Writer: Scott Tipton
Art: Diego Jourdan & Jorge Santillan
Osamu Tezuka’s venerable and much-loved Astro Boy flew back into cinemas in 2009, courtesy of Imagi Animation. The film was updated and CGI-ified from the original mangas and animes (as well as featuring the immortal line, "I've got machine guns... in my butt?!"), and trailing in its wake came this slight expansion of Astro Boy’s new universe.
Really just another, different adventure, this doesn’t do a great deal to tie into or set up the film. The story has Metro City being shaken by a series of earthquakes, during one of which Astro sees the Ministry of Science disappearing into a chasm, taking his father with it. Knocked unconscious, Astro wakes up to find himself in an underworld populated by attractive Chiazzans and monstrous Lucertos. But looks can be deceiving, and the Chiazzans aren’t necessarily the good guys.
It’s pretty slight – y’know, it might be for kids – but this does a reasonable job of channelling Tezuka’s recurring themes (not judging by appearances being one of them) and it strips out 50 years of continuity to make for a decent jumping-on point for the Astro-curious.