In the many Batman related titles that DC Comics publishes, they have found room in their catalogue for a series that is light and funny about the Dark Knight. This series is called Li’l Gotham.
Li’l Gotham takes a look at the humorous side of the Batman mythos with funny and spoof stories, and very cartoony water color painting style by Dustin Nguyen.
This week issue no. 12 came out. A special Father’s day issue, the plot revolved around Barbara Gordon taking her father Commissioner Gordon out to dinner for Father’s Day at a packed Chinese restaurant. When forced to share a table with other customers, it is just the Gordons’ luck to be seated with international terrorists Ra’s and Talia Al Ghul.
Meanwhile, back at Wayne Manor. Batman, Nightwing, Red Hood, Red Robin, and Robin attempt to make a special father’s day dinner for Alfred. However, as skilled as they are at stopping crime, they do not possess the proper skills to make a good Father’s Day dinner.
Li’l Gotham is meant to be fun, and it is clear that it does not take itself seriously. For someone who reads all the titles related to the Bat family, this is a welcome addition to the reading stack. I love reading the various titles, and really love the dark and gritty tone that normally accompanies a Batman story. However, the change of tone in Li’l Gotham provides a nice change of pace from the normal seriousness of Batman. I would not want every title to be like this one. However, having one provides some nice diversity to the reading of Batman every month.
The series spoofs the personalities and relationships within the Batman universe, and puts them into everyday life situations. For example, the Gordons’ quarrel with the Al Ghuls at the Chinese restaurant opens the door for a lot of jokes to be made about both families, and is able to poke fun at content that is normally presented in a very serious and sincere manner.
The art fits the tone of the book. The color painted style depicts the characters in a very humorous and cartoony way. Despite the fact that the characters’ faces and bodies are exaggerated to fit the humorous tone of the story, the art is actually really good. The artist Dustin Nguyen does conventional work for DC Comics, and it is impressive to see the type of range he has, being able to draw both serious and humorous styles very well.
Do not discount this series because it is humorous. As great as the serious comic stories are, you’ll be happy you have one in the stack that changes the pace from serious and intricate story lines to funny and very simple ones.