At the height the 1960's Batman television shows popularity, a shonen manga magazine in Japan serialized fifty-three chapters, starring The Dark Knight, which were all written by Jiro Kuwata. These rare Batman tales were known by relatively few outside of Japan until award-winning designer Chipp Kidd's 2008 book, Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan (Pantheon Books), introduced them to a whole new generation of Batman fans. In BATMAN: THE JIRO KUWATA BATMANGA VOL. 1, see The Dark Knight and his sidekick Robin fight against some of his strangest villains, including Dr. Faceless and the Human Ball! DC Comics is proud to publish the complete Jiro Kuwata penned Batman Manga adventures in three painstakingly restored and translated volumes. This collection is not to be missed by both Batman and Manga fans alike! BATMAN: THE JIRO KUWATA BATMANGA VOL. 1 collects the first nineteen chapters.
An oddity of comics history, this manga-fied Caped Crusader by Kuwata, writer of the contemporary 8-Man, came out during the Adam West Batman era of the 1960s and has some of that show s campy detective work. This is a straightforward reprint, lacking the analysis that appeared in Chip Kidd s Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan. The episodic stories start with a Japanese-English mix, introducing a villain, Death God Man, who s based on shinigami myths, but other installments feel as if they could be purely American in origin. As the heroes Batman and Dick Grayson as Robin go through the book, there s a theme of new technology s capability for causing disaster when mishandled by flawed human beings. While the book has no overall plot, the artwork revolutionary for its time is caught in that moment when the jump from paper strip to page-turner was being made, so it is remarkably clean if not overly imaginative in character design. Yet there are a number of instances of dynamic camera techniques, and the cityscapes are timelessly eye-catching. Color pages sprinkled throughout are a visual lagniappe. A charming blast from the past.