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eatman coverEatman

  • Untranslated Pick of the Month

    The name sounds like a superhero comic, and the assumption isn't totally wrong. A series by young artist Akihito Yoshitomi serialized in COMIC GAO, EATMAN's hero is Bolt Crank, a man with a trenchcoat and strange powers. Constantly swigging gasoline and eating screws before battle, Bolt can eat machinery to save it for later, rematerializing it out of the flesh of his right arm. In other words, the screw Eatman just swallowed could reappear a second later as part of a .357 Magnum, a handheld radio or a tank cannon -- he's the hero who's never unarmed!

    Unlike most manga, EATMAN consists of self-contained short stories, and it's not hard to imagine them as episodes in the late-night, cult TV show which the series has spawned in Japan. In each one, there's a mission, a beautiful girl, and Bolt Crank himself -- shady explorer, mysterious mercenary and ladies' man. Gleefully inclusive, the stories draw their influences from everywhere, including royal intrigue, war, science fiction, cowboys, dragons and mermaids. EATMAN's mixed-up world is slightly noir (the anime version is modeled after European films such as THE THIRD MAN), but at the heart of the plots is the basic element of superheroes everywhere; Bolt Crank's ability to get out of any scrape, to accomplish any task, with a cool smile and his power to have just what he needs up his sleeve.

    Yoshitomi's artwork combines simple character designs with a complex screentoned backgrounds reminescent of BATTLE ANGEL ALITA, with an eye for machinery and big guns that's only appropriate to Bolt's powers. With its American and European influences, but a style that's distinctly manga, EATMAN isn't just another hero-wandering-the-wastelands story; it's got a flavor all its own.end dot

    Hyoe Narita
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    Eatman ©1997 Akihito Yoshitomi/Mediaworks
    ©1997 Viz Communications, Inc.