DC Comics, Kodansha Team Up To Bring Batman And Joker Into The Manga World

The rivalry between Batman and Joker is lore for the ages, spawning various retellings, universe crossovers, and different fanon interpretations over the years. Gotham’s masked protector has even travelled beyond the crime-infested city into Japan’s feudal past in Batman Ninja, which later gave rise to a manga adaptation by Masato Hira (Area 51, Nobunagun) in 2018 that snagged a Seiun Award for Best Comic this year.

As it turns out, the infamous Crown Prince of Crime is also set to join his nemesis, as he enters the world of manga for the very first time. A collaborative effort between DC Comics and Tokyo-based publishing company Kodansha, Joker’s debut showing will be released as part of a two-issue special in the latter’s Morning magazine, with Batman’s story serving as the opener.

The superhero’s adaptation, titled Batman Justice Buster, will launch on 24 December 2020 in the magazine’s merged fourth and fifth issue. Manga creators Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi (2015’s Ultraman) have been tapped as the overall in-charge duo.

Wanope Joker (Joker: The One-Man Operation), meanwhile, drops in hot on 7 January 2021, and will see Satoshi Miyakwa (Space Battleship Tiramisu) and Keisuke Goto as the writer and illustrator respectively. In addition to the magazine, Joker’s story will also be serialised on Kodansha’s Comic Days website.

The synopsis for both works has yet to be detailed, but it’s likely that Joker’s adaptation will feature a different take from the comics and movies – the most prominent clue being the child in his arms. As for Batman, it’d be interesting to see what other takes are left on the table.