Artist Cliff Chiang has posted character sheets for a DC Mangaverse, more than a decade in the making. “Similar to Grant Morrison’s ideas for Super Young Team, I imagined that the DC universe had a band of Japanese superheroes inspired by their original Western counterparts,” Chiang wrote on his blog. “It’s basically a mix of DC, old school anime and kaiju.”
Justice League of Japan origin:
Batman and Robin – Based on Science Ninja Team Gatchaman AKA Battle of the Planets. Batman is a wealthy but orphaned college student.
Joker and Harley Quinn – Styled after Japanese glam rock known as visual kei.
Superman – Gigantor inspired giant robot controlled by the radio wristwatch of a young boy (the roles of Clark Kent and Lois Lane are filled in by the robot’s nerdy creator and the boy’s widowed mom).
Aquaman – Ultraman inspired kaiju (monster). Named by the press, the “Aqua Man” is a silent, mysterious underwater being who fights giant mutated sea monsters off the coast of Japan. He can only breathe air for one hour, signaled by the blinking light on his chest. After victory, he walks back into the ocean until he is needed again.
Wonder Woman – Based on Pirate Queen Emeraldas from the Captain Harlock saga.
Green Lantern Guy Gardner – Based on Cobra from Space Adventure Cobra.
Flash – Based on Racer X from Speed Racer.
The project was put on hold because DC was already working on Chris Moeller’s giant robot Justice League book (JLA Classified: Cold Steel).
“I’d like to draw some more finished versions of these at some point, just as a goof,” says Chiang. “Wonder Woman as Emeraldas is probably my least favorite, here. If I did it over, she’d be a Robotech/Mospeada mecha-suit girl, with slight hints of Appleseed. Maybe have Black Canary as a Kamen Rider-type. Superman’s nemesis is evil scientist Lex Luthor and his giant robot Metallo (cross Gigantor’s Black Ox with Luthor’s SuperPowers suit). I swear, this stuff writes itself — especially if you’re not a fan of intellectual property law.”
Full-size pictures @ http://www.cliffchiang.com/2008/05/16/big-in-japan/