When he was 22-years-old, Saitama started training to become a superhero. Now, 25-years-old, Saitama is a superhero. He just does not look like a superhero, with his lifeless facial expression, his bald head, and his unimpressive physique. But he beats the snot out of supervillains with one punch. One-Punch Man is the name of the man and the manga.
As One-Punch Man, Vol. 2 (entitled The Secret to Strength; Chapters 9 to 15) begins, Saitama and the cyborg teen, “Genos,” take on the House of Evolution. This mysterious entity is responsible for the villains that recently battled Saitama and Genos. Kamakyuri, Slugrus, Frog-Man, the Beast King, and Armored Gorilla all brought the battle to Saitama and Genos and all were defeated. In fact, Armored Gorilla is the defeated villain who gave up the info on House of Evolution. However, when Saitama and Genos take the battle to House of Evolution, Carnage Kabuto will be waiting for them.
What's the secret to Saitama's strength? Many inquiring minds want to know. Also, Saitama realizes that fighting villains for fun has a few drawbacks.
[This volume includes bonus manga.]
THE LOWDOWN: As far as I'm concerned, the One-Punch Man manga is not a fluke. I can make this declaration so soon because VIZ Media is simultaneously publishing the first two volumes of One-Punch Man in print editions. In fact, digital manga readers already have access to Vols. 1-7 of the One-Punch Man manga via VIZManga.com and the VIZ MANGA App for the iPad®, iPhone® and iPod® touch, Android-powered smart phones and tablets. Those same volumes can also be purchased through the Nook, Kindle, Kobo, comiXology, iBooks and GooglePlay stores.
Anyway, One-Punch Man Volume 2 continues the out-sized fun of the first volume. This manga could be a text book on how to create humorous superhero comic books without mocking the trappings of superhero comics to the point of derision. The characters, especially the villains, are inventive and wild, and most of them are worthy of making repeat appearances. The fights are... awesome; I don't think another word will do.
One-Punch Manga first appeared as a webcomic created by the mangaka known as ONE, and it was a huge hit. Japanese manga publisher (and VIZ Media parent company) Shueisha eventually secured the publishing rights to the series and One-Punch Man was remade.
Now, the series artist is Yusuke Murata (of Eyeshield 21 fame). I can't imagine that Murata produces the art without assistants. The art and graphic storytelling is so good, so lush and detailed; this is some of the best superhero comic book art, if not the best, published anywhere in the world. Oh, how long until the next volume of One-Punch Man?
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Fans of shonen battle manga and also adventurous superhero readers will be knocked out by One-Punch Man.