Underrated: Batman: Child Of Dreams
This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Batman: Child Of Dreams
This week I wanted to focus on one of the very few manga books I own. Batman: Child Of Dreams was written and illustrated by Kia Asamiya and was originally published in Magazine Z, before eventually being released in an English language version in 2003. At the time of translation it was common for manga to be flipped so that Western audiences wouldn’t be confused by the traditional right to left reading layout of the source material (I’m told this isn’t the case any longer), so when you’re reading the book you’ll notice Two Face is scarred on the wrong side. It’s a minor thing at best once you understand why it’s there, and don’t attribute the error to an artistic blunder.
The story is about a designer drug that transforms you into somebody for 24 hours before killing you, the trail of which Batman follows to Tokyo with the help of a journalist Yuuko Yagi.
Child Of Dreams works on numerous levels as a book. It’s a compelling Batman story in and of itself, but it also gently introduced those unfamiliar with manga to the medium with characters that they’re already familiar with. Although I would have liked to try to read the book the way it was originally designed to be read, it is still interesting to see Asamiya’s take on the Dark Knight and how his influences and style give a fresh light to a well established character.
Unfortunately, this book didn’t inspire me to jump into manga, nor seek out more works by the creator (simply because I didn’t know how to find either after a very brief search), but it still remains a Batman tale that I enjoy to this day. If you can find this for a decent price, and you want to spend some time with a different take on the Dark Knight, then you can’t go wrong with Batman: Child of Dreams.
Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.