Oh no! Ian and Steph stopped their last review on a cliffhanger! The wait is over for fans of Batman: Wayne Family Adventures. Let’s check in with them and see their review of Batman: Wayne Family Adventures #61-63.
Steph: Hi Ian! Man, I can’t believe we cut off our last review after the first part of a multi-part episode! But what did you think of #61, What Matters Most (Part 2)? I totally called it! Harper started a self-defense course!
Ian: You did! You must have Psychic Powers like Madame Xanadu! I thought it was a very nice wrap-up for the arc – Harper stealing Steph’s Black Canary shirt (this is a reference to Steph wearing Canary merch in both Catwoman #47 from the n52 and recently in the Batgirls series), and an interesting resolution to Harper being not as active as a vigilante.
In the comics, Harper does Robin Hood-style infrastructure work as an electrical engineer, but that’s a lot more involved than WFA tends to go. So instead, we have Batman Cobra Kai, with Harper opening her own Dojo!
Ian: What did you think of the resolution?
Steph: I did like that she was tinkering around with electronics. I thought it was very satisfying. It was a real-world solution to a problem she saw. I love seeing solutions to societal issues other than throwing money or punches at them. What did you think of Cullen? I was so happy he wasn’t…annoying and stupid?
Ian: Indeed. And it fits very well with the Batman street ninja skillset that Harper, Steph, and Cass have!
Steph: He usually strikes me as a plot-devices damsel in distress.
Ian: Cullen was quite solid – much less annoying and stupid than in the Punchline backups, for sure!
Steph: For sure. What about the Vixen crossover, #62 Live From New York? I LOVED seeing the original artist back! The art quality of this one was on point.
Ian: For sure! It’s always great seeing Starbite back on art! And I can usually tell – the other art teams are good, but there’s an assurance and appeal to the original art team’s work that really stands out. The crossover was quite fun – it’s neat seeing the characters from Vixen show up in the WFA art style. I’m really curious if this draws readers between the series. It feels a bit more self-contained to me, so it didn’t quite make a huge case for subscribing to the other series, but it was still quite fun.
Steph: That was my take on it.
Ian: It’s probably hard to figure out how to make it a hook for a much more plot-based series like Vixen in a completely gag-of-the-week type strip like WFA.
Steph: Yeah. It would probably have to be longer, and there are only so many episodes you can give to an “advertising” crossover.
Ian: Exactly. At the very least, it hopefully gives readers of WFA the knowledge that Vixen is AROUND to read.
Steph: I have really enjoyed seeing Duke and Damian’s relationship. I think that’s one that’s gone completely untouched in the main canon, but in WFA, it started off with them and has grown and developed over these first two seasons.
Ian: It’s not TOTALLY untouched – Tom King played with it in Robin War – but it’s been dropped since then.
Steph: They really worked well together here. And seemed to have fun.
Ian: But yes, it is really nice to see them having their own unique dynamic
Steph: Speaking of unique dynamic…I’m sure you LOVED #63 Opposite Day.
Ian: You KNOW I did! The original art team continues, and they make Huntress with the Dan Mora design look spectacular!
The writing is just so rich with allusions to their relationship from the Grayson series – banter, Huntress being hardcore, and Dick being like a puppy dog wanting to be friends! What did you think of Dick’s game of playing weapons swap?
Steph: I thought it was very clever. A little risky, perhaps, but they seemed sure of the low stakes. If I were Dick, I’m not sure I would use Huntress’s crossbow as a mallet, as she shows him, though. I’d be too scared of Huntress’s wrath.
Ian: She does seem appropriately wrathful, but she still gives Dick a smile at the end! I also loved the Grayson reference with Dick’s lollipop – hopefully not covered with gross nano-spiders this time!
Steph: I loved Dick’s learning curve. I thought his struggling to reload was pretty fun.
Ian: The bouncing tonfa gag at the end was perfect!
Steph: It was. This was a fun bunch of episodes! I’m so glad that the series still maintains its love of the richness of the characters.
Ian: Agreed! I love that it uses less well-known characters with careful writing, full of humor, appeal, and continuity references for big fans of those characters!
Steph: So, before we go, what would a perfect WFA episode look like to you?
Ian: Hard to say, honestly! Part of me still wants them to try for more character arcs throughout the series – not necessarily a huge arc, but little things like Damian’s friendship at school showing up in a later episode. My perfect episode would probably be Steph and Huntress teaming up as they did in the 90s sometimes. Though I wouldn’t say no to a Tim and Steph getting back together episode! (I know he’s with Bernard currently, but the shipper hopes spring eternal!) Maybe even bringing in some of the Gotham Academy characters as the Batgirls series is doing!
Ian: What about you? What’s the Perfect Steph Episode of WFA?
Steph: Easy peasy – The bat-kids trying to set up a perfect date night for Bruce and Selina, and it going horribly wrong.
Ian: Oh, that’s amazing! And would tie into the first BatCat episode perfectly!
Steph: That was fun. Any last thoughts?
Ian: This was a solid batch of episodes, especially the Huntress one!! Looking forward to where we go next!
Steph: Me too! See you next time, Ian!
Editor’s Note: You can find Batman: Wayne Family Adventures #61-63 and all other past chapters exclusively on the Webtoon platform. You can find all other reviews from the series here at The Batman Universe.