Okay, we know you’re thinking “Bloody hell, not another non-Japanese wannabe manga!” but hear us out.
Normally, we wouldn’t pick this up either; but when a friend literally put Poison Candy in our hands, who were we to refuse? We figured, what the heck, give it a shot. Frankly, we’re glad we did. It’s surprisingly good.
Poison Candy by David Hine and Hans Steinbach centers around teenage rock-legend-hopeful Sam Chance. Like everyone else in the world, Sam is infected with a virus called SKAR. In the immortal words of Douglas Adams, SKAR is “mostly harmless.” But to an unlucky few like Sam, it produces unusual abilities such as telekinesis and enhanced strength.
Oh yeah, and it kills you in about four months.
Sam’s life is turned upside-down when he is approached by Henry Raven of conglomerate Elektroactive. Raven offers to help Sam with his condition, but as expected, things aren’t always what they seem.
This manga feels like a cross between Fooly-Cooly and Akira. It has a grungy and unique look that doesn’t “try” to be manga; yet, it’s not quite western-style either. It’s well balanced between both worlds, and we would recommend it for someone who enjoys western comics and wants something to transition them into manga.
We can’t find too many flaws with Poison Candy. It has a few over-the-top moments that led to eye rolling, but those were few and far between. The characters are easy to understand, yet not archetypical. There’s just enough there to give you a little insight and depth. The story itself is also very well balanced between predictable and so-insanely-complicated-that-your-brain-hurts. Middle ground isn’t always a bad thing.
Overall, the first volume makes for a great introduction. The story will completely change in the second volume and beyond, so there is a slight twinge of doubt (thank you for that one, GunGrave); but if the second volume is as strong as the first, it has the potential for greatness.
-- Courtney Kraft