This week I’m returning to manga reviews with a review of the first volume of the superhero manga My Hero Academia.

Title: My Hero Academia, Volume 1
Story and Art by Kohei Horikoshi
Translated and Adapted by Caleb Cook
Touch-Up Art and Lettering by John Hunt

Available from Amazon.com.

The Premise

It is the future. Humans have started developing super powers to such a degree that 85% of humanity has some form of super power. This has led to the rise of super heroes in real life. Izuku Midoriya is not part of that 85%. Nonetheless, he idolizes superheroes, like this world’s Superman allegory, All Might. In particular, Izuku wants to go U. A. High School, where all of Japan’s main heroes went, to learn how to be a hero himself.

When Izuku puts himself at risk to save a powered classmate, All Might takes Izuku under his wing. Might was badly injured in a fight with a super-villain several years prior, and he’s no longer at 100%. His powers allow him to convey his abilities to a non-powered person, and Izuku’s self-sacrifice makes Might think Izuku’s the one.

High Points

Right out of the gate, this is a fully realized super-hero universe, informed by series like Wild Cards, Powers, and Astro City, but with the teen-friendly tone of stuff from the Early Bronze Age.

Also, the powers run the gamut of classics (like All Might’s Super Speed, Strength, and durability, or Izuku’s rival’s directed explosions) to new but logical (like the grandmotherly school nurse whose power is literally “kiss it all-better”), to impractically weird (belly-button lasers!)

Low Points

Some of the action scenes are a little busy. This is definitely one of the things color supers comics have over black-and-white – the coloring actually reduces visual clutter.

Scores

Originality: 5/6
Artwork: 4/6
Story: 4/6
Emotional Response: 4/6
Characterization: 4/6
Flow: 4/6
Overall: 5/6

In total, My Hero Academia – Volume 1 gets 30 out of 42.