Today, we are pleased to present a special preview of the cover and first four pages of the new Batman: Li’l Gotham series. This issue, it’s Christmas time in Gotham. But when the children’s choir goes missing from the Gotham’s annual tree lighting ceremony, it’s up to Batman and Nightwing to track down the culprit and free the children.
There’s just something about making even characters like Batman and Joker “Li’l” that transforms them from gruff and evil into cute and cuddly. Why? According to writer Derek Fridolf, “Smaller versions of these familiar Gotham characters automatically associates ‘fun.'” But there may be more to it. Artist Dustin Nguyen comments, “I’m going to say the fact that they don’t have real working ears makes them very funny to me. It wasn’t on purpose at first, I just forgot once and decided to stick with it as to not look like I made a mistake.” No ears = cute.
I’ve really enjoyed the first two issues (Halloween and Thanksgiving). The series is suitable for kids without being a kiddy-fest, taking the characters from Batman and stripping some of the darker elements, while still maintaining an edge. According to Dustin:
A huge part of it is just being a big fan of the Batman and Gotham City mythology myself, the look comes from being able to express and exaggerate them in ways I wouldn’t be able to in my regular style.
Never fear, Damian is still a brat, but there’s no scalping or other violence. According to Dustin:
Damian is obviously the most current Robin. But that’s not to say that you won’t be seeing all the various Robins throughout the story. There’s a huge cast in Gotham, and it’s a matter of seeing which characters get featured in each story, as we rotate around. But Damian is a great foil for Batman. Where Batman is very serious, Damian tends to play the 10-year old ‘brat’ very well.
Batman Li’l Gotham Christmas is out Tuesday – Dec. 18th for $.99.