Li'l Gotham #8
I was beginning to worry Li'l Gotham had lost its creative spark, but last issue showed me that this series still has lots of potential. This issue promises Easter eggs and the Mad Hatter. Does this combination prove to be a winning surprise, or is this an Easter egg better left hidden?
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In this issue, Batman and Robin must track down the Easter Bunny to stop Mad Hatter from murder and mayhem.
Dark and Humorless
If last issue proved to me that I should not worry about Li'l Gotham's potential, this issue proved to me that I should still be worried about Li'l Gotham in practice. It is just about everything I want this series to avoid.
First, this really is a rather dark story. I mean, it's dressed up as being as silly, but when you really think about what's happening, it's not nearly so light hearted as it pretends. At its core, this issue is about The Mad Hatter trying to blow up some random child because (and this is me trying to find some justification for his actions which were never provided by the story) he is jealous of their childlike wonder and innocence. That's a laugh a minute story everybody wants to share with their family, right?
To be fair, it's hardly as bad as Joker cutting off his face, but still, child murder is not really a funny concept. If it were just Mad Hatter attempting to kill Damian, then maybe we could overlook that, but since these are civilians, it's just a bit too dark for me to ever find the comedy in the story.
Also making it difficult to find the comedy in the story is the severe lack of comedy in the story. It all looks wonderful, of course, but where is the humor? Damian is playing a Superman video game at the beginning. That's not funny. What little amounts to the plot is set up, and that's not funny. We see a fight between Batman and henchmen which is also not funny.
There are a couple of humorous moments, I admit. Seeing the Walrus try to figure out how to drink his tea was great, and watching Damian tackle the Easter Bunny was something you never realized you wanted to see, but it's just not that enchanting in general.
Even if you try to ignore the lack of funny and take this as a serious story, it is sloppily constructed. Ignoring things like Mad Hatter being able to find and hack Batman's computer system, there are more puzzling moments of the story. Batman and Robin wonder about rave dancers' bizarre dance moves, yet this is never explained. The Mad Hatter tells the crowd to attack Batman and Robin, but nothing happens. Batman and Robin are knocked out by guards from nowhere which is overly convenient . The way the story climaxes is pretty far fetched even for a comical comics, (Spoilers) and the end of the issue features the implication that Robin served Mad Hatter his own exploding egg which makes no sense.
I tried to convince myself this deserved a higher score, but I just could not do it. I simply did not enjoy this issue or much of anything in it. The only thing you really need to see is Damian tackling the Easter Bunny, and I've already shown you that, so I cannot recommend the issue.
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