Noblesse, Vol. 1

Wattpad/WEBTOON Unscrolled. (Noblesse). Oct. 2023. 288p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781998854011; pap. $18.99. ISBN 9781990778940.
Gr 7 Up–After 820 years of slumber, the Noblesse Rai awakens to a world much changed. Quickly, he reunites with his loyal servant Frankenstein, joins a Korean high school, and learns from a group of teens. But other parties won’t let him enjoy those everyday pleasures long, for when his young friends are threatened, he acts. Volume one of this WEBTOON print publication acts as a warm-up to a thrilling action series with vampires and organizations all vying for power. Rai’s education about and appreciation of humanity provides not only his motivation, but a slice-of-life counterbalance with fish-out-of-water comedic bits. Whatever the circumstance, the creators stay true to this character-centric appeal. Even the hooks are based around questions of their pasts. The art, which improves as the series progresses, explains Noblesse’s popularity to some degree. With good-looking characters and striking supernatural action sequences, this is the real world meets hyper-cool. The new Unscrolled panel layout flows well, using gutters to replicate the intended reading pace. However, it can be detrimental to the action’s impact.
VERDICT For an injection of “cool” in the collection, this popular manhwa already has its fans and will easily call to those who relish supernatural battles.

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