|Pluto Volume 4 Written & Produced by|
Naoki Urasawa & Takashi Nagasaki
Illustrated by Naoki Urasawa
Translated by Jared Cook & Frederick Schodt
Based on Astro Boy: The Greatest Robot on Earth
Created, Written & Illustrated by Osamu Tezuka
Shogakukan 2006/Viz Signature 2009
The head of the Ministry of Science in Japan, Professor Ochanomizu is under police protection. He is one of the last surviving members of the Bora Survey Group, and a prime target of the Pluto Killer. He doesn't believe protection is needed, that the police are overreacting. While sitting in a park, he discovers a discarded dog-bot, badly damaged. The heartbreaking scenes that follow offer a window into Ochanomizu - a widower and grandfather, he is kind to robots, going out of his way to help those in need. Then, Ochanomizu gets a visitor, the owner of the dog-bot, but things aren't as they seem.
The scenes that follow are pure moments of riveting suspense that drive the story forward into amazing, nonstop action-packed set pieces. Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki's scripting and Urasawa's art evoke an astonishing economy of storytelling, propelling the plot forward with an emotion and tension that are rarely seen in comics of any stripe. The confrontations that occur right out the gate, urgently staged, are frightening and moving and will have far-reaching consequences for all of our characters going forward. And this is just in the first few chapters.
Not letting up, we get visions - fever dreams of loss and fear. Nearly incapacitated by the events that occur, Inspector Gesicht finds himself with far more on his plate than just the rising body count. Adolph Haas, seeking revenge, has been stalking him - but the robot hate group that Haas belongs to has other plans for Gesicht. They want him alive to destroy him in the public arena, and they are willing to take out Haas to maintain their nefarious plans. Haas and Gesicht's fates are intertwined far more than either could have ever predicted, all the way to the top of a conspiracy spearheaded by the imprisoned Persian monarch Darius XIV.
The tragedies and revelations come fast and hard. This is an extraordinary character drama wrapped in one of the most intense science fiction thrillers ever produced. Urasawa delivers an astonishing work of graphic fiction, equally at home in hyper dense future cityscapes, world-shaking sci-fi action set-pieces, quiet conversations dripping with suspense, and the mentally tumultuous moments of loss and despair that define the human experience.