“Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood” is the first part in the epic “Jojo” series by Hirohiko Araki. George Joestar adopts Dio Brando, a street urchin, due to being accidently rescued by Dio’s father. Dio is determined to replace Jonathan Joestar as the heir to the Joestar fortune. His scheming will lead him to a stone mask that has the ability to turn it’s wearer into a powerful vampire. Now Jonathan Joestar must avenge his father by learning to harness the power of Harmon. But will it be enough to defeat Dio?
A word of warning: the Stands don’t appear until part three, so some “Jojo” fans will be disappointed. That being said, this is a nice beginning to a multi-generational series. The artwork is a bit crude, but it is filled with lovely detail and exciting action scenes. The way vampirism works is cool and breathes new life into the genre. Dio’s an effective opponent, although his card carrying villainy gets annoying at times. His plan to take the Joestar inheritance would’ve been more successful if he pretended to be nice to Joe as well as George. That way, Joe would be taken totally off guard when Dio finally strikes. There are some cool historical references to Mary, Queen of Scots, as well as the obligatory shout out to Jack the Ripper. The ending is interesting because while Joe dies, he does manage to get his wife and unborn child to safety. Honolulu shonen fans should definitely get this classic manga.
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