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Batman Beyond #5 Review

Terminal is on a crash course to gain incredible power and he’s harboring a certain unconscious Bat-person. Only Terry aka Batman Beyond can stop him–is it good?

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Batman Beyond #5 (DC Comics)

So what’s it about? The summary reads:

“ESCAPING THE GRAVE” finale! Batman and Terminal face off for the last time as secrets are revealed that will affect Terry McGinnis forever! Now all that remains is to shut down Terminal’s plans for ruling Gotham City and save his friend Dana. But doing both of those things may not be possible, and that will leave Terry having to make a deadly choice!

Why does this book matter?

This is the concluding issue of the first story arc and based on the recent revelations it’s clear Dan Jurgens is attempting to knock our socks off. Could this issue harbor even bigger revelations? You betcha!

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Flashbacks can be brutal.

This is a race sort of issue as Terry attempts to stop Terminal from gaining access to what is basically control of the NSA in Gotham. Terminal meanwhile is cargoing Bruce Wayne’s nearly dead body so as to use his fingerprints and eyes to scan himself into the building. Luckily Terry has access all on his own, but before we get to the conflict Jurgens throws us into a flashback. The flashback reveals some interesting details on where Bruce Wayne was last seen which helps clarify how we got here. The beauty of this issue is the big surprise, which isn’t obvious in the slightest. If Jurgens intended to truly give this series a new ‘Rebirth’ he did so and then some by the end of the issue.

Another interesting element is the small talk between Terminal and his henchman, and later between Terry and a character I won’t name to avoid spoilers. The dialogue is good, keeping you on your toes, and it slowly drops details that have you questioning what exactly you’re reading. There’s a bit of misdirection and it pays off by the end.

Bernard Chang does a good job with art, particularly how he draws (and Marcelo Maiolo colors) the flashbacks. There’s a red hue to everything with and scenes in the past are gritty to remind us it was wartime. Terry’s batsuit looks great too, with some killer soles on the boots and good use of the wings in an opening page splash. The best art comes at the end though as it gets quite violent, and quite good at revealing some new things. There’s a very cool use of sound effects to end the book and a great use of white to really make the final scenes pop.

It can’t be perfect can it?

Anyone who has followed this series may feel annoyed as it truly hits the reset button in more than a few ways. Does it accomplish the reset in an interesting fashion? More or less. The storytelling and plot works quite well, making this an entertaining book, though a mysterious goon seems to have been dropped into this issue without much integration in earlier issues. Considering how much is revealed here when so little was revealed and built up in the last two issues does make it less satisfying. More could have been done to set up this conclusion to have given that satisfaction. That said, I’m dying to go and reread the old issues to see what I missed!

Looks fast.

Is It Good?

Batman Beyond #5 shows this could be one of the more drastic resets of the DC Rebirth era. This issue may not have set up its conclusion in the most satisfying way, but there’s no denying this will be the book everyone is talking about. Batman Beyond fans…there is a lot to be excited about!

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