Monday, December 1, 2014

Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga #21 Review

Written By: Jiro Kuwata
Art By: Jiro Kuwata
Cover Price: $1.99
Release Date: November 22nd, 2014

The Revenge  of Clayface (Chapter 2 or 4) are two undeniable facts about Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga that issue #21 confirms--1.) The Japanese version of Robin looks way to young to be driving the Batmobile and 2.) No matter what country or style you are writing in, Batman is still Batman.

Issue #21 picks up with a one panel recap of the previous issue and brings readers up to speed on the Bioplasm--the alien life form that powers this particular version of Clayface, Batman's shape shifting foe. Despite the retention of most of American Batman's traits and appearances, his work ethic has taken a Japanese approach to the situation, having the Caped Crusader work to the point of physical exhaustion; something that is rarely seen in western Bat-publications.

Throughout the course of the story it's clear that Kuwata knows where he wants to take the story and how he intends to get there as the pacing is spot on perfect. Sometimes in stories with multiple chapters it can start to feel as though the story is being padded to meet the required page count that DC sets for each issue but that's not the case here. Every piece of information that Kuwata presents in this issue of Batmanga  is 100% relevant and helps to increase interest in the tale.  

The more I read the more I wonder why DC comics waited almost 50 years to start releasing these stories to Batfans worldwide.

As with the last issue there is a fine visual divide between Batman, the Rouges Gallery, and their secret identities with the latter still sporting larger hair than American audiences are used to, while the former appears just as they would in a 1960's western Batman comic book.

This issue, in particular, we really get to see what Clayface is capable of shifting from Pegasus, to a spinning top, to even a human form that almost fools Bruce Wayne himself.

Bits and Pieces

As I said before, as I read through this story I can't help but wonder what took DC so long to finally get these stories printed into a collection. The writing is great, the art is true to form, and the work as a whole is true to the spirit of Batman. This issue served as a great second chapter to The Revenge of Clayface and I have no doubt the rest of this story will be a blast to read.


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