I am starting to believe that Jiro Kuwata spent some time working as a theme park attendant because his books feel like a roller coaster ride. The highs and lows of this series come quicker than punches from Manny Pacquiao. I am uncertain if the inconsistency is a result of reading the material in a segmented manner or if it is just flaw in the author’s style. Staying true to this form, Kuwata uses this chapter to deliver another high quality chapter into his Batmanga. This is truly surprising considering the unbearable entry that I reviewed last week.
Kuwata opens this chapter with a lengthy explanation of the events that transpired in the previous chapter. It feels as though he knows just how confusing the previous work was and needs to ensure that the reader is on the right track. Furthermore, small character drawings are included with the introduction for identification purposes as the reader moves forward.
The story picks up with the dynamic duo in the troughs of being defeated by the mysterious Arab. After a narrow escape our pair of crime fighters use their skills in deduction to continue their search for the figure behind the poisonous darts. Kuwata’s writing truly shines when Batman and Robin are placed in situations where their detective skills are put on display. Although inconsistent, his ability to capture the campy nature of the ’66 television show is truly unmatched.
Unlike his storytelling, Kuwata’s art direction has remained consistent and enjoyable over the course of this series. The art in this chapter is exceptional. The use of heavy shadows and lifeless backdrops create an atmosphere that is both eerie and engrossing. I would feel confident in saying that his art style could have easily influenced the noir landscapes of Batman: The Animated Series.
The chapter wraps up like most of Kuwata’s work, with the fate of our heroes hanging in the balance. A huge improvement from last week, this entry revives the current storyline and makes it one worth reading. Can Kuwata finish the arc with the same level of excellence that he produced in the current chapter? Tune in next week Bat-fans, when the fate of the current storyline will be decided.