Miraculous: Akumatized

Miraculous: Akumatized
Miraculous Akumatized review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Action Lab - 978-1-63229-267-4
  • Volume No.: 4
  • Release date: 2017
  • UPC: 9781632292674
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: yes
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes

Regular readers of the Miraculous graphic novels will now be familiar with the system of adapting episodes from the animated series to comics. Rather than having them redrawn, Cheryl Black arranges stills from the animation graphics for Nicole D’Andria to apply the script, and here we have adaptations of ‘Dark Cupid’, ‘Horrificator’ and ‘The Mime’.

So why Akumatized? Well that’s the term applied to the converted state ordinary people find themselves in when transformed by the villainous Hawk Moth and set against Ladybug and Cat Noir. In the first story, credited to Régis Jaulin, it’s the unfortunate Kim whose Valentine’s Day takes a twist he never could have predicted. The arrows he fires after transformation break people up.

Horrificator is the title of a film being made at the school. As written by Fred Lenoir, it takes a genuinely horrific turn after Hawk Moth’s intervention, loosing a monster on the premises. Five writers are employed for the final outing, that number usually a recipe for disaster, but the story of Mylène’s father being screwed over while Ladybug desperately tries to recreate some film footage is the highlight. That’s due to the heightened emotional tension, and clever use of a mime’s talents.

As with previous outings, Miraculous seems very much modelled on the early Spider-Man with its high school setting, and pining relationships that never quite come together. Marinette really likes Adrien, who’s also Cat Noir, but he only has eyes for her as Ladybug. In the meantime others also have their eyes on Adrien, which affects the stories. It might be asked why a super-villain manipulating negative emotion concentrates so much on a high school, but that question rather answers itself. As in earlier stories Chloe really is a world class example of the self-centered narcissist, always the spoiled rich kid bringing others down, and it takes a whole class of well-meaning, nice kids to balance her contributions.

Lady Bug and Cat Noir’s animated adventures haven’t had the most prominent circulation in the English speaking world, but that shouldn’t put kids off sampling their adventures in graphic novel form. They’re sparky, sweet and fun.