The first offering of DC and Webtoons’ recently announced partnership, the first 3 chapters of the Batman: Wayne Family Adventures are absolutely delightful. Written by CRC Payne and focused on Batman and the larger “Bat-family,” it’s a fun, slice-of-life, all-ages story that is allowing it’s lesser-known characters to really shine. And best of all, it’s completely free on the Webtoons app!
Wayne Family Adventures biggest strength is that it’s a story that could only be told in this format. A low-stakes book of fun family misadventures isn’t going to be dominating the direct market, but on a platform like Webtoons it’s able to bring more eyes to the Bat-family than there would be reading any regular issue of Batman. As a huge fan of the Bat-family aspect of the DC universe, this is a story I, and many others, have wanted for years and as the family begins to tighten up in the main continuity, now is the perfect time for it. With the series focusing on characters like Cassandra Cain and Duke Thomas who aren’t as well known to the wider audiences and more casual comic fans, it’s a great opportunity to bring more eyes to them. While it acknowledges the 80 years of Bat-continuity by bringing in more recent characters like Duke and Damian, it’s not tied down by it. You don’t need to know anything coming into these stories beyond the basics of “Batman fights crime and adopts orphans.” Every character gets a brief little blurb that tells you everything you need to know about them and the dynamics between the kids has all been set up perfectly to allow new readers a chance to really get to know them.
The art from the team of Starbite, Maria Li, Lan Ma and Jean Kim is absolutely perfect for this book. The renditions of all these characters are adorable, and seeing Damian Wayne not coloured as a white person for a change was great. The comic is vibrant and kinetic in the brief action scenes and every character is so expressive and cute. Although some gutters seem unnecessarily large, it flows perfectly through the webtoons vertical format and little background details, like Bruce having a “worlds okayest dad” mug, just make the whole thing so charming. The lettering from Kielamel Sibal is also key to the fun vibe that makes this series so special.
The first three chapters introduce us to the Bat-family, first through the eyes of Wayne Manor’s newest resident Duke Thomas, and then through the daily life of Oracle. There’s an episode focused on the battle for the last cookie, and honestly, it’s the best thing I’ve ever read. The episode is full of the witty banter we all expect from our superheroes and as someone with many siblings, it completely nails the family dynamics and constant but loving fights there. The whole thing is just complete fun and even Batman gets to just be an exasperated dad overwhelmed by his wonderful idiot children instead of a dark and broody figure.
If you’ve ever seen a silly tumblr post or fan-comic of these kids interacting and wanted more of that, this webcomic is exactly for you, and I cannot recommend it enough. And once again, it’s completely free to read, with an option to read the next few early with Webtoons coins system!
Catch new episodes of Batman: Wayne Family Adventures on Webtoons every Thursday.