Spider-Man: The Manga
Marvel Comics (January, 1999)
WRITER/ARTIST: Ryoichi Ikegami
TRANSLATION: Mutsumi Masuda & C.B. Cebulski
RETOUCH/PRODUCTION: Dan Nakrosis
EDITOR: Tom Brevoort
Yu and Rumi go around the city trying to find her brother. He quit job after job…a mechanics job, race car driver, boxer, and finally a jazz club where he stole from the owner. Yu learns Rumi’s mother is sick and they owe $10,000. After learning a newspaper has put out a reward for Electro (probably an excuse to sell papers and not planning to have to pay it according to one person) Yu creates a costume and interrupts an armored car robbery, taking on the name Spider-Man. As Electro and Spider-Man fight they fall off a building.
What they got right: As far as a reason to become Spider-Man this works, since I’m not expecting a proper adaptation. (Heck, I don’t even expect one from Hollywood anymore thanks to the MCU and it’s not like the other Japanese Spider-Man was accurate.) There’s a good mystery around Rumi’s brother…though I think we all know where this is going.
What they got wrong: We know the story takes place in Japan, so why $10,000 and not ¥10,000 or something? Japan uses the Yen and while translating words is a must getting the price right (I don’t know what the actual amount was in the Japanese) would be nice. I even understand flipping the art for the American readers at the time as manga was still rather niche so not everyone knows they read right to left and it would be confusing for the average comic reader, but you still need to have more faith in the intelligence of your audience by using the proper currency.
What did I think overall: Well, we finally had some Spider-Man in our Spider-Man story…in the last few pages. We’ll have to see if he holds up to the rest of the Spider-Mans (Spider-Men?).