Art by: Jiro Kuwata
Cover Price: $1.99
Release Date: January 10th, 2015
Fiend of the Masquerade Festival (Chapter 1 of 3)
In all honesty, it has been a while since I have read an issue of Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga, although I still have a few issues sitting in my to-read pile, and I was a little nervous heading back into this one. Looking back at my previous reviews, it's obvious that I love this series, despite the fact that I am not obsessed with manga, like a lot of geeks my age are. That being said, there was something rewarding about my grand return.
While it is clearly evident in these digital pages that secondary characters in manga are clearly drawn from the same two templates, Batman and Robin are still able to be placed in a world that has just enough color to take me right back to the 1966 Batman TV series I have been taking the time to watch on blu ray lately; the irony being this comic is published in black and white.
That being said, the world is zany and it keeps getting zanier.
This time, Batman and Robin find themselves on the trail of an escaped prisoner who manages to infiltrate a Masquerade festival and the festivities quickly turn from harmless investigation to murder mystery. That was a nice plot turn I didn't quite see coming and it helped the story stay a bit fresher than I expected it to be heading into it.
What really got me this time around though was Jiro Kuwata's complete and total willingness to take what could have been a rather boring, by the numbers, story and give it a fresh breath of life. As per usual, secondary characters are completely expendable and your attachment to them should never be something you take possession of...and yet Vickie Vale continues to live.
Bits and Pieces
Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga continues to take an already weird 1960's version of Batman and add in what a legendary manga writer thinks the character would be up to. The story takes place in America and yet all of the presentation screams Japanese, though that gives this series a lot of charm. This is merely the opening chapter in a three part story but it definitely has me wanting to go back for more.