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It is probably not excessive to say that every Japanese male between the ages of 15 and 40 knows Black Jack, the outlaw surgeon who features in the series of comics that Osamu Tezuka created in the 1970s and early 1980s — comics that remain (thanks in part to movies and TV) popular today.

The 12 volumes of Black Jack stories that the publisher Vertical has made available in English will certainly expand that already large circle, because these stories will appeal not only to Japanese, males and manga-freaks, but also to anyone in search of artfully told tales made all the more gripping by visuals that are exquisite and effective.

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