Not content to merely effect the lives of superhumans, Bat-Mite turns his eye towards politics. This oughtta go well… Your Major Spoilers review of Bat-Mite #6 awaits!
Previously in Bat-Mite: “Bat-Mite’s mission on Earth comes to a conclusion as he finds not just his roommates (and Batman) but the entire world fed up with him and his attempts to “improve” everything and everyone—but that won’t stop him from telling the President how to clean things up! Plus, secrets are revealed as we learn the identity of stuck-in-the-past bad guy Gridlock, and get a glimpse of Bat-Mite’s home world!”
THE SECRET OF GRIDLOCK
This issue opens with a sequence that mixes things that are funny (Bat-Mite has altered the heads of Mount Rushmore to show the Batman family, with himself first, and put a roller-coaster at the Grand Canyon to make it less boring) and things that are thuddingly not so much (his attempts to makeover the actual 2016 presidential candidates), ending with the stunning reveal of the villain who has been plaguing him throughout the series…
…who announces his true identity with a massive, literal billboard. Bat-Mite follows this “clue” to the source, the office of one Senator Hardgrave, who quickly zaps him insensate and placed him in a pop-culture deathtrap, involving the lost pilot to the legendary 60s TV show, Galaxy Wars. Bat-Mite’s magic and wits make short work of the villain, but have a larger problem with the massive silent robot sentry who arrives to drag him away from his new home and friends.
A HAPPY ENDING AT LAST!
The last page of the issue is a fun one, with Bat-Mite and a few friends taking off to battle the forces of “Canceltron”, a villain who apparently ends the series, and the look of sheer joy in his face as he cries that he’s not going away that easily is infectious. ‘Course, it would have had more resonance if this weren’t the last issue of the series with almost no likelihood of a sequel at this point, but it’s still a nice moment overall. The pacing of the issue is a big problem though, with a breakneck series of jokes followed by the deus ex machina plot point, the conflict is resolved by literal magic powers, followed by a nice quiet emotional moment and the big gesture of the ending. It’s a lot to force into these 20 pages, and it feels a lot like the Green Lantern-themed Grand Canyon roller coaster must have. The art is as charming as ever this time around, only really failing when it tries for real-world likenesses (President Obama barely looks like himself, while the presidential hopefuls are only recognizable because they’re labeled), but the strong bits (like the final splash page) make up for any weaknesses in the issue.
THE BOTTOM LINE: EMOTIONAL, BUT ABRUPT
Bat-Mite’s friendship with Weed and Reagan has been the best part of this book, and their parting in these pages is a really sweet moment, but there’s a lot packed in these pages, and not all of it has the same impact. Bat-Mite #6 is an “everything-but-the-kitchen-sink” story that moves faster than it probably should, but still hits some strong moments, gets in several actually funny moments, and has strong art, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall. Given DC’s recent sales figures, I don’t expect that this sort of off-the-beaten-path story is gonna be sticking around, and that’s a shame. Even with its pacing, this is a comics that shakes out to be more fun than not…[taq_review][signoff predefined=”PayPal Donation” icon=”icon-cog”][/signoff]