The first three-part arc, Crush, from Webtoon finished up last week with Batman: Wayne Family Adventures #8-10. While they were a little forgetful, Ian and Steph finally got around to chatting about it. Let’s see if they liked it. Warning: Spoilers be ahead.
Steph: Ah! Ian! We’re so late on this review! And there was romance and everything. What did you think of the “Crush” arc?
Ian: I thought it was quite nice! Duke is finally back in the spotlight, though he’s still more of an audience identification character without a whole lot of really defining traits or wacky exaggerations that most of the rest of the Bat-Family has to distinguish them. What did you think of how they used his character in this three-part arc?
Steph: I think it was decently clever. He’s introduced as a new character at the beginning of the comic, so it makes sense that he is the one to experience new life adventures. It did show how much he’s bonded with the “Waynes” already, calling them his brothers and sisters.
Ian: That was a really nice bit – the “Family” part of the “Wayne Family Adventures” was really on display here – you had the first episode featuring Dick giving sometimes good, sometimes terrible dating advice, the second with Steph, Tim, and Damian teasing and following Duke on his date, and the third with Dick and Cass comforting Duke after the breakup. Each character really got moments where they shone – I, of course, loved Steph’s pure hilarious energy and affectionate teasing and driving Duke crazy. What was your favorite character interaction?
Steph: To be honest, one of my favorites was one we never got, which was the Bruce was ready to be there as well, though more in a “life goes on” kind of way. But Duke wasn’t ready for that yet, so I did love that Dick and Cass and Damian (inside) were protecting him from that. But it is all out of love.
What did you think of the story ending so quickly? And with so little explanation of why it ended.
Ian: Well, I have reread it a couple of times, and on the second and third times, I think that there might be more going on here – perhaps the breakup was actually because of a secret villain identity! I am a bit disappointed that we didn’t get one of Duke’s many, many love interests – he has Claire (Gotham Girl), Riko, and Izzy at least! But Ana was a fun enough character.
Steph: I suspect it was his night job. When you aren’t willing to trust someone with your secret, I imagine it would take a toll on any relationship, but especially a romantic one. But I imagine that it doesn’t really matter.
Ian: That also occurred to me – but that would have much less opportunity for ongoing hijinks!
Steph: I do love that Cass is one of the” listeners” at the end. I think we often think we have to talk to comfort someone, but Cass, who is sparing with her words, shows that the right thing to do sometimes is just there.
Ian: That was a really, really nice moment of characterization – I do think that these writers and artists really “get” the characters, even if sometimes they play it up for comedic effect. What did you think of this first attempt at a longer storyline? Do you think it justified three strips?
Steph: But I feel they use the right characters in the right moments, even the silly ones. I think so it was justified. I think each strip embodied a new feeling – anticipation and excitement, love and acceptance, and then rejection and mourning. I feel that shorter would not have been as “compelling” a story and would not have done a good job portraying each of those feels. And of course, it ends without really changing the status quo. I do wonder if this emotional connection will carry on as character development if that’s something we even get in this series.
Ian: I hope so! I’d like to see some references to past strips start to happen, to give the characters a sense that things matter more than just the general sense that they are the same characters.
Steph: So, final thoughts. I really liked it and I think they did justice to all the family but did a great job keeping the focus on Duke and how he is fitting into life and with the Waynes. I’m excited for more!
Ian: I agree! This was a very nice little story arc, and it really did justice to all of the characters and progressed Duke’s storyline. And the art was consistently delightful and full of character.
Steph: For sure! Well, have a good night, and I can’t wait to review the next few with you!
Ian: Indeed! It’s looking good for the Adventures of the Wayne Family!
Editor’s Note: You can find the Batman: Wayne Family Adventures #8-10 exclusively on the Webtoon platform.