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Uncertain, Fugitive, Half-fabulous

Stories about people. People who must ponder the implications of their laser gun swords.

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Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond
Bill Campbell, Edward Austin Hall
Deathstalker War (Owen Deathstalker, Vol. 3)
Simon R. Green
Jews Without Money
Michael Gold

Astro Boy, Volume 5

Astro Boy, Vol. 5 - Osamu Tezuka, Frederik L. Schodt They go so quickly, but this series stays really good. The first story is the real standout in this volume, complete with a robot and creator who clearly act as sort of twisted mirror images to Astro and Dr. Tenma. But, of course, it helps that there's a lot of crazy action and adventure. I am, time and time again, surprised at just how often Tezuka uses the character of Astro's teacher (he's right there with the gun on the cover of this volume), pudgy old man that he is, as a sort of second tier action hero. He's constantly beating up crooks and being ridiculously tough--played mostly for laughs, of course.

The middle story is a fun little one with the kind of silliness we can only get from old comics like this ("Space Snow Leopard" indeed). While the final story is, for the most part, a very good one that takes Astro out of his comfort zone and presents a comparatively in-depth look at a bigot... too bad its message about bigotry is a little hampered by this also being the first volume to use some racist black caricatures. It uses them only a little, thankfully, and all of the volumes in this series have a little note to the readers explaining the context of these, but still: it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Other than that, though, this is another delightful volume. And Tezuka's little intros to most of the stories continue to add a lot of depth to the proceedings.