A Dustin Nguyen illustrated cover that pays homage to the classic Jack Burnley cover from the 1940’s AND a beloved Batman: The Animated Series episode? Come on. While it’s worth picking up this $2.99 comic for that cover alone, you’re also in store for what I think is the best issue of Batman: Li’l Gotham yet!

Issue #9 opens with a story that’s not holiday related at all, which deviates from the usual series formula…oh, who am I kidding, Comic-Con is a holiday for us fans! If you’ve ever been to a comic book convention, you’ll love all of the hilarious commentary that Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs have to offer in this short story that sees Batman and Robin hunt Clayface through a crowded convention center. The writers clearly put a lot of their own personal experiences into this tale (even going so far as inserting themselves into the comic) that lampoons the convention atmosphere in a way that will really hit home for all who have ever attended such an event. Quite simply: the nerdy you are, the more you’re going to enjoy this one.

The following story is loosely themed around the holiday of Labor Day. Li’l Gotham is well-known for basing its episodes around holidays but this one is more of an amusing sketch that features more cameos from the DC Universe than ever before and the best use of the Jenna Duffy “Carpenter” character I’ve ever seen. Carpenter has made quite a few appearances in Li’l Gotham but this is the first time I’ve really accepted her. It’s Labor Day and she just wants to take a much-deserved day off, but all of the villains keep calling her up hoping she’ll stop by to fix their evil hideout. It’s really funny and, like everything else, beautifully presented by Nguyen.

This is a comic that is overflowing with love for the Batman mythology and Dustin Nguyen’s watercolors are a delight to look at.

Recommended If…

  • You love Batman. Plain and simple.

Overall

This issue was great from cover to cover. It’s an absolute must-read for Batman fans of all ages and would make a great stocking-stuffer. Don’t thumb your nose at it and say “that’s kid stuff.” It’s funny, beautifully illustrated, and a great tribute to all the characters from the mythology you love. There aren’t a lot of issues of Batman: Li’l Gotham left and that might be a good thing because issue #9 is going to be VERY hard to top.

SCORE: 10/10