Although he is best known internationally for creating “Astro Boy,” Osamu Tezuka’s most popular work for adults in Japan is “Black Jack,” a series of short stand-alone stories from the 1970s, documenting the renegade antics of the unconventional title doctor whose mercenary facade masks a wise, compassionate heart.

Denied a license due to his risk-taking tendencies, Black Jack is a symbol of the nail that won’t be hammered down. With his distinctive shock of white hair, the doctor’s unorthodox methods attract both the desperate and the wealthy, giving Tezuka the chance to explore humanity’s many facets, by looking at all walks of life, from single mothers to those crossing gender boundaries. He also delves into metaphysical considerations on what money cannot buy.

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