Child of Dreams

Author: Kia Asamiya (English Translation by Max Allan Collins)
Artist: Kia Asamiya
Titan Books
RRP 24.99
ISBN 1 84023 626 4
Available now

There's a drug on the streets of Gotham that will make your dreams come true. For a minute, an hour, for a whole night if you're lucky, you can literally become your idol - as long as your idol is one of Batman's deadliest foes. It's up to the winged vigilante to find the supplier of this deadly drug - and the search takes him to Tokyo, Japan, for a confrontation with the ultimate chemically enhanced enemy...

Child of Dreams is a spectacular piece of work from Japanese comic artist and writer Kia Asamiya and Max Allan Collins is onboard to translate the whole story from its original Japanese. The story allows Batman to met up with all his old enemies - Joker, Penguin, Riddler and Catwoman only there is something different about them.

The story takes place partly in Gotham City and partly in Tokyo - which adds a different feel to this collection. The fact that the artwork is presented in black and white also gives the whole collection a darker, grittier feel. As you'd expect, there is something of a Manga feel to Child of Dreams and on more than one occasion Batman resembles Zoltar from Battle of the Planets.

If you are a fan of Batman, then this collection will add some much needed variety into the mix. It's interesting to witness how a Japanese writer perceives the world of Batman and how he adds his own cultural experiences into an original work of art.

There is also an interesting transcript of an interview with Asamiya, which is extremely interesting, and some words on how the graphic novel had to be altered for a Western audience. In Japan you read from right to left. So the panels had to be flipped - which also created problems for the 'sound effects' that were in place on the original artwork.

After The Dark Knight Returns, this is probably the best Batman graphic novel on the market. Buy it!

Darren Rea

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