Top critical review
Cute and a neat idea, but I'd love to see more women of the Batman chunk of DC
Reviewed in the United States on March 1, 2014
Firstly, Dustin Nguyen's art is simply adorable and it looks gorgeous. If this were simply a book of sketches, I would pick it up immediately.
Each story has the central theme of a holiday(s): Halloween, Thanksgiving, New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day, Lunar New Year, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day and Father's Day. The crime the protagonists deal with is typically directly related (e.g, Penguin attempts to make a turkey revolution on Thanksgiving, it's the year of the snake, so Cobra steals a sword on the Lunar New Year). It reminds me of a bit of "Steel Magnolias" and how each time transition was for a holiday. It's a neat way to break up a story and the plots were very creative and enjoyable for the most part. The story is very light-hearted and a bit corny, but that's expected with the art style. As a point that might confuse people - this is NOT the Batman/Gotham and Co. folks as kids. They're just chibified.
It was also really great to see this cast of characters interacting, especially with all the team ups. There are a few stories were all of the Bat kids, for example, get together and do something. The villains team up a number of times. It's just fun. My only problem is that we tended to see more of the men than the women. I understand that it's Batman and clearly the story is focused around his current partnership with Damian as Robin, but it was still kind of disappointing. If you look at the cover, along with Batman's Rogues Gallery and the male members of the Bat Family, Batwoman, the Black Bat, Huntress, Oracle and Stephanie Brown's Batgirl feature. There's a cute story where Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn and Catwoman go out for a night on the town and that was fun, but the other stories revolve around men and largely include men (since most of the story is Damian and Batman palling around). The women are typically absent or just silent cameos. Even a story that you think is going to focus on a woman returns to the guys. The Mother's Day issue where Talia is half of the focus (since Damian is starring) barely even features her. The main way I was drawn to this comic was by seeing previews of the Father's Day issue featuring Oracle and Commissioner Gordan unfortunately sharing a table with Talia and Ra's al Ghul before shenanigans occur. What I did not know about this was that half of the issue is devoted to Batman and the Bat Boys trying to make a Father's Day meal for Alfred. It's cute and I like that aspect of the story, but it's kind of sad to see less time with Oracle. Even Katana's parternship with Damian is overshadowed by Damian and their rescue by a bunch of male adults. Poison Ivy's brief release from Arkham is a joke at the end of a comic about Mr. Freeze (with another joke about how someone else committed a crime that she gets blamed for). Stephanie Brown also didn't feature at all beyond the cover as far as I can tell and there was certainly no Batwoman (I know she's mostly unconnected to Batman, but she's on the cover so color me confused - I really like her comics and I would have loved to see her show up; also, pretty much everyone else on the cover makes an appearance so someone there not appearing is strange). Huntress was a bit character and Black Bat shows up for two or three panels at best. Zatanna also makes an appearance, but only for a few panels. This might be less of an issue if there wasn't a story (the Valentine's Day one) devoted to how clingy and irritating women are, especially when they're in love and men are in relationships with them and are "forced" to do things for them. The only good thing about the Valentine's Day issue is how many women show up in it. Roxy Rocket and Wonder Woman make appearances along with a lot of the female Gotham Rogues Gallery and it's the longest time Zatanna and Huntress have on the page. Otherwise, this issue is largely insulting.
I was excited to get this and I do enjoy it for the most part, but I am rather hesitant to pre-order volume 2. If you like this kind of art, you should check out Yale Stewart's "JL8" webcomic. It's about the Justice League (and some of their villains) if they were in Preschool together and it's great (kind of like "Tiny Toons"). If you're a DC Comics fan in general, especially of the Batman/Gotham-related side of the universe, you'll probably enjoy this book.