Monday, December 19, 2011

Pluto: Urasawa X Tezuka Vol. 3

by Naoki Urasawa after Osamu Tezuka, with Takashi Nagasaki

With each volume of this series I read, I find myself ever more drawn in to Naoki Urasawa's remaking of a classic Osamu Tezuka Astro Boy story.

This third volume introduces a few new story elements. Where the first two volumes were primarily concerned with police robot Inspector Gesicht's mission to track down whoever or whatever is attacking the most powerful robots on Earth, and the people who support robot rights, this volume gives the story more sprawl.  We are introduced to Adolf (not so subtle, the choice of name), a man who is part of an anti-robot KKK.

Adolf's brother was killed by a robot, something that is not supposed to happen.  Adolf has proof, in the form of the metal shell that was used - only a handful of robots can use such a device, including the intrepid Gesicht.  KR, the anti-robot group, is making use of a number of media outlets to try to discredit robots, and to further the Jim Crow commentary seen throughout this book.

Meanwhile, Uran, the robotic sister of Atom (Japan's name for Astro Boy), starts to help a homeless and sick robot who paints pictures of flowers on the walls of abandoned buildings.  This nameless character has a connection to Pluto - the villain of the first two volumes.

I like how Urasawa is still building his story almost half way into it.  His characters are rich and nuanced, and I appreciate the amount of time and space he gives to new members of the cast, so they can be properly developed.  This is a great series.

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