Golgo 13: Ice Lake Hit
March 25, 2012
Takao Saito – Leed Publishing – 1986 – 1 volume
this is actually volume 3 in the 4-volume Golgo 13 series published by Leed in the mid-80s
I’m still absolutely thrilled that I found new Golgo 13. Every volume just reminds me of how awesome this series is. To be fair, I have yet to stumble upon another story that is as much my flavor as the second half of the Galinpero volume in all this old English content. But every Golgo 13 story is special in its own way.
The first story in this volume, Ice Lake Hit, takes place in Canada. It opens with Duke Togo hunting moose, but of course he’s doing so with a high-powered rifle and tags one from 500 feet away. And not just one, but two, with a single bullet. Because he’s Duke Togo. This gets him in trouble with the RCMP because his hunting permit only allows him to kill 1 moose. He gets into further trouble when one of the police officers comes from behind and he instinctively breaks the man’s arm. He’s arrested, but luckily, word about him spreads and his target comes to him, hoping to catch him off guard while he’s handcuffed and detained by the police. This doesn’t work, and he escapes with his enemies’ female getaway driver. She’s the only one that can lead him to his real target, a defected CIA officer. The hit was commissioned by none other than the US Government. The ending is quite spectacular. “Will the helicopter be able to spot us?” indeed.
The second story is more investigative, where a distraught ranch owner hires Golgo 13 to find out who is stealing her horses and punish them, since the local law refuses to “waste time” doing so. In particular, she wants revenge for the disappearance and likely slaughter of her horse, Whitey, who was apparently the love of her life. So Duke Togo shows up in Texas to investigate horse thieving. The perpetrators are likely a gang of punk kids, but the ones actually behind the horse meat ring are more difficult to track down.
The latter story was my favorite. Mainly because the subject matter was so much different than the usual dire government emergency that most Golgo 13 hits wind up dealing with. The woman that commissions the hit fully admits that it’s ridiculous, and most people would laugh at her, but Duke Togo simply says he only judges people based on the terms of the contract, and says nothing about what he thinks of it. The strange direction it takes is also interesting. The horses aren’t just being stolen, but butchered, and their meat is being exported from the US on the black market. At one point, Duke Togo runs across the gang of punk kids butchering the meat from the bones of the stolen horses and burying their skeletons to hide the evidence. Plus, western-themed mysteries are always a favorite of mind, regardless of context.
The first story is a little more exciting though, and contains more of the expected knee-jerk awesome moments. And I like the Canadian setting. I think it’s only the third manga I’ve ever read that has a Canadian setting. Oddly, the other two – The Tyrant Falls in Love and The Recipe for Gertrude – were both things I read within the past few months as well. And all three couldn’t have less to do with each other, other than the Canadian connection. But other than that, it’s a fairly straightforward Golgo 13 story, exactly what you’d expect, and still awesome.
I am so happy I found these. I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying all this new-to-me English content.