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Batman: Child of Dreams Hardcover – March 1, 2003

4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

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 Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics; 1St Edition edition (March 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156389906X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563899065
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,253,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While I don't think this is the best Batman storyline out there, let me explain the five rating. I like manga. The art is so fantastic, the characters so detailed. Asamiya is a fantastic artist. He draws the Joker so well. By giving the Joker a wild smile, yet with grimacing eyebrows, Asamiya portrays the character as a homocidal lunatic masquerading as some harmless clown. That is exactly what the Joker is. When Manga doesn't always connect with dialogue, the amazing thing is that the art itself is a form of characterization.

The eyes, the lines, the perspective, are all elements of drawing that can add an effective element to creating a character. In a comic book, you have visual aids to help you picture the character. In America, I think the dialogue and writing are superior; however in Japan there is little question that the art is superior. The characters, by their mere appearance on the page, lend some insight into what lies beneath the character in a metaphysical sense. That is how good the best manga art is.

However, the story itself is a very interesting, and creative one. Someone has the ability to recreate Batman villains at the genetic level. Due to the havoc it wreaks on the body, however, the "villain" mummifies within two or three days. Who is behind this strange development?

Someone who is utterly obsessed with Batman! Someone who takes the saying "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" to the next level: He wants to become Batman!

The art is just so well done, and the story is pretty darn good, too. If you want to experience Batman in a new, and interesting way, and you are a manga fan, I recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
I first saw this at a Barnes and Noble here in town, and like a previous reviewer, got hooked by the story while perusing the pages. I enjoy manga and anime in general, but it was still a bit of a shock seeing the Dark Knight's world drawn like this. But once the story gets going, I didn't even notice the different style and readily accepted the presentation. Some have complained about the story, but I found it interesting enough to plow through the book in one night. Considering the length of the graphic novel, it was a bit of a feat. It is a fascinating international take on Bats, and if given a chance, could turn into a favorite for many fans.
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Format: Hardcover
Kia Asamiya is perhaps one of the best Japanese illustrators out there. His legend is revered in his home country. With the great interest of manga in the American culture, it was only a matter of time before hot shot name would undertake the works of a classic character. Taking up Batman, however, was going to be a challenge.
The Bat is an extremely dark character that revels in the night. Though the Japanese don't have a problem with dark themes in the likes of Vampire Hunter D or even Akira, seeing crisp, clear art depict that darkness was going to be a challenge. Asamiya, howver, succeeds in creating and weaving an intricate, though maybe superficial at times, story that pits the Bat with a crazed fan(atic). The story moves from Gotham all the way to Japan and showcases most of Batman's rogue gallery. Though, unlike the great detaila nd plot of the Long Holloween, the characters are not really into the plot of the story and don't play a major role to advance the story. The most lost potential happens when the Joker meets up Batman to help him find the major villain of the story. That scene just fizzles and does not peak much interest.
Like most manga, the story is very laid down with no major surprises. Unlike Ameican written or themed comic concepts, manga does not challenge the reader. A great read and a nice story, though not a major contributor to the great Bat mythos.
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Format: Hardcover
When a Japanese news crew arrives in Gotham City, hoping to catch an interview with Batman, the whole world begins to change. Batman’s old nemeses - Two-Face, Penguin and the Riddler – start a campaign of terror, acting unusual, even for them. When Batman catches each in turn, they burn up and turn into mummies; a new drug has hit the street, one that can turn people into the super-villain of their choice. The Japanese news crew seems to be at the center of it all, but when a pseudo-Joker grabs Yuko Yagi, the team’s anchor, they seem to be in as much danger as Batman himself. Someone is out to get Batman, someone with a great deal of knowledge about pharmaceuticals, and the trail leads straight to Tokyo.

This great graphic novel is the brainchild of Kia Asamiya, one of Japan’s foremost manga illustrators. Combining traditional manga artwork with the Batman world produces a fantastic fusion that is true to the earlier Batman works, and yet is new and exciting! I loved the story and the artwork in this book; I was worried that I wouldn’t like either, but boy was I wrong! The whole book is in black-and-white, but the lack of color goes along great with the story, keeping that Gothic feeling that one expects. I highly recommend this book to any, and every, fan of Batman.
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Format: Paperback
When I first picked this graphic novel up in the bookstore to look it over, I had no intention of buying it - the manga-style of drawing seemed too neat and clean, and the images are in black-and-white - but then I sat down and started reading the story. I was hooked.
Asamiya has great skills in plotting a story so that it captures and reader and moves you along. Asamiya also makes skilled use of dialogue - he relies very little on the narrator's voice because he is able to convey a remarkable amount of background information and character-development through his use of dialogue and a novelist's sense of timing when he switches viewpoint characters.
The story revolves around a number of disturbing themes that should have the intended unsettling effect on the reader: things and people are not what they seem; the most obvious, apparent enemy is not the source of the problem; and identities are always contested and sometimes compromised.
Asamiya introduces other themes as well, such as blurring the lines between "news" and entertainment, blurring the lines between television and reality, the dangerous extremes to which a fan (or fans) can take their identification with a celebrity and fantasy role-playing, and it touches on Commissioner Gordon's inability to control the crime in his own city - his, perhaps, over-reliance on one vigilante.
Oh, and did I mention the consuming public's perhaps over-reliance on pharmaceuticals to make us feel good, "get back in the game" and to imagine that we are that which we wish to be?
And then there are the very central themes of the relationship between dreams and reality, and the question of whether or not it is merely genetics (biology) that makes the man, or if something more is required?
This brings us back to the artwork.
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