MANGA REVIEW | "My Hero Academia: Vigilantes" - Volume Thirteen
While My Hero Academia feels like it can go on for a long time, its Vigilantes spinoff appears to be in climax mode. Chaos is everywhere, in a way that’s got “end game” written all over it. And yet, with all of this madness, I can’t help but feel like Hideyuki Furuhashi is having some trouble with bringing Vigilantes to its final destination. This is very apparent in its thirteen volume.
Pop Step’s life is in danger, as The Crawler runs off to try to save her from Number 6’s clutches. He gets a hand from Eraser Head, but said assistance is only temporary. Meanwhile, Detective Tsukauchi attempts to calm the chaos down with his own interpretation of the law, albeit with some creative help from others. But it’s the fight between The Crawler and Number 6 where the real outcome of this madness will truly be settled.
There’s a lot that goes into the plan involving Number 6, one that requires a lot of exposition and monologuing. While these elements are near and dear to the heart of classic Western hero comics, Number 6’s presentation lacks the tension that makes these moments work. Only when Number 6 actually fights is when we see the real threat that he is, in ways that no words could ever describe. Because of that, it makes some of this particular volume hard to trudge through.
However, the mystery mob — now going under the name Anonymous — shows their threat in fantastic ways. How they slide in with the common folk, only to reveal themselves just as they’re about to explode, is pretty unique. It brings to mind the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man film, where Green Goblin pretends to be a distressed victim caught in a burning apartment. Only when it’s too late do they reveal their true selves. And then, the fireworks begin!
Once we finally see Number 6 fighting the Crawler, Vigilantes rediscovers its groove. The way the anti-hero and the now-super villain battle out is something that has made Betten Court’s art on-par with series creator Kohei Horikoshi’s work. The Crawler is no Deku, but that’s the point. He knows his powers, but only in complete distress will he find out just how much strength he has. And in his battle with Number 6, it turns out he’s got plenty of tricks up his sleeve, many of which he didn’t even know were being hidden!
But just when you think The Crawler has the upper hand, Number 6 pulls out new tricks of his own. How he mimics The Crawler’s maneuvers could spell doom for even the strongest of heroes. Because if he can imitate The Crawler so easily, imagine what would happen if All Might crossed paths with him! (As for the Number One Hero, his absence is explained in a pretty humorous way!)
It takes awhile for My Hero Academia: Vigilantes to find its groove in Volume Thirteen. Once it hits the sweet spot, the story delivers some great action with a few surprises thrown in. However, it can be a chore to read through some of these parts, especially when The Crawler isn’t center stage. Those who do so will be rewarded greatly, as the heat turns up quickly when Vigilantes lights the match needed to get its spark going.
Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media