By Leroy Douresseaux
July 17, 2009 - 13:10
|Pluto Volume 4 cover image is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com.|
Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
In Pluto: Urasawa × Tezuka, manga-ka Naoki Urasawa reworks “The Greatest Robot on Earth,” the most famous story arc of the late Osamu Tezuka’s beloved manga, Tetsuwan Atom (Astro Boy). Pluto: Urasawa × Tezuka focuses on a supporting character from the original story, a very human-like, German robot detective named Gesicht. Gesicht investigates a series of murders in which someone or something is targeting the world’s seven most powerful and advanced robots (of which Gesicht is one) for destruction.
In Pluto: Urasawa × Tezuka, Vol. 4 (collecting Acts 24-31 of the story), the anti-robot group, KR, continues its conspiracy against Europol Robot Detective Gesicht. Now, however, they’re also targeting, Adolf Haas, the man they sent to kill Gesicht. The robot killer attacks Uran, Atom’s sister, so it’s Atom to the rescue! Meanwhile, it becomes clear to the parties involved that the events leading up to and the aftermath of the 39th Central Asian War hold clues to the identity of the robot killer. In a shocker, Gesicht is appointed Adolf Haas’ bodyguard; now, will Haas have his revenge against the robot that killed his brother?
THE LOWDOWN: Like Naoki Urasawa’s other manga, such as 20th Century Boys and Monster, Pluto is a mystery and suspense thriller that never stops piling on the mystery, the suspense, or the thrills. One would think that these constant astonishments and revelations would be tiresome, but what is actually vexing is having to wait two months for the next volume. While its characters are mesmerizing, Pluto’s achievement is in Urasawa’s superb execution of a magnificently designed plot.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Comic book readers looking for excellence will find it in Pluto: Urasawa × Tezuka.