Batman: The World takes DC’s Caped Crusader across the globe on stories from international storytellers, all of whom have put their own spin on the Batsuit.
WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Batman: The World, on sale now from DC Comics.
Batman: the world is an OGN anthology that sees DC’s famous caped crusader tackle cases in different countries around the world in a series of short stories by creators from those countries. As well as exposing readers to various talents from around the world, the OGN also provides insight into how the Dark Knight Detective is received in other countries.
While this informs the nature of the stories throughout the special, it’s even manifested in the way the iconic Batman costume is reimagined, most notably in stories set in South Korea, China, and Japan.
Batman goes full tech in “Muninn”
In Inpyo Jeon’s “Muninn”, Jaekwang Park, Junggi Kim, and Dongmin Baek, Batman tries out a new, technologically advanced Batsuit with memory analysis capabilities, a technology recognized as a violation of human rights. Batman is unaware that technology was incorporated into the costume when he set out to take down gangsters in South Korea. It was only after the sister of a man who served as a fence in Gotham tried to get revenge on him that he realized that the technology had to be used against him.
Although Batman uses barely unknown technologically advanced versions of his costume, it takes on a whole new meaning in South Korea. What the Tiger-themed Tech Batsuit in “Muninn” conveys is that Batman is a wealthy man with access to military-grade technology and resources. The fact that the suit even has memory analysis capabilities also indicates that Batman is not beyond using questionable technology to help move his business forward, even if it means invading life. deprived of others.
Batman and Panda Girl military makeover
In “Batman and Panda Girl” by Xu Xiaodong, Lu Xiaotong, Qiu Kun, Yi Nan and Li Xiaobing, Bruce Wayne visits a hot pot restaurant in China on Alfred’s recommendation and meets a teenage girl named Kiki, who happens to be a big fan. from Batman. During Bruce’s visit, shady men in costume attempt to evict the restaurant owner and various other store owners from a street they now claim to be owned by Wayne Enterprises. Not wanting to see his grandfather lose the restaurant he operated for 30 years, Kiki – disguised as Robin – goes to fight them, only to end up fighting alongside Batman when he intervenes.
For this story, Bruce Wayne uses a Batsuit inspired by traditional military clothing worn by Chinese soldiers before the turn of the 20th century. Since Chinese soldiers were known to be very advanced and powerful throughout their history, giving Batman a similarly styled costume helps convey those same ideas.
Batman Goes Rōnin in “Batman: Unchained”
In “Batman: Unchained” (“Shibarare nu Mono”) by mangaka Okadaya Yuichi, Batman appears in Japan apparently at the start of the Meiji era, a period of Japanese history that saw significant changes in society and culture. Japanese as it opened its borders to avoid colonization by Western countries. As part of the adaptation to the new ideas, local artists and journalists began to report Batman sightings, which shocked the local samurai who kept watch over the area. This led the samurai to sue an artist who refused to comply with their requests, for having a chance encounter with Batman.
In Okadaya’s reinterpretation of the Batsuit, she gives Batman the appearance of a rōnin, a masterless samurai, to convey the idea of Batman as a vigilante who works outside the law. Since Batman is viewed by the samurai as a “deserter” and a threat to their authority, the use of black armor helps convey his defiance towards them. The masterless samurai look also helps convey the idea that Batman is an urban legend, which is how he is portrayed in the story as well as well as being seen as a local hero.
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