The last issue of Bat-Mite is here….or should I say FINALLY here. Now maybe I’m just in a good mood since I don’t have to dread reviewing more issues of this mini-series, but I didn’t find the finale to be as intolerable as I was expecting. But don’t misinterpret that as a recommendation. This is still a hot mess.
As we join the story in progress, we discover that Bat-mite has decided to expand his makeover talents to more than just heroes. For some unknown reason, he starts targeting national monuments and politicians. While I admittedly found the monument makeovers slightly amusing, the political stuff didn’t do anything for me at all. Part of that stems from the fact that I don’t follow politics, so for all I know these pages were hilarious, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and bet against that. Humor value aside, the inclusion of contemporary satire seemed out of place in the greater context of this series. Pardon me for not committing every moment to memory, but I don’t recall any other jokes that relied so heavily on an understanding of contemporary issues. Much of what this series has pushed as humor has been slapstick, decades old pop culture references, and a smidgen of comic book related in-jokes.
From here, Bat-Mite enters his final confrontation with Gridlock. Not surprisingly, Gridlock gets the drop on our half-witted hero. When Bat-Mite regains consciousness, he is tied up in a chair and prepped to watch the pilot episode of Galaxy Trek. Upon completion of which, he is to be executed. Bat-Mite spends a peculiarly long amount of time trying to convince Gridlock to untie him in exchange for being transported into the world of Galaxy Trek. Why exactly did Bat-Mite need to be untied? He could have magically turned the ropes into Twizzlers if he wanted. He could have just teleported away. He could have wished a cage out of thin air to contain Gridlock. It makes the whole scene redundant. Once free, he actually grants Gridlock his wish! I suppose trapping Gridlock in an alternate dimension is far more permanent and way less risky than sending him to jail.
Once this is resolved, a Sentry Silent appears to take Bat-Mite home. And for absolutely no reason whatsoever, the robot has Bennington and Weeds with him. It’s as if Jurgens wanted to include a touching farewell scene but could not come up with a logical reason to have the characters in the finale. Characters who, in my opinion, served no purpose anyway. When it was revealed that Bennington was FBI and we had that ominous closing scene from a previous issue where her boss told her to keep an eye on Bat-Mite, I was certain it would lead to the government trying to utilize Bat-Mite for some unsightly gain. A wasted opportunity if you ask me.
But this ending takes the cake in presenting false pretenses. This entire story has been building to this moment. Bat-Mite was exiled by them. When he speaks of them, he has a genuine fear in his voice. This is serious stuff. How will he ever get out of this situation. And then this happens…
You’ve got to be kidding me. That is the most anti-climactic ending in the history of endings. It’s one thing to present jokes to the readers, but this is a joke on the readers. We have gone on this journey, expecting some kind of relevant outcome (at least I was, though I should have known better), only to be presented with this. I’m so miffed with this ending I can’t even correctly express my annoyance through words. Well, at least it’s finally over…
- The cover for this issue reminded me of Batman #477 & 478(1992). Both have a claymation like quality to them and instead of being illustrated are actually photographs of sculpted/constructed pieces.
- Hattori Hanzo was a real life Samurai from the 16th century. He has appeared in a countless number of Japanese films, books, video games, anime, and manga. For a more recognizable reference for western audiences, look no further than Quentin Tarantino’s homage to the character in Kill Bill.
- My last recommendation to you from the halls of Bat-Mite history is Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #38(1992) and Batman: Mitefall(1995). Both tales follow the character of Bob Overdog, a drug addict who may very well be hallucinating this whole tale. While #38 is entertaining, it primarily serves to set up the groundwork for the sequel. Mitefall is essentially a parody of the Knightfall story line but also devotes time to poking fun at other Batman stories and DC related entities.
- You want to know how this mockery of a Bat-Mite tale ends.
I said it before, and now that it’s done, I can say it with all confidence. This mini-series is, without a doubt, one of the worst collections of Bat-Mite stories I have ever read!
SCORE: 3.5 / 10