It’s time for another volume of Batman Beyond 2.0 and this was certainly an exciting one. The cover is easily the best that we’ve seen in Batman Beyond and it’s one of the best covers that I’ve seen in a comic. This really makes you want to open it so that you can find out just what is happening. Well, the wondering is over and now you can really jump in and watch the epicness unfold! It certainly lives up to the cover.
For the plot, Batman Beyond is still wondering why the heroes are so unnerved by Wonder Woman’s sudden appearance when she defeated Brainiac. Superman explains about how the Justice League met the Justice Lords a long time ago and they believe that she might be the Justice Lord version or worse…she may have been corrupted. Batman Beyond is tasked with going to the Justice Lord’s dimension and finding out what happened over there. This is no small task, but Batman Beyond has to make sure that there isn’t an invasion being prepared by the villains. So, he heads out on what could be his toughest mission yet!
This volume definitely has a lot of action and it’s cool the Justice Lords plot return. I had always wished that we could have gotten a sequel episode in Justice League so a comic version is naturally the next best thing. As this is the future, the roster has certainly changed, but we find out what happened to the old timers. Superman’s still around and that’s certainly the important thing. His personality is a little intriguing and I’ll touch on that in a moment.
Before I go into that, it’s certainly refreshing to have some good art here. Batman Beyond typically does though so I wasn’t surprised. Superman looks a tad skinny, but it works for the fight scenes since Superman is more streamlined this way. The style certainly works for the series and all of the characters look accurate to their TV show counterparts. The only time where the art dipped was in the final few pages. It seems like the final mini comic suddenly got a new artist, which didn’t go over so well compared to the rest of the collection. It was sudden and more than a little odd.
One part of the comic that was a little dicey was how corrupt Lord Superman became. The main Superman emphasized that the Lords were the Justice League, but then they got corrupted. Still, they aren’t just evil duplicates from a parallel world, they’re merely a what if. Lord Superman definitely doesn’t look like that though as he jumps past the line into full blown villain territory. It certainly wasn’t very subtle and I suppose that the message is about how you will just get worse and worse as you break the rules. It is true that once you do one bad thing, it is easier to do another. I understand the logic.
That being said, I just don’t see Superman going this crazy. You’d think that you were watching Injustice For All or something. This is a Superman who already had quite a few years of experience under his belt and he was a seasoned veteran. Certainly not just your run of the mill fighter. To see him fall so low is just sad. The rest of the Justice League also looks pretty bad. They’re all savage and/or crazy. They grew up in a pretty messed up planet, but I like to think that some of them would have made the choice to still be heroes. After all, it’s just the right thing to do right? Hopefully, they will learn to be better heroes now. Although, their farewell to Wonder Woman suggests that this may not be the case.
We find out that Lord Batman and the normal Wonder Woman did try their best to keep the peace on Earth though so they get kudos for that. Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern, and Hawkgirl (I think) are the ones who deserve some blame. Apparently, they just couldn’t take the war and decided to get off planet. It’s good that they didn’t want to be villains anymore, but running away from the problem is never the answer and it just makes them look bad. They should have helped to restore law and order on the planet instead of running off. I thought that they were made of sterner stuff!
In the present, Bruce Wayne still looks good. He figures out Wonder Woman’s scheme (Even if she didn’t know about it) right away and he gets a good hit on Superman. Unfortunately, he is still very old so he doesn’t get to help out with the fighting that much. It’s all right, he had his day. Batman Beyond does a good job of making the most of his opportunities. His new Kryptonite suit is definitely good and he’s even able to fight Superman with it. He’s naturally on the losing side, but it is good to see him try. He is still a really good main character and hopefully he’ll stay that way for the duration of the series. I still think that he’s wrong in blaming Bruce Wayne for the guy’s many secrets, but at least Terry isn’t being petty about it.
The comic came close to making me take a step back when Superman stabbed Lord Superman with a chunk of kryptonite, but Superman still made the hero call so I was fine with it. He did a good job of stopping Lord Superman even if they didn’t get to personally fight. Settling for Superman defeating Shazam and the underlings is a good consolation prize. Superman may be old, but I would still pick him over any of the other heroes. It was certainly very dicey to see the Justice League get thrashed so badly by the Justice Lords, but I’ll just assume that they were surprised. It should be a fairly even battle although one side would ultimately claim victory. The comic didn’t exactly have time for prolonged battles, which is a decent reason for rushing it. There will just be some power level inaccuracies, but nothing major.
A movie could easily be made out of the explanation near the beginning of the collection as Wonder Woman discusses what happened in the past. The Justice League did get to have a rematch with the Justice Lords, which would have been awesome to have seen on TV. Another movie could even be made about Lord Batman and Wonder Woman’s battle against Lord Superman and Lord Wonder Woman. There’s a whole lot of potential in the backstory, which would be a lot of fun to check out. The comic did a great job with the story telling and it actually managed to make the flashbacks just as interesting as the current story.
I think that I’ve essentially discussed all of the major points that I wanted to touch on. As this is part of the rich DCAU continuity, there are so many interesting things to note in the comic. These characters really were quite good and it’s always nice to see them revisited. If only more comics could take place in this timeline along with extra shows and films. If any part of DC deserves this treatment, it’s certainly this continuity.
Overall, Justice Lords Beyond is a great collection to read. Whether you’re a longtime DCAU fan or someone who is just getting into the Justice League, this is a great story of parallel universes. There is a lot of action to be found here and Batman Beyond even gets a new suit, which is stronger than his old one. The pacing never slows so there’s always some kind of excitement going on. I don’t think that Batman Beyond is going to be able to top this collection, but there’s always a chance. If we get a time travel adventure going….there is always a chance! My library definitely seems to have more Marvel comics than DC, or at least from the ones that are checked out so reading a great comic like this one is always enjoyable. I look forward to seeing what DC adventure is next!