Spring has sprung, and with time passing since our last review, that means Ian and Steph are back to review the latest chapters of Batman: Wayne Family Adventures! Let’s find out all about the latest batch with our review of Batman: Wayne Family Adventures #76-78.
Steph: Hi Ian! Man, it feels like it’s been forever since we’ve talked about Batman: Wayne Family Adventures, and now we have #76-78 released!
Ian: The time does sometimes drag! We should invest in some Speed Force!
Steph: Well, let’s get right into it. We left off on an emotional cliffhanger of sorts, exploring Duke’s insecurities as the only Bat-Family member with powers. What did you think of Ep. 76 – Worth (Part 2)? It kind of established his status quo in this universe. I found it helpful if nothing else.
Ian: I thought it was a very nice, sincere conversation that highlighted some really nice aspects of Duke and Luke’s characters – but I felt it fell a bit flat, as we didn’t see any really plot-related overcoming aspects as we have in similar stories in WFA. I don’t think it’s bad, but it does feel like one of the weaker two-part character studies.
Steph: From an art standpoint, I was a little disappointed that we got our beloved Starbite but only drew two characters, mostly sitting, though there were flashbacks to action sequences. I agree this one was a little weaker, but honestly, I felt it was still relatable to people. Our worth doesn’t come from what others think of us, even Batman.
Ian: Definitely true! I think the message is fine, but it doesn’t quite connect as strongly to Duke specifically, instead of any other Bat-Family member. I did very much appreciate the bits of Duke’s comic history that were put in there, and the pictures of him looking over the city were magnificent (shoutout to Suzi Blake for backgrounds, for sure!)
Steph: Now for something fun, Ep. 77 – Suit Up! I knew the moment Jason piped up what Bat-suit Bruce would end up with.
Ian: Really? I was expecting Zur-en-Arr or something really bizarre, but Rainbow Batman is pretty incredible.
Steph: I think one of the first books I read, when I started comics was Trinity Vol 1 Better Together, where they show Rainbow Batman, so I immediately had to find out more, so it has a cherished place in my heart. We did get to see Zur-en-Arr. Did you recognize any of the other options? I want to know more about the green, yellow, striped, and pink ones.
Ian: I saw a big Kelly Jones Ears Batman suit! But honestly, I didn’t recognize most of them! Did you? Azrael, I think was there.
Steph: I didn’t recognize many of them. I mean, I’ve probably seen some of them in passing, like thumbnails for videos or articles about “Crazy stuff Batman has done in the past 80 years” or whatever.
Ian: I am so curious if the writing and art team pulled up those lists and decided which ones to feature using that! Sounds like a whole lot of fun!
Steph: It does.
Ian: What did you think of the choice of Dick, Jason, and Kate as the conspirators?
Steph: Jason made sense, Dick made sense if he knew Bruce was okay and doing this wouldn’t harm him, and Kate is just a surprise…but as the “good girl,” I know it can be fun to take people by surprise by doing something unexpected every once in a while. What did you think? I feel like Steph might have been a better choice than Dick.
Ian: My bigger surprise was Kate because she hasn’t really had that many connections in WFA (or even in the comics). She’s always kind of a standoffish character, both structurally and personality-wise (not a negative at all – I’m a bit Kate Kane fan!) I think it’s really fun seeing her tease her cousin, and it definitely fits with what we see in James Tynion’s Detective Comics run!
Steph: This one was fun. Do you know the story of the rainbow suit? Oh, I forgot that he wore brightly colored suits for a while, in addition to the rainbow one.
Ian: I feel like I knew the story at one point but don’t remember it anymore. I think Grant Morrison talked about it as part of the Black Casebook that Batman RIP drew upon. Kate and Jason both had the Pink and Green versions of those batsuits that inspired Dick to seek out the rainbow one! What’d you think of Jim taking a “bad outfit” work shot? I thought it was pretty funny, especially after all the Robins put the Commissioner through!
Steph: For sure. Not every day Gordon gets a chance like that. But, anyway, Batman was protecting Robin’s identity because he had hurt his arm, so Dick and Robin were wearing casts, and so to distract people from noticing that Robin was hurt, he wore crazy colors. Course…Robin probably should have stayed home, but whatevs.
Ian: Gotta love the logic of the Ancient Comics! We must be WACKY!
Steph: Now, I am criminally behind on Red Hood and the Outlaws Webtoon, but I loved this cross-over: Ep. 78 – Outlaws. Very much more light-hearted than the actual serious.
Ian: That is true! I also loved the crossover and seeing the normally much grittier Outlaws in Starbites polished style! Though I do remember back in the early episodes of Outlaws, there were lighthearted references to the rest of the Bat-Family! There has been a bit of fan grumbling about it because they don’t think the tones of the two comics mesh – what are your thoughts on that?
Steph: I think there needs to be something for everyone. I love that if WFA isn’t your jam, Outlaws is there for you. If you’re sick of the Bat-Family, there’s Vixen and Zatanna (Zatanna x John 4 Evah, btw). I’m glad they’re different.
Ian: I am glad they’re different, too – I also don’t mind the crossover, but some fans feel they should be separate universes
I say, “it’s comics.” But do you think it might be confusing to a fan who isn’t used to these kinds of crossovers?
Steph:…but then how will Alfred serve tea and cookies to Biz and Artemis?
Ian: That’s what I say! How can you not cherish these moments?
Steph: It’s not like it was necessary for fans to read this episode to understand anything. From what I could tell, it was a throwaway episode in the Outlaws universe and a delightful nugget of driving Jason nuts in the WFA universe. It’s fine. People need to chill.
Ian: Chill is sadly rarer than the rarest comics variant in comics fandom! Ah well. I loved this crossover – the personalities and character designs were so appealing and fun.
Steph: Man…I think this is our first review not ending on a cliffhanger in a while! What do you want to see if future episodes?
Ian: I think I’d like to see some more unconventional groupings, like adding Batwoman to things. Maybe throwing Harper into a couple more episodes, and course, more Catwoman. But always STEPH!
Steph: I think I’d like to see a girl or guys night out. Or maybe both! Like they keep running into each other and stealing people from each other’s groups. That would be cute.
Ian: Those are great ideas!
Steph: Well, I’ll talk to you next time!
Editor’s Note: You can find Batman: Wayne Family Adventures #76-78 and all other past chapters exclusively on the Webtoon platform. You can find all other reviews from the series here at The Batman Universe.