Black Lagoon: Volume 5
By Leroy Douresseaux
April 8, 2009 - 12:37

Viz Media
Writer(s): Rei Hiroe, Joe Yamazaki
Penciller(s): Rei Hiroe
Inker(s): Rei Hiroe
Letterer(s): John Hunt, Primary Graphix
ISBN: 9781421518947
$12.99 U.S., $15.00 CAN, £8.99 UK, 192pp, B&W, paperback

Black Lagoon Volume 5 cover is courtesy of

Rated “M” for “Mature”

There is a modified, 80-foot, Elco PT boat (a World War II torpedo boat) that prowls the waters off the coast of Southeast Asia.  Its crew is a small group of mercenaries.  Dutch the Boss, a Vietnam veteran, is the boss.  Benny the Mechanic handles the boat’s complicated high tech.  Revy Two Hand is the ultra-lethal, almost-super-powered gunslinger.  Once known as Rokuro Okajima, Rock is the former corporate crony who ended up part of the crew.  Through Dutch’s company, Lagoon Traders, the crew operates a maritime courier service, but the big money comes from their side jobs – a little piracy on the side.  This is the saga of the boat known as the “Black Lagoon.”

The entirety of Black Lagoon, Vol. 5 is devoted to the end of the “Fujiyama Gangsta Paradise” storyline.  Rock initiates his desperate gambit to spare the life of Yukio Washimine in the bloody conflict between the Washimine-gumi and Hotel Moscow.  He and Revy form an uneasy alliance with Yukio’s bodyguard and the Washimine-gumi’s top enforcer, the incredible swordsman, Ginji Matsuzaki.  The trio launches a rescue operation to free Yukio from the clutches of Chaka, a low-level Washimine thug.  In spite of Rock’s efforts, things still look bleak.

THE LOWDOWN:  I can’t get enough.  What a delightfully violent comic book.  This is what Marvel Comics’ The Punisher could be if a talented writer/artist or manga-ka were allowed to go… balls to the wall with that character.  The “bullet time” of The Matrix has nothing on Black Lagoon.  Creator Rei Hiroe makes each action panel a symphony of speed lines, twisted human anatomy, and detail that even has the letters for the sound effects splattered across the panel.  This is violent adventure the way I like it.

POSSIBLE AUDIENCE:  Readers who want hardcore action will find it in Black Lagoon.



Related Articles:
Black Lagoon: Volume 11 manga review
Black Lagoon: Volume 10 manga review
VIZ Media Sets Sale on "Black Lagoon"
Black Lagoon: Volume 9
Black Lagoon: Volume 8
Black Lagoon: Volume 7
Black Lagoon: Volume 6
Black Lagoon: Volume 5
Black Lagoon: Volume 3
Black Lagoon: Volume 2