Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Will Super Villains be on the Final” Liberty Vocational Volume 1 by Naomi Novik Illustrated by Yishan Li

Leah Taymore is just trying to make it through her first day at college without getting expelled. Liberty Vocational is the premiere college for training super heroes, but Leah isn’t so sure she can hack it. She has an amazing power (the power to manipulate atoms, the very building block of all creation!!!), but hasn’t quite mastered it yet. Meanwhile, there are dastardly deeds afoot as the world’s worst super villain is hiding on campus as the new ethics teacher! And worst of all, she totally has a super crush on an older boy and he doesn’t notice her at all!

This is a nice fun and light manga that will certainly appeal to shojo fans. I don’t think most fans of traditional super hero fare will be interested in this one, because the super heroing is done mainly for humor and there isn’t any ‘action’ in the traditional sense. It’s always weird seeing something like super heroes in shojo, because super heroes are usually bulky and muscular and shojo is filled with rail thin pretty boys with gorgeous hair. In fact the author originally wanted Leah to be drawn tall and muscular and her empathy friend Yuzuna to be plump, but the artist let her know that shojo has certain rules. I have to say that’s a little disappointing. I think the book would stand out more if the creators had been braver and taken risks. However, the jokes play out well, the main character is fun and likeable, a super hero school is a fun idea (if not terribly original by this point), and it should please the shojo die hards.

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