Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pluto volume one

Here's how this works. I read a book or two and tell you about them and try not to get too long-winded. This time, a review of Pluto volume one (Viz, 2009).

Well, here's a book that's so darn good, there's not a hat size to fit it. In this spectacular SF crime story by Naoki Urusawa, a Europol detective named Gesicht looks into the connection between the murder, in Dusseldorf, of a man campaigning to preserve the laws giving robots equal treatment under worldwide law, and the destruction of the beloved Mont Blanc, a powerful mechanoid who worked for the Swiss forestry service.

It's an expansion of a classic Astro Boy serial by Osamu Tezuka from the mid-1950s called "The Greatest Robot on Earth," only Urusawa, best known to American readers for his slow-burning thriller Monster, expands the narrative and shits the focus to other characters. It results in something incredibly compelling and very beautiful.

Pluto has run in monthly chunks in Japan's Big Comic Original since 2003, and apparently just concluded. From what I understand, Viz plans to follow the Japanese publishing model and collect this story in seven digests, the first five of which are planned for this year. I am completely sold and am getting the lot; Urusawa invokes dread and fear like nobody's business, and I'll be biting my lip until volume two shows up. Highly recommended.

1 comment:

Tohoscope said...

This one's on my wishlist!