Terry’s confrontation with the new head of the demon, Damian Wayne, draws to its epic conclusion. Bat Dragons, AI bat-suits, ninjas and family ties are all in the ring as the two sons of Batman battle it out for the respect of Bruce and the lives of billions!
“RISE OF THE DEMON” finale! As past and present collide, Bruce Wayne witnesses the culmination of his legacy. In a shocking twist, the Demon is not Ra’s al Ghul. Can his successor be persuaded to stop his plans for worldwide destruction? Will Terry be able to overcome the destructive influence of the new Batman costume and hold on to his soul? High up on a Tibetan mountaintop, the answers will be revealed.
What’s the skinny?
Terry’s made it past all of Damian’s assortment of deadly tricks thus far and in the process killed one of Damian’s oldest companions and friends: Goliath, the last of the bat dragons. Was the action a result of the suit’s influence or a desperate act driven by survival on Terry’s part? We don’t have the chance to sort that out, as the fallout of Goliath’s death leaves an enraged Damian hellbent on avenging his friend by killing Terry.
As Terry fights for his life against the deadliest opponent he’s ever faced and an AI suit trying to control his actions, Bruce scrambles to find a way to disable the intercontinental ballistic missiles and avert a cleansing of humanity. Watching your biological son battle your adoptive son can be a bit of a distraction and unfortunately for Bruce, those aren’t the only players in this game.
What’s the catch?
Damian’s control slips and his rage takes over after Terry kills Goliath. I enjoy how this event illustrates that Damian isn’t as in control of his emotions and convictions as he portrays himself to be. What bothers me about this scenario is page two of the issue essentially spoils how this will be resolved.
Is it good?
Bernard Chang’s first panel of this issue is easily my favorite. The emotions of the three characters that play out across this story are all perfectly encapsulated here. It’s also great to finally see Damian drop the mask and reveal the depths of the emotions he’s tried so hard to hide. All semblance of control is thrown out the window, as his rage and pain over Goliath’s death and his father’s inattention finally explode.
Even after he left the mantle of Robin behind to take on the mantle of the Batman and later the head of the League of Assassins, Damian remains above all else obsessed with his father’s approval. It’s disappointing to see Damian’s emotional growth so stagnant as an adult, but I can’t say it’s unexpected or poor writing — it’s just Damian Wayne being Damian Wayne. I can absolutely see why Damian was so hurt by some of Bruce’s choices, but his reactions as per usual are far into the realm of the extreme. All that being said, I’m glad to see a character I enjoy reintroduced to the Batman Beyond universe.
Throughout this story arc Dan Jurgens has taken us on harrowing high-speed chases across the skyscrapers of Neo-Gotham to the secret mountain lair of the League of Assassins half a world away. We’ve seen new characters from the existing Batman Beyond universe and been surprised with characters from Bruce Wayne’s days of wearing the Bat-suit. The advanced technology of the future holds an important role in the story without slipping into the realm of the far fetched. Terry develops further by testing both his mental and physical limits, while Bruce’s lesson lay in family, trust and not being such a hard ass all the time. This story will appeal to all fans of Batman comics through one facet or another, because there’s something here for everyone. Jurgens has assembled all the pieces of his board for a stunning conclusion that will have you holding your breath right up to the end.