There are manga versions of just about everything, so it stands to reason there are manga versions of Western superheroes out there. While there are plenty of unlicensed manga Batmen brooding around, both DC and Marvel Comics have attempted to enter the market by publishing their own, official manga. DC played things fairly safe, but Marvel embraced the madness of manga in full, with their long-running Marvel Mangaverse. No character history was too sacred to be drastically altered and “manga-fied” in the Mangaverse, and no superhero was safe from the chaos.
The Marvel Mangaverse included a manga Spider-Man, a manga Wolverine, and even a nigh-unrecognizable manga Punisher. Each character is somewhat recognizable as a famous superhero, they just happen to be insane manga versions of said famous superheroes. Manga is well-known (and well-loved), for its multitude of bizarre and occasionally off-putting tropes, and they’re all at play in the Marvel Mangaverse. All of this weirdness added up to success for Marvel, and the Mangaverse stuck around for two separate two-year runs. Those four non-consecutive years produced some of the most bananas versions of Marvel superheroes in the publishing company's long history.
Black Cat Is A Cyborg Seductress
If you thought that the regular version of Black Cat’s costume was scandalous, fix your gaze upon the Mangaverse Black Cat and her gravity-defying outfit. This Black Cat is a non-powered ally of Spider-Man, who is literally split in half by Manga Daredevil (he's a villain and member of the Shadow Clan in the Mangaverse).
After her untimely demise, Manga Black Cat is rebuilt as a cyborg, gaining fingertip blades reminiscent of Lady Deathstrike’s. The people who resurrect her also insert a kill switch in her brain and force her to do missions for them, making Black Cat the Mangaverse version of the Suicide Squad.499105Love this?
Spider-Man Is A Magical Ninja
Nothing is right when it comes to Mangaverse Spider-Man. No longer a victim of radioactive circumstances, the Manga Peter Parker is a member of the ninja Spider Clan, trained from a young age in the art of spider-related combat (whatever that means). Peter becomes the last member of the clan when his uncle and sensei, Ben, is killed by Venom.
He then gains the ability to shoot webs, for some reason, and is later able to pass that gift on amorously to Mary Jane Watson, making her Spider-Woman. His abilities appear to be on par with those of the mainstream Spider-Man, although we’re meant to believe that Peter gained them solely through training. It's fitting, given his character design’s similarity to Dragon Ball Z’s Krillin.369142Love this?
Bruce Banner Can Summon Monsters
The Mangaverse Bruce Banner is predictably a brilliant scientist, but his expertise involves researching the Negative Zone rather than creating gamma bombs. Manga Banner is hired on two occasions, once through trickery by HYDRA and once by Tony Stark, to build an energy well that can tap into the Negative Zone’s energy.
This experimentation gives Banner strange abilities, but instead of turning into a giant monster, he gains the ability to summon giant monsters. This plot change is obviously inspired by the popularity of monster-battling mangas, and it makes Banner into a significantly different character. Banner’s go-to monster is still the Hulk, who happens to be over 100-feet tall in the Mangaverse. The Hulk may have flown off in a plane at the end of Age of Ultron, but the Manga Bruce Banner ends up ascending to an entirely different plane of existence!301116Love this?
Iron Maiden Is Tony Stark’s More Talented, Mech-Wielding Sister
There is a Mangaverse version of Iron Man, but much more interesting is Iron Maiden, his sister. Antoinette Stark is better known as Toni, which means that renowned genius Howard Stark thought it was a good idea to give his kids the same name. Go figure.
Toni, who is referred to as “Iron B*tch” by the Wasp, is the superior warrior to her brother, with some inherent martial talent to go along with her battle armor. Said armor comes equipped with outrageously gigantic guns, and Gundam-inspired mech evolutions. Toni Stark is in a romantic relationship with the Mangaverse Bruce Banner (who is not the Hulk), and the two “ascend to another plane of existence” at the end of the series.268118Love this?