Chronicles of the Universe

 CTWX   (Antarctic, 2005)

™ and ©2005 Rod Espinosa

Rod Espinosa has spoiled us. He may well be an American master of manga, but this volume actually collects work originally published in 2001. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) We’ve become used to Espinosa’s glorious art in color, and here he reverts to black and white. While it’s something of a step backward visually, Espinosa is still way ahead of the curve. Many black and white comics, particularly those with more elaborate art, suffer from a lack of necessary tones. Espinosa’s line work, while often intricate, is so skillfully executed that the absence of tones does not detract from the eye’s ability to absorb and enjoy it all.

There are technical glitches in reproducing these stories. For example, quite a few asterisks in the text have no corresponding footnotes. Additionally, the lettering in some of the installments is amateurish. Nevertheless, it is a readable story, a space saga more grounded in family than in ray guns.

An earlier, less polished Espinosa still trumps virtually all other American manga.

— Jack Abramowitz

From the Publisher:

Far away, in a world much like our own, there lived the Manowar Brothers, the greatest heroes the universe has ever known. They fought in many wars and, after a lifetime of struggle, won peace. But even as the Manowars retired to raise families, they realized that more challenges lay ahead. The United Empires Government, set up after the fall of the last of the great tyrants, has slowly deteriorated over the years. New and more powerful enemies lie in wait who may have allowed all the former tyrants to fail in order to fulfill a grand, mysterious scheme.

Collected here are three major stories of the Manowar clan and how they conduct their lives after their save the universe. It is a time of great peace throughout all of space, but in the distance an old threat looms.

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