Review: Bat-Mite #1

bm001In its endeavors to create humor related titles, DC Comics has gone to what are undeniably its zaniest two characters who have something to do with the mainstream universe – Bat-Mite and Bizarro.  The problem with humor in the main universes is that superhero comics try to maintain a degree of seriousness.  Although Bizarro has been around for a while and has factored into some serious stories does not stop him from being a funnier character.  Bat-mite on the other hand is a bit more of an anomaly.  First appearing in the silver age as Batman’s version of Mr. Mxyzptlk, he was not kept around as long.  The match was never a good one for the character who has always been a bit darker than Superman, and so while always kind of around, the character has also been mostly ignored.  In the past forty years he has only shown up a handful of times as writers try to keep Batman’s stories a bit more organic and gritty.

That all changes with the release of this issue, as the Bat-Imp is thrown into the DC spotlight with his own title.  Though it is not really described in full detail here, the character is actually one that is somewhat powerful, more or less as capable as Mr. Mxyzptlk at reality bending.  He ends up involved with Dr. Trauma, the world’s pre-eminent and most nefarious plastic surgeon, skilled at full body swaps.  She toys around with Bat-Mite as does he with her and her assistant, and he ends up jailed in her dungeon waiting for someone interested in swapping out their brain for his.  There is an interesting tie-in to the mainstream DC Universe as well at the end of the issue, which gives this story a bit more grounding as to what is going on outside of the humor title.

A humor title has to above all be funny, and this is where this issue fails to deliver.  Although it is whimsical in outlook, there are not really any moments that will cause the reader to laugh out loud.  At the same time although there are not any real hilarious moments, the story is held together a lot better than one might think, with the structure of a decent plot to drive the action in this series forward.  This first issue ends up being defined by those two facts, as the humor is mostly missing, even while the zany plot holds this together.

Story: Dan Jurgens Art: Corin Howell
Story: 7.2 Art: 7.2 Overall: 7.2 Recommendation: Read