Comic Book Spotlight of the Day: One-Punch Man vol. 1 – September 2015 (Viz Media)

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TITLE: One-Punch Man vol. 1

YEAR: September 2015 (USA release)

COMPANY: Viz Media

Story by One

Art by Yusuke Murata

When it comes to success stories of web comics becoming viral, ONE’s “One-Punch Man” is one of the well-known titles that have taken the world by storm.

Created back in 2009 and having surpassed over 7.9 million hits in 2012, “One-Punch Man” would receive a digital manga remake featuring illustrations by Yusuke Murata (best known for his illustrations for the manga series, “Eyeshield 21”) and would be published on the Shueisha’s “Young Jump Web Comics” website.

In September 2015, Viz Media released the graphic novel for “One-Punch Man” in the United States and in October 2015, the anime adaptation for “One-Punch Man” began airing on Japanese television.

“One Punch Man” is set in City Z and monsters have been appearing in the city causing massive destruction.

But standing in their way is a skinny, bald man named Saitama who also happens to be extremely powerful and can defeat monsters with one punch. But because he often wins all the time, Saitama has grown bored and is often trying to find more powerful opponents.

In volume 1, Saitama takes on Vaccine Man who wants to eliminate humankind’s constant pollution of the environment by eliminating humanity. He also takes on the strongest of the Strongest Brothers.

One day, Saitama comes across a cyborg named Genos who is taking on a lady who is also a mosquito and can suck one’s life dry. Should Saitama help Genos?

A friend of mine has raved about “One-Punch Man” for the past few years. Often telling me how it’s a unique storyline, it would be years later when I would read the first graphic novel from Viz Media and suffice to say, I’m quite surprised.

For the most part, you think of a strong super hero as your main protagonist, but the protagonist of “One-Punch Man” is a skinny baldheaded man named Saitama who doesn’t look menacing at all.

A person who became strong by working out constantly, he then lost all his hair an became super powerful.

And where most heroes are proud of their work, Saitama is somewhat wanting the attention and respect that comes with being a hero, but yet hasn’t received it. So, Saitama is an interesting contrast to the stereotypical hero who is typically a person that is athletically fit, has a remarkable IQ or tremendous skillset, but for Saitama….he looks like a normal guy.

As the first volume is the introductory storyline and how Saitama was in the past, before he lost his hair, the first volume shows how he and the cyborg Genos met each other and showing us how powerful person Saitama had become prior to him having any super-strength or power.

Having seen ONE’s original “One-Punch Man”, the artwork from the original versus Yusuke Murata’s artwork is night and day. I always enjoyed Murata’s work on “Eyeshield 21” but his work of bringing ONE’s “One-Punch” man to life is fantastic. It was Murata who approached ONE to redo the artwork and if anything, it had helped ONE’s creation become well-known internationally.

While I don’t like to judge a manga series from the first volume, for now, I can say that with its unique, humorous, action-packed storyline, I can’t wait to see how vol. 2 of “One-Punch Man” will turn out.

If you love action-driven manga series, definitely give “One-Punch Man” a shot!


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