By Leroy Douresseaux
May 15, 2009 - 20:30
|Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka Volume 3 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. He investigates a murder mystery in which someone or something is targeting the world’s seven most powerful and advanced robots (which includes Gesicht) for destruction.
Pluto: Urasawa × Tezuka, Vol. 3 (collecting Acts 16-23 of the story) introduces a conspiracy against Europol Robot Detective Gesicht; it is the work of “KR,” a right wing, KKK-like group that is against civil rights for robots. Also, last volume, readers met the beloved Japanese boy robot, Atom, a very perceptive, almost human-like robot, who assisted Gesicht in his investigative work; now, Uran, Atom’s sister, enters the picture. Epsilon, the only one of the great robots that hadn’t yet appeared in the series, at last, enters the narrative. Finally, the title character, Pluto, makes his humble version of a grand entrance.
THE LOWDOWN: The simplest thing to say about Pluto: Urasawa × Tezuka is that it’s like Naoki Urasawa’s other work – 20th Century Boys and Monster: Pluto is a spellbinding narrative full of riveting reveals and exhilarating plot twists. The characters are mesmerizing. As good as the many elements of this series are, the characters are what make this story so appealing.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Comic book readers looking for a challenging, engaging, murder mystery like Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen will find it in Pluto: Urasawa × Tezuka.