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Ultimo. Volume 1
Takei, Hiroyuki
Teen Fiction TAKEI

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In this bizarre international coproduction, Marvel Comics legend Lee (Spider-Man; X-Men) pairs up with artist Takei (Shaman King). Lee himself cameos as a crazy inventor-cum-scholar in 12th-century Japan transporting two doll-like robot boys to his clients. Bandits attack and activate the robots as Lee reveals that one is an incarnation of pure good and the other pure evil, named Ultimo and Vice, respectively. Lee has invented the robots to discover, outlandishly enough, "which is stronger, good or evil." Cut to present-day Japan, where average high school kid Yamato stumbles upon an inanimate Ultimo in an antiques shop. Yamato turns out to be the reincarnation of one of the 12th-century bandits, a good-hearted freedom fighter also named Yamato. Lee's premise is dead in the water, and Ultimo proves to be a laughably bad adventure. Ultimo's fights with Vice play out the empty old good versus evil stock premise of American comics. The book also captures several of manga's worst cliches. In one scene a school friend walks in on Yamato kneeling over Ultimo in bed; it's simultaneously a nod to unappealing erotic romantic comedies and yaoi. The artwork is adequate yet unmemorable-Lee's character is ridiculously manly and his caricatured face appears throughout the book, well after the joke has worn thin. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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