Spider-Man: The Manga #7
Marvel Comics (March, 1998)
WRITER/ARTIST: Ryoichi Ikegami
TRANSLATION: Mutsumi Masuda & C.B. Cebulski
RETOUCHING/PRODUCTION: Dan Natrosis
COVER DESIGN: Jeffery Huang (so I have him to blame)
EDITOR: Tom Brevoort
A new story begins. Spider-Man is out on patrol when he stops a bunch of men ganging up on one dude, but it turns out he’s the baddie. The man is an American wrestler calling himself The Kangaroo, who ends up killing his opponents. He manages to elude Spider-Man and people blame him for it. Even in Japan Spider-Man doesn’t get a break, and that includes getting his own J. Jonah Jameson, the publisher of the newspaper that put out the reward on Electro thinking nobody would collect. Now he’s out to ruin Spider-Man’s reputation, which in typical Spidey fashion seems to be working. At a wrestling exhibition the Kangaroo shows up again. Spider-Man tries to stop him but the crowd distracts him long enough for Kangaroo to escape again, Spidey saving a boy being caught in a crowd going after Kangaroo himself.
What they got right: I went back and looked through the Lizard story in the untranslated manga i unknowingly picked up years ago (I thought it was translated and then kept getting them anyway out of curiosity) and noticed there were pages missing from the Marvel translation. At least in the pages of this issue that was avoided. I’ll be keeping a closer look onward. As far as the Kangaroo, given the manga’s approach to Spider-Man he’s not a bad foe. Of course they have to have a JJJ type and all the baggage that comes with it. We’ll see how he turns out.
What they got wrong: This version of Kangaroo seems to be based on Frank Oliver, the original Kangaroo, who did fight with Spider-Man in the past before he died. He still does that jumping around thing but why make him American? The original was Australian, which also makes the name work. Oliver’s replacement was inspired by Oliver but he was also Australian. For a comic that’s gone to the trouble to give Yu his own Aunt May stand-in and now his own Jameson (I don’t see a name for him here) but if they’re going to turn Americans into Japanese natives, and they really should for this take, why make Kangaroo American and not either Japanese or Australian?
What I thought overall: A good start to this story. We’ll see where it goes from here.