Joe McCulloch of comiXology.com has written a fascinating new editorial about the history and politics of Astro Boy, comparing the manga with new movie. It's a great read that takes a very serious look at the character, with a focus on the much discussed chapter where Astro goes back in time and fights the U.S. Militray, who were bombing a village in Vietnam.
Here's a sample.
"So, the funny thing about the new Astro Boy is how much it gets right, which means picking up Tezuka's weaknesses as well as his strengths. A lot of the manga's in-joke charm is preserved, from various Tezuka Star System cameos (including Tezuka himself and his lil' pig-faced critter stand-in) to tactical citation of earlier bits of its own history - some of the ‘60s anime title sequence gets subtly remade as Astro zips around exploring his powers. The original's dour origin premise is dutifully updated, with brilliant Dr. Tenma's beloved son violently killed (sadly, Nicolas Cage restrains himself from chomping into the Dr.'s potentially livewire role) and Astro Boy created as an imperfect twin replacement, the imperfection always figuring into the work's grand theme, since robots are individuals like people are too."Read "New Atom Angel" on comixology.com for the entire piece.