Comic Review: Naruto Volume 1

NARUTO VOLUME 1

If you’ve read anything about me here at the To Watch Pile, you’ll know that I love my comics. I’ve been collecting for years and enjoy everything about them, but I insist that both the art and the story are of a decent standard.

It’s a medium that celebrates both and should do so.

Now I’ve mainly been a Marvel or DC guy, with a few dalliances into Dark Horse and some of the other smaller companies, including the mighty 2000AD and also for a while was grabbed some manga stuff, like the Akira collection, and now defunct company Eclipse used to do Robotech comics as well., and even occasionally, and for a reason opposite to my claim about liking both art and story, I’d get Shonen Jump comics just for the cool Japanese styled drawings.

Now I’ve not bought manga for years, but recently, due to an occupationally change, I have become in contact with HUGE anime and manga fans, and upon their say so I have decided to check some out. It just so happened, coincidently that the bookshop near my work started getting a pile of manga collections in: Sailor Moon, One Piece, Death Note, Attack on Titan, and this one, Naruto, which I decided to give a go.

Naruto tells of a neophyte ninja desperate to prove to a town that hates him that one day he will be the greatest ninja in the town, but first he has to graduate ‘ninja’ school and prove to all who despise him that he is greater than the evil force that’s living inside him.

This comics was published by Viz Media and as it is a manga, it does read from back cover to front, and each page from right to left.

Story: This first Volume of Naruto is all about setting up the story. It’s divided into 7 chapters which start at Naruto becoming accepted into the Ninja teachings and how he and two contemporaries, the serious Sasuke and dreamy, love-lorn Sakura start on their journey with their teacher Kakashi. This book also reveals the horrible secret that Naruto has hidden within.

The story is all about introductions and setting up but never becomes bogged down with them, and the story moves along a quite the clip. Writer/ artist Masashi Kishimoto has really given The main characters a variety of personalities, and they read nicely as completely different ‘types’ of people.

Score: ***1/2

Art: Madashi Kishimoto’s art is fantastic. It’s nice and simple and light and the characters are just ever so slightly cartoony, but not enough so it becomes a distraction, or do you ever not think they are ‘real’ people. The action is fast and furious and contemplative scenes are relaxed and understated.

Score: ****

WIRIA: I sure will: it’s totally cool! I’ve even already bought Volume 2!

Suicide Squad (2016) report


I have been a fan of the Suicide Squad comics since the eighties, particularly due to the presence of Flash Villain Captain Boomerang (he’s Australian, it’s national pride) and Deadshot, in the post Legends comics, though I must admit that other series’ that have come out I haven’t always been a fan of; I think I like those ‘non team’ books like this, and Marvel’s Defenders.

I was excited to see this film as I loved the cast, and looked forward to a new Joker as I have never been a fan of Heath Ledger’s portrayal in Christopher Nolan’s Batman films. 

Suicide Squad takes place in the emerging DC Cinematic universe, and is the third instalment after Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman (though I still believe that these films follow on directly from Nolan’s) and tells of a secret governmental task force run by a ruthless official named Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), and with boots in the ground control by a special ops soldier named Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman) which contains bad, awful, villainous occasionally super-powered people who are controlled by bomb in their necks, who are employed to do the dirtiest jobs… The suicide missions… That are too dangerous for soldiers to be sent to.

Honestly, I loved this film. Cast beautifully, shot like a super-slick modern day action film, and is pure blockbuster. I wasn’t disappointed by Jared Leto’s Joker at all, though the perfect comic Joker still hasn’t been done properly, and the rest of the cast, including Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Jay Hernandez as El Diablo, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, and Karen Fukuhara as Katana were bang on, though Cara Delevingne as The Enchantress was.. Well… A little lame,  though she looked amazing. Certainly a lot better than her 80s comic counterpart!


I know this film was tested and then went back to production to add extra bits too it, and there was really one issue with this film: the extra reshoots, whilst seamless, do have a point where one character reacts positively to a current event, that has already happened in his/her particular circumstance. It sat weird with me.

So it’s a big dumb blockbuster and if you expect anything other than explosions, tied together with snide jokes and a bit of sexiness, you should just stay at home. As far as I can see, what you see at the cinema now reflects what you buy at the concession stand: fast food for the mind, and if you expect an exquisite, healthy three-course meal, brother, you need to check yourself.

I do have to give a special note that a tribute to the 80s Suicide Squad creator, John Ostrander, features in this film, and as both a comics and film fan, I like to see that.

No doubt when the inevitable gigantic ultra mega bluray version is released I’ll give a proper review, but for now:

Film: ****