The Boxer is a manhwa series from artist and writer JH, originally published digitally as a webtoon. Now, the series is getting a physical release in English from Yen Press’s imprint IZE Press. The volume is translated by WEBTOON and features lettering by Adnazeer Maclangcom. Last volume, Yu put the chosen one, Baeksan in the hospital. Now, Yu finds himself taking up K’s offer to join his gym. The legendary coach sweeps Yu away and gives him a new hairstyle, a new place to live, and a new goal: to become king of the boxing world at any cost. But Yu isn’t the only prodigy in K’s gym. In fact, the other prodigies aren’t too keen on a clueless, scrawny newbie receiving all their trainer’s attention. Still, Yu may have bigger fish to fry―his first professional fight has been set, and he’s facing the infamous “rookie killer,” John Taker.
JH flexes their artistic muscle in The Boxer Volume 2. While the winding story is one that has me intrigued, and the characters themselves are enough to pull you in on their own, it’s the art that manages to truly showcase the strength of this manhwa. The way that JH captures the body and how it takes the impact of punches and deals with them is fantastically rendered.
Not to mention how we see Yu’s body change quickly over time. Yu’s emotive state, or rather his emptiness, is also captured starkly in a way that makes The Boxer stand out from other manga and manhwa. Additionally, this physical edition of the series beautifully captures the art. From paper-weight to being full-color, IZE Press continues to do the most to capture the intensity and beauty of manhwa art that makes them worth owning individually and outside of just the digital episodes of the webtoon.
My only issue with The Boxer Volume 2 is that it continues to change the central focus of the narrative and doesn’t capture the theme across each character. While the overall look seems to be talent versus training impacting who can be a champion, the jump between characters makes it hard to really capture the narrative at an even pace. In fact, Volume 2 seems worlds apart from Volume 1. That said, it doesn’t make it bad, just different, and once you can catch the heart of it all, it works.
Overall, The Boxer Volume 2 excites me to see what happens and where the story will pivot next. There are elements and characters that are rich to explore, and while we’ve just scratched the surface of them all, the narrative is set to dive deeper.
The Boxer Volume 2
Overall, The Boxer Volume 2 excites me to see what happens and where the story will pivot next. Some elements and characters are rich to explore, and while we’ve just scratched the surface of them all, the narrative is set to dive deeper.