Review: Batman Beyond #1

Written by Mark Henely

bmb_cv1_ds

All of the DC Rebirth Comics have had one very large obstacle. How does one take the complicated continuity that these characters have been living through lately, yet still create a comic that feels recognizable to lapsed readers. In my review of Supergirl #2 (http://pop-break.com/2016/10/12/review-supergirl-2/) , I praised DC for their ability to blend Kara’s New 52 history with her CBS status quo and I am about to praise DC for their ability to do the same with Terry McGinnis and the world of Batman Beyond.

Many people picking up a comic book called Batman Beyond #1 are expecting to see where the beloved 90s cartoon left off. They don’t know that Terry has been a part of the New 52 for years now. They don’t know that he has died, been replaced by Tim Drake, and then brought back to life again. Those readers want to see Terry, Max, Dana, Matt and all their favorites from the TV show.

bmb_1_1And they get it. Writer, Dan Jurgens, honors the character development that Terry has gone through while re-uniting Terry and the surviving members of the cast of his cartoon (Bruce Wayne and Terry’s mom are gone in this universe, so they don’t come back. But, everyone alive does.). It feels like the a return to basics, while also going into what could be a really cool direction. The twist at the end is especially exciting to me. I will discuss why in the spoiler section at the bottom of the article.

Bernard Chang and Macelo Maiolo do a great job on art. The colors are beautiful and the art is very dynamic. Batman Beyond has a great costume and it looks great in action. The one-on-one solo fight is rendered very clearly and the 30 on 1 fight is drawn obscurely in a way that highlights the chaos of the situation.

Spoiler Section: At the end of the comic, Terry dresses up like a member of the Joker Gang to infiltrate their group and take it down from the inside. I think the fact that this story ends with the main character dressing up like a clown should not be ignored. It is an absolutely ridiculous turn of events in a vacuum, but it doesn’t play as a joke in this context. The fact that Terry might become a Joker feels scary instead of like the goofiest plot twist of all time. And I think Jurgens, Chang, and Maiolo all need to be praised heavily for it.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.