And the work which has become a genre unto itself shall be called: Bat-manga! Or something like that.
There’s no denying that Batman gets the manga love and that was even before Batman Begins turned the Dark Knight into a ninja. First Kia Asamiya’s absolutely gorgeous Batman: Child of Dreams was brought over to the US. Then Chip Kidd unearthed 40 year old Batman manga in Bat-manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan. Now, DC has released the collected Batman: Death Mask, a manga by Yoshinori Natsume commissioned for western audiences.
A pre-Batman Bruce Wayne encounters a cursed Oni mask in Japan while perfecting his martial arts training. This encounter forces Bruce to focus on the purpose of The Batman — spirit of vengeance or guardian of Gotham?
20 years later the mask reappears in Bruce’s life and is connected to a string of serial killings. Can Batman exorcise the demons of his past and — more importantly — break a cycle of vengeance which extends back for centuries?
Put a hold on Batman: Death Mask.