There’s not a lot that surprises me about Batman comics anymore, but I did not expect to see the formerly dead, tortured soul/antihero Jason Todd lunge after a cookie. It’s only one of the many delightful scenes in DC Comics’ first collaboration with the Korean digital comics platform Webtoon, Batman: Wayne Family Adventures.
If you’re familiar with what makes Webtoons different from, say, the digital comics available over at DC Universe Infinite, feel free to skip to the next paragraph. The rest of you: Webtoon’s fare is optimised to be read on mobile platforms, not regular computers. This means the pages are all vertically designed, and simple — they’re usually a single panel, with only a few lines of dialogue, making it easy to see and read on a small screen.
Written by CRC Payne with stellar art from Rhett Bloom a.k.a. StarBite (pun intended), Batman: Wayne Family Adventures does not buck this trend, but what makes it so special is that it focuses on the Bat-Family far, far more than the Adventures.
The first three issues are available now, and they’re practically slice-of-Bat-life stories: issue #1 features Duke Thomas (a.k.a the Signal) moving into Wayne Manor and getting a surly tour from Damian Wayne; #2 is entirely a brawl between Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Cassandra Cain, Duke, and Damian over who gets to eat the last of Alfred’s award-winning cookies; #3 is Barbara Gordon having brunch with her dad while obliquely referring to her previous night trying to wrangle/mother her Bat-comrades.
It’s incredibly wholesome, funny, and just delightful to read, especially if you’re tired of the brooding, messy Bat-family drama of the main comics.
Wayne Family Adventures is only the first of DC’s collaborations with Webtoons, which features thousands of webcomics from publishers such as Image, Legendary, and more, and has an astounding 72 million monthly readers.
It could not be a more auspicious start for the partnership, but it’s also set a high bar for its later series to reach. But if there’s going to be any panel as satisfying as Bruce Wayne leaving a post-it note on the Batmobile’s wheel reminding Damian he’s too young to drive, I can’t wait to read it.