It looks like Batman Beyond has returned! His show was certainly a lot of fun so it’s good to see the hero return to the spotlight with his various comic series. Hopefully he will have a place to return to once Convergence is all over. Looking at the future through Batman Beyond’s comics continues to be cool and you won’t be disappointed by this collection.
Terry is still at odds with Bruce so now he’s teaming up with Nightwing instead. I think Terry’s in the wrong here, but I’ll get into that more in a bit. The mayor has been assassinated so it’s up to Terry to stop whoever is behind this. It will be tough though as the new villain has assembled a super powered team to help him and each member is very deadly. After tangling with them, Batman Beyond won’t have much time to rest as the Man Bat returns to cause some chaos. Can Terry save the day while keeping up with his social life?
Terry continues to show his similarities to Peter Parker as he is letting his job as Batman consume him. He’s falling behind in all of his classes and his family relationships are beginning to get strained. It’s not quite as innocent as Peter’s predicament though. Peter didn’t want everything to fall apart, but he couldn’t help being away for long periods of time. Terry is choosing to ignore his social life because being Batman allows him to avoid his problems. The same result as Peter, but Terry certainly had a choice. Still, it’s safe to say that it hasn’t done wonders for his friends.
It’s good that Terry is trying to be a really good hero, but he’s also making some big mistakes. He’s really upset at Bruce’s earlier deceptions from Joker night and he has basically cut all ties with him. I think that’s a huge overreaction as you have to expect some secrets to be kept in this line of work. Does Terry actually think that Nightwing will be completely honest with him as they continue to team up? I highly doubt it and I hope that Terry keeps this in mind. Also, as much as I like Nightwing, he’s no Batman. Bruce Wayne will always be smarter and more prepared to help Terry out from behind the scenes. This comic really showed that as he figured out the whole case from the Batcave. At the end of the comic, Terry is slowly starting to get back into the real world without the Batman suit so hopefully he will also decide to give Bruce Wayne another chance.
The art is solid for this collection and it does a good job of emulating the style of the DCAU shows. We actually get several flashbacks to various DCAU episodes, which is cool. I saw the episodes rather recently so it’s like a good boost of nostalgia. The action scenes also look good with this art style and it is certainly a keeper. Good artwork can really go a long way into making a good comic that much more fun.
The new villain’s abilities were decent, but he definitely seems to be more of a one shot character. Let’s just say that the guy’s secret identity didn’t do the villain any favors. It’s cool that he got his own group, but his abilities aren’t even that great. He has some mild thunder control, but that’s about it. Batman did have a difficult time with him though so I should give the villain some credit. He doesn’t go down without a fight. Inque and Spellbinder don’t look very good, but at least the sonic villain got some good hits on Batman as well. It just goes to show that Batman always has to be careful since the weapons at the villain’s disposal can still pack a punch if they hit.
Compared to the big villain team up, Man Bat’s arc was noticeably less intense. It’s just hard to take the guy seriously. The heroes did feel unprepared for him though as Bruce basically gambles the city on Man Bat actually being a good guy deep down. That’s an incredibly big gamble to make and he’s wagering with lives here. I would have preferred a satisfying victory where the heroes just outfight him. It is fun to see Bruce Wayne actually fight a little bit though as he throws a few batarangs to take out some of the villains.
There’s a mini comic at the end where Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordan decide to hash out their differences. Things didn’t really go well between them so they’re always rather serious in the present. They decide to just forget the past and try to work as allies in the present. Hopefully it works out as they have both been very helpful to Terry during his current crime fighting. Gordan is also going to need some help soon as the new mayor seems to dislike her for some reason. I assume that he may have some kind of secret reason for this, but maybe he actually does think that she is simply too old for the job. It’s not illogical thought to have as she is certainly very old and the average person would have retired by this point. As long as she is making a difference, the mayor should allow her to stay, but that doesn’t seem like it is going to be in the cards. I suspect that he is corrupt anyway.
Naturally, things don’t go well at Arkham once again. It seems like that place is simply doomed to never work in rehabilitating criminals. They are simply too far gone in Gotham and other villains are constantly trying to break them free. Since Batman is the only real hero in the city, it also makes sense that there are simply too many crooks for him to be there all the time. What he needs is a sidekick of his own. Batgirl Beyond could become one if she shows up soon or maybe he’ll find someone else. The only problem is that he’s already pretty young so a “sidekick” could be tricky.
Overall, Batman Beyond 2.0 was fun. We got to relive some DCAU moments while watching some entertaining fights. I’m more than a little skeptical of Ten’s supposed allegiance to the good side, but hopefully Terry will continue to be wary of this as he hangs out with her. Getting tricked 3 times by the same person would be pretty embarrassing. I’m not sure how the Dana situation will play out as Terry tries to be a better person outside of the mask, but hopefully the comic doesn’t dwell on that. We had some very mild romance going in this volume, but it was handled well. I would expect no less from Batman Beyond! I recommend checking out this comic as it is still a fun version of DC’s future and the art is really good. If DC’s future actually were to end up playing out this way, I’d be satisfied. It’s a little bleak since there don’t seem to be many heroes anymore, but likewise, most of the super powered villains are gone as well. That means that the heroes from the good ole days essentially succeeded in their mission. Now, I’m just waiting for a time travel comic to happen in this series so that we can see Terry team up with the classic Batman in his prime!