Monster 2 by Naoki Urasawa: A+

From the back cover:
Tenma springs to action when he discovers that Johan, the boy whose life he saved nine years ago, has grown up to become a serial murderer. But when Tenma finds out that Johan has strong inside connections with government officials, he realizes that this monster is far more powerful than he could have ever imagined.

The second volume in this series is not a let down whatsoever. In fact, few complaints I had about volume 1 were not a factor here. As the essential premise has been established in the first volume, this one plunges on with the story, focusing on Tenma’s investigation and efforts to right the wrong he unknowingly perpetrated. The plotting and pacing are both first rate, the scenes so well-timed and organized that reading it feels very much like watching it on the screen.

It took me a little while to figure out what it reminded me of—an honorable, tortured leading character, racing around trying to do what’s right before more people are harmed, encountering twists and turns at every angle, and being pursued by others on the side of good. 24, of course! I fully believe that anyone who likes that show will love Monster. Even if Tenma does make a classic Kim Bauer-esque blunder in this volume.

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