With the hugely popular television series, staring Adam West, Batman was a hit in Japan in 1966. So much so that Japanese publisher Shōnen Gahōsha bought the rights to publish a Batman manga. Running from 1966 to 1977, Jiro Kuwata produced more than 1000 pages of content for the series, with much of it never translated into English. Although, thanks to DC Comics, this has all changed with the publisher republishing this manga series digitally, with three printed collections due later in the year.
The first chapter released will be the part 1 of the “Lord Death Man” story, which is said to be the most famous stories of this series. Jiro Kuwata has Batman and Robin go up against villain of the Lord Death Man, a criminal in a skeleton costume. How will Batman beat him? You will have to read to find out.
For manga purists, the series will presented in it’s original right-left reading format. While today this is the norm, but for those who have not encountered manga before it can be a little confusing. Luckily, to make things easier each panel has been numbered so those new to manga can follow the panels with ease. But don’t worry, it wont take too long before you get into the rhythm of reading it the way it was originally intended.
Each digital chapter will range from 15-32 pages in length and be priced at $0.99. I assume the page length of each chapter will be dependent on the story. But at that price point it’s still great value at any page count.
Personally, I am looking forward to seeing this in English for the first time. It will be interesting to see how much of the Batman TV show and Japanese culture has inspired the series.
Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga is available digitally from today. Three print editions are due for release later in the year.
Take a look at the preview below.