Batman: Wayne Family Adventures
Writer: CRC Payne
Storyboards: Maria Li
Backgrounds and Rendering: Lan Ma
Flats: Jean Kim
Lettering: Kielamel Sibal
Production: Susan Chang & Wil Kennedy
Batman Created by: Bob Kane and Bill Finger
Anyone who even remotely follows this blog or our podcast knows that I have long lamented the state of DC Comics in general and the BatFam in particular. Whether it’s Bruce’s ongoing and active abuse of his children; the nerfing of one character in order to make other characters look better; the disconnect between what we’re being told of the characters, ‘They’re heroes!’ and their actual canon behavior, which has hardly been heroic, it’s been a struggle to care about Bruce Wayne and his brood.
Which is why Wayne Family Adventures has been an utter delight. Starting with Duke Thomas’ official adoption by Bruce Wayne and ending with Jason Todd’s trauma not only addressed but empathized with in a way we’ve never seen in the main canon, season one of this series shows exactly what can be done with the characters when we remember that Bruce Wayne is a father, by choice, several times over.
Written by CRC Payne the webcomic is a weekly slice of life entry that follows the day-to-day shenanigans of the Wayne family. Whether it’s fights over who has to deal with The Condiment King, Bruce trying to figure out which of his children will cause the least amount of damage at a gala (Spoiler alert: the answer is none. Not one. They’re all chaos gremlins.) or the heartbreak of a first break-up the series does something no entry in DC canon since has Super Sons: make the case that Bruce Wayne actually is a good father and shouldn’t be reported to CPS.
While the artwork by Maria Li is simple it’s effective, giving off a manga vibe and getting the emotions and story across even when no words are spoken. More importantly it does something that none of the mainstream DC Comics can seem to figure out how to do: have characters of color, namely Damian, Cass, Duke and Talia, actually look like they should. Damian is a perfect, adorably murderous, mini Bruce with Talia Al Ghul’s gorgeous brown skin and green eyes. Cass looks like a young Asian woman; Duke isn’t just colored in to be Black but his, and Luke Fox’s, facial features actually look like they’re of African descent and not just blackface on white features.
All in all this series is everything I could ever want in a BatFam book and the main DC canon (and films) would do well to emulate the care, continuity and fun of the series.
5 of Alfred’s Cookies out of 5
Season 2 of Wayne Family Adventures has just dropped and updates every week!