Batman vs. Jokerz, who ya got? Is it good?
Batman Beyond #1 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The DC summary reads:
“THE RETURN” part one! Terry McGinnis is back as Batman, much to the delight of his family and friends. But is the original Joker really back as well? Inspired by the possible return of their role model, the Jokerz have taken over an entire section of Gotham City and are determined to wreak havoc in the still-rebuilding city. While Batman battles chaos on the streets, his friend Dana is at the mercy of the new leader of the now-unified gang.
Why does this book matter?
Dan Jurgens introduced the characters and new resurgence of Jokerz last issue, but the big showstopper was the bad guys’ plan. Could it be true? Will Batman have to fight him? You gotta read this to find out!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue sets out to do two things and I think it does them well. It reminds us how powerful the Jokerz are now, but also how insane the plan is too. The plan actually ties well into a bigger theme about Gotham in general and it’ll be interesting to see where it goes from here. The second involves Batman and how rusty he is, but that’s understandable. Jurgens basically uses this issue to set up and remind us Terry isn’t at full strength and maybe a bit less thorough as Bruce was as Batman.
Bernard Chang draws another great issue, this time with some epic full page spreads and fantastic layouts. Take for instance a battle between Batman and the Jokerz. There are over 15 characters on the page, all in elaborate costumes. This detail helps make the scene feel more realistic and interesting. The final cliffhanger is gorgeously detailed too. In another page, Batman’s suit is all torn up and the texture of the suit is quite nice. There’s a fantastic page that details the rubble and sticky situation Batman is in quite well. The entire page is broken up building on top of Batman, and littered along the page are panels of Batman’s hands and head as he struggles. It does well to convey he’s underneath it all.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Much of this book is Batman fighting off Jokerz, which is all fine and good, though it runs on a bit long making you wish it would change scenes and deliver more plot progression. It does succeed in conveying Batman is a bit green at this stage, but you’ll finish the book wishing there was more. Hey, maybe that’s a good thing!
Is It Good?
Batman Beyond is an action packed story that connects the fighting to the character work. You gotta appreciate that and the resurgence of the Jokerz.