The Batman family has grown in Batman Beyond which changes things considerably. Can it work without Bruce Wayne and is it good?
Batman Beyond #14 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
The epic “Wired for Death” storyline continues as the mysterious Rewire’s true identity is finally revealed. It’s an explosive revelation that can only lead to a climactic showdown between Rewire and Batman as they’re both being manipulated by Spellbinder.
Why does this book matter?
This is a series that can take the Batman mythos into the future literally and figuratively. The idea of Batman living on with techno gadgets, amongst villains who are equally science fiction futuristic makes this a title worth, at the very least, a flip-through each month.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue thoroughly builds up the new Batman who’s taken over for Terry McGinnis as well as his kid brother who has recently been brought into the fold. We open on his brother Matt and the new Batman Tim as they run through the forest and flashbacks of Matt’s to show us how he first found out his brother’s secret. This allows writer Dan Jurgens a way to integrate a Batman Beyond fight with Shriek, as well as remind us of this new Batman’s somewhat careless superheroing. This all leads to a subtle nod to what may come next and it’s an exciting proposition in how Matt might be folded into this series.
At the same time Jurgens has Rewire get a bit of a flashback too and ultimately what is currently influencing him. By showing us this we get the sense that things are coming to an action-packed conclusion next month.
Artist Bernard Chang draws a good issue especially with some fantastic flashback colors by Marcelo Maiolo. The cool blue of the Batman flashback helps give the battle with Shriek a cool and unsettling feeling which suits the turn of events. Chang does a particularly good job with the rubble breaking down in the flashback sequence too. The colors also fade a bit in these scenes which help give it an aged look. Some of the cityscapes are jaw-droppingly good too and they do well to remind us this is the future.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Though we get a flashback battle between Shriek and Batman this issue is decidedly light on action in the current timeline. That’s due to the heavy use of flashback that – while interesting – do feel overly used to pad out the experience. Readers are going to be greatly anticipating the next issue for sure, but the cover and synopsis suggest that battle was coming in this issue and it just doesn’t.
There’s a reveal of the Bat-Cave in this issue that’s just okay with some rather plain looking Batmobiles. It’s not a huge detriment to the issue, but it was still underwhelming.
Run Forest…I mean Matt!
Is It Good?
My interest is piqued as far as new characters joining the Batman Beyond fold. The table is set for a showdown next issue that shouldn’t be missed and there’s a good flashback that reminds us this series is strong in both the writing and art departments.