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New manga introduces Japanese kids to the Avengers

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Despite a 50-year history, a record-breaking movie and several video games and animated television series, there apparently still are some in Japan who don’t know who the Avengers are. A little surprising, maybe, but that’s what Earth’s Mightiest Heroes discover when they travel to that country in the latest issue of CoroCoro Comic.

Kotaku spotlights the 12-page story from Shogakukan’s monthly manga magazine for elementary school-age boys, which finds Captain America, Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man and the Wasp facing several obstacles on unfamiliar shores: Thor can’t get his armor and hammer through customs, the Hulk can’t stomach Japanese food and, worse still, no one is familiar with them.

The humorous manga is part of a larger promotional push for Marvel Disk Wars: Avengers, an anime series that debuted earlier this month in Japan. Check out another panel for the story below, and see more at Kotaku.

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8 Comments

You know why? Because Japan has its own Superheroes. Some of them even pre-dating Superman lol. Not even superheroes like Ultraman and Kamen Rider is know to everybody in Japan to be honest…

They actually do release translated versions of Marvel comics in Japan.

Steven Simmons

April 17, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Most of Japan’s “super heroes” do not predate Superman. Most of what is prevalant in Japanese culture as a superhero now is either based om Tokusatsu from 70s and forward or are simply re-imaginations of tropes.

Why is getting Thor’s hammer and armor through customs so hard? Shouldn’t he be able to fly to Japan on his own?

Wasp is an Avenger but not Captain Marvel? Marvel should be pushing CM over Wasp.

You know why? Because Japan has its own Superheroes. Some of them even pre-dating Superman lol.

Completely untrue. Ironically, though, the Super Sentai show’s use of giant robots originated in the live action Japanese Spider-man show.

Arguably the first super powered hero in Japanese popular culture was Golden Bat who was created in 1930 but I’d be hard pressed to believe any modern day Japanese child has heard of him. Also this comic is meant to introduce Marvel characters to little kids who aren’t the ones buying those translated Marvel comics.

Also big whoop if Super Sentai shows started using giant robots after an In Name Only Spider-Man show did it first. Osamu Tezuka himself told Stan Lee that American comics just weren’t going to work in Japan despite Tezuka being a fan of them. The deal Marvel struck with Toei over their properties was no doubt a last ditch effort to salvage the trip over there. Toei’s attempt to re-brand Spider-Man for children who liked Kamen Rider and Mazinger Z was entirely happenstance. Melding giant robots and superheroes was going to happen eventually even if Marvel hadn’t shown up at their door.

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