Batman and the Justice League Vol 1 has Batman, Superman, the Joker and Lex Luthor set in a Japanese manga-style plot.
A young Japanese man, Rui, goes to Gotham City to find his missing parents. His cab driver, in a VW bug (?), warns him of the city’s high crime rate and drops him off at the edge of the city. When beset with corrupt police, Rui uses his ninja-like skills to defend himself but refuses to kill. Batman rescues him. Commissioner Gordon tells Rui to leave town but he refuses. Run-ins with DC heroes and villains ensue.
Merging my two favorite graphic novel styles—manga and comics—was great fun! It took me a minute to realize that the book reads front to back (like comics) but each page reads right to left (like manga). In addition, the plot was altered slightly because it was originally written for a Japanese audience. The Joker’s new sidekick is a Japanese goddess/demon called Akurou. Using a Japanese hero, Rui, is brilliant. The fish out of water outsider viewpoint works well to emphasize new points of the Batman and Justice League’s story. The artwork also merges manga-style for Rui but only manga-style hair for the American characters though they all look much younger than they are usually portrayed in the comics.
The merging of the two styles makes Batman and the Justice League Vol 1 a great choice for both manga and comics readers. I loved it! 5 stars!
Thanks to DC Comics and NetGalley for an advance copy.