Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Batman Beyond 2.0 Volume 2 Justice Lords Beyond Review

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!

Overall 8/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Batman Beyond 2.0 Rewired Review

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!

Overall 7/10