Sunday, August 17, 2014

Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga #5 Review

Written and Illustrated by: Jiro Kuwata
Translated by: Sheldon Drzka
Cover Price: $1.99
Release Date: August 16, 2014

Mount Batman

In the last issue of Batmanga, mild mannered Dr. Denton's skin regeneration machine went horribly wrong, destroying his face in the process.  He then went mad, destroying anything with a face around Gotham.  Batman and Robin tried stopping him, but the issue ended with the Dynamic Duo almost being killed by a booby trap set by...Dr. Faceless!

Jiro Kuwata's Batmanga is a whole bunch of campy fun.  I've said it before and I'll repeat it, this book is a mix of Batman '66 and an old radio serial put through a Japanese manga blender.  Jiro Kuwata may not have had a full grasp of the characters when doing these issues, but that's all part of the fun.  Being a big Robin fan, I love his tough and in-charge version of the Boy Wonder.  On the flip side, it's neat to see a Batman who isn't always on top of everything.  Kuwata's Batman is a bit soft, often scared, but still gets the job done. It always keeps me smiling while reading.  That and the crazy stories.

This week's story is certainly crazy.  Dr. Faceless is still on an all out mission to destroy anything with a face.  Statues, paintings, even clocks.  Batman and Robin are having trouble finding him, let alone bringing him to justice.  When they respond to a jewelry robbery, things really go off the rails in a hilarious way.

Dr. Faceless steals a priceless jewel only to pulverize it and then leaves Batman a note that he's destroying Batman's face next.  That can only mean one thing...Dr. Faceless is heading to the Batman Monument.  It's the Mount Rushmore of Gotham City with Batman's face carved in the side of a mountain. Mount Batman, if you will.  Now that's hilarious.  If you paid attention, there is a big hint in this scene that Dr. Faceless is not who he seems to be.

The issue ends with Batman capturing Dr. Faceless and putting the mad man in jail.  However, the reader is let on a little secret reveals the true identity of Dr. Faceless and what really happened to Dr. Denton.  It's cray in a great way and I am looking forward to the next issue.  The charm of this book is infectious and I just have a blast reading every issue.


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