Publisher: DC Comics
Release: October 23rd 2018
I received a copy of Batman and the Justice League Vol. 1 through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Have you ever wanted to see what it’d be like to blend our modern comics with manga? Well, wonder no longer. Batman and the Justice League is a blend between our favorite superhero team and well, manga. It isn’t a perfect blend between the two, with a heavier leaning into the manga world than the comic one, but it’s still pretty interesting to see.
I have to admit that while the whole comic/manga combination idea had never actually occurred to me before, it actually has a lot of potential. It could open the series up to new plots, characters, tropes, cities, and so much more.
Batman and the Justice League is forty percent comics, and sixty percent manga. At least that is how it felt to me. It used the setting of Gotham, as well as many of the established Batman and Justice League characters, but beyond that it was pure manga.
For this tale they’ve gone and created a new character. This sort of makes sense, since none of the Justice League would really lend to the character builds, backgrounds, or characteristics that are preferred in manga. The new character is young, determined, talented, and on the search for his missing parents. Naturally, his parents went missing in Gotham. That last part in particular sounds very fitting, doesn’t it?
I don’t know how long it’s been since I read a Batman/Justice League series from the perspective of a new character. It was refreshing, in many ways. Sure, I did find the character to be a little too special snowflake like (the number of other characters focused on him, his fighting abilities, his lineage, and how he’s naturally already wrapped up and the focus of a major plot) but I could easily overlook it if I wanted to, so it’s not too bad all things considered.
As for the plot itself, well that I go back and forth on. I can actually see the Joker and Lex Luthor working together. To my knowledge this has actually happened before, so it’s not terribly alarming. It’s their grand plan I’m conflicted about. I can see the Joker being insane enough to try something like this, but Lex Luthor is literally a genius…so I’m having trouble buying it. Sorry, but I just am.
I don’t even know what to say about what’s going on with the new character’s parents. I actually think they’re the weakest link to the plot. What they are that is, not that they went missing. That part was actually completely believable, considering it’s Gotham and all.
So far we’ve only seen two of the Justice League characters in this series, Batman, and Superman. Here Batman gets significantly more screen time, so to speak. Though with Lex Luthor being involved it’s only a matter of time before Superman shows up and starts trying to help out.
I’ll admit that I didn’t like this volume as much as I was hoping too…yet I think I’ll be reading the future volumes as they come out. I’m curious to see where this goes. If it keeps upping in scale it could become too much…but if it finds a way to balance itself out it still has all the potential I was talking about earlier. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.