By Derrick Shaw
Found Families, the people you meet along your way through life who take up a place in your heart as a member of your family, are important to the living and thriving of many people. For myself, I’d count my best friend Erik as being family for me – he’s helped me on the journey to becoming the person I am today. Found families are especially important for those whose own families aren’t enough, or aren’t there for him.
Another great example is the Bat-family. While some may think that the title “Batfamily” is nothing more than a moniker by the fans to group all the Batman’s sidekicks together, there are several comics which show the importance of family in Bruce Wayne’s life – who knows where he and his protégés would end up without each other. In the Webtoon Batman: Wayne Family Adventures we get a brilliant demonstration of just how valuable the concept of found family is to this collection of characters.
Batman: Wayne Family Adventures is an amazing WEBTOON that centers not just on the detecting/crime fighting/ass kicking aspects of the Batfamily, but on the way in which they support each other, interact with each other, and fight alongside one another. Chapter 7, titled “Vigilante Bingo”, gives us an insight into one of the many ways in which the Batfamily members support each other and how well they get along. It starts off with some outlandish instances of the game ‘never have I ever’, with Jason Todd saying: “Raise a hand if you’ve ever been murdered and brought back to life” and Cass asking: “raise a hand if you’ve ever been trained by assassins.”
Shown from the perspective of Duke Thomas, a character who is Black and gets to have a mantle other than Robin, we see as he experiences just how wild this new family he found himself a part of can be. He goes by the codename of “The Signal”, the idea being that he serves as a beacon of hope for the people of Gotham during the day, while Batman and Robin patrol the night. He starts off the series feeling awkward and out of place, but realizes he doesn’t need to. He just needs to be himself and they’ll accept him as he is! The chapter is filled with great bonding moments and, when Duke shows his discomfort, the team does something so important: they don’t make fun of him. Instead, they validate his feelings without making him feel bad for being uncomfortable and change the subject to a new story.
Found families are so integral for many people and the lives they live. They can be the difference between someone feeling supported or feeling like an outcast. This is seen so heavily in Batman: Wayne Family Adventures. Bruce’s young soldiers have all found people they can lean on and call family. Not only that, but they’ve even given Bruce something to look forward to and live for. Found families are truly something else!
Batman: Wayne Family Adventures #7 “Vigilante Bingo”
Writing: CRC Payne
Storyboards: Maria Li
Backgrounds: Lan Ma
Flats: C.M. Cameron
Lettering: Kielamel Sibal
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