Friday, May 28, 2010

Starcraft: Ghost Academy vol. 1

Written by Keith R. A. Decandido with Art by Fernardo Heinz Furukawa
Published by TokyoPop

Slugline: Brain panning is not an "This your brains on drugs" reference.

This manga fills in a missing gap in the Starcraft: Nova novel when Nova goes to the Ghost Academy.  In Starcraft, Ghosts are psionically powerful humans that are drafted to help keep the Dominion secure.  Nova is training to be one after suffering the the standard traumatizing childhood awakening of her psionic powers that both drives and isolates her.  But she is not allowed to be too isolated because the Ghost Academy trains in teams, and because of her isolated nature the others in her team suffer in their grading.  Things come to head when one of her teammates, a son of powerful political leader, helps create a situation in which another teammate who is a drug addict goes off the rails.  Though Nova helps her teammate and graduates to the next stage of her training, she has her memories erased of the incident and gains a new foe she does not even remember.

This is another title where the lack of knowledge about Starcraft handicaps the reader since it seems to expect that you already know background. This is made worse because Nova has already starred in a novel with the manga taking place in a gap in the novel.  As an example, some of the characters seem extraneous but if the reader knew the larger story their presence may make sense. The main character Nova is in a journey to be more connected to her fellow soldiers, but there is a moment of that journey that is missing. In the manga she realizes her behavior is harmful, and there are moments where she connects with the rest of her team, but there the moment in between when she makes the decision to change which is missing. While these are problems, they are not terrible ones since one of the purposes of the manga is to fill out the Starcraft backstory, so as long as it does that the manga has some worth.

Starcraft: Ghost Academy vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

1 comment:

Christopher Jennings said...

I am an avid fan of starcraft. An avid terran fanatic. I love the game so much since 2001 but I do want to know more about the new starcraft games launched by Blizzard. I just knew this post here by browsing net. You are talking about a story of starcraft in manga sequel. I see, I would love to follow this story up. Nice!