One of the most fun things about reading Jiro Kuwata's Bat-Manga is seeing all the changes that Kuwata made when he adapted stories that were originally published in the American Batman comics. Sometimes, they're taken to a more elaborate extreme, like the now-legendary Lord Death Man story, and sometimes they're almost completely rewritten, like Kuwata's take on Batman's battle with the pro-wrestling Hooded Hangman, but if you're a die-hard fan of the Caped Crusader, there's always enough in there to be amazing.
That's why I'm so stoked about the next story, in which Batman faces the hulking, disfigured form of The Outsider -- better known as his once-faithful butler, Alfred Pennyworth! Check out preview pages below, and get excited, it's gonna be a good one.
Q: Can Batman defeat a pro wrestler in his natural element? --@ykarps
A: At first glance, this seems like one of the easiest questions I've ever tackled in this column. I mean, of course he could, right? He's Batman. While the rest of us were learning algebra in 8th grade, this dude was traveling across the world learning how to be the best possible expert at everything, just in case he needed it for his never-ending war on crime. Surely that would have to include professional wrestling, the King of Sports, if only because there's no other discipline that combines theatricality and combat in the way that would serve him so well back in Gotham City.
And yet, the more I think about it, the more I realize that, as shocking as it might be for me to say this as the World's Foremost Batmanologist... I doubt even Batman could beat a pro wrestler in his natural element.
Chip Kidd is a one of American publishing's foremost graphic designers, a respected novelist and author in his own right, and a life-long comic book fan. He's worked with DC Comics on a number of different projects over the years, writing histories, creating logos, designing books, and even authoring stories like 2012's Batman: Death By Design graphic novel with Dave Taylor. Recently, he produced a "remix" of the first-ever Batman story (which was originally slated to be published in DC's "Detective Comics #27 Special Edition" giveaway, but ended up as a feature in the deluxe hardcover Batman: A Celebration Of 75 Years instead).
While at San Diego Comic-Con last month, we got a few minutes to drop by DC's booth and talk with Kidd about Batman, his design work, and his current (and upcoming) projects.
This week, Chris and Matt are oddly surprised by the (possible?) commentary found in New Suicide Squad #1 by Sean Ryan and Jeremy Roberts. Then they like how Armor Hunters #1 by Robert Venditti and Doug Braithwaite hits the big event-comic notes without being contrived. And finally, they discuss a couple of DC's digital-comic offerings: Scooby Doo Team-Up #5 by Sholly Fisch and Dario Brizuela, and Bat-Manga #1 by Jiro Kuwata.
A lot of people hadn't heard about artist Jiro Kuwata's mid-1960s manga adaptation of Batman until the 2008 release of Chip Kidd's book Bat-Manga!, which included translated excerpts of the work, but didn't collect the full story (or include Kuwata's name on the cover).
Now, Kuwata's Batman stories, which originally ran in the magazines Weekly Shōnen King and Shōnen Gahō, has finally been collected, in full, in a three volume box set from Japanese publisher Shogakukan Creative.
Chip Kidd's collection of Jiro Kuwata's Japanese Batman stories from the '60s was one of my favorite collections in recent memory, so it goes without saying that I was pretty excited about a Bat-Manga-inspired segment featured on an episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold. But one of the things I barely noticed about the episode was a transition that involved pages of Kuwata's comics flipping by before the animation star
Last week, DC revealed the solicitation text for Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquettle's "Batman, Inc." #2, and like a lot of what Morrison's done during his run on Batman, this one's bringing back something from an obscure story from the '60s:
The dynamic new era of Batman continues! The Dark Knight and Mr. Unknown – the
I'll never forget the day I opened up Chip Kidd's "Bat-manga: The Secret History of Batman in Japan." Know why? Because the first thing I saw was a Scare Glow-lookalike called Lord Death Man. It was bliss
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