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In 1966-67, while the Batman television series starring Adam West was being shown in Japan, the manga magazine Shonen King published a Japanese-produced Batman and Robin manga written and drawn by Jiro Kuwata, creator of the popular android hero 8-Man. Several installments of this never-before-reprinted series, photographed by Geoff Spear directly from rare and often age-browned original magazines collected by Saul Ferris and Kidd, form the bulk of this lavish but frustrating volume. Kuwata's old-fashioned but enjoyable stories, most featuring newly created villains such as Lord Death Man, will prove highly interesting to comics historians as a cross-cultural phenomenon. Unfortunately for readers, Kidd privileges the manga's status as collectible artifact over its narrative, and only two stories are presented in full-the remaining episodes reprinted are incomplete parts of longer serials (Kidd apparently failed to contact Shonen King's original Japanese publisher, whose archive might have been able to fill the gaps). Photos of 1960s Japanese Batman toys, examples of Batman work by other Japanese artists, and an interview with Kuwata round out the book. For larger collections-note that the hardcover edition contains an additional 24-page episode not included in the $29.95 paperback.