Battle Angel Alita - Last Order
Check it out- for fans of the previous Alita series by manga bad-ass Yukito Kishiro, this is an alternate ending that starts off around the beginning of the final book... right after Docter Nova blows Alita to smithereens in a boobytrap. The artwork shows off some of Kishiro's new techniques and skills, polished on his recent [Aqua Knight[/i] series, but still very much resembles the original style of Battle Angel Alita. He's begun using a variety of new techniques involving the use of computers and 3D as well... something that is gaining a greater a greater following in the comics maelstrom that is Japan (see, for instance, the massive amount of 3D work in Masamune Shirow's new Ghost in the Shell: Man-Machine Interface ). For those who worry about such techniques looking bad against the hand-drawn material, trust me... he does it so well that you won't even notice.
The writing is still a bit strange... Kishiro has a penchant for gobbledygook pseudo-science that goes straight over my head, but when the action kicks in he shines with the masters... the fight at the end of this first issue is a beautiful example of well-choreographed hand-to-hand fighting as depicted in panel-to-panel sequential art, and many an illustrator would do well to check it out just for that. His designs are still well thought-out and I like the variety in his characters... something many manga favorites lack.
The first issue of the new series is on the shelves now... I highly recommend it to any fan of cyberpunk, sci-fi, or fantasy martial arts. The plot may be a bit hard to catch up on if you haven't read the first series, but you can find any of those books at a Borders, not to mention your local comics shop.
And for those of us who enjoyed the first nine-volume series, this is an absolute must-buy.