makes the entire series worth reading.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Fans of Gangsta and of violent action-thriller manga will want the VIZ Signature, Gangsta: Cursed.