Batman: Wayne Family Adventures is the first title from the DC and Webtoon partnership. This whole new platform for Batman comics content is a manga-style, slice of life Batman comic from artist StarBite, who has been an independent online artist for ten years, and written by CRC Payne, a freelance writer, killing it on this, her first-ever webcomic. DC and Webtoon dropped Batman: Wayne Family Adventures #1-3 on September 8 and Ian, Steph, and Theo from The Batman Universe Comics Podcast wasted no time in checking it out and took their thoughts straight to Discord to discuss.
First Thoughts After It Released:
Steph: I love how dark Damian is! He is often colored too white, so he can match the bat boys set.
Steph: CASS IS ON THE FAMILY PORTRAIT!!
Ian: Steph and Tim and Oracle!
Ian: And Damian trying to do bad things!
Ian: This is perfect so far!
Steph: I love this
Steph: This comic is everything I’ve ever wanted and more
I don’t think I’ve been this happy reading a Batman comic in such a long time
Theo: Noooooooooo dammit!!! She’s Orphan. 🤬🤬🤬
Theo: As a long time Cass fan, I will never accept that name.
Could’ve just called her Black Bat.
There was much squealing and excitement, a few/couple of disappointments (Theo bemoaned the fact that Cass was using her Orphan name), but after they collected themselves and took the time to process what they’d read in Batman: Wayne Family Adventures #1-3, night-owls Ian and Steph sat down to get some of their thoughts out on these first few episodes.
After a Full-Read and Analysis:
Steph: So, Ian, WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE NEW “WAYNE FAMILY ADVENTURES” 😸😸😸 comic on WebToon?
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m excited 😸😸😸
Ian: I thought it was FANTASTIC! I’m really glad that I decided to do some exploration of Webtoons as soon as DC made the announcement, since I had no clue it would be coming so quickly. As it is, the chance to read series like Let’s Play, Marry Me, and several others really got me into the stylistic differences between Webtoons and American comics (the manga-inspired sub-dialogue lettering, the way they express emotion, and the pacing and general tone). As some have pointed out, this is slice of life, and if you want full on action horror Batman, Fear State is just starting. I’m someone who’s loving both, so today was a very big day for me! What about you? 🙂 (I am also very excited)
Steph: I love that it’s slice of life! This is what I think I have really wanted from the comics. I have dabbled a bit into reading Batman fanfiction, and the behind-the-scenes, between-the-panels, life-together-stuff is what I love most about the stories people tell about the Batfamily. It’s so nice being able to read characters I love at a time when life is calm and they can have the chance to just be themselves with each other.
I also love that the comic, only 3 episodes in, has showcased a large majority of the Batfamily already.
Oh man, I was a little worried in the opening episode when Alfred mentions that Damian is excited Duke is moving in with them. But then the panel shows sour puss, deadpan Damian standing there dripping with indifference. It was fantastic.
What’s been your favorite part so far?
Ian: I mean, longtime listeners of the Comics Podcast will know what that answer is – episode 3, with Tim and Steph being guided by Babs as Oracle – the whole thing is comedy gold, from Damian’s hilarious rebellion in wanting to drive the Batmobile (not the first Robin to express this desire!), Babs actually being Oracle in a classic Birds of Prey/Batgirl Stephanie Brown setup, having lunch with Jim Gordon, and having a deadpan snark as well as computer know how. Tim and Steph being so earnest yet mistaken, and the comedic gold of them promising not to tell Batman showed the warmth between the two characters – a really nice touch. The art in general is really fantastic, too – not too rough, but also not striving to look like a DC comics individual issue – it fits in perfectly with the Webtoons world, and will hopefully really get new audiences excited about these characters.
Steph: One thing I’ve loved about the art so far are the tiny details the artist adds. Like Damian’s first panel he has a bandage on his knee. That the boy wonder who works with Batman and was trained by assassins can still scrape his knee up. And that Bruce has a “World’s Okayest Dad” mug cracked me up.
Ian: Those details really show the love the creative team have for the world – they’re not the kind of things that are “necessary” to the main plot/character arcs, but they really enrich the experience of reading
Steph: What feedback have you heard so far? I don’t think I’ve seen many negative reviews except from people who hate certain characters, or aspect of characters, that have been featured. Like Babs being in it the series (like…what’s the Batfamily without Oracle/Batgirl??? Weirdos), or that Cass has her Orphan persona.
Ian: I have seen a few people comment on the oddity that we have Oracle but neither Steph nor Cass are Batgirl, but my bet is that’s just a combination of corporate policy and creator preference (making Babs Oracle is almost always a creator preference rather than DC’s policy). I’ve watched a few commentary videos on YouTube that both say it’s a very smart idea, one of which said it wasn’t to his taste, but he thinks the target audience and tone are a really good idea, since they’re really underserved by today’s slate of comics from both Marvel and DC, the other saying it’s a delightful series he loves. So far, at least, the commentary is pretty positive on the various discord servers I’m in – and that includes readers from all over the world, not just the US, so the attempt to get international readers in this initiative is already working!
Steph: Yes! This being on WebTOON will hopefully bring in new readers in a way that the Walmart books couldn’t really do. I think it’s genius using a platform that is FREE to show a FREE comic to get a new generation of readers interested in Batman comics. Most kids these days probably don’t live within a few hours of a comic book shop and probably wouldn’t know what to do with one if they did. I love that this is reaching, like you said, a young and international audience and getting them hooked on Batman.
That sounds like I’m getting paid by DCs PR department, but I really am excited about new readers joining this fandom.
Ian: Well, we thrive on the community of readers, so when DC gets it right and attracts more readers, it’s good for us too! We read comics like Batman not just because we love things like Bruce and Selina’s romance, or Stephanie’s plucky determination, but also because it’s a big enough property to have a very large community where we can make podcasts and have people actually listen to them, write reviews and have people actually find them helpful, etc. So I think this is one of the biggest and smartest things DC could do to increase their readership and hopefully figure out a way to monetize it beyond the “fast pass” payments they can make by letting readers pay to read early.
Steph: Some of the more popular WebToon comics have ended up for sale in print, which would be awesome. I would love to have this on my self.
I’m really excited for next week. What do you hope to see in upcoming episodes?
I really hope there’s some Selina soon. And maybe Bette Kane will be featured as Batgirl?
Ian: I know some of our readers would love to see Bette – I’d certainly be intrigued! I think Selina, Kate Kane, Jean-Paul Valley, Luke Fox, and many others are distinct possibilities. I’m also really curious to see if they develop any kind of ongoing plotline like most long-running webtoons eventually grow – not something super serialized, but slow burning relationship changes, a background detail that becomes important for a conflict later, etc. The first two episodes were “welcome to the manor” but episode three was completely standalone, developing out some of the Batfamily who weren’t seen in that opening “arc”.
Steph: That would be awesome. I love the idea of a story arc that doesn’t involve the end of the world. That can be stressful on me as a reader sometimes. You can go on a date without it being interrupted by an apocalypse.
Anything else you’d like to say tonight? It’s almost midnight and this Batfan’s got to get some shuteye.
Ian: I think that this is a really fun and appealing opening to a potential gold mine of Batfamily content, and hopefully a ton of new readers. I’d definitely love to hear what other readers would like to see based on these three episodes, and how many people are shelling out to read the new episodes early, since that’ll help DC decide if they want to do a lot more of these for the money, or primarily view it as an entry point.
Steph: Well, an easy way to do that is to shell out the money yourself and then see how many comments and likes there are.
Ian: too true
Editor’s Note: You can find the Batman: Wayne Family Adventures #1-3 exclusively on the Webtoon platform.