This week, Viz and Comixology launched what is probably the most overwhelming digital comic sales since... well, since last month, I guess, when someone decided that it was a good idea to put literally every Dark Horse comic on sale for half off. This time, its's a sale on action manga from Shonen Jump, featuring almost a thousand volumes, including popular series like Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball, Masashi Kishimoto's Naruto and Eichiro Oda's One Piece, but it's going fast. The sale ends tomorrow.
Jaco the Galactic Patrolman
I've never really been into Dragon Ball. I mean, look, yes, there was that brief period in high school where I was getting my one and only P.E. credit by taking a table-tennis class, and a friend of mine and I would kick off our shoes in the gym and claim that we had been using them to train in ten times Earth's gravity, but that was more down to being a couple of teenage goofballs than any particular love of the source material. I've seen the show, but I never bought a club shirt with Goku on it or anything, you know?
Even so, I was pretty curious about Jaco the Galactic Patrolman, a new manga from Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama. The only thing that was really holding me back was finding out that even though it was a self-contained story in one volume, it's tied into Dragon Ball, set in the same universe and serving as something of a prequel. I wasn't sure if I'd jump on, but then former CA contributor David Brothers offered to send me five bucks to cover the cost of the first volume if I didn't like it. It turns out that was a pretty safe bet, but I'm guessing he knew going in that it had a scene where a tiny spaceman punches out a monster shark.
Earlier this month the latest entry into Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball canon arrived in the April 7th issue of Shonen Jump, officially tying together the creator's most beloved series with his recently completed (and potentially final solo) work Jaco the Galactic Patrolman. Dubbed Dragon Ball Minus, the 16-page tale spells out DB protagonist Goku's alien origins and how his doomed parents sent him to Earth, the planet readers meet him in-progress many years-- and a personality-altering head injury -- later in the pages of the original Dragon Ball manga. The hook here is that the story shows Goku's mother Gine for the first time while cementing that Jaco and Dragon Ball take place in the same universe.
Was this story necessary? Not at all. Will you like it anyway? Totally. It looks great, never takes itself too seriously (or seriously at all!) and feels like Toriyama is merely picking up where he left off.