Astro Boy is a manga super hero with extraordinary powers (think Pinocchio meets Superman). He flies through the air (with machine guns in his backside), speaks 60 languages, and can sense if people are Bad or Good. Astro Boy has super hearing, super eyesight, and super strength. This anime phenomenon was created by the late Osamu Tezuka, revered in Japan as the godfather of comics and animation. In this book, Dark Horse comics presents three manga stories as Tezuka originally created them: “The Hot Dog Corps”, “Plant People”, and and the one I found most interesting, “The Birth of Astro Boy”.
The Birth of Astro Boy
It all started by accident. One day in 2003 Tobio, the only son of Dr. Tenma, is tragically killed in a head-on car collision. Using the advanced technology at the Ministry of Science, Dr. Tenma constructs a robot, Astro, to replace his beloved son. The project is a success – until Tenma realizes Astro has one fatal design flaw: he will never grow up like a real human boy! The doctor rejects the son he created and sells him. Poor Astro ends up a circus performer. Luckily he is rescued by Professor Ochanomizu, whose kindness and encouragement help him transform into an “evil-robot-bashing, alien-invasion-smashing” super hero.
Want to read more about superheroes? Try The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby by Dave Pilkey or The Ultimate X-Men by Marvel Comics (click on book review links below).