The question hanging over this continuation of The Rule of Kidnapping is how seven guys on motorcycles are going to deal with a hjijacked plane. The answer is very clever, but no motorcycles are involved, and considering they’ve been the thrust of the series since the start, that’s unsatisfying. The bikes come back into play in the second of these longer than usual chapters, but not very effectively, and that’s really it for them until the final few pages.

The Rule of Kidnapping has moved Wild 7 some distance from the bike-led thriller Mikiya Mochizuki supplied over the first four volumes, and he continues the switch of emphasis, accentuating the political complications of the real world. In that world a gang of vigilante bikers would quickly be neutered. Where he’s true to the original concept is that this volume returns Hiba to solo action, outraged at political expedience and determined to sort out the situation personally. We can assume he succeeded, but only those able to read Japanese will know for sure as a seventh Wild 7 paperback was solicited by Comics One, but seemingly never published. This is weaker overall compared with the earlier stories, as Mochizuki seems to be thrashing around for a direction, the chapters varying in tone from charming romance to political thriller, but never really focussing adequately on the Wild 7 members.

In the original Japanese Wild 7 runs to 48 volumes, so the bulk of the series has never been seen in English. It’s proved immensely popular when adapted, once for a TV show in 1972, two animations and a 2011 film.