Terra Formars: Volume 22 manga review
By Leroy Douresseaux
February 17, 2020 - 14:19

Viz Media
Writer(s): Yu Sasuga, John Werry
Artist(s): Ken-ichi Tachibana
Letterer(s): Annaliese Christman
ISBN: 978-1-9747-0955-7
$12.99 U.S., $17.99 CAN, £8.99 UK, 208pp, B&W, paperback
Rating: M (Mature)


Rated “M” for “Mature”

It was because of overpopulation that the Earth reached the breaking point by the 26th century, forcing humanity to find new frontiers to call home.  Knowing that this time would come, Earth has been in a centuries-long terraforming process of Mars, introducing moss and cockroaches to hasten the transformation.  Three missions travel to Mars to see the results of that terraforming, and what they discover is the horror called Terraformars, giant humanoid cockroaches.

As Terra Formars, Vol. 22 (Chapters 43 to 53) opens, the Terraformars have infested Japan.  They have taken over three Japanese islands: Tanegashima, Minamitorishima, and Kagoshima.  On each island, they have built a giant fortress, and human surveillance satellites cannot penetrate any of them.  Meanwhile, the Terraformars leader, “the Invoker,” has been defeated, but even in death, the creature's body is still a marvel of evolution... and of destruction.

Plus, Shokichi Komachi and Akari Hizamaru engage in a brutal battle to settle things between them.  However, will even humans, such as these two, transformed into beings capable of stopping Terraformars, actually be able to stop the Terraformars?

[This volume includes bonus manga in pencil art form.]

THE LOWDOWN:  I had not read the Terra Formars manga for over two years.  I read Vol. 16, and that was it until the two most recent volumes.

Terra Formars Graphic Novel Volume 22 is one of those volumes in which the narrative takes a break from the non-stop action of battle manga.  Don't get me wrong, dear readers.  There are several violent, brutal, and gory duels and fights in Vol. 22.  However, in Vol. 22, writer Yu Sasuga and artist Ken-ichi Tachibana focus on establishing what I call a current status quo.  Who are the main players and what are the big conspiracies are the mysteries upon which Sasuga and Tachibana focus their storytelling.

John Werry's excellent translation and English adaptation juggles a lot of sub-plots and exposition with dexterity so that readers will them find easy to understand.  Werry is one reason that a reader can miss several volumes and still get a lay of Terra Formar's narrative landscape.  As usual, Annaliese Christman blows up the pages with her explosive lettering, and she always manages to make the action even bigger than its seems on the page.  Werry and Christman make Terra Formars' English version a winner as a science fiction and action-thriller.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of seinen manga and monster comics will want to try the VIZ Signature title, Terra Formars.

8 out of 10

Rating: 8/10

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