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Manga / Metroid: Samus and Joey

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Cover of the first volume.

"Fear is not something to be ashamed of. Even I get scared in battle- don't be shocked, Joey, it's true. But if you let your fear control you, if you just turn your back and run, then you will lose what's most important to you. In that regret lies shame. To ensure I don't lose anyone else, I fight, even when I'm afraid."
Samus Aran, Chapter 8

Metroid: Samus and Joey is a manga spinoff of the Metroid videogame series from artist Kouji Izuki (also known for Raiseman Zero and various Mega Man tie-ins) which ran in Bom Bom Comics for 17 chapters from 2002-2004, followed by another 12 chapters under the title Metroid EX: Samus and Joeynote  before ending in 2005.

Samus Aran is the galaxy's greatest bounty hunter, a mysterious figure in Powered Armor who appears from nowhere to slay mountain-sized beasts and topple planetary criminal empires, then vanishes without saying a word. Beyond the fact that Samus has accomplished dozens of impossible missions single-handed, almost nothing about them is known, leading even some professional soldiers to think "The Hunter" is just an urban legend.

After saving a boy named Joey, whose backwater colony was under attack by Space Pirates, Samus finds a young wannabe warrior begging to become her disciple. At first Samus has no interest in "babysitting" a naive kid, but she soon realises that his determination is genuine, and decides she can at least give him a ride to the nearest spaceport...

Samus and Joey is notable for depicting Samus from the perspective of a supporting character (Joey) rather than Samus herself, allowing for what is possibly the single most badass incarnation of the character in any official media. Joey himself manages to escape the normal hazards of a Kid Sidekick by developing potent Barrier Warrior powers, which are distinct enough from Samus's own abilities that he is consistently useful without stealing Samus's thunder.

The first part of the manga was compiled into three volumes (now out of print), with the first including a bonus retelling of the start of Metroid Fusion titled Rebirth of Samus. The EX arc, however, has never been republished. A complete Fan Translation has been created by Metroid Database.

On January 12, 2022, a surprise announcement was made by Kodansha that Samus and Joey would be re-released as an ebook on January 28, 2022.

Samus and Joey provides examples of:

