‘Batman and the Justice League Vol. 1‘ is the first in a series written and drawn by popular Japanese manga author Shiori Teshirogi. Published by DC Comics and in the pages of the monthly Japanese anthology “Red,” the series adds a flair to the Dark Knight unique to Eastern storytelling.
Japanese teen Rui Aramiya arrives in Gotham City looking for answers regarding his missing parents. The city is plagued by villains using “Gaia Juice” as a steroid. He witnesses Batman bring down villains and is intrigued. After only being in the city for a short time, Rui is soon captured by the Joker, who is using his parents’ technology to access Gotham’s leylines with the help of Lex Luthor. It is here that Rui meets Batman, who saves the young man, but the Joker gets away. Turns out, Luthor and Joker are working with a Japanese demon named Akurou to obtain the “ultimate power.” At first, Batman refuses help, but when Ocean Master threatens to invade Gotham, he must call on the Justice League for aid.
Shiori does an amazing job with the character designs. Batman, Rui, Lex Luthor, Akurou, and Joker are especially winners. She does draw Bruce Wayne a bit younger than you see in most designs, but Japanese writers do like protagonists who are young. It is a staple in a lot of anime, such as Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail. I did find her design for Superman to be a little humorous. He has a huge body, but a very tiny head. It is a bit confusing at first, but then I could not help but laugh.
As for the story itself, it highlights the ‘quest’ aspect, so the character-building happens a bit slower than most comic book plots, but since you are familiar with characters like Batman and Lex Luthor, you do not feel lost or confused. It is definitely a step-up from a lot of the stories that are coming from DC Comics these days.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my comic book review of Batman: Gotham County Line and my graphic novel Nightwing: The New Order. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.