Fathers Day may be a week away but that does not stop this holiday themed issue of Li’l Gotham from delivering some always welcome fun. So, anyone ever wonder how a family dinner with the Al Ghuls could go? or perhaps you’ve had the thought of Batman and the Robins cooking in the kitchen? well then, this is an issue not to be missed. Also, stick around in the overview for a brief personal story that made my week last Wednesday.
So i’ve bought an IPad Mini recently and I have to say; reading Digital Comics has become not only more fun but also more interactive, the bigger display has given me a better look at this world that Dustin Ngyuen and Derek Fridolfs have created and those intricate little details in the art I have mentioned here before have become far more visible than ever before. With this newfound appreciation in the art I have to say that the recent push in the Digital platform by DC Comics has me more excited than ever before. Comics are to become more interactive digitally and I for one am very intrigued by what’s to come.
Barbara takes her Father Jim Gordon to dinner for Father’s Day, all is not well though as she soon finds out that the restaurant has been overbooked and therefore she must share a table with another family to be served. Jim tells Barbara that she need not worry as he prefers a simpler time spent elsewhere but she refuses. At the table, the Gordons discover that their seating buddies are none other than Talia and Ra’s Al Ghul who are also out for a Father’s Day dinner. The families are in obvious tension as they stand on opposite sides of Justice and make it ever so clear by declaring it out loud. In no other book will readers not bother questioning how Barbara is so loose with ehr secret identity around her father. Barbara receives a call from Alfred who is concerned at how the Robins and Batman have began an attempt to cook for him for the day. We are treated to an oddly hilarious scene where Batman and the Robins (Dick, Jason, Tim and Damian) destroy the kitchen in a futile attempt to make home cooked meal for Alfred. Eventually the faithful Butler steps in when all the food is seemingly lost, back at the restaurant; Barbara and company finally receive their meal. Barbara however sees an attempted poisoning on the part of a League Of Shadows rival gang of ninjas and so a fight ensues between the rival ninja clan and the Gordon/Al Ghul gang. The issue ends with Batman and the Robins ordering take out and spending their Father’s Day together eating and having a great time with Alfred, It’s a scene to truly bring a geeky cry of joy.
This issue ends on a happy note like all the others but just like the previous issue (#11) we get a moment that you kind of think up in your mind but has never been translated to page before; Alfred getting the father treatment and really acknowledging that he is a father to this tribe of “Lost Boys trying to be good men”. I know this book is all fun and cheery but if you look between the panels you get a heavy sense of a great story and not just a typical “kiddie book” as some people may dismiss it to be. Let me derail my conversation a bit here: Last week I bought an extra print copy of Batman: Li’l Gotham #1 on Wednesday’s “New Comic Day”, I already own a copy but that one has been bagged and board’ed. The extra was to be one I could read at any time without having to draw the original out of storage, on my way home (both from work and the comic shop), In the train, was a woman and her son both coming home from school (as the backpack suggested) the boy seemed to be a bit upset as he was (a bit loudly) telling his mom about he disappointed over not getting some sort of prize in a school competition. I could not help but listen to the conversation as the packed rush hour train forced me close to them and a group of other strangers also headed home. The boy, it seems was hoping to win a Batman themed comic but the prize was taken by a classmate before he could ask for it. It was then that I reached into my bag and drew out my extra Lil Gotham #1 and handed over to the mother of the boy. The kid’s face lit up and he quickly began flipping through the pages, the mother tried to compensate me but I told her it was alright as I’m always happy to spread a good book around. My stop promptly came and I took my leave but I gotta say this moment really made my week. It is odd to think about it but nowadays most comic book readers are adults and rarely do kids ever get a good book that doesn’t talk down to them. To me this book is the perfect read for a kid trying to decipher the world of the Dark Knight through the eyes of childhood. So to Mr Ngyuen and Mr Fridolfs I thank you both for an excellent book. Keep it up! we need more books like these as monthlies.
FINAL GRADE: 10/10