  • 24-Hour Armor: Like in the games, Samus never removes her armor until the end of the story, even though this manga takes place over a longer period of time and includes Samus walking around civilian areas.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Zegan Doh, the #2 bounty hunter in the galaxy, challenges Samus for the position of #1. Samus has no idea who he is, saying that she never claimed to be the best and he can have the position if he wants. Zegan does not take this well.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The final chapter shows this happens to Samus when she enters the Animus and is granted the power of the white holes to stop the destruction of the universe. In the Distant Finale when Joey is an adult, one panel shows Samus still watching over the galaxy. However, Word of God is that she still protecting the galaxy from threats as a powerful bounty hunder.
  • Backup Twin: The Big Bad of the final volume, Greed, is another cruel Space Pirate leader from the same species as Ridley (implied to be finally deceased after the events of Super Metroid). He's differentiated mainly by lacking Ridley's Blood Knight tendencies, preferring to have his minions fight Samus rather than doing it himself.
  • Badass Cape: While travelling the wastes of the Demon Planet, Samus wears a cloak over her Power Suit. It becomes increasingly tattered over the course of the arc, eventually being reduced to a few scraps of cloth around her shoulders.
  • Bag of Spilling: In homage to the games, the Metroid EX arc begins with Samus having all her items stolen by the Greed Corps and used to empower its lieutenants, leaving her to fight them with only her basic Power Suit and beam.
  • Barrier Warrior: Joey's Field Knuckle equipment surrounds his body with a forcefield which protects him from harm, lets his punches strike harder, and which at full strength lets him project wide-area barriers stronger than Samus's armor. Near the end of the story he also learns to reflect attacks, and in the Distant Finale an adult Joey is capable of launching Rocket Punch-esque blasts of energy from his fists.
  • BFG: Samus hefts the launch mechanism for a continent-busting missile many times her size and wields it like a bazooka in order to shoot down its manufacturers' fleeing spaceship.
  • Book Ends: Joey's first and last missions with Samus both involve him sneaking into a Space Pirate base with the aid of a Paper-Thin Disguise.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Dangelo attempts to render Samus helpless by forcing her to fight with a broken Arm Cannon. She just beats him up with her bare hands instead.
  • But Now I Must Go: Samus leaves Joey at the end of the manga as she is the only one allowed to enter the core of the Animus, saving the entire universe in the process.
  • Chekhov's Volcano: Joey attempts to destroy the Megaroid larvae by luring them into a volcano... which turns out to be dormant. Then Samus shows up, and one Power Bomb later...
  • Costume Copycat: In chapter 12, an escaped convict named Dangelo tries to ruin Samus's reputation by attacking civilians while wearing a replica of her Power Suit.
  • Depending on the Artist: Samus shoots Power Bombs from her Arm Cannon or throws them by hand, rather than deploying them in Morph Ball mode as in the games.
  • Distant Finale: The end of the story shows that Joey has grown up to become an elite member of the Galactic Federation police, though like Samus he's become notorious for charging in regardless of orders.
  • Empathic Weapon: Both Samus's Power Suit and Joey's Field Knuckle are capable of powering up in response to their user's will.
  • Evil Knockoff: The Dominion's "Ultimate Warrior" project aimed to create combat bioroids based on Samus's Power Suit. The most powerful of these, the Integra, resembles a massive four-armed Samus capable of rapid-firing Power Bombs, but fails to defeat the original due to her superior intelligence and spirit.
  • First-Person Peripheral Narrator: While the story focuses mostly on Samus, it's told from Joey's perspective.
  • Flaw Exploitation: Samus tends to hold back her stronger attacks when there are innocent bystanders involved. Multiple opponents try to take advantage of this.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Joey towards Samus.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": In the Metroid EX arc, Samus seems really happy to get back her stolen Morph Ball, and activates it immediately.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: As in the games, "Ice Beam, then Missile" and "Ice Beam, then Super Missile" are standard tactics for Samus, but when they fail to defeat the Megaroid she resorts to "Plasma Beam, then Ice Beam" to induce thermal shock.
  • Mythology Gag: Samus's joy at regaining the Morph Ball is a reference to the Super Metroid 4koma series, which depicted Samus as a Cloudcuckoolander obsessed with round things.
  • Not So Above It All: While Samus is still undeniably badass and professional in this series, she gets her fair share of silly moments, and even cracks a joke or two.
  • One-Way Visor: Samus's visor is opaque most of the time, but occasionally reveals her eyes when she's feeling particularly intense.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Samus's arsenal is extremely powerful, such that she is reluctant to use her stronger weapons for fear of innocent bystanders being caught in the blast.
  • Power Fist: Joey's trademark weapon is the field knuckle, a force field that covers his two fists, allowing him to punch things without hurting himself.
  • Pronoun Trouble: While Japanese lacks gender-specific pronouns, Word of God is that everyone in the manga is speaking English and refers to Samus as "he". She just doesn't bother to correct them.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The galaxy at large seems to think that Samus is a man, something which she rarely bothers to correct. In fact she seems to be deliberately rolling with it in order to avoid being treated differently from other Hunters, and/or to make it harder for people to recognize her when out of her suit. Even Joey, who is around Samus constantly, assumes she's a guy until she reveals otherwise at the end of the story.
  • See You in Hell: One of Samus' favorite send-offs in this series (and variations thereof).
  • Showy Invincible Hero: Samus Aran. In just the first few pages, she jumps into a group of Space Pirates while performing a Badass Armfold, waits for them to draw their guns, then takes them all out in a single shot. When one of the remaining Pirates grabs a hostage, she taunts the Pirate into firing then runs up and grabs the bullets out of the air before they hit the hostage's head.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To Metroid: Other M.
    • Where Other M sets out to be more realistic than other Metroid titles and to depict Samus as a broken person, Samus and Joey runs largely on Rule of Cool and goes out of its way to make Samus a badass Ideal Hero.
    • While both stories include the element that Samus's Power Suit is tied to her strength of will, Other M treats this as a weakness by having it turn off when she gets scared, while Samus and Joey treats it as a strength by letting Samus power up her suit through Heroic Resolve.
    • Additionally, while Other M was infamous for featuring Samus out of her armor far more often than other games and emphasizing her femininity at every turn, Samus and Joey is notable for having Samus stay in her armor nearly all the time and treats her gender as largely irrelevant to who she is.
    • Other M goes out of its way to depict Samus as silent and stoic, and she rarely emotes. Samus and Joey allows her to run a wider emotional gamut, and she's constantly dropping one-liners.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Joey wants to use his strength to protect people like his father before him, and latches onto Samus as a role model. The irony of Joey unwittingly using a woman as his model of "what a strong man should be like" is not lost on Samus.
  • War for Fun and Profit: The Dominion, a group of "merchants of death" who seek to create new weapons by reverse-engineering Samus's Power Suit.
  • Wild Take: Joey and Diesel's expressions veer into these a lot of the time.

Alternative Title(s): Metroid EX Samus And Joey, Samus And Joey