Sunday, August 10, 2014

Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga #4 Review

Writtten and Illustrated by: Jiro Kuwata
Translated by: Sheldon Drzka
Cover Price: $1.99
Release Date: July 26, 2014

Dr. Faceless Chapter One

Call me crazy, but I am in love with Jiro Kuwata's Batmanga.  It is Batman '66 with a Japanese twist and it's so much fun.  Dated, funny craziness.  There really isn't anything quite like it.  I know it's not for everyone, but if you are looking for a unique take on Batman, one where the writer admitted to not fully understanding the source material, then you may fall in love with this book as well.

This issue starts the Dr. Faceless arc.  DC Comics made the right decision starting this series with the better known Lord Death Man. It was a great introduction, but I really enjoyed this issue.  We get an origin story that is fun and a villain who is truly insane.

Kuwata gives us something different, a villain that batman doesn't create himself.  Imagine that.  Dr. Denton has developed a skin regenerating ray and is unveiling it to the scientific community.  The demo goes horribly wrong and as one observer quips, it "literally made him lose face".

Now, Dr. Denton was a pretty good looking guy, but what this guy does because of his mishap is insane.  He starts by shooting up the billboards in downtown Gotham.  That's when Batman and Robin get involved, but they can't catch him.  Where he goes next and how the Dynamic Duo figure it out is great in it's ridiculousness.  It's classic Batman '66 deduction and got a laugh from me.

The issue ends with Dr. Faceless causing trouble with a flamethrower (how does a scientist get all these weapons?!) and Batman and Robin in great peril.  I can't wait for the next issue.

The art in this issue is a step above the Lord Death Man issues.  It was cleaner and more detailed.  I'm sure some will still be turned off by the mostly black and white art that is reminiscent of Speed Racer, but I love it.  It's all part of the charm.

Bits and Pieces:

This issue is the start of another fun arc of Jiro Kuwata's Batmanga.  If you are looking for a different take on batman that's fun and unique, you'll find it here.


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