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Astro Boy, Vol. 11 Paperback – February 18, 2003
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About the Author
Osamu Tezuka was a Japanese cartoonist, animator, film producer, and activist. Born in Osaka Prefecture, he is best known as the creator of the comics series Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, and Black Jack. His prolific output, pioneering techniques, and innovative redefinitions of genres earned him such titles as "the father of manga," "the god of manga," and "kamisama of manga." Additionally, he is often credited as the "godfather of anime" and is considered the Japanese equivalent to Walt Disney, who served as a major inspiration during Tezuka's formative years.
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This is one of the better Astro Boy stories. As the star slowly moves towards Earth the entire planet panics and begins to evacuate to other parts of the planet. Astro recognizes the futility of trying to escape something that will entirely obliterate the planet. The ending is predictable but still poignant.
Subterranean Tank [October to November 1959] Mustachio is flying on a passenger jet when it’s struck by a military jet, forcing to parachute out. Somehow he becomes separated from the rest of the passengers and wanders in the desert when the titular “Subterranean Tank” bursts from the ground and a fellow in a face obscuring mask named “Joe” whisks him inside just as jet from earlier passes overhead. The tank burrows back underground to escape the jet but not before the jet attaches an undetected bomb which explodes after they are deep underground. Joe tells Mustachio that he stole the tank from a ruthless general named Sabolski to relieve him of a terrible weapon but sadly Joe dies from wounds from the aforementioned explosion. When Mustachio removes the Joe’s mask he discovers he’s a black man.
From this point on the story gets very messy, which is often the case with Tezuka plots. Having Joe revealed as a black man seems pointless as it has no significance and the ending is completely forgettable which is a shame because there was real potential here.
The Blast Furnace Mystery [Summer 1961] Astro Boy claims to be able to tell if a person is good or evil just at a glance. A police inspector tells him that it’s a useless skill since evidence is necessary to convict someone. The young inspector heads home but discovers his own dad throwing two corpses into a blast furnace. Later, the inspector is put on a case to investigate the disappearance of young men and he turns to Astro Boy to find out if his father is evil.
It’s a very short but interesting and touches on Tezuka’s favorite these, the relationship between humans and robots and how they can occasionally bleed into one another. A solid ending for a solid book.
Stop here and buy the series. Don't ask why, or is it valuable, beneficial or even engage in the debate about the academic merits of comic books, or graphic novels. I could tell you it is a Japanese classic, on par with Superman, that it may be a collectors item in the future or it is an engaging series with complex subplots for this age group.
That doesn't matter.
You only need to know that if you buy it:
1. He is reading
2. He is reading
3. He is not playing a video game
4. He is reading
5. He is not arguing or fighting with a sibling
6. He is not watching TV like a mindless drone
7. He is reading
8. He will want to read other graphic novels.