Tomo #3: Child of Destiny

Tomo #3: Child of Destiny (2008)
by Zondervan
160 Pages - Black and White [ Action / School Life ]

Writer - Jim Krueger
Artist - Ariel Padilla

Publisher summary: Discoveries about the past, deceptions at school, and divisions in the kingdom–what a day! Hana finds out she's more than just a good fighter and a true friend–she learns how her coming into Argon Falls fulfills a prophecy. Tomo reveals Hana's past to her, telling about her parents and the mysterious stranger responsible for the warfare in this other dimension. And while Hana deals with Argon Falls, Brittany covers for her at school, setting out to clear Hana's name.

Reviewer: UC Pseudonym | Contact | 31 March 2008

The third volume of Tomo continues the general style and form of the series. Those who were hoping for a significant advancement of the plot will be disappointed, but it will satisfy anyone who wanted more backstory. With all but a few elements of the plot explained, it seems likely that things will move more quickly for the remainder of the series.

As far as art goes, there is next to nothing new to say. I was struck in this volume by the fact that the series has very good panel balance and use of larger panels. It has made the choice not to have flashbacks framed in black, as is common in manga, but this doesn’t hinder anything.

With less action comes more characterization, which varies across the board. I found Hana seemed a bit immature in this volume, but I don’t think this is calculated and it probably won’t be a problem in the future. Adath continues to be a good villain, showing a moral code that is clearly skewed but not wholly evil.

Jou is also made more complex. His unforgiving attitude adds depth to his character and seems completely realistic for his character, given his age and culture of origin. Unfortunately, there is no such ambiguity for Urn’ado, who reprises his role as the guy voted “Most Likely to be a Villain” by his graduating class. Still, we know little about him and things will likely improve as he enters the plot more fully.

In terms of theology, this volume mainly raises questions as to how the Christian elements relate to the fantasy. Metaphor or allegory seem to be out, but religion has been little-mentioned in Argon Falls (except the Armor, but my comments regarding it are nothing new). The King has a vision, but the source of it is left unaddressed. At this stage readers can still only guess at the overall religious framework for the story.

By this point, you have probably made your decisions about the individual series. Anyone who is following Tomo will want to pick up the third volume, not so much because of anything extraordinary it contains but because it is a necessary link in the overall story.

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