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My Hero Academia: Team-Up Missions | Review

Cover of My Hero Academia: Team-Up Missions vol 1

My Hero Academia Team-Up Missions, vol. 1
By Yoko Akiyama
Viz, Rated T
ISBN: 978-1-9747-2155-9

My Hero Academia: Team-Up Missions extends the popular superhero manga with side stories in which the characters team up with each other and with professional superheroes.

Kohei Horikoshi’s My Hero Academia is a huge hit in Japan as well as in English-speaking countries, so of course its Japanese publishers have created a number of spinoffs and tie-ins. We have already seen My Hero Academia: Vigilantes, which featured a different, ragtag team of would-be superheroes; My Hero Academia: School Stories, a prose spinoff; and My Hero Academia Smash, the inevitable 4-koma (four-panel) parody gag manga. 

My Hero Academia: Team-Up Missions is just an extra helping of stories. The original My Hero Academia follows the adventures of teenagers Izuku Midoriya (Deku) and Katsugi Bakugo (Kacchan) as they make their way through UA, an elite school for superheroes, battling bands of villains along the way.

Kohei Horikoshi, the creator of the original series, has created a huge cast of characters with strong personalities and weird talents: Deku and his classmates, their rivals from other schools, the faculty, the other superheroes, the villains. So there’s plenty of room for side stories in this vast universe.

Akiyama does a nice job with these side stories, although the editors’ decision to include the original one-shot story means that the prequel and the first chapter overlap somewhat. In fact, the book is a bit choppy, as it consists of short stories and some extras that the author drew for various occasions.

The conceit of the book is that the school administration has decided that the UA students should work in teams with full-fledged superheroes. Predictably, Deku and Kacchan get assigned to the same team, and there’s bickering aplenty, but the two almost unconsciously set their rivalry aside when they need to. Together they help a man whose quirk is that he releases poison gas, and they assist Hawks, the fastest superhero, in outwitting an even faster supervillain. Other stories feature other characters from the series, including one in which Creaty, Ingenium, and Fatgum help a little girl find the person who saved her from an attack by villains, and another in which Melissa and Hatsume, from the Development Department, turn the routine chore of upgrading Deku’s superhero suit into a competition. 

My Hero Academia: Team-Up Missions is a fine entry point for those who haven’t read the original My Hero Academiaor watched the anime. The basics are explained in the front, and new characters are introduced as they appear. None of the stories are consequential for the main series, but they do fill in the characters a bit more. Akiyama’s art is similar enough to Horikoshi’s that the reading experience is very much the same. And now that Viz has slowed down the release schedule of the original series, these extras are a nice little extra for fans to enjoy while they wait for the next installment.

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Brigid Alverson About Brigid Alverson

Brigid Alverson, the editor of the Good Comics for Kids blog, has been reading comics since she was 4. She has an MFA in printmaking and has worked as a book editor and a newspaper reporter; now she is assistant to the mayor of Melrose, Massachusetts. In addition to editing GC4K, she writes about comics and graphic novels at MangaBlog, SLJTeen, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Comic Book Resources, MTV Geek, and Good E-Reader.com. Brigid is married to a physicist and has two daughters in college, which is why she writes so much. She was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards.

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