Writer/Artist: Yoshinori Natsume
I remember seeing this when it came out as a 4 issue mini series. It
caught my eye because of the fact that every issue was 48 pages long
with black and white art for only $3. I was tempted to check it out,
but I ended up passing it. Cut to present when I notice this in my
library's graphic novel collection and I snatched it up to see how it
Bruce Wayne has been having strange dreams. The events of these dreams
are tied to his past experiences in Japan. As the story unfolds, new
characters in Bruce's life are revealed to be connected to his past
life and his dreams.
Natsume's writing is entertaining. That's not to say that certain
pieces of the dialogue and plot are flawed. With that in mind, there
are parts of it that keep things interesting. Halfway through the
collection, there is a scene reveals a disturbing, yet satisfying
connection with the deaths that occurred previously in the story.
On the art side of things, it may seem to have the typical manga
flavor to the art. A closer inspection will reveal some nice artistic
choices. There is one scene that is depicted in a slightly less
detailed, yet nice fashion. Later on, the same style is used to depict
some of the enemies that attack Batman. It all adds up to a visually
There are two small details that added to my enjoyment of Batman:
Death Mask. The first detail was the decision to depict the events from right to
left. Normally, a work that is first released in the US(while being
labeled manga) is done from left to right. Not so with Batman: Death
Mask. The second detail was the decision to move the issue covers to the back of
the manga. It allows the story to flow through without interruption.
They may not be big details to the average reader, but they were some
nice touches that added to the quality of the work.
If you enjoy manga and/or are looking for a different type of Batman
tale, then pick this up. For everyone else, I'd give it a look.
7.2* out of 10*