Harvey Hayakawa lives in a city populated by monsters, robots, aliens, witches, wizards, animal people, and, most frightening of all, New Yorkers. It’s his job to make sure the sun rises on the urban sprawl each day and not a smoking hole in the ground where a metropolis of millions used to be.

Harvey is BATTLE-BUG.
Japanese superhero.
New York attitude. 

Story

Battle-Bug by Hijack Press offers a nice twist to your classic superhero comic. The world Hijack Press creates is alien-friendly with wildly creative superheroes and supervillains running around causing havoc for the multispecies planet.

The story is comical and well planned out in each chapter. One thing that is unique about this story though is that each chapter is distinctly separate from the previous one. The only thing that really remains the same is the main character. It allows for the feel of a collection of shorts, but also demonstrates its ability to function as a longer format.

Unfortunately, by having distinctly singular chapters, Hijack Press has limited the amount of character development that can occur. However, there are ways to incorporate character growth even without overlapping content. This remains particularly with the main character, Battle-Bug, as he is the only one that is present for each chapter.

Looking at each chapter individually, Hijack Press does a wonderful job incorporating humour and wrapping up each event. Although relatively vulgar in nature with the excessive swearing, the humour is definitely present and adds the perfect environment to an otherwise dangerous world.

 

So graceful!

Writing

As mentioned, the story has a lot of swearing. Personally, I think the swearing isn’t always necessary, it could be lessened for sure, but it doesn’t really take away from the overall story. It gives you an idea of the type of character Battle-Bug is as well, which adds to his personality and helps explain his careless behaviours when attempting to help out the city.

One area that should be looked into is the amount of dialogue on some pages. At times, it can become quite lengthy to read. The biggest thing with this is unnecessary dialogue. There are points in Battle-Bug where a conversation feels like a filler and can most likely be cut out without influencing the storyline at all.

Yes, the puppy is cute. But when a page already has a fair amount of conversation, is this necessary?

Like I mention in almost every single review I write, watch for spelling/grammar errors. I didn’t catch too many, but just make sure there is someone to proofread for you so that they can catch those things you didn’t see yourself.

Art

As for the art, as a whole, I think that having a cover artist and a comic artist actually isn’t helping. There becomes a certain expectation when the cover art is exceptionally well-done. There are a few things that I noticed that Hijack Press struggles with in the comic art, but not in cover art. One of these things is proportions. Unfortunately, the artwork feels rushed or even incomplete in the comic art next to the cover art.

The comic art feels rushed and incomplete, with some proportion and angle errors.
cover art
Proportions are perfectly done in this unique pose found on the cover art.

The colouring in Battle-Bug is also fabulous because of how unique the colour combinations are. One thing I’d have to say is be careful with consistency in colour choices. There are some instances (particularly in shading), when they are different in sequential panels.

Unique colours

Careful with keeping the same colours throughout each panel. This rule also applies for shading.

Continuing with panels, Hijack Press does a good job making it clear which panel follows which and they remain relatively straight forward and simple. There are a few nice touches thrown in here and there that make a scene pop out at you.

 

The last thing I want to comment on and to end on a bit of a bang, are the action shots. Superhero comics rely on excellent action shots and Hijack Press does not disappoint with Battle-Bug. They have created gorgeous action shots by implementing unique colour combinations as well as clean paneling. The end result is a scene that stands out amongst others that is like candy for the eyes.

*O*

Conclusion

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading another superhero comic. I was a bit concerned at first since they seem to all be the same thing in the end, but Hijack Press managed to show a different twist to what you may normally see in a similar comic story.

Aside from the excessive swearing, the script isn’t terrible, and the art is on par. The unique colours are what really makes Battle-Bug pop out for me and definitely brings the intrigue. I look forward to seeing where Hijack Press continues to take the story.


Read Battle-Bug on Tapastic!

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