Batman: Gotham Adventures #1
DC Comics (June, 1998)
“With A Pri¢e On His Head!”
WRITER: Ty Templeton
PENCILER: Rick Burchett
INKER: Terry Beatty
COLORIST: Lee Loughridge
LETTERER: Tim Harkins
EDITOR: Darren Vincenzo
I don’t know why they didn’t just call this The New Batman Adventures. This comic follows the Batman cartoon from Fox Kids to Kids WB and takes on the new art style seen in The New Batman/Superman Adventures. And it continues off of The Batman Adventures: The Lost Years.
The Joker kills the son of a wealthy man (for getting mud on his khakis) who happens to be a friend of the Wayne family. In his anger, the man puts a price on the Joker’s head so larger that practically everyone in Gotham is trying to claim it, especially the bad guys–the Riddler also wanting payback on the Joker. (Toyman must not of heard about it, since he was killing to kill the President in the most recent Superman Adventures review for the bounty.) With Gotham going crazy, Batman has no choice but to bring the Joker to the Batcave, but when things get worse for the Bat Family, he confronts the man with the Joker and tells him to kill the clown himself. As a humanitarian he can’t bring himself to do it, and lifts the bounty.
What they got right: All of the Bat Family (even Alfred) gets a moment to show off for the first issue. The story was fun to read, watching the Joker cause trouble in the Batcave and Clayface’s attempt to trick his way into getting the bounty before the other fortune hunters got greedy and tried to murder him (not knowing it was Clayface, mind you). And we get to see Bruce rescue one of his friends from making a huge mistake.
What they got wrong: Wait, the Joker wears khakis? When? And while I agree with how disappointing the Joker’s character model was in this new style, can we talk about the Riddler’s for a minute? Gone is the nice suit, replaced with a green unitard with a huge question mark on it. Sure he kept the hat, but I think the Fox outfit matched his personality better.
Recommendation: This is a good Batman story by itself, but if you like the DCAU and don’t mind the art choices for this part of the DCAU, this is a good story to pick up.