XS Hybrid Vol. #03 (Mania.com)

By:Matthew Alexander
Review Date: Friday, April 25, 2008
Release Date: Wednesday, December 05, 2007



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Song Ji-Hyung
Translated by:Dark Horse Comics
Adapted by:Dark Horse Comics

What They Say
Huin Chang and Mina have known each other since they were kids, growing up like brother and sister. Chang has always been Mina's protector. But as the story of the mysterious biomechanical viruses inside their brains continues to develop, one begins to wonder if the two might be together for a greater purpose.

It could be the world hanging in the balance. Maybe it's a secret weapon, the likes of which could topple the power structure of our planet's body politic. These facts have yet to see light. Until then, the street fights and frantic fracases continue, through malls and subways, on sidewalks and staircases.

The Review
Personally, I think a story with Akira undertones and Matrix-like situations would be a kick-ass story. Unfortunately, Ji-Hyung just can't pull it all together. I'm sure in his head everything makes perfect sense, but for the reader it is like chapters of the story are missing.

From what I understand so far, Mina is some kind of special (alien?) being that can help society become a utopia. Only she does not seem to be aware of this. Her father is her direct protector/caregiver, Slash is her 'Keanu/Neo' guardian, a strange unnamed group is out to capture her, Phantom is a secret organization trying to figure out why the other organization wants her, and Chang is her childhood friend that seems to have an alter ego geared to protect her. Somehow there seems to be an alien presence or perhaps two different alien groups that can take control of humans and use them to either protect or attack Mina.

This volume gives a little more information about the forces opposing each other, but not much. Slash finally confronts Mina in an attempt to awaken her memory. Then he feeds Chang the idea that something is hiding inside him, something that awakens when it is necessary to protect Mina. None of this goes very far before Mina is kidnapped by the unnamed organization, leaving Slash and Chang racing to her rescue.

As I mentioned earlier, this series is just a little too confusing to make it enjoyable. This is too bad because the art is quite good and the story premise has a lot of potential. However, I am most disappointed with the English adaptation for this volume. It is most accurately described as horrible. The dialogue is choppy, missing words, and just plain difficult to read. What this series really needs is a bonus section with all the character descriptions and a story synopsis for the dumber readers like myself. In the end XS Hybrid is not at the top of my Korean must read list.



Mania Grade: C-
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translatin Rating: D+
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: Dark Horse
MSRP: 10.95
Pages: 192
ISBN: 1-59307-758-7
Size: B6
Orientation: Left to Right
Series: XS Hybrid