Future Batman is back this week and he’s potentially facing an old threat: The Joker! The gang that identifies with him is trying to bring him back, but Terry McGinnis is a bit rusty. Can he save the day, and is it good?
Batman Beyond #2 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The full summary reads:
“THE RETURN” part two! Terry is tested in a way he hasn’t been since he returned as Batman. In Jokerztown to rescue Dana, he’s not up against one foe but an entire community of clown-worshipping crazies, all led by the deadly Terminal. Is it possible his crime-fighting career—and his life—will both end just as he’s starting over?
Why does this book matter?
First and foremost Bernard Chang has been drawing a fantastic series so far that spares no expense when it comes to detail with the illustrations. Dan Jurgens has made Terry feel more relevant than ever by bringing in a strong supporting cast in these post Bruce Wayne days. Mix in a little Joker and his insane gang and you have an entertaining mix.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
I get that he’s bringing Joker back to life, but shouldn’t his body be a little more deteriorated?
If you’re a Joker fan you should stop at nothing to read this issue simply for the flashback within. A member of the Jokerz Gang fills us in on the last time Joker was seen complete with a Bruce Wayne Batman in a transitional red symboled suit. Simply showing this flashback is telling that Jurgens means business when it comes to the possibility that Joker will be woken from the dead. This flashback is action packed too and it serves as the big action piece of the issue.
The present doesn’t get a lot of page time in this issue, but it does set up the next issue nicely. There’s a bit of teamwork involved too, which reminds us Terry isn’t alone and needs help, especially now that he’s rusty.
The art by Chang continues to be great with the flashback using inks a bit heavier to distinguish it from the present. It’s hard not to dig the Jokerz disguise Terry is sporting in the final pages as well.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The plot barely progresses from the last issue, spending so much time on the flashback you’ll be wishing there was more. The flashback certainly helps sell the fact that Joker could very well be the real deal, but it runs on too long, as if the decompression of the story is on purpose. It doesn’t help that the last eight pages essentially give Terry an in and nothing more. That makes a good portion of this issue quite boring.
Batman has seen better days.
Is It Good?
Issue #2 sets up the next swing of the current story arc as well as deliver a fun Joker flashback to the good old days. That said, it does so in a decompressed way, leaving you wanting more.