Here’s a post from the archives…
I am raising a six year old Bat-Mite. He isn’t from the fifth dimension, but rather a suburb of Detroit. He is every bit as precocious, mischievous, and curious as any resident of the dimension which also gave us Superman’s confounding nemesis Mr. Mxyzptlk. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My Bat-Mite developed a love for Batman before any other superhero. But he quickly grew to love all superheroes whether of Marvel or DC or Hanna-Barbera (yes, I am referring to none other than Captain Caveman). For a Bat-Dad there is an indescribable feeling when your own love of comic books is reflected in your Bat-Mite’s smile. You want to dive into your long boxes, tear open the plastic bags, fling aside the white acid free boards, and flip with abandon to show him your favorite panels, your favorite characters, your favorite artists, your favorite everything.
But you can’t, you know your Bat-Mite is not yet ready.
In fact, there’s a lot for which a Bat-Mite is not yet ready. Comics aren’t the same as they were when you were but a mite yourself. Batman’s costume has turned from grey, blue, and yellow to black and darker black. The Joker’s sliced and peeled his face off. Robin has been shot full of arrows, beaten, and skewered on a enemy’s sword. In your time, the Joker was polite enough to beat Robin to death off panel.
Not that these are bad stories. Quite the opposite. As a Bat-Dad you love the Court of Owls, you love Death of the Family, you love how the characters and stories have matured along with you. But sitting next to your Bat-Mite, you know he is not yet ready for these stories. Just as his hands, so sticky from his Ring Pop, are not ready to dive into your long boxes.
And you miss how comics used to be.
In the meantime, you make due with books more appropriate to his age; Teen Titans Go, Scooby Doo Team-Up, comics you pick up on Free Comic Book Day. You teach him how to bag and board his small but growing collection of kid friendly comics. And you tell him, everytime he sees you putting comics away in your long boxes, “Be patient, some day soon you will be old enough.” And you tell yourself, “Be patient, some day soon he will be old enough.”