Bat-Mite and Hawkman go toe-to-toe, but who will be left standing after these two behemoths of the DC Universe trade blows and quips! More importantly, is this issue actually funny?
But it isn’t from lack of trying. The book keeps the gags coming our way rapid fire. Each page seems to have a half dozen jokes each. (The concept of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks comes to mind.) Sure…you might find a joke or two in there that tickles your funny bone, but the ratio is severely skewed. On top of that, I’m still not entirely sure who this book is targeting. We get sex jokes, genital shaving jokes, and more pop culture jokes about old sitcoms from the 1980’s. I only found one joke centered exclusively for the comic book crowd, which I find bizarre. If there was ever a time to throw out all your comic related jokes, this is it!
If the jokes aren’t cutting it for you, then perhaps you can get your entertainment from the story. Although, when you consider that Bat-Mite is (for all intents and purposes) omnipotent and all-powerful, there is never really any doubt about his success or fear for his safety. He can teleport, turn a stream of bullets into silly string, or even freeze an opponent with a mere thought. The laws of matter and reality are meaningless to him. Bat-Mite has seldom been depicted as a relatable character. It’s his “sidekicks” for the story that are usually your window into the world. The hallmark of a good Bat-Mite story is pairing him with other characters and then seeing them have to deal with a problem that has been compounded by Bat-Mite’s “help”. Seeing as how this comic lacks relatability, and enough humor to make up for that omission, it makes it hard to find positive things worth pointing out. There are a few however…
The moment above stood out to me because of how much it set itself apart from the rest of the story. Perhaps the joke inherent in this scene was the juxtaposition of having such a serious concept hidden among all this zaniness. The whole page is really a departure from the rest of the book. It featured an immediate change in the quality of writing and in the lucidity of the subject matter being presented. Another moment that also struck me as particularly thought-provoking, was a scene in which Dr. Trauma shares some of her personal insights about the world. It felt odd that a book that I expected to be nothing but laughs and silliness left me thinking so hard about life and societal issues.
Corin Howell handles art again for this issue and continues to deliver a cornucopia of great face-work for Bat-Mite. I actually think that the varying facial expressions and animated body language that she manages to instill within the characters is one of the few things that is holding my interest in this book. Most of the score can be attributed to her contribution.
- Last issue, Dan Jurgens made an Animaniacs reference. This time, we get a reference to an old Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck cartoon in the form of dialogue on a set of tombstones. In the original cartoon, the two characters run across the Abominable Snowman who utters these lines. The Snowman character was poking fun at the character of Lennie from Of Mice and Men. Both Lennie and the Snowman are seen as being too exuberant when it comes to showing affection for their pets, with Lennie usually ending up killing the pet in the process. Is the joke that this is the final resting place of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, or just an Easter egg paying homage to the old cartoon? I find it interesting that Jurgens keeps placing Warner Brothers references into this comic. Afterall, DC is owned by Warner Brothers. Do you think he is trying to grease the wheels with the higher ups, or is he really just a big fan of WB cartoons?
- Now let’s talk about “The Return of Bat-Mite”.
- A year after his first appearance in Detective Comics, Bat-Mite makes his triumphant return. After having annoyed Batman and Robin in their first meeting, Bat-Mite decides to take on a partner who is more interested in the skill set that he has to bring to the table.
- You enjoyed Corin Howell’s facial expression work from last issue and want a second dose.
- When it comes to jokes, your fine with quantity trumping quality.
This book is going nowhere fast! The plot isn’t very engaging, which could be easily forgivable, but the jokes that are spread throughout the entirety also fail to entertain. The only real redeeming feature to this book is the artwork by Corin Howell.
SCORE: 4 / 10