Batman Tales: Once Upon a Crime

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Batman has one of the most eclectic and colorful rogue’s galleries of villains in all of comics, and more than a few of them—like the Mad Hatter, the Clock King, Crazy Quilt, and Kite Man—are cartoonish in the extreme. Still, it should come as no surprise that both the Dark Knight and his myriad foes make perfect fodder for a fairy tale reinvention.

And that’s just what Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen have in store for readers with Batman Tales: Once Upon a Crime. Delightfully mashing up fairy tales and children’s stories with the world of Batman creates not only the opportunity to lighten up an often grim storytelling universe but also allows for surprising insight and clever juxtaposition. After all, it’s easy to forget that the deadly Damien Wayne is still a child, so seeing him live out the life of Pinocchio isn’t just funny, it’s poignant.

The art is vibrant and welcoming, a cheerful departure from the usual Gotham palette, and with four fairy tales to retell with the Batfamily involved, there are numerous chances for Nguyen to put his own silly, but often beautiful, twists on both the characters and the stories. (The closing tale is particularly gorgeous and haunting.)

Longtime readers of Batman have seen all sorts of different variations on the character, from the malicious Batman Who Laughs to a bloodthirsty, vampiric Batman, from a Victorian-era vigilante to the World’s Greatest Detective. But you’ve never seen Batman or his litany of villains quite like this.

Reviewed By:

Author Derek Fridolfs, with illustrations by Dustin Nguyen
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 192 pages
Publisher DC Comics
Publish Date 2020-02-04
ISBN 9781401283407
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue April 2020
Category Sequential Art


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