The crossover event of the season—Filipino artists and superhero comics—has popped back up in 2022. The next installment’s latest stars? “Kikomachine Komix’s” Manix Abrera, alongside a certain caped hero by the name of, well, Batman.
After local artists like Betsy Cola, Rian Gonzalez, and Rob Cham took on Marvel and “Life is Strange,” the latest illustrator to take the helm of the comic cover is Manix Abrera, whose work will grace a variant cover for “Batman: The Knight’s” first issue.
Speaking with Inquirer, the illustrator recounted how DC Comics tapped him for the project, which all began with a late October email from Ben Abernathy, editor of the “Batman” line of books for DC.
“Nag-yes ako kaagad,” he said. According to Abrera, he submitted studies immediately after. “Buti na-approve agad ’yung sketch and concept.”
(I immediately said yes. It was a good thing that my sketch and concept were quickly approved.)
The concept in question takes cues from Batman’s look in the “Golden Age” series, with an homage to the hero’s appearance in the 1939 cover of “Detective Comics” #31. Aside from the expansive mythos of the Dark Knight, Abrera was also inspired by the Philosopher’s Stone—not the “Harry Potter” book, but the alchemy legend inspired by it.
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“The transmutation of base metals into gold, wherein enlightenment is reached in distinct processes. Young Bruce undergoes the different stages of grief (written on his path to the temple) to be fully transformed into Batman,” writes Sanctum Sanctorum Comics on Instagram. “The temple symbolizes the bat cave (forming a Batman symbol on the chest of Batman silhouette) while Lady Justice and his parents’ graves serve as a reminder for his ultimate purpose in life.”
Written by Chip Zdarsky and illustrated by Carmine Di Giandomenico, “Batman: The Knight” is a 10-issue miniseries that’s an origin story of sorts—peeking at the events between the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents and his return to Gotham City after training to become Batman.
Abrera’s variant cover is exclusive to Sanctum Sanctorum Comics and local store Comic Odyssey. It’s priced at $14.99 (around P765), and available for pre-order through Comic Odyssey’s site.
But if you’re on the hunt for more Manix Abrera reads to jumpstart your 2022 reading challenge, the Filipino artist has recently dropped a graphic novel take on Ricky Lee’s “Si Amapola.” (Manananggals and Batman? Four for you, winged creatures.)
Cover by Manix Abrera, courtesy of DC Comics