Friday, July 6, 2012

Marvel Mangaverse

While on vacation at the end of May, I picked up numerous trade paperbacks at half price or better at various sales throughout town, including this Marvel Mangaverse. A compilation of six one-shots published by Marvel Comics from 2000 to 2002 featuring an alternate Marvel Universe, its characters drawn and portrayed in the Manga style. I read some Manga for the first time only a month before, a couple issues of Spider-Man The Manga my mother got me for my birthday, 90's reprints originally published in the early 70's. I enjoyed these so much I had to pick up Marvel Magaverse when I saw it on sale for seven bucks! There's a great deal of comedy throughout the book, visually and throughout the dialogue. The reimagined heroes of the Marvel Universe are even more colorful and exaggerated than usual- similar to their Western counterparts, but different in their outrageous Manga rendering.

Iron Maiden/Antoinette "Toni" Stark, former S.H.I.E.L.D agent and sister of Tony Stark. Also the current owner of Stark Industries and love interest of Bruce Banner, who is working for her company...

In Spider Scroll, Spider-Man the teenage ninja looks to avenge his Sendai's murder by the villainous Venom as scion of the Spider Clan... !!

The Punisher is featured in a separate storyline, Kind To Be Cruel. Referred to as "Tokyo's kinkiest superhero", this female school principal dresses as a geisha, and induces "punishment" by tickling with feathers and paddling! Hilarious!

The Avengers (Captain America, Scarlet Witch, Vision, & Hawkeye) battle Apocalypse in separate craft that combine to form Ultimate Iron Man...

The Hulk: Dr. Bruce Banner gained the ability to summon gods after being exposed to gamma radiation when reconstructing "the Energy Well" for Stark Industries. A completely separate being, the Mangaverse Hulk is merely summoned into existence by Banner. Like Godzilla, this Hulk is several stories tall, serving the dread Dormammu against the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men & Spider-Man.

Baron Strucker manipulates Sub-Mariner's hatred for Iron Man and the Avengers into his scheme to awake Dormammu..

 In their chapter titled Equinox, The X-Men battle Magnus, who has taken over Colossus' body, depicted as a metal Sumo here. Unlike the mainstream Marvel Universe, the alternate Manga versions of Nightcrawler & Beast join Mystique against Storm, Jean, Cyclops, Wolverine, Psyche, and Rogue (who channels the Dark Pheonix throught con tact with Jean Grey. A fun romp with this scrappy version of the X-Men! Great!

Like the X-Men, the Fantastic Four are somewhat altered in this book, featured in their own chapter and returning at the end to face Strucker, Dormammu, & Hulk. Reed Richards is director of the response team, who utilize augmentation suits to magnify their metatalents. Jonatha Storm is Sioux Storm's half-sister, however, and Richards is a chauvinistic narcissist who uses his elasticity to stretch the neurons within his brain to increase his intelligence. It's pretty funny  :D

 Thor is incarnated using Banner as a focus by Dr. Strange, who quickly dispatches the Hulk and leads the fight against Dormammu...  

All kinds of other Marvel characters make appearances as well: boy genius/rock star Hank Pym who controls ants with his guitar, Wasp, employee of Stark Industries and the creator of W.A.S.P. (Winged Amplification Surge Plasma) which allows her to fly, and Black Panther, who is desired by Dr. Strange's assistant Tigra, to name a few. This was a fun book, and if I run into any of the other volumes, I will undoubtedly purchase them. Some people don't like their heroes' continuity messed with, but I enjoy different interpretations on a theme. Reinventing Marvel's characters was done with great imagination and humor here, and I'd recommend the book to any Marvel fan!

More Later- Make It FUN!


  1. Very neat, this is the first time I've seen Marvel in manga illustrations. Their faces look weird LOL

  2. I did enjoy the Spider-man books (mainly because of the Ninja aspect). The others I just couldn't get into though. :(

  3. I remember reading about these stories a while ago and they all seemed like a blast to read.

  4. The Marvel mangas were so, LAAAAAAAME.

  5. I've always wondered about the stories in these. Like the art a lot but never really had the chance to read them. So thanks for the review! I'm gonna have to pick these up now when I see them...