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Batman: Wayne Family Adventures shows that there's plenty of worthwhile superhero drama to explore at home

It's not all about the streets of Gotham

Cropped cover of new volume of Wayne Family Adventures
Image credit: DC Comics

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When Batman: Wayne Family Adventures debuted, we all oohed and ahhed about the fun and sweet slice of life moments that it featured - with Duke moving into the Mansion and the Batfamily competing over a cookie, but over time, another strength of the Webtoon has begun to surface - the quiet moments about the pains and anxieties that would obviously come with the superhero life.

As Wayne Family Adventures nears the print publication of its fourth volume, we figured it was time to return to the comic and point out how it succeeds in showcasing the inner struggles of Batlife. As I think back on the past few years of Batman Wayne Family comics, a few storylines stand out to me.

The first storyline is Belonging (which starts at Episode 36), which features Stephanie Brown as she struggles with her own feelings of belonging to the team, of measuring up. In the episode, she struggles with a training module, and just keeps pushing herself to keep at it, trying to get it right. It's with Tim's help that she's able to take a break and reframe her thinking. She shares with Tim that she feels stressed about measuring up with the rest of the Batfamily, and he shares that he dealt with the same issues. It's through hearing Tim share and through Tim's belief in Steph that she's able to begin to believe in herself and succeed at her task.

Cropped panel featuring Stephanie Brown
Image credit: DC Comics

The second storyline is an earlier one, which starts at Episode 15, when Bruce, try as he might, misses Cassandra's dance recital. He knows he messed up, and ends up squirreling away in the BatCave to avoid confrontation. It is with Alfred's nudging that he realizes that he has to talk to Cass about it and make it up to her and to try better next time.

Cropped panel featuring Bruce Wayne
Image credit: DC Comics

Both of these stories center around fairly regular personal dynamics, but with the familiar superhero characters that we know and love, heightening the personal stakes to be just as (if not more) important as punching a bad guy in the face. As series writer CRC Payne shared at Wondercon last year, there's something special about showing “the little moments that wouldn’t mean anything to anyone else.”

Few of the stories featured in Wayne Family Adventures are going to change the DC Universe forever, but they do let us into the personal lives of these heroes that we love, and for that - they're some of the best superhero comics being made today.

The fourth volume of Batman: Wayne Family Adventures comes out on May 21, 2024.

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Tiffany Babb avatar
Tiffany Babb: Tiffany Babb is a professional lurker (aka critic) who once served as Popverse’s deputy editor and resident Sondheim enthusiast.
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