Gangsta: Cursed. Ep_Marco Adriano Vol. 1 – Story by KOHSKE, Art by Syuhei Kamo (a J!-ENT Manga Review)
December 5, 2016 by Dennis Amith
If you are reading KOHSKE’s “Gangsta.”, then “Gangsta: Cursed. Ep_Marco Adriano” vol. 1 is a no-brainer. Violent, action-packed and an origin story worth reading!
Image courtesy of © GANGSTA. Kohske 2015. Syuhei Kamo 2015. All Rights Reserved.
MANGA TITLE: Gangsta: Cursed. Ep_Marco Adriano Vol. 1
STORY BY: KOHSKE
ART BY: Syuhei Kamo
FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shinchosha Publishing Co.
PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Viz Signature
RATED: M for Mature
Available on February 18, 2014
The man named Marco Adriano is a loyal and beloved member of the Cristiano Family, helping them protect the persecuted Twilight population in the city of Ergastulum. But he was once a boy codenamed “Spas,” raised as a Hunter and assigned to the Destroyers Second Group for a single purpose: to track down and kill Twilights.
Killing is all Spas has ever known, and he does it without doubt or remorse. Taught to believe he’s ridding the world of monsters, he sees the extermination of the Twilights as a necessary step toward making Ergastulum a safer place. Until the day when he’s forced to confront the horrifying truth that the real monster might be…him.
In this spin-off series from the hit manga Gangsta, Gangsta Cursed, tells the backstory of Marco Adriano.
In the city of Ergastulum, the area is full of thieves, whores and murderers. And as for the police, they are corrupted and chaos is king.
This is the setting for the manga series known as “Gangsta.”, written and illustrated by female mangaka KOHSKE. And while KOHSKE is currently working on “Gangsta.”, the mangaka has given artist and assistant Syuhei Kamo a chance to work on a manga and that is to tell an origin story of Marco Adriano and his affiliation with the murdering Twilights that are killing other Twilights.
What is “Gangsta.”?
“Gangsta.” begins with a prostitute being assaulted outside a building. Meanwhile, inside a building are two owners of the business known as “Handymen”, Nic and Worick, two men paid to take on assassination or difficult jobs that police or big business can’t handle.
As Nic and Worick are completing a job with the elder businesswoman inside the building, they see the beaten prostitute going inside the building.
The Handymen are then called for business with the police department and are sent to go after a gang leader named Barry Abbot (the man seen beating on the prostitute in the opening pages). Both Nick and Worick are hired by the inspector to eliminate him and his gang (including his prostitutes) as they are doing business in the restricted zone. They work out a deal that they can take whatever they can in return for killing them.
As Nic and Worick go after the gang and eliminated everyone including the gang leader known as Barry. They run into the prostitute and give her the opportunity to escape. But instead, the prostitute named Alex comes back and instead of killing her, they decide to take her (as in agreement with the inspector) and make her as part of the Handymen as one of their employees.
Meanwhile, as Alex continues to work for the Handymen, she tries to figure both Nic and Worick out. Is Nic an ex-mercenary, does he talk at all? Why does Worick wear an eyepatch?
One day, Alex sees a newspaper article about a massacre of the Arcangelo family 20-years-ago, all were killed except a 13-year-old boy who was 13 at the time. And the perpetrator, said to be a boy hired as a mercenary by the family. And Alex begins to wonder, can the two boys be Worick and Nic? Is Worick the missing boy that was never found?
In volume 2, a gang war seems to be inevitable as Corsica and Cristiano are engaged in a battle of outwitting each other and destroy each other’s families with the use of Twilights. But what happens when the Handymen come and Nic must take on another Twilight A/O.
And for volume 3, we learn about the history of Nic and Worick and how they met. The volume also provides valuable insight to the Twilights, the mafia families and the employment plus backstory of the hatred towards the Twilights.
In volume 3 sets up the storyline of what is a Twilight, volume 4 features a storyline in which the Twilights have become the hunted as anti-Twilights have infiltrated Ergastulum. Many Twilights are killed in the process but the Cristiano Family led by Loretta Cristiano Amodio, are trying to make sure that the Twilights are protected. And an important family for the Monroe Family which distributes Cerebret, essential to the survival of Twilights.
