Monday, June 20, 2022

Review: Sci-Fu Vol.2: It Takes 2 by Yehudo Mercado

It's graphic novel time! Today's read is the second in the Sci-Fu series, and nope, I did not read the first one (of course not). I loved the name of this one because it promises a fun mix. I don't think there are many science fiction-kung-fu reads out there, are there? Add the toss in of music, and originality is guaranteed.

Are you ready for this one? 

by Yehudo Mercado
Oni Press
Middle Grade Science Fiction
Graphic Novel
160 pages
ages 8 to 12

Wax, aspiring DJ and sci-fu master-in-training, made it back safely from the alien robot planet of Discopia, where he defeated the Five Deadly Dangers and became the rightful king of Discopia. He doesn’t want the crown, though. He just wants things to go back to normal. Wax and his crew thought the robot trouble was behind them, but strange creatures have been showing up in Brooklyn, and Wax is determined to take care of them once and for all. Little does he know, there’s a new villain in Discopia, and she’ll do anything to take the crown from Wax. Wax starts to worry he doesn’t have what it takes to protect his family, friends, and all of Brooklyn from the new threats. Wax will need to kick his hip-hop and sci-fu training into high gear—and learn to rely on his family and friends for help—if he’s going to have a shot at saving his neighborhood.



This book requires the reader to take a big, deep breath before diving in because once the tale begins, it zooms through with action and colorful graphics non-stop.

Wax is now the King of Discopia, since he defeated the Five Deadly Dangers on the robot planet, and with things quieted down, he's returned to Brooklyn. There, normal life isn't settling in as he's fighting alien creatures, who keep popping up. Little does he know that a powerful, evil alien has escaped prison and is determined to destroy him. He needs to power-up his skills, which means hard work and a little patience...and that still might not be enough if he can't learn to rely on those around him, too.

Hip-hop, Kung-fu, and aliens rule in these pages, and Brooklyn is the perfect setting for everything. Throw in the alien planet/place Discopia, and it's quite the mix of settings and scenes. And that's only the beginning as robot aliens create dangerous beasts with amazing powers, who keep popping up and attacking, too. And Wax's own parents are stuck in an odd predicament (which has nothing to do with any of this) on the other side of the world. To say that nothing is calm and normal, is an understatement.

The graphics are as colorful and energized as the building blocks of the story and carry the same racing atmosphere. Each character is uniquely presented and carries tons of personality and quirks. These graphics are well done and make sure the visual make that non-stop pace hold the whole way through.

The heart of the story circles around Wax's need to take the time and effort to improve his skills, and to learn that he needs to let his friends work with him. There is quite the gang to assist him as not only his only siblings are involved and bring along their own unique talents but also childhood friends as well as new ones he met on his first adventure. There's a lot of back and forth between them, which gives life on that end too. A few of the interactions hit and went a bit too sudden and disconnected, but all in all they were fun.

The text is age appropriate and keeps the pacing up. More than a little of this is written as rap, which didn't flow as well as it could have (probably much better if audio) and came across a bit cheesy at times. But, on the other hand, it adds zest and character...just a little too heavy. I believe this would work better in audio/visual form than on the written page.

This is definitely an energy packed graphic novel with tons of unique aspects. It's fun, humorous and even holds some heart. It also ends on a cliff-hanging note, which means a third book is on its way.

And here he is...

From legendary cartoonist Yehudi Mercado comes the much-anticipated followup to his hit Sci-Fu: Kick it Off. With a second volume jam-packed with all kinds of hip-hop, sci-fi, and kung-fu goodness, Sci-Fu: It Takes 2 spins the perfect track of friends working together to protect their home.

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