Pure Vice vs. Pure Virtue. Can one win without corrupting the other?!
Reads R to L (Japanese Style). Pure Vice vs. Pure Virtue. Can one win without corrupting the other?!
Kurenai Doji: With girl and money troubles, life is hard enough for hgh school student Yamato, but then he stumbles upon Ultimo, a peculiar-looking puppet. Things only get stranger when Ultimo awakens and his archenemy Vice shows up. Will this be the battle that finally decides good versus evil, or is this just the beginning of a fantastic adventure?
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Stan Lee For over half a century, Stan Lee has been synonymous with superhero comics. In addition to co-creating countless memorable series and characters, including Spider-Man™, the Incredible Hulk™, and Daredevil™, he served as the former president and chairman of Marvel Comics. Lee remains a hugely respected and dynamic figure in the entertainment industry and continues to develop a variety of film, television and video game properties.
Hiroyuki Takei Unconventional author/artist Hiroyuki Takei began his career by winning the coveted Hop Step Award (for new manga artists) and the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize (named after the famous artist of the same name). After working as an assistant to famed artist Nobuhiro Watsuki, Takei debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997 with Butsu Zone, an action series based on Buddhist mythology. His multicultural adventure manga Shaman King, which debuted in 1998, became a hit and was adapted into an anime TV series. Takei lists Osamu Tezuka, American comics and robot anime among his many influences.
In this bizarre international coproduction, Marvel Comics legend Lee (Spider-Man; X-Men) pairs up with artist Takei (Shaman King). Lee himself cameos as a crazy inventor-cum-scholar in 12th-century Japan transporting two doll-like robot boys to his clients. Bandits attack and activate the robots as Lee reveals that one is an incarnation of pure good and the other pure evil, named Ultimo and Vice, respectively. Lee has invented the robots to discover, outlandishly enough, which is stronger, good or evil. Cut to present-day Japan, where average high school kid Yamato stumbles upon an inanimate Ultimo in an antiques shop. Yamato turns out to be the reincarnation of one of the 12th-century bandits, a good-hearted freedom fighter also named Yamato. Lee's premise is dead in the water, and Ultimo proves to be a laughably bad adventure. Ultimo's fights with Vice play out the empty old good versus evil stock premise of American comics. The book also captures several of manga's worst clichés. In one scene a school friend walks in on Yamato kneeling over Ultimo in bed; it's simultaneously a nod to unappealing erotic romantic comedies and yaoi. The artwork is adequate yet unmemorable—Lee's character is ridiculously manly and his caricatured face appears throughout the book, well after the joke has worn thin. (Feb.)
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