Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Graphic Novel Volume 9 cover image
Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt is a science fiction manga that is set in the classic science fiction universe of Mobile Suit Gundam. It apparently takes place simultaneously with the events depicted in the original “Mobile Suit Gundam” anime. Created by mangaka Yasuo Ohtagaki, this manga focuses on two rival mobile suit (MS) pilots, Io Fleming of the Earth Federation and Chief Petty Officer Daryl Lorenz of Principality of Zeon, each bent on destroying the other.
As Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt, Vol. 9 (Chapters 71 to 79) opens, the Federation continues its bid to clear Zeon forces from Earth. Now, the Federation strike at its once supposed ally, the Nanyang Alliance, beginning with a raid on the Alliance's floating city called “the Rig.” The goal is to obtain the Alliance's data on the production of the “Psycho Zaku.”
Now, the Alliance's Psycho Zaku pilots must make a daring escape before the Federation captures them. Two pilots, Vivi Benson and Fisher, lead the escape via a Sealanth sub, with Vivi's son, Alex, and ragtag group of civilians in tow. And Io Fleming, piloting a Gundam, is in hot pursuit.
THE LOWDOWN: It has been half a year since I have read a volume of the Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt manga. Thanks to a review copy provided by my VIZ Media rep, I have discovered that it remains a fantastic read.
Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Graphic Novel Volume 9 maintains the narrative's move from the blackness of outer space to the blackness beneath the waves of Earth's oceans. Creator Yasuo Ohtagaki has thrown a spotlight on the Nanyang Alliance, which is essentially a religious zect with the reach of a nation state. It is an exciting new angle that brings new energy to the Federation / Zeon dynamic.
I will say again that as far as science fiction graphic novels set in the outer space go, Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt is excellent. It is just as good, if not better, than many of Marvel's Star Wars comic books.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Readers looking for classic mecha manga will want the VIZ Signature title, Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt.