Astro Boy Movie Prequel: Underground

Astro Boy Movie Prequel: Underground
Astro Boy the Movie Prequel Underground review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: IDW - 978-1-60010-518-0
  • Release date: 2009
  • UPC: 9781600105180
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no

As Astro Boy: The Movie features the origin of the boy robot, you might well ask how any story in which he appears noting the movie can legitimately be labelled a prequel. It can’t, and it isn’t. However, anyone who enjoyed the film, or indeed the Movie Adaptation, will surely be pleased at second dose of this Astro Boy in comics.

Scott Tipton successfully taps into the original Astro Boy stories, which were confined only by Osamu Tezuka’s imagination, which was prodigious. It meant Astro Boy could be slipped into any type of story within an all ages designation. He lives in Metro City, which floats above the planet, but if there continue to be attacks by giant rampaging robots then the structural integrity is going to fail, and that will be disastrous. When Astro Boy investigates he discovers an entirely new society beneath the world.

Artist Diego Jourdan never strays from simplicity in conveying Astro Boy and his world, but then neither did Tezuka, and Tipton’s script has the underlying moral message of not trusting people you don’t know in the first instance just because they look nice and friendly. Two opposing sides are represented by cheerful and brightly coloured blobby people and scowling lizard folk, and Jourdan draws them to conceal their true natures.

Younger readers may or may not notice the inevitable deception isn’t such a surprise after all, but other aspects are original, not least the truth behind a gemstone powering a city. This is a perfectly serviceable Astro Boy adventure, but no more.