So, after 28 years we have reached the final arc of Alita’s story in Mars Chronicle but has it been worth the wait? I've spoken at length about how the initial 9 graphic novel run of Battle Angel Alita was one of the finest sci-fi tales of all time but the sequel, Last Order, was meandering and overlong at 19 graphic novels. The first volume of Mars Chronicle showed great promise, taking us back to Alita's origin as a young orphaned 80% cyborg child named Yoko living on the war-torn surface of Mars with her friend Erica.
This volume resumes in the present day, three years after the end of Last Order. We catch hints and references to some of the things that have been going on the last three years, like Alita doing some kind of work for the Jupiter government, but what kind if work is left a mystery.
The first half of the volume is about Alita meeting up again with her childhood friend Erica, who has become bitter towards her over the intervening years. Erica then attacks Alita, who tries to stop her and not harm her as she just wants some information.
The whole volume is an intriguing read as it reveals more about Alita’s past whilst also heaping new mysteries upon an already huge pile. I read Last Order a few years ago and so my memory of all the events are hazy but this storyline seems more cohesive and focused than Last Order.
The art style is just as great as ever and the fight scene between Erica and Alita is kinetically drawn and as high octane as you’d expect from Kishiro.
This is a promising story arc so far and I just hope that the author keeps it tight and focussed, as that was what made the original series so great.