A lot has changed in Batman Beyond, which includes bringing back characters long thought dead and even giving Terry a new costume. That’s a lot to take in, but so far it’s managed to make this semi-retconning work. Let’s delve into the next issue, which aims to bring back even more classic characters!
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Bernard Chang
Publisher: DC Comics
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“RISE OF THE DEMON” part two! As Terry McGinnis considers whether or not to take a break from being Batman, Gotham City Police H.Q. is overrun by a horde of ninjas. The League of Assassins has launched a full-out assault on the city and Curaré, leaving Terry no choice but to jump into the fray. What news does Curaré bring that makes her a target for death?
Why does this book matter?
DC Comics, and Dan Jurgens, are resetting Batman Beyond and clearly reminding readers this is within canon. This issue for instance, brings up Damian and Duke, two very modern characters. That makes the series more relevant than ever.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
In the future fireplaces probably aren’t a thing, right?
This issue serves as a good place for new readers to jump on because it opens with Bruce Wayne reminiscing on the sidekicks he’s had over the years. This issue also reminds readers Terry’s new Bat-costume has some kind of dangerous element and even reminds you of his new motivation to have a work/life balance. At the same time, Jurgens builds the story so that Terry neglecting the Bat-signal means real lives lost, which should put him into a personal conflict with his choice to not be Batman all the time.
That isn’t to say there is no action as there’s a fantastic moment of Terry letting loose and showing off the new costume in battle. Bernard Chang dazzles with these scenes and the glow of the bat symbol (colors by Marcelo Maiolo) on his chest is wicked. Really the glow throughout the issue is apparent, from a fireplace as Bruce thinks about his past, to the glow of the city. That helps give a futuristic look to everything. The double page flashback layout does well to capture the sidekicks of Batman. This scene visually represents the varied sidekicks, but also folds well into a hint at a possible future sidekick.
So Duke is now in the Batman Beyond canon. Hmmmmm
It can’t be perfect can it?
Recapping is good and all, but that makes a portion of this issue a retread for readers who have been keeping up. It makes some of the pages feel like filler.
Another issue is the cliffhanger. Done well, it’d be a cool surprise, but here it’s more of a forced new detail that loses the dramatic punch it should have come with.
Is It Good?
Gotta love the action in this issue, but longtime fans should be relieved things are going back to what made the series so much fun.