XS Hybrid Vol. #02 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Dark Horse
  • MSRP: 10.95
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 1-59307-757-2
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: XS Hybrid

XS Hybrid Vol. #02

By Matthew Alexander     February 27, 2008
Release Date: September 05, 2007

XS Hybrid Vol.#02
© Dark Horse

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Song Ji-Hyung
Translated by:Jay So
Adapted by:N/A

What They Say
A gamer fantasy comes true! Unlocking a secret level unleashes a biomechanical virus and makes human hosts of skilled players, converting them from shut-in geeks to thuggish cool kids - Korean gangsters on motorbikes terrorizing the streets! But the virus has a secret agenda, one that spans the globe on the hunt for the most powerful "hybrid" humans, other kids with viral identities hidden in their brains.

This is the story of Chang and Mina, a couple of high school teens who like pop music, skateboarding, and movies. But lately they've had run-ins with violent attackers, and what are these robotic voices in their heads?

The Review
My interest in the XS Hybrid story was peaked by the end of the first volume. The art was good and some of the story aspects reminded me of Akira. Unfortunately, all the confusing portions of that volume have continued into and throughout the second book.

Chang is still living the skater life, Slash has drawn back into the shadows, and a new kid comes to the forefront to speed along the confusing portion of this story. Jin Hoh is a classmate of Chang and Mina. He’s a bit of a nerd and spends his spare time playing computer games. While playing a new game, Jin Hoh discovers a secret level that has a lot of rumors about it floating around the internet. Something he sees in the game begins to change his personality. He begins fighting back against school bullies and talking trash to Chang, who has helped him in the past. It seems Jin Hoh has always liked Mina but has avoided her because of her relationship with Chang. But with a new attitude and a strange inner strength, all bets are off. When Jin Hoh finally confronts Chang and tries to physically take Mina, it becomes apparent that Jin Hoh’s body has been taken over by some other entity. Much like the punk from the first volume, Jin Hoh has become a completely different person who recognizes Mina’s secret. An impressive skateboard versus street bike chase ensues with Jin Hoh obsessed with killing Chang.

Everything I found interesting and possessing lots of potential in volume one has only caused problems in the second book. We still don’t know why Mina is so special. Slash confronts Mina’s dad and talks about ‘Kali’ and reviving her and how ‘They’ have begun to move. Huh? Did I miss something, or not remember something important from volume one? Whether I did or not, the story telling just isn’t very tight in this volume. The translation, or editing, also dipped a little in this book as a few dialogue bubbles are missing a word mid-sentence. I just hope the third volume can get things back on track in a story that I still feel has some potential.


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jnager 3/13/2012 7:47:08 PM

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