Black Jack is a mysterious and charismatic genius surgeon who travels the world performing amazing and impossible medical feats. Through highly trained, he freelances without a license because he distains the medical establishment. This leads to run-ins with the authorities and unscrupulous, sometimes criminal, individuals. Because Black Jack keeps his true motives secret, his ethics are perceived as questionable and he is considered a selfish, uncaring devil.
The Black Jack series is told in short stories. Volume 11 will contain 15 stories, each running approximately 20 pages in length. This eleventh volume includes the following stories:
Spasms: Black Jack is ill. After hundreds of operations Black Jack’s health and career hangs in the balance. The good doctor has come down with a condition that might force him into retirement and the medical world is now on baited breath as they wait to hear whether Black Jack will ever return to the operating table again.
The Only Means of Living: While in Paris Black Jack is witness to a horrible jet accident. A passenger jet burst aflame upon landing at Paris’ Orly International Airport and the doctor is called to the scene to treat the wife of a passenger he was to meet.
The Dog Whispers: Young love meets a tragic ending, when a young woman while rushing on her way to work is struck dead by a commuter train. Her boyfriend Tadaaki is so distraught by the thought of being left alone he wishes he could only hear his darling Sayori’s voice once again.
“What makes Black Jack so great, in addition to Tezuka’s artwork and whirlwind narrative velocity (you can either breeze through these volumes or linger on the details), is his bottomless bag of stories. Tezuka effortlessly integrates scores of different surgical procedures into short, sharp tales that eviscerate the codified vicissitudes (especially reticence and duty) of Japanese society with, yes, surgical precision.” —Richard Gehr, The Village Voice
“While Astro Boy is more iconic and Phoenix is more epic in scope, Black Jack is arguably Tezuka’s best and most enjoyable work… [It] hits Tezuka’s sweet spot where his heart, his head and his sense of humor meet in perfect company.” —About.com