The Batman Adventures: The Lost Years #5

Story by Hillary J. Bader
Penciled by Bo Hampton
Inked by Terry Beatty
Colored by Lee Loughridge

So, what’s the story?

baly_05_coverThe Batman Adventures: The Lost Years was a five issue miniseries designed to bridge the gap between the screen adventures of Batman the Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures. It revisits several episodes, expanding some scenes, adding others, and skipping some.

Dick is once again in South America, studying under the tutelage of a native tribe. After mastering his senses without the use of sight, he leaves for Tibet, where he hopes to find a mythical group of monks who can supposedly fly. Upon arrival, he meets a local man who informs him all the guides have been hired by a group of heavily armed foreigners. Dick signs on to carry luggage and gear, in hopes he can tag along to the top of the mountain where the monks may reside. In short order, he learns the armed men are working for Ra’s al Ghul. When the sherpas learn of this, they refuse to climb anymore. A fight breaks out, and Ra’s men throw Dick off the mountain, and create an avalanche to bury him under snow. Dick manages to control his fear and breathing, and is soon pulled out by a blue-garbed monk. The monk caries Dick off a cliff, and reveals his outfit bears wings, allowing him to glide. The monk explains to Dick that Ra’s al Ghul has stolen a statue precious to the monks, and taken it to Gotham City. If Dick will recover the statue, he will give Dick the secret of “flight.” Dick accepts this arrangement. Later, when Dick tries on the “flight” suit, he adds the bird crest emblem that he received in a previous South American adventure. (Issue #3.) Dick returns to Gotham, where he quickly finds Ra’s. Garbed in his new disguise, Dick manages to rescue the statue from a very angry Ra’s al Ghul. Some time later, Dick returns to Wayne Manor, just as Bruce has begun to train Dick. The reunion is short-lived, however, as Alfred informs the now complete Bat family of the Bat signal in the sky. Dick offers to join Bruce, Barbara, and Tim, and dons his newly designed costume. When Bruce asks what they should call him, Dick says “Nightwing.”

And the circle is now complete! The final issue of the Lost Years explains how and why Dick returned to Gotham. Honestly, the McGuffin statue and the use of Ra’s was a little overdone, but it got the point across. The series served its purpose of bridging BTAS to TNBA, and did so admirably overall.

How’s the Art?

Still somewhat generic, but it works well enough.

Any continuity issues?

The whole point of this series is to fix continuity! So no, we’re good here.

Anything of interest to customizers or cosplayers?

Perhaps the proto-Nightwing costume (which pays homage to the mainstream DCU Nightwing’s early costumes).

Is this issue worth my precious time?


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