Yoshinori Natsume DC Comics
As very few of you may know, Iím not a big fan of manga. I think the books are horribly overpriced, and all of them being black and white totally bums me out. Sometimes it may work, but most of the time it feels like a limiting rule within the medium. That doesnít mean Iím not open to reading a few books, and Iím a big fan of the Initial D series.
I was interested in seeing what the Japanese would do with a character like Batman. After watching Batman Gotham Knight I wasnít too thrilled. Apart from Kevin Conroy taking back his role of Batman and the first segmentís (Have I Got a Story For You) art style, it was fairly forgettable. Thatís disappointing considering how awesome Animatrix was.
So was Japan able to redeem itself with ďDeath MaskĒ?
Sadly, no. Like the movie, the story was fairly stock. It was typical Batman wrapped in not-so-awesome Japanese style art. Iím not saying the Japanese arenít capable of making a good looking book. This just felt very typical and bland. Perhaps some color could have helped, perhaps not. Either way, I wasnít really digging it.
Unfortunately the art wasnít backed up by an interesting story. Like is said, it was fairly typical stuff. They did try to touch on a few things like Bruceís past, but who hasnít? After Frank Millerís Batman Year One people should have really stopped trying.
I will admit that it trying to focus on a singular part of Bruceís pre-Batman life was wise, but the execution was immensely average. It read like a Western writer was doing this book. My advice to Yoshinori Natsume is to do his own thing. I would have been fine if he strayed away from typical super hero conventions.
And donít even ask me about the characters. I canít remember anyoneís name and I just reread this book yesterday. All I can say is that thereís a masked killer ripping off peopleís face and Bruce is having nightmares. Oh, and thereís this whole thing where the writer suggests Batmanís vigilantly shenanigans is causing Gotham more harm than good.
What super hero comic has tried that? Oh, wait. 99% of them!
I canít really recommend this to anyone. Manga fans and Batman fans will both probably agree that itís best that you ignore this book. At $10 you can go grab yourself a Scott Pilgrim book and have a much better time, or you can track down a copy of ďChild of Dreamsď. I havenít read it but I hear itís Batman in a manga done right.