20th Century Boys (vol. 17) by Naoki Urasawa, with the cooperation of Takashi Nagasaki, English adaptation by Akemi Wegmüller
Check out the earnest determination on an oh-so-young Kenji’s face as he announces, “Justice never dies.” Four decades later, his surviving renegade friends are desperately trying to keep his prophetic, childhood words alive: “I’m saving this world from evil, no matter what happens!!”
Two of the latest recruits to the Kenji faction – the siblings Sanae and Katsuo – are also the youngest. Together with the injured Otcho who the siblings nursed back to ambulatory health, the trio have managed to elude the Global Defense Force thus far. They end up at Kamisama’s bowling alley, which still stands on the site of Kenji’s original secret hideout. Kamisama leads them to the mostly-unused underground tunnels, including a path to the church where the kids can find help from Father Nitani, the Pope’s longtime friend.
On their escape route, the siblings witness the brutal, senseless murder of an innocent man, but not before he tells them about the Ice Queen, who might be people’s the last hope. In a flash decision, Sanae sends Katsuo alone to the church, while she ventures further into the unknown in search of the legendary Ice Queen.
Meanwhile, Otcho flashes back to how this latest tragic havoc started, when only the chosen few who attended the 2015 Expo opening ceremony were granted the vaccination against the supervirus that wiped out endless millions around the world. He personally experiences the loss of humanity in individuals who have been forced to survive too much already, who resort to horrific acts to keep living beyond all else.
And then there’s the return of the mystery man with a guitar strapped to his back, astride a vintage-looking motorcycle who claims he’s Yabuki Joe … Yea, right!
Five more volumes remain … where will the story go? And how in the world will Kenji’s middle-aged-faction reclaim justice after so many decades?? Not to mention, how will we wait until December to find out more?
Readers: Young Adult, Adult
Published: 2011 (United States)
20 SEIKI SHONEN © Naoki Urasawa/Studio Nuts
Original Japanese edition published by Shogakukan Inc.