Review by: Clive Owen
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Rei Hiroe
Genre: Graphic Novel (VIZ Signature)
MSRP: $12.99 US
Rating: M (Mature)
Release Date: Available Now
Greenback Jane and the gunslinger maids … it’s a busy time for the Lagoon Traders.
Every now and then, a clueless soul enters Roanapur thinking that there are laws to protect them and that common sense rules supreme only to be rudely awakened by the fact that in Roanapur these things don’t even exist. It’s a place where the dead walk and where bullets speak louder than words and where the local church would rather see you dead than lend a helping hand. In Volume 6 of Black Lagoon, two major events prove that Roanapur is a definitely one of the more exciting and dangerous places to visit.
Somewhere in the city of Roanapur, a talented and dedicated counterfeiter named Janet Bai (better known as Jane) who has been working for the Nuevo Laredo cartel creating counterfeit American green so precise that the bills look like they were officially minted back in the United States. The problem is that Jane is a bit of a perfectionist and quickly angers her employers to the point that the man in charge (named Mister Elvis) shoots her data manager. Jane goes on the run and the first place she looks for protection is a church. Oh but this is no ordinary church … it’s the rip-off church where the “nun” named Eda is sharing a hard drink with Revy.
Within seconds, her pursuers arrive and – having come from Florida – begins shooting up the church which brings the wrath of the Sisters down on the poor fools. Mister Elvis definitely learns the hard way that in Roanapur there are some people and places you do not cross. They’re lucky they escape with their lives. Jane asks the church for help while setting an outrageous compensation fee hardly worth the effort, but Eda has a trick up her sleeve that actually works and so Jane ends up accepting Eda and the Lagoon Traders’ aid.
On the other end, though, the cartel asks their “trouble shooter” named “Groovy Guy” Russell to round up some assassins to take on Eda and the Lagoon Traders to get Jane back. The cowboy picks an assortment of professionals such as a Goth girl named Sawyer the Cleaner, a fancy shooter named Lotton the Wizard, Claude “Torch” Weaver and Shenhua (the freelance assassin Revy and Rock met in Volume 3). These assassins come knocking on the offices of the Lagoon Traders and a fierce firefight breaks out with Eda, Revy, Rock and Jane struggling to stay alive. With all these professionals at work, things certainly get crazy.
Even when the four make it to Benny’s boat, the survivors manage to climb on to the Black Lagoon for a final showdown as Revy takes on “Torch” and his flamethrower and Eda takes on “Groovy Guy.” Speaking of Eda, the cowboy makes an interesting connection and finally reveals something about the nun that is actually quite surprising and will, hopefully, come up at some point later on in the series. Overall, these few chapters are one of the more exciting moments.
In the next story, however, we find a return to the killer maid Roberta as she witnesses the demise of her employer and the man who had given her a second chance in life. With Venezuela in bad shape thanks to a new government change, war is waged on Colombian drug cartels and the victim is a man who had taken Roberta in when she had no place to go and was hunted by the authorities. So, in an effort to repay the debt she owes the Lovelace family, Roberta sets off to Roanapur.
When rumors of the crazy maid are whispered throughout Roanapur, everyone is on alert … as is Revy who is still itching for another fight with Roberta. Rock is quick to point out that her first visit to the dangerous city had a meaning behind it but what was the purpose of this visit? Before questions can be answered and sense made out of the maid’s reappearance, a cute young maid shows up. We thought Roberta was one mean killing machine but Fabiola Iglesias is just as fierce. It’s great to see Roberta again and another killer maid just makes this new story line even more enticing to the point that we cannot wait for Volume 7.
Once again, Rei Hiroe tops himself with Black Lagoon, Volume 6, that simply raises the bar in terms of the action and storytelling that will have you on the edge of your seat. The chapters ooze coolness from each page and never losing sight of the plot and the characters that make this action manga so unique. This is definitely a volume you need to pick up, Black Lagoon fans.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
A master counterfeiter named Jane manages to piss off the men who hired her and makes a run for it only to find herself asking the rip-off church for help only to involve the Lagoon Traders in a fight against vicious assassins. In the next story, the killing machine that is the maid called Roberta is out for bloody revenge and back in Roanapur.
There’s plenty of action in this volume and it all looks spectacular enough to splash across the panels in true Rei Hiroe fashion. He definitely makes action scenes look amazing.
Pushing the action envelope to its fullest, Volume 6 of Black Lagoon is back to its bullet-fueled mayhem and you’ll love every panel. There are some exciting moments in this one and there are some returning characters that will make this one volume you won’t forget too soon. We already can’t wait for the next one.