It’s time to read one of the Batman Beyond comics. I believe that this is actually the first one that I’ve checked out and it’s good to see the the characters once again. Even though the title talks about Batgirl Beyond, she only gets a quick comic and actually isn’t that important to the plot. So, this would definitely rank pretty high on the misleading covers list. It’s still a pretty good adventure though even if we don’t get many serious villains yet.
The first adventure is an 8 part comic that takes place after Joker’s mad onslaught against the city. Bruce Wayne is critically injured and Dana is still trying to work past the traumatic events that have occurred. She decides that she will help Terry from now on in his quest against crime. She doesn’t really get to appear after that, but I’m sure that she will be back. Batman deals with one of his old sonic themed foes before realizing that it is a distraction. The real villain has kidnapped one of his friends and intends to destroy the city..and maybe even the world. Batman will have to hurry on over if he’s going to make it on time.
It’s a pretty good adventure and we definitely get our fair share of action. A lot of the story is running directly from the Joker incident so it probably won’t have the same emotional impact that it would have if we actually read that comic. Dana’s bro turning evil must have been a big twist..although I don’t think we ever saw him before that so maybe we wouldn’t have been surprised. Terry’s doubts about being Batman aren’t that great though as I feel that just about every teenage superhero seems to go through that doubting period and it gets old after a while. Batman never doubted himself so often back in the good ole days. I’m fine with Dana knowing Terry’s secret, but I hope that they mostly stay in the friend zone or that the romance at least doesn’t become a huge part of the series.
After that the Batgirl comic starts and it seems to really be a stand alone title at this point. Barbara Gordan finds out that one of the neighborhoods is getting pretty violent and people are fighting in the streets. She heads over to investigate, but is quickly defeated by the crooks. She’s saved by the new Batgirl who lets her know that they have been turned crazy by some kind of poison. Barbara Gordan goes to the nearest company to get to the bottom of this, but she may be in trouble now. Batgirl will have to come to her aid once more, but can the vigilante be trusted!?
I’m sure that Batgirl will inevitably meet up with Batman Beyond at some point, but so far this comic was basically filler. Batgirl seems like a decent fighter, but only decent. I don’t see how she will be anywhere near Batman level anytime soon since she is self taught and you can’t become a grandmaster in a year or two like that. She does pretty well in this comic though and Batgirl seems like she isn’t crossing any lines yet. She’ll be a good supporting character to have and maybe she’ll even help Barbara stay more relevant in this series. Having the two of them team up could make for a pretty good subplot.
Finally, we also get a bonus comic at the end where Ink returns. She wants to be human so she gets someone to give her a serum, but what side effects will this have? Ink has no time to worry about this as Batman shows up so the two of them begin to battle. Ink will need to think of something quickly to turn the tides against this futuristic superhero!
That comic is pretty short and the art takes a dip. It’s decent enough and the adventure is fun, but it’s certainly a stretch to see how Ink gets away in the comic. She seems outmatched from the start and Batman had every possible edge. It should have been easy for him to have won the match, but I guess he just wasn’t prepared to get scratched. Ah well, it beats the average bonus comic that you see at the end of a trade paperback.
Aside from the last comic where I wasn’t a big fan of the art, the trade is pretty consistent in how it looks. It’s not going to go down as one of the greatest pieces in DC history, but the character designs and battle scenes look pretty smooth. The art definitely works and it helps kick in the nostalgia glasses that I always wanted. I definitely have no complaints with it.
We get some guest stars in the form of the Metal Men. It’s good to see them return to the front lines and they seem to be pretty dependable as supporting characters for Batman. They’re the kind of characters that I wouldn’t want to appear too often since they could get old very quickly, but appearing once in a while won’t hurt. They seem likely to appear again soon based on how their character arc ended.
Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne seems to finally be learning about the values of teamwork. I guess a near death experience coupled with Terry’s doubts has forced him to think of all the options at his disposal. Bringing in more and more allies will definitely keep the world safe as well as attract more super villain groups. Actually, that reminds me of another story in this comic and actually the best one of the batch. That would be the Batman vs Batman Beyond comic. Bruce finds out that Terry is slowly losing his mind and he’s forced to take out the hero before Terry can hurt someone. It shows that Bruce can still fight even at his old age and he will always have the edge over Terry. With prep time, I have no doubt that this is true.
There is some plot hax in the fight of course and without prep time, Batman Beyond should definitely win. That being said, I don’t mind a little plot hax here since Wayne is in the lead. Terry is a pretty decent hero and he still acts like a mix of Batman and Spider Man. Again, I don’t care for the fact that he is doubting whether to be a superhero or not, but I’m sure that he’ll get over this soon. All true heroes overcome their doubts at some point and now that he’ll have more allies, the fight against crime will be much easier.
Overall, Batman Beyond gives us a pretty good adventure here. The title is very misleading, but maybe Batgirl’s comic got a lot of buzz when it came out so they wanted to capitalize on that. Regardless, none of the issues are actually bad and we get a good amount of action. The villain who unleashes the giant metal monster is pretty underwhelming though and she has an anticlimactic end after such a strong start. She is probably a one shot villain who will never appear again and I hope that this is the case as we don’t need any more third rate villains. I want more guys like the sound villain and even Ink since these villains tend to put up a good fight or at least talk tough before taking the loss. I recommend checking this comic out and especially if you’re a fan of the Batman Beyond comics. Time to see if Batman Beyond makes the right choice to tough it out as Batman!