Creator: Kentaro Yabuki
Publisher: Viz
Age Rating: Older Teen
Genre: Action
RRP: $7.99
Black Cat v11
Reviewed by Dan Polley

In the 11th volume of Kentaro Yabuki�s Black Cat, bounty hunter Train �Black Cat� Heartnet has had his body regressed through the use of nanotechnology into that of a boy. Now Black Cat must help a girl who has vowed not to kill just for the sake of killing find her way in the world.

Unfortunately for Black Cat, his previous employer, Chronos, has two field agents seeking out the girl. When Black Cat is able to escort the girl back to safety, where his friends Sven and Eve are waiting, the group must come up with a plan to fight themselves out of trouble.

Two Chronos guys � Kranz and Baldor � follow Black Cat and plan a surprise of their own. They want the girl, who earlier had violently killed several Chronos members. And when they show up, they�re even more confident, seeing as how the girl is being protected by a young-looking boy.

As the violent battle breaks out in the middle of a hotel and pours over into the streets, the Black Cat is left struggling, his small fingers unable to pull the trigger on his gun with any consistency. For him, it�s an uphill battle in a fight against two guys who are certainly willing to kill a former Chronos member.

Will the band of four be able to make it out of the battle alive with the Black Cat�s struggles, Sven�s injury and the girl�s promise to not kill simply to kill?

That�s what makes this volume interesting � tons of action, but plenty of plot too, and enough characterization to make it a success. The Black Cat struggles in the new confines of his body, which isn�t as good as his grown-up one. And the girl, the one Black Cat swears to protect, must deal with internal demons and fight against herself � even if it means dying.

The characters in this volume are fleshed out beautifully and have enough evolve about them to keep the remaining mystery interesting and to keep the readers engaged.

The artistic style matches the writing perfectly. It�s up-tempo and delivers a punch during the most evocative fighting sequences. It�s well done and could stand on its own, if need be.

Black Cat is the story of a bounty hunter who�s encountered a bit of trouble lately. And it�s his good heart and faith that keep him � and the volume � afloat.

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29 October 2008
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