Axel-In-Charge: Facing the 'Divided' Marvel NOW! Future
Viz Media has announced it will publish Battle Royale: Angels’ Border, a new graphic novel by Koushun Takami, author of the original Battle Royale novel. The two-chapter story is complete in a single volume and features artwork by Mioko Ohnishi and Youhei Oguma. It’s a stand-alone story about six of the girls who lock themselves in a lighthouse during the competition, and like all of Battle Royale, it deals with the precarious balance between the need to unite with others and the need to kill them in order to survive.
In the original, an authoritarian government transported a high-school class to a deserted island, gave them deadly weapons and instructed them to fight each other to the death; only one student could survive. Viz published the original novel in 2003, and this year released a new translation, Battle Royale: Remastered, under its Haikasoru science fiction imprint. The manga was published in 2003 by Tokyopop, which re-released it four years later in Ultimate Edition format.
Viz Media’s literary imprint Haikasoru has acquired a graphic novel based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s All You Need Is Kill, a new translation of Battle Royale, and a collection of essays about the hit dystopian action/adventure.
The imprint’s first original graphic novel, All You Need Is Kill is an adaptation of the sci-fight light novel that inspired the upcoming Tom Cruise film Edge of Tomorrow. In it, a new recruit for the United Defense Force is killed during his first sortie to battle invading aliens, only to be caught in a time loop that seems him reborn each morning only to die again and again. Adapted by Nick Mamatas (Move Under Ground) and illustrated by Lee Ferguson (Green Arrow, Miranda Mercury), the book arrives May 6.
In time for the 15th anniversary of Koushun Takami’s influential novel, which as spawned manga and film adaptations and numerous imitators, Haikasoru will release Battle Royale: Remastered, and The Battle Royale Slam Book: Essays on the Cult Classic Novel by Koushun Takami, a collection of essays by some of today’s best sci-fi, horror and thriller writers. Both will be released April 1.
“Battle Royale remains one of the biggest novels to ever come out of Japan and nearly 15 years after its initial publication, the controversy and discussions surrounding it continue, ” Mamata, the imprint’s editor, says in a statement. “Fans won’t want to miss Battle Royale: Remastered and the companion The Battle Royale Slam Book, featuring insightful essays by some of the West’s most important popular fiction writers and cult filmmakers on the global impact of the novel, the associated theatrical films and manga series, the controversies they caused, and the title’s place in the larger pop culture pantheon!”
Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O’Malley and artist Kevin Tong have created a movie poster for the cult film Battle Royale in conjunction with Mondo and Tugg Inc.
Mondo is the T-shirt/limited edition print arm of the Alamo Drafthouse, which creates really awesome but also really hard-to-get prints for various films. (check some of their past ones out right here). Tugg Inc., meanwhile, is “a web-platform that enables individuals to choose the films that play in their local theaters and create their own events.” Which sounds pretty cool, if you’ve got the time and energy to pursue it. They’ve recently added Battle Royale to their library, meaning you can create an event in your town and get your hands on some of these posters to give away at it. Or if you’re in Houston, there’s one scheduled for Feb. 16.
Check out the poster and the variant edition below, along with the complete press release.
Last week Marvel unveiled Dave Johnson’s terrific homage to the Battle Royale movie poster with his cover for the first issue of Avengers Arena, a series launching as part of Marvel NOW! in which 16 young heroes are pitted against each other for entertainment by Arcade. Continuing the brutal theme of child versus child, The Beat now has the first look at Chris Bachalo’s cover for Issue 2, a clever ode to Baron Storrey’s illustration for the 1980 Perigree edition of Lord of the Flies, by William Golding.
Maybe we should’ve expected more homages when editor Bill Rosemann dropped a handful of allusions in a Q&A last week at Marvel.com: “Avengers Arena gives a high concept itch a superhuman scratch. Throughout history, societies have sent their young adults against one another in competition, whether that’s in war, sports or American Idol. Likewise, art has examined this phenomenon of the older generation sacrificing the younger generation—and also of young warring gangs wanting to prove who’s #1—in everything from the myth of Theseus vs. the Minotaur to Lord of the Flies to Battle Royale to Starship Troopers to Survivor to Hunger Games. Teen vs. teen competition is as old as storytelling—but now it’s time to give it the Marvel twist.”
Perhaps then we should look for those Starship Troopers and Hunger Games (ahem) tributes with issues 3 and 4. Avengers Arena, by Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker, debuts in December.