Batman’s Mystery Casebook
It’s such a pleasure to see Batman’s detective skills emphasized in Batman’s Mystery Casebook, a surprisingly educational graphic novel written by Sholly Fisch and drawn by Christopher Uminga.
Batman explains some basic crime-solving techniques to Batgirl and Robin, including brief history lessons. Fingerprints, footprints and other tracks, DNA, and eyewitness testimony, among others, are covered, then those techniques are used in mini-mysteries.
The reader is told when to stop and figure things out, then they can see if they found the solution correctly. I was reminded of Encyclopedia Brown; there’s often just one thing to figure out, but the puzzles are surprisingly challenging. The reader also gets lessons in building their own home forensic kit and how to take fingerprints.
Batman and Robin solve several cases, but Batgirl also gets a solo mystery to solve, as does Bruce Wayne (in a story guest-starring Enemy Ace and featuring a biplane battle!). Even Alfred the butler steps in to help.
The Riddler’s traps provide plenty of action, while Two-Face hijacks a pirate ship. Mr. Freeze, Catwoman, the Joker, and Harley Quinn make appearances. The cartooning makes everyone look cute, which fits the general fun approach to these mysteries.
Batman’s Mystery Casebook is a great introduction to forensic science, logic, and observation. The tone is playful, and the interactive elements should keep readers involved.
(Review originally posted at Good Comics for Kids.)