Dark Horse Announces ‘Astro Boy’ Omnibus For Oversized Butt-Guns
Good news for fans of robots who have jet-boots, rocket fists and machine guns that pop out of their butts: This October, Dark Horse is releasing an oversized omnibus of Osamu Tezuka's legendary Astro Boy, a welcome change since the original digest-sized versions from a few years back have been out of print for quite some time.
Much like the recently announced Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service omnibus, the first volume of Astro Boy will be a pretty massive chunk of comics, collecting nearly 700 pages of Astro Boy stories, starting with the work Tezuka originally published in Shonen Kobunsha beginning in 1952, including the story that's commonly regarded as the first true masterpiece of manga.
That, in addition to the part where it's the story that formed the blueprint of a lot of what would come later, is what might make the new omnibus particularly notable for modern fans. With so many hundreds of pages, the omnibus will include everything that was originally printed in the first three volumes of the digest-sized reprints, meaning that it includes "The Greatest Robot On Earth," which ran in Dark Horse's third volume.
That story was the basis for Naoki Urasawa's Pluto, which adapted it into an epic, character-driven murder mystery and became one of the best comics of the 21st century. Reading the two versions side-by-side is a pretty weird experience, but the original is still a great bit of comic book storytelling, and it's worth reading just to see how much of an impact Tezuka's work had on later generations.
In addition to the comics themselves, the Omnibus promises "rare and out-of-print material," likely including the "commentary" strips that Tezuka drew himself. The book is available for preorder now.