Sunday, July 20, 2014

Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga #2 Review

Written and Illustrated by: Jiro Kuwata
Translation by: Sheldon Drzka
Cover Price: $1.99
Release Date: July 12, 2014

Sometimes, Dead is Better

I was pleasantly surprised by the first issue of Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga (which I will just call Batmanga from now on).  It is a goofy slice of Japanese Batman fever that was translated into English for the first time for this Digital First series.  While it is one of the most unusual picks for a digital series, I'm glad DC took a chance with it.  

The second issue continues the fun with a little more color and a bigger price tag.  I usually don't dwell on pricing in my reviews, but I'm scratching my head a bit at this.  The first issue was $0.99 which is a great price to get readers to try it out, but this issue is $1.99.  I'm not saying it isn't worth it because I personally think it is, but that steep a price tag for such an unknown niche title seems crazy.  I guess DC thinks that anything with Batman will sell no mater what.  I hope they're right because it would be a shame for this title to be ignored after taking so long to get to our shores.  Okay, I just jumped off my soapbox and am ready to put on my reviewing shoes. Yes, I have a pair of reviewing shoes.  Don't judge me.

The issue opens with a little synopsis of issue #1 and Lord Death Man right where we last saw him...on the ground...dead.  Yea, the guy really lives up to his name.  So, what do Batman and Robin do with a super villain who just escaped from his grave last issue? Bury him again, of course.  I don't know if Kuwata meant this as a joke, but it's so funny.  

Later that night, Bruce is having another Lord Deathman nightmare and can't sleep.  Again, Kuwata's take on Bruce Wayne/Batman is not what you'd expect.  He's a bit of a baby, with Dick Grayson wearing the pants in this team up.  If only there was something to take Bruce's mind off his nightmares.  That's when Bruce and Dick get invited to...THE WORST PARTY EVER!  I don't mean to be judgmental, but the party's main attraction is watching a man in a crazy outfit get buried alive and die.  No dancing or music, just a man buried alive in a crazy outfit.

Luckily in the Batmanga Universe, a horrible party trick equals figuring out a villain's secret.  The Dynamic Duo race off to Lord Death Man's grave, but what they find is more trouble.   I think that whoever paid for the fancy Lord Death Man gravestone should ask for a refund.  Or they can just wait for his inevitable next death. 

I really enjoyed this issue.  I'm still not sure what Lord Death Man's endgame is besides scaring the crap out of Batman and making him look like a fool and I don't care because I'm having so much campy fun.  

Bits and Pieces:

I'm surprised I'm enjoying this series as much as I am.  Jiro Kuwata's version of Batman is a fun, alternate take on the Dark Knight that seems fresh almost 50 years after originally appearing.  I'd love everyone to give it a try, but I'm afraid the $1.99 price tag will scare some off.  Don't let it, it's a cool history lesson for any Batman fan.


No comments:

Post a Comment