It’s not unusual to find this in an ongoing series like Black Jack, but this second volume seems somehow deflated after the thrilling ride of the first. Where Volume 1 was a rollercoaster of discovery and revelation, Volume 2 is a comparatively sedentary selection of stories. What they do manage to do, however, is to further consolidate Black Jack’s position as a mercenary unlicensed surgeon, who’ll charge the rich an arm and a leg (and chase his debtors mercilessly), but uses this income to treat any poor and needy patients he runs into free of charge.
The one element that is explained in a little more detail is the character of Pinoko, who we felt sat rather oddly in the first book. This was partially because of the lack of explanation of who she is and where she’s come from, and exactly what her relationship to Black Jack really is. While there’s a smidgen of revealing information in this volume and a whole chapter devoted to her, we suspect there’s going to be more to Black Jack’s strange female side-kick that’s yet to come to light.
As with the story, the art follows neatly from the previous volume, with Tezuka’s manga style as solid and developed as it gets. While much of the action is still surgery based, Black Jack is let loose into his surroundings a little more, though most of the stories still revolve around Black Jack’s surgical skill.
It’s more of the same and there are 17 volumes to this collection so you can’t expect the pace to pick up too quickly, but with a bit of luck, the next volume might bring us more development and less consolidation.
More Black Jack reviews:
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Other books by Osamu Tezuka:
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