Issue #2 of Li’l Gotham collects the digital-first Christmas and New Year’s Eve specials. I enjoyed both of these and reviewed them earlier this year when they were originally released on comixology for a dollar a piece. So, yes, you’re actually paying a buck more for the print version but I find it more satisfying to hold a real paper comic in my hands than a laptop or a tablet so I’m fine with this.
I hate to be pessimistic, but the Christmas special is likely the last good Mr. Freeze story you’ll read for quite some time. Writers Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs (thankfully) ignored the New 52 changes both to Freeze’s suit and his personality and it makes for a much more impressive looking baddie and a more heartwarming story. I’m not a fan of the new direction that Snyder and Tynion took the character in the Batman Annual so it was nice to see Li’l Gotham use the Batman: The Animated Series incarnation of Victor Fries. As always, the watercolors by Nguyen are gorgeous and there’s some really cute and memorable Christmas imagery with everything from a caroling bat-family to adorable woodland creatures, and even Santa Claus himself. It’s one of the best stories in this whole series with a high re-read value. For a more in-depth review, check out what I wrote back in December: Batman: Li’l Gotham #3 — 9/10 review
The New Year’s Eve special isn’t quite as cute and the illustrations aren’t as quirky or memorable, but it’s arguably one of the funniest tales to come from Li’l Gotham. There’s not much Batman at all, instead we follow Catwoman, who is trying real hard to hold her New Year’s Resolution of being good even while having a girl’s night out with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. It’s a whole lot of fun, especially for those who enjoyed Paul Dini’s Gotham City Sirens series and the Harley and Ivy episodes of Batman: The Animated Series. For a more in-depth review, check out what I wrote back in January: Batman: Li’l Gotham #4 — 8.5/10 review
Like the first issue, Li’l Gotham #2 is a must-buy for fans of all ages and makes a really fantastic way to introduce the littlest superhero fans to the Batman mythology. Granted, you’re going to get a lot more enjoyment out of these stories next winter when they’re respective holidays come about but the important thing to note is that the 2 tales bundled in this book are good enough that you will indeed want to revisit them year after year.