In the first story Batman and Nightwing stop Mr Freeze from kidnapping a children’s choir. In the second story Catwoman vows to turn over a new leaf for the new year. But a surprise visit from Harley and Ivy test her resolution.
The first thing that strikes me about this print version of the digital first Li’l Gotham is how well the pages are put together. In the digital release half a page of the printed edition is a full page in the digital chapters. I was afraid it wouldn’t go well together when put into a full page, that there would be a clear line through the middle of each page. Fortunately the folks at DC are in fact professional picture people and know how to make this book look good.
And look good it does, Dustin Nguyen’s lines and colors make this a soft book not only in art, but his writing makes it a soft book in story as well. And by soft I don’t mean the kind of flabby softness of the out of shape individual. Rather I mean the softness of a docile, sleekly muscled kitty. It’s soft and cuddly feelings, but it has the power of talent behind it that promises this will not be a “kiddy book”. I’ve read comics aimed at children. This is not a comic aimed at children. This is a comic for children and their Bat Fan parents.
If I had one thing to say about the art it’s that the loose style Nguyen uses in his art does make it difficult to distinguish some characters. For example, in my last review I mentioned how I assumed the unknown woman could be Selina. Only she doesn’t quite look the same in the second chapter of this issue. But I know there is enough variation from panel to panel that it makes it difficult to identify the many, many dark haired characters from time to time.
The best endorsement I can give for this series is that I gave the first issue to my cousin’s kids. They loved it, he loved it, the only one who didn’t love it was my cousin’s wife because their daughter wouldn’t put it down and come to dinner. I really hope DC takes advantage of this series and considers more well written, child friendly series. I know they’ve done child friendly series before, but most of the time it’s the same schlock we expect kids to enjoy. If they’re going to enjoy it, and become future comic readers, they need to be treated with the same respect adult readers are treated with.