From School Library Journal
Adult/High School--Bob Kane's superhero continues to offer inspiration to contemporary cartoonists and graphic novelists. The well-plotted tale that unfolds here touches on modern issues. Batman (aka Bruce Wayne) arrives in Tokyo to uncover an impostor, a young Japanese villain who has imbibed his own horrible creation--a widely available but illegal drug that allows the person who ingests it to become any of Batman's rivals. Through shadows as well as lines, the images are a suitable blend of Batman stoicism and manga perspectival play. Panels explode at inspired angles and spreads offer the appearance of movement--a cape flapping in the night sky--through judicious layouts. When it comes to clothing, even the young woman reporter Wayne meets always appears fully dressed or sheeted. Fans will enjoy this episode in the international Batman saga, but it also stands on its own.--Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
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Asamiya presents a manga
-fied Batman. Except in close-ups of flamboyant villains, features, especially of the ingenue's face, are minimal. Backdrops are generally blank white, black, or gray--there is no color at all--and all bravura effects are matters of charging action or constantly varied composition and points of view: of swirling mists, smoke, fire, and Bat-cape. The story is a modernly sour romance laid over a fiendish scheme not, as it first seems, to destroy Batman but to replace him. The vector of both plotlines is Japanese TV reporter Yuko Yagi, whose big-break assignment is to interview Batman. No sooner does she get to Gotham City than new, more powerful editions of Batman's old nemeses Two-Face, the Penguin, and the Joker terrorize the place sequentially. Meanwhile, her professional interest is diluted by her eyes for Bruce Wayne, the millionaire behind the bat mask. Or is it? Yuko expresses enough narcissistic careerism to make her closing kiss with Bruce seem calculated to ensure her future "access" should she need it. Ray OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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