The last pieces of Koko’s master plan are falling into place, but unfortunately for her team, she’s not spilling anything even to them. Not all of them are thrilled about the seemingly random kidnappings and the constant risking of their lives, but each and every one of them trusts Koko implicitly. The CIA is getting anxious, however, because they’re having a difficult time reading Koko’s moves as well. In fact, they’re having a difficult time just tracking and tailing her, as she quickly moves from place to place, collecting the pieces she needs for her ultimate goal. Poor Schokolade can’t keep up. Even Koko’s brother, Kasper, has no idea what she’s up to. Then things start becoming clear, but it’s far too late for anyone to stop her. First, Koko’s team kidnaps Dr. Elena Baburin, an authority on quantum optics. Then she travels to Osaka to meet up with Hiro Kisaragi, a scientist working on a quantum dot photonic crystal nano device, and invests an incredibly large sum of money into the project. She even promises a confirmed buyer. After that she heads to Miami to pick up one more piece – Rabbit Foot, an expert in quantum physics and computer hacking. She’s being held in Guantanamo in Cuba (in a ridiculously fancy holding cell, I might add). This particular abduction is going to be trickier than usual, as a high ranking intelligence official has called in a special group of Navy Seals known as “Night Nine” to take out Koko’s crew. They’re experts at night operations, fast and silent. Koko is exceptionally well prepared, however, and gives the Seals a small taste of Jormungand. The sudden and inexplicable victory baffles Koko’s crew, and when they get to Africa she’s finally ready to explain what she’s been working on all these years. Jormungand is a plan to assert control over all global logistics with the use of HCLI’s satellites and her quantum computer, and force peace on the entire world and end all war forever. Not likely to sit well with her arms dealing brother, and surprisingly it doesn’t sit well with one of the most loyal members of her team – Jonah.
Lots of stuff going on in this volume, as the series nears its end. In particular, Takahashi is nice enough to remind readers that her rag tag group of arms dealers are anti-heroes, if they can even be called heroes at all. They kill people and they sell weapons to others so they can kill people. It’s their job. Even though Koko is looking to create peace, she’s going to have to discard a lot of lives to get there. The characters are really beginning to realize that now more than ever, as Koko’s plans escalate, but they trust her enough to believe she won’t lead them astray. Unfortunately, Jonah, while he cares for and trusts Koko, isn’t about to let her become a monster for the sake of her big plan. Nor is he willing to become one for her. Koko’s disregard for innocent life is a bit terrifying, as is the way she so thoroughly believes the end result is right for the world. She is trying to create everlasting global peace, after all. With almost child-like glee, she believes in Jormungand and its ultimate goal. Despite her intelligence and abilities, it’s starting to feel like a child’s game, and no one around her seems to be at all concerned…except the actual child among them. Well, I take that back. Lutz voices some concern early on, but ultimately his belief in Koko makes him push any doubts aside. The art is nice and clear this volume, despite some very dark panels (as a large scene takes place outside at night), and Takahashi differentiates between Koko’s crew and Night Nine quite well, with Night Nine looking appropriately sinister. Some of the dialog gets a tad confusing, however, or maybe I just can’t remember all the plot threads. Like this CIA guy, Bookman, who seems to be working multiple angles and courting Koko’s talents for some reason. Overall, though, things are falling into place pretty much systematically. Except for that twist at the end, though honestly I don’t think anyone or anything is going to stop Koko at this point.
Review copy provided by Viz Media.