And as the Handymen are hired to protect them, what happens when a mysterious group infiltrates the Cristiano’s club and tries to massacre everyone including Loretta and those employed by the Cristiano and Monroe Family.
This could be the beginning of a major gang war in Ergastulum!
In volume 4, with the shocking massacre by the Hunters, word is spreading of what has happened to the Cristiano family and the Monroe family are put in alert as they know they will be next. Meanwhile, the sadistic hunters consisting of Erica and Mikhail have targeted the Paulklee Guild for their next massacre where Doug, Ginger and Gina Paulklee live.
Meanwhile, Nicolas worries what will happen to his love Constance Raveau and Worick Arcangelo does what he can to protect the Monroe family.
But more hunters start to emerge!
In volume 5, out of nowhere, two hunters come out and slaughters hundreds of Twilights. Could it be the making of a major gang war in the city?
In volume 6, with Delico Monroe finding out that his long lost sister was involved in the slaughter of Twilights, he, Yang with the help of The Handymen’s Nicolas Brown go to stop Erica, but they come across the other hunter, a young powerful boy named Mikhail.
In order to fight against the powerful hunters, Mikhail is given an experimental drug. But being the first test subject, will he survive from its first use?
In volume 7, Constance Raveau has been kidnapped and tortured by the Destroyers and now Marco Adriano is out for revenge. But will he be enough to take on the Destroyers? And who is responsible for the murder of the Twilights?
And this is where “Gangsta: Cursed. Ep_Marco Adriano” comes in. As it introduces us to Marco and his past with the murdering Twilights known as the Destroyers and showing us how he knows of them. And it’s because he was one of them.
The manga takes us to the past when the Destroyers went through their first massacre of Twilights in Ergastalum many years ago and giving readers an idea that the massacre that is happening on the ongoing storyline has happened before and it’s by the same people.
But how did Marco break away from them?
This latest manga by KOHSKE and Syuhei Kamo is an origin volume that gives us a pretense of who Marco was and his past before. And the people that was part of his life in the past.
With the release of “Gangsta: Cursed. Ep_Marco Adriano”, the past of Marco Adriano is fully explored.
Reminiscent of Frank Miller’s “Sin City”, where the world has gone corrupt and in the city of Ergastulum, a city overrun by thugs, gangs, mafia, whores and murderers, the police are just as bad and to make matters worse, Twilights, those with special powers are being massacred by a group known as the Destroyers.
Long ago, a massacre took place in Ergastalum and with “Gangsta: Cursed. Ep_Marco Adriano”, this first volume co-exists with the current vol. 7 from KOHSKE, as in vol. 7, we find out the Destroyers are killing Twilights once again and Marco is familiar with the people responsible.
With “”Gangsta: Cursed. Ep_Marco Adriano”, this is a big reveal that Marco Adriano was once part of the Destroyers and was involved with the massacre of Twilights, but the question is how he broke away from that group and who sent the Destroyers to massacre Twilights and how that massacre ended? But also, how did Marco and Worrick become partners?
These are all questions that “Gangsta: Cursed” will probably answer, as “Gangsta.” has a complex storyline that needs a lot of questions to be answered. And those answers are rooted in the past and so I like how this latest manga explores Marco Adriano and also other characters and their position way back then.
It’s important to note that this takes places when Marco and Connie were younger and before they were teenagers. How Marco was already a killing machine and how hostile Ergastalum was at the time and that same bloody situation in the past, has come to haunt everyone once again in the present (as featured in “Gangsta.” vol. 7).
KOHSKE’s storyline and Syuhei Kamo’s artwork is well-done and Kamo compliments KOHSKE’s “Gangsta.” artwork, so there is no major change of how characters look, aside that they are much younger in this graphic novel.
Overall, if you are reading KOHSKE’s “Gangsta.”, then “Gangsta: Cursed. Ep_Marco Adriano” vol. 1 is a no-brainer. Violent, action-packed and an origin story worth reading!
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