cover image The World of Andong Agimat: The Mystery of the Talisman

The World of Andong Agimat: The Mystery of the Talisman

Arnold Arre. Tuttle, $17.99 trade paper (232p) ISBN 978-0-8048-5545-7

Arre (The Mythology Class) redefines superhero tropes in this explosive tale of mystical antiheroes who protect the gritty streets of Manila. Maria, a nature goddess who’s lost her human lover and forgotten her own identity, gets taken by the demon Zolgo. Brooding, violent ex-gang-leader Fernando “Ando” Asedillio teams up with his own former love, Silang, among a team of supernatural helpers, in order to rescue Maria. Together they race to stop Zolgo before he can use the goddess’s powers to serve a chaotic plague he’s spreading via members of his growing cult. Wielding a mystical talisman, Ando wards off low-level enemies, defeats the demon, and reunites the lovers. Arre’s dynamic use of motion lines and detailed, frenetic black-and-white art creates tension and keeps the pace up, while the ricochet of English and Tagalog dialogue and wall-to-wall panel saturation immerses readers into the noirish Manila street scenes and disorienting but thrilling action arcs, which recall the perversions of Sin City as much as Dark Knight–style vigilante sequences. Arre, one of the Phillipines’ master cartoonists, weaves his magic yet again. (Mar.)