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Nightwing and Batman look in on a cave where a young Jon Kent/Superboy is sitting, arms around his knees, smoke curling from his red eyes in Nightwing #89 (2022). Image: Tom Taylor/Bruno Redondo/DC Comics

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Batman keeps lollipops in his belt, but he has good reasons

They’re right next to his smoke bombs

Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

For decades, people have asked “What does Batman keep in his utility belt?” The answer has always been Schrodinger’s necessity: Whatever the story needs him to have or lack at that precise moment. Recently, a story needed him to have lollipops.

Why? Because he joined a Justice League search party to figure out if Superman’s lost son had been kidnapped by a supervillain or swallowed by a time vortex or broken through to an underground mole civilization — a perfectly reasonable worry to have. But it turns out Jon just went out flying at night like he was told not to, traveled a little too far, got lost, and panicked.

Poor Jon.

What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)

Nightwing #89

“Hey, Jon. Guess what Batman keeps in his belt?” says Nightwing before handing Jon Kent/Superboy a lollipop from Batman’s utility belt in Nightwing #89 (2022). Image: Tom Taylor, Bruno Redondo/DC Comics

There’s a run of four entire pages in this issue of Nightwing that all have a moment worthy of putting in the roundup, but the purpose of the whole flashback to the first time Batman and Superman’s oldest kids met each other is to remind the reader that this is what being Robin was all about for Dick. Helping Batman to only scare people he wanted to scare, not the people he was trying to help.

New Mutants #24

The mutant teen formerly known as “No-Girl” is resurrected on Krakoa with a new body with a domed, see-through cranium making the lobes of her brain visible in New Mutants #24 (2022). Image: Vita Ayala, Danilo Beyruth/Marvel Comics

Fans of Grant Morrison’s X-Men run will be pleased to know that No-Girl finally got her own body instead of being a floating brain in a jar! Her new mutant name is Cerebella! This is adorable!

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #8

With blood on her face and her tattered cape swirling around her Supergirl floats in front of the sunset, cradling the (human) body of Comet the Super-Horse in Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #8 (2022). Image: Tom King, Bilquis Evely/DC Comics

With the final issue of Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow I can definitively say this book slaps front to back, applying Sandman vibes to space adventure starring Supergirl and a plucky young space child. The best thing Tom King’s done since Mister Miracle and Bilquis Evely just dropping mics on every dang page. The collected volume is out in July so if you’re a person who waits for the trade put it on your freakin’ calendar.

Crowded Vol. 3

Wearing a tank top that says “Fighting Solves Everything,” Vita angrily uses a crowbar and her very fit arms to separate two crashed cars as her companions look on in lust Crowded Vol. 3 (2022). Image: Chri Sebela, Ro Stein, Ted Brandt/Image Comics

Another of my faves concluded recently, with the final issues of Crowded going straight to trade paperback after many Covid delays. I could do a full “Dorothy saying goodbye to Oz” routine of all the things I like about this series: The action, the comedy, the biting satire, the “acting,” the color work, the cast of predominantly queer women in a story that isn’t really in any way about queerness — but it would end with me saying “But you, “every time Vita takes off her jacket and gives us the gun show” ... I’ll miss you most of all.”

Batman: The Knight #2

A young Bruce Wayne dashes to a window in pursuit only to find his quarry has disappeared after leaping from it. “How did she do that?” he says aloud, in a panel that forms a large wide shot of the exterior of the building he’s in. The reader can see the shadow of the fleeing woman huge on the building’s facade in Batman: The Knight #2 (2022). Image: Chip Zdarsky, Carmine Di Giandomenico/DC Comics

Batman: The Knight is a great modern take on Bruce Wayne’s adolescence, a wide-open space that’s always got more room for adventures and secrets. But I want to shout out this panel, with the fleeing master thief’s silhouette flung huge against the building, where the reader can see it but not Bruce. Not too subtle, not too obvious — just wonderful stuff.

Suicide Squad: Blaze #1

New even more expendable members of the Suicide Squad watch as another picks up a mug with his invisible arms. “Why are my fucking arms invisible?” he mutters. “Hey, no, c’mon, that’s... that’s a coo power,” says another in Suicide Squad: Blaze #1 (2022). Image: Simon Spurrier, Aaron Campbell/DC Comics

Writer Si Spurrier is great at what he does, so it’s no surprise that he and artist Aaron Campbell have figured out how to make the Suicide Squad feel fresher than the team has in a long while: Focus on some brand new cannon fodder prisoners who just got superpowers, not the usual faves like Harley or King Shark. Also the villain — an idea I won’t spoil — is a great twist as well.


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