By Leroy Douresseaux
Aug 11, 2007 - 21:44
|Thanks to barnesandnoble.com for the image.|
In Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, Vol. 1, a doctor discovers that no good deed goes unpunished.
Dr. Kenzo Tenma moved from Japan to Düsseldorf, Germany to find the success as a brain surgeon that he couldn’t in his home country, but it has come at a high cost. He’s the go-to-surgeon at Eisler Memorial Hospital, but he writes the medical papers that the hospital director, Dr. Heinemann, presents as his own work. Kenzo dates Heinemann’s daughter, Eva, but she’s a spoiled daddy’s girl who cares more about appearances and material wealth than other humans.
One night, two children come into the emergency room at Eisler. The sister, Anna Liebert, is in shock, and the brother, Johan, has been shot in the head. It takes a miracle, but Kenzo saves Johan’s life, which earns him the ire of Dr. Heinemann and some of the other doctors. Afterwards, his career spirals downward and his life falls apart, and Kenzo comes to realize that the choice he made to save a life may have created a monster.
THE LOWDOWN: Although possessing some of the elements of a daytime soap set in a hospital, Monster is a dark, riveting mystery thriller that is as hardboiled Spillane. It’s a chilling horror story with its monsters set not as supernatural creatures, but set in the dark recesses of the human mind. Monster is such an engrossing, page-turner, that I have scorch marks on both my hands and eyelids. In the grand hall where the great manga rest, this title has already been guaranteed a place.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Those who enjoy the challenging reading found in DC/Vertigo titles like 100 Bullets and The Sandman will devour this dark, delicious suspense thriller meal.
Buy a monster at the Amazon aStore.