REVIEW: Bat-Mite #1 (of 6)

STORY BY: Dan Jurgens
ART BY: Corin Howell, Andres Ponce
COLORS BY: Mike Atiyeh
LETTERS BY: Tom Napolitano
COVER BY: Corin Howell, Mike Atiyeh

Us comic fans are a peculiar bunch.  We have a tendency to take everything in the books seriously, as if the contents of the pages have  real life impact.  Recently, DC have been trying to buck that attitude for us readers with a series of “fun” or “light-hearted” books.  Take for example Harley Quinn and Batgirl, the latter having a major ripple effect across in Marvel-land.  Along that train of thought, post Convergence, DC have scheduled a Bizzaro and Bat-Mite mini series respectively.

Bat-Mite has been around, in one shape or another, since May 1959, but had been removed from the Bat universe when the books started moving from high camp to the dark knight style we have come to enjoy.  He had a mini resurgence when he became a regular in the 70’s Batman cartoon.  Since then he has made various appearances to “only help” Batman in both the comics (see Grant Morrison’s R.I.P run) and in cartoons with Brave and the Bold.

Here, I think lies the problem.  Whilst the 70’s show has a lot of fans, Bat-Mite’s Brave and the Bold appearance didn’t help fans like him.  The show is quite polarizing amongst fans, some love it and some hate it.  IT seems that even when it’s supposed to be fun, we fans take it seriously!

So now we have this book.  The light side of the Dar Knight is effectively non-existent.  The laughs therefore need to come from either the script, written by comics veteran Dan Jurgens, or the slapstick element.  I have to say, that neither impressed me much. The script does have a couple of moments, trying to work out what options the batmobile has for instance and I did half smile at the Spock reference, but that is it.  I get that for comedy to work, there needs to be a straight-man, and there no one straighter than ramrod-esque Batman.

The art by Corin Howell is on  song for a comedy book. It’s cartoony, loads of facial expressions, which pretty much turn into Mite just yelling.  I did like the idea of using the ears of the cowl to help convey emotion but unfortunately this is a small element to an otherwise caricature style book.

This book isn’t for me. That’s not say I don’t like Bat-Mite.  Back in the 70’s I never gave him much thought and as one of the few adults that likes the feel of the Brave and the Bold cartoon, he appearances didn’t bother me that much either.  With Bizzaro having a more immediate hook, the saying the reverse of what he means, allowing for a more immediate type of humour, Bat-Mite suffers due to the necessity for Batman to be his foil.

It may be just me, I may just take things way so serious.


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