Black Jack, vol. 1

by Osamu Tezuka

I went to the library Friday and picked up a lot of comic books, and I’ve knocked through two of them quite quickly, over the weekend.

The first was the first volume of Tezuka’sEsteemed writer of Astro Boy and others, including Buddha. Black Jack, which is billed as a thrilling medical drama but which I found to be largely goofy, with stories centering around outlandish surgeries, including brain and arm transplants, and weird science storylines that stretched my suspension of disbelief past breaking.

Still, I liked the character of Black Jack, mysterious, first-rate surgeon without a medical license but with the best skills in the world, and though the storylines were mostly ridiculous, they were short enough and light enough that I didn’t really mind. There were also a few true gems in the collection, such as the penultimate story about a boy with polio walking across Japan to raise awareness for the condition.

Tezuka’s art is also great, especially his drawings of surgeries and landscapes, as well as the visual pacing of his stories. There were a lot of drawn-in jokes in the pages, too, though I didn’t really get most of them.

Honestly, I’ll probably grab the next issue from the library too. It was a quick enough read, and I kind of like the ridiculous stories.