Batman: Li’l Gotham #23
by Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs
It’s Thanksgiving time once again in the land of Li’l Gotham and Robin has lost track of his pet turkey. Being that there is no worse a time to lose that type of pet, he takes to the town of Gotham to put up posters and search for his bird. Batman joins him, but the two find themselves facing an unexpected foe. Not unlike the previous issue, this villain is a bit goofy, but Nguyen and Fridolfs do a good job with the story and deliver yet again.
This latest issue of Batman: Li’l Gotham is certainly one of the silliest, playing a little heavier on the puns in place of the layers and subtleties that are typically present in the series. This issue feels that it is mainly targeted at a younger audience. No less enjoyable for adults, this issue is a ton of fun throughout. The Condiment King surprises Robin and Batman as they search for Jerry, the turkey. This king is determined to make the nation recognize November’s more important holiday, Sandwich Day, in place of its allegiance to celebrating Thanksgiving.
A majority of the issue takes place inside of a King Burger. Ngyuen and Fridolfs once again straddle the line between well-used and over-used with regard to the number of puns that the villain tosses about. The recognition of this usage by Robin at one point assures the reader that this is not lazy writing. Though some readers may find themselves groaning at these lines, most are so purposefully bad that they elicit a good bit of laughter. The combination of this language in the book and some of the physicality of the foes as well as Robin makes the interactions throughout the issue all the more comedic.
One again, Nguyen finds a great balance to the issue in how he renders and paces the talking scenes with the action. The book shifts from brawls to dialogue a few times in the issue. Despite that, the momentum of the plot and the tension of the situation follows evenly from the opening panel. Nguyen and Fridolfs have a lot of fun with this issue’s storyline. The names of the Condiment Kings’ henchmen, jokes about the burgers at this restaurant and some fun little moments lend to a very worthwhile Batman: Li’l Gotham. As the series winds down, readers will continue to find the same level of quality as they had when it first launched.