Bat Cow is a strange beast. But then so is this comic. The first few issues of this New52 take on Jack Kirby’s Fourth World space hippies have gone heavy on the cosmic drama, but it’s comedy to the fore this time.
Not that there aren’t serious moments, but the encounter between the young students’ from New Genesis and Damian Wayne’s rescue cow sets the tone for my favourite issue yet. I suppose it’s not too surprising a Boom Tube mishap puts them in the middle of a Wayne Enterprises dairy farm – they are visiting Earth on a field trip.
Happily, the jokes in Dan DiDio and Keith Giffen’s story are better than that, with Serafina’s interaction with Bat Cow worth the price of admission.
Leaving Bat Cow behind, the kids get back to their Venice Beach apartment complex via bus, motivating some nice narration, then join the ‘Super Saturday Swimfest’ as part of their project to assimilate into human society. There, they come across a character from Kirby’s OMAC series, before the current Lanterns/New Gods story interrupts big time.
We also get a scene on New Genesis reminding us just how different today’s Highfather is from Kirby’s kindly shepherd figure, check in with seldom-seen title character Infinity Man and see annoying Highfather acolyte Azur Te arrive on Earth to spoil everyone’s fun.
It’s all drawn with joyous bombast by Giffen, inked with style by Scott Koblish and coloured with guile by Hi-Fi.
(OK, ‘coloured with guile’ is meaningless, but this is the kind of comic that makes me think of late-Sixties Marvel – big concepts executed with real dash, heralded by rhyming credits.)
DiDio and Giffen’s previous collaboration, a 21st-century twist on OMAC, was superb fun, but didn’t take with DC fans. I’ve no reason to think this series, which is similarly imaginative, intriguing, wild and woolly will do any better. There’s no point worrying about it – all I can do is spread the word about Infinity Man and the Forever People, see if I can get a few folk to try its inspired mix of old and new. And Bat Cow.