Of Doctors and 122MM Canons
In “Jormungand Volume 5,” arms dealer Koko and her team are packing more than they bargained for when they are asked to deliver ten doctors into a war zone along with their usual weapons shipments. The doctors are part of a group called “Outspoken Doctors for Human Rights,” and are being smuggled in to provide emergency medical attention to the fighters in an ongoing battle. It is a tricky situation for Koko, because she is selling weapons to the army on one side, and delivering doctors to the army on the other side, and neither side is too pleased with her playing the middle. Things get hot quick, and Koko is going to need everything she has in order to pull out of the mess still alive and with her promised profits.
“Jomungand” is a high-flying action series heavy on the explosions and tough-talking, and Volume 5 is no different. It’s a pretty staple genre, the rag-tag mercenary bunch who gets into trouble over their head but are never in so deep that they can’t shoot their way out. Author Keitaro Takahashi doesn’t spend too much time worrying about the ethics of the profession of arms dealer but just goes straight for the “cool” with almost every page.
Not that everything is pure action. There are some interesting developments in Volume 5 involving the lusciously-bodies Valmet and the child-soldier Jonah. Koko, who lives mostly on the surface of her emotions, is forced to confront her feelings when one of the doctors compares her to the warlords who are her customers, although Koko just shrugs it off with a joke as is her style. Some of the team opens up about their home life and the path that lead them to joining Koko. But these are just a few pages in the overall comic. Mostly it is just guns. Lots of guns.
Actually a fun series, the only real issue I have with “Jomungand” is the art. Aside from the massed battle scenes, which are done very well, Takahashi is mediocre. The faces and bodies just aren’t drawn that well, and the eyes sit oddly on the face. The art is a turn-off when you first pick up the book, until you see a scene with Valmet blazing away with a machine-gun and think “Hey, that looks pretty cool!”
This book has a “Parental Advisory: Explicit Content” warning on it that it doesn’t really deserve. Aside from a few bits of bad language, there is nothing terribly shocking here. So don’t get your hopes up!