Johnny Bullet
Fire Punch: Volume 1 manga review
By Leroy Douresseaux

February 14, 2018 - 06:31

Publisher(s): Viz Media
Writer(s): Tatsuki Fujimoto, Christine Dashiell
Artist(s): Tatsuki Fujimoto
Letterer(s): Snir Aharon
ISBN: 978-1-4215-9717-1
$12.99 U.S., $17.99 CAN, £8.99 UK, 208pp, B&W, paperback
Rating: M (Mature)

Fire Punch Graphic Novel Volume 1 cover image

Rated “M” for “Mature”

Agni and Luna are siblings.  Like “the Ice Witch,” they are among “The Blessed,” people born with abilities to perform miracles.  Not all of “The Blessed” are friendly.  Some are murderers, like the man who destroys Agni and Luna's village.

Fire Punch, Vol. 1 (Chapters 1 to 4) opens on a world of ice and cold.  It wasn't always that way, until “the Ice Witch” made it so.  Agni walks this world, an instrument of revenge – a walking thing of fire and regeneration.  In the city of Behemdorg, he will find his target.

THE LOWDOWN:  The Fire Punch manga opens with surprises.  It is a tough-minded, dystopian thriller that goes in unexpected directions.

Fire Punch Graphic Novel Volume 1 introduces a world that is icy and snow-covered, but this unrelenting whiteness is not “as pure as the driven snow.”  Creator Tatsuki Fujimoto offers four chapters that are edgy and a narrative that is so mercurial that it challenges the author's breakdown of this story into chapters.  Initially, Fire Punch feels likes a juvenile fantasy, but it takes a violent turn and becomes a cold-blooded thriller.

I think that the characters will dominant this narrative, which is now dominated by this series' muscular settings and tough environments.  These characters are dangerous, and Fujimoto delights in making everything about them unexpected.  When it comes to surprises, this story continually delivers a Fire Punch to the gut.  Seriously, Fire Punch is dark, invigorating, and startling and it makes an early bid as one of the best comics of 2018.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Readers looking for dystopian science fiction manga will want to to try VIZ Signature's Fire Punch.

9 out of 10

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