Well, this is a little embarassing. I seem to have somehow missed issue 21 of Li'l Gotham when it came out. Strange considering that I normally check for new issues at least once a week. Well, that's a lie, I usually check for a new issue every single day. However, this will make for a longer review as I cover both of them at once, since my normal reviews tend to be a bit on the short side. Because let's admit it, while Li'l Gotham may be briliant, it doesn't have quite as much material for me to talk about per issue.
Let's start things off with issue 21:
Batman and Robin visit Talia and Ra's in their mountain palace. While there they are attacked by the reanimated corpses of the order of St Dumas.
This chapter was good, but probably not my favorite. While Li'l Gotham takes a much more family friendly approach to Batman's world, I have a hard time swallowing Talia and Ra's as anything but what they are in the regular continuity. Granted I have that same problem with the Joker during a lot of these stories, but there's something really weird, and yet a bit enjoyable, about the concept of them actually forming some kind of disfunctional (though more functional than some) family with Bruce and Damian. Though Bruce and Talia seem to be getting on a lot better than they were last time I saw them together, as evidenced by a scene of the two of them coming out of the same room after hours.
The gentle ribbing about the New 52 costumes was appreciated, as it shows that DC can make fun of itself. Though while I don't think the editorial staff would make the jokes, at least they can let them slide when someone else makes them.
Batman: Li'l Gotham Chapter #21:
And now for issue 22:
The Clock King develops an invention that allows him to stop time for everyone but himself. When he enacts his villainous scheme Batman is too late to stop him. But the caped crusader as always is thinking ahead and his future self has contacted all his alternate universe counterparts that have been unaffected by Clock King's device. They take Clock King on and disable his device, allowing the current Batman to take the villain in.
This is a bit of a kitchen sink of ideas for Batman fans. It draws not only from elseworld titles, but quite heavily on the animated univerese as well as some silver age ideas. We could have had an entire chapter devoted to alternate Batmen from the silver age alone, but I'm glad to see we focus on a wider sample that the Batman universe has to offer us. Unlike other instances of alternate versions of the same character interacting it's actualy downplayed quite a bit in this issue. This is mostly due to space restraints in the individual issue, but it does lend an amusing bit of "been there done that" to the whole event. Which strangely works, because Batman has experienced such weird things that meeting alternate and future versions of himself really shouldn't warrant more than a "Okay, that's cool" reaction.
The one complaint I might have is that it doesn't focus on the side characters as much, which is one of the main reasons I read this series. But that's a minor complaint when compared to the complaints many of the other books are receiving right now.
Batman: Li'l Gotham Chapter #22:
Reviewed by Derek Bown