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Pluto: Urusawa & Tezuka Vol. 1

by Naoki Urusawa, Osamu Tezuka and Takeshi Nagasaki

Publisher: Viz

Format: Softcover, 6x8, black & white, $12.99

ISBN: 978-1-4215-1918-0

Reviewed by: Library Journal

In manga master Tezuka's 1964–65 Astro Boy serial "The Greatest Robot on Earth," a power-hungry sultan sends super-robot Pluto to destroy the world's seven strongest robots in a bid to become Earth's ruler. Here, acclaimed contemporary manga creator Urusawa (known in the United States for Monster), supervised by Tezuka's son Makoto Tezka, completely reimagines this classic tale by focusing on one of Pluto's targets, the German robot detective Gesicht. When the much-beloved Swiss robot hero Mont Blanc is destroyed, Gesicht uncovers evidence possibly linking this incident to the murder of a human supporter of robots' rights. Employing artwork much more realistic than Tezuka's, Urusawa downplays the original's action and broadens and deepens the stories of the characters, including ex-soldier robot North #2, attempting to learn piano under a blind human composer. The result recasts the original more in the mold of Tezuka's later, more mature works, spiced by Urusawa's dark suspense, highlighted when Gesicht visits the cell of the only robot ever to kill a human. Accurately rated for older teens and up, this will appeal to fans of both creators. – Steve Raiteri