Writer: Jai Nitz
Artists: Christopher Jones (p), Terry Beatty (i), Heroic Age (colors)
Publisher: DC Comics
The Johnny DC titles, although drawing from the animated seriesí they are based on, donít always stick to the exact same timeline as the TV series. Whatís even rarer is having both the comic and animated series present stories that seem to have similar emotion and plot-threads woven through them. This is one of those rare issues. Although it doesnít take anything from the animated series, this issue recalls the recent two-part season-finale story arc from The Batman animated series.
Character "modification" stories are something that every continuing story (print or video) worth its salt has to have. It could be anything from a noble character turning temporarily evil (or a villainous character turning temporarily good, different-gender doppelganger, future take, past life take, sudden aging or, for that matter, de-aging. Of course, these are only some of the possibilities. Then again, for this story one doesnít need all of the above, just one of them: the "de-aging" one. Yup, thanks to Poison Ivy and her botanical-voodoo, Olí Bats spends the better part of this issue as, well, Young Bats.
This story reminds me of the animates series' season-finale because of Batmanís behavior with both Robin and Batgirl. Just as in that story, here too Batman (initially) seems to be on edge with the two teenagers. However, after the proverbial "walking a mile in someone elseís shoes" there is an ephinemy just in time to end the story on a happy note. As for Poison Ivy and her latest scheme to take over Gotham, letís just say her plants didnít have enough of a bite.
The only thing that didnít sit well with me was how overly happy, for him anyway, Bruce/Batman became. However, that too was mostly because of my personal perception of the character. Given the campy nature of the seriesí (animated as well as comic), which seems to draw inspiration from the 60s Adam West-Burt Ward television show, it just might work for other readers.
Lastly, the artwork of regulars Christopher Jones, Terry Beatty and Heroic Age is, as usual, crisp and lively all while matching the look of the animated series.
Conclusion: I would have liked a little more serious teenage Bruce and a little oomph in the villainous-threat department. Nevertheless, a nice time-pass "lighter" Bat-story.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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