SPOILER WARNING: Light spoilers follow, not to be confused with diet spoilers.
Chapter 9 of Kyle Higgins’ Batman Beyond 2.0 offers a little bit of something for everyone. Brought to life by Thony Silas’ art, Terry McGinnis and Dick Grayson work to round up the rest of Gotham’s villains in the wake of the previous story arc. The big reveal will certainly pique the interest of readers, as Higgins brings a longtime Bat-villain into the Beyond universe.
The extra week from this title’s normal bi-monthly schedule shows in Silas’ art. The panels are dynamic, with greater detail than was present in the midst of the “Rewire” story. His strength remains in character expressions, with the tone and mood of each scene apparent without needless exposition. Also contributing is Emilo Lopez on colors, whose use of somber tons throughout makes Terry pop whenever he shows up.
Limitations encourage creativity, and Kyle Higgins’ refusal to use internal narration continues to be a boon for this series as he sets up some interesting story threads. Though the cliffhanger might be too much for those that have had their Manbat fill in the New 52, the choice to have Batman flat-out lose in his battle against Shriek might be the stronger indication of this arc’s direction. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few chapters.
As mentioned, Terry comes out on the short end against Shriek. While refreshing to see a long-recurring villain finally take out the hero, why on Earth does he just walk away when Terry lying on the ground, completely incapacitated? The Joker might do this because he wants the “game” to continue, but Shriek is not the Joker. The result is a flat conclusion to an entertaining battle.
Batman Beyond 2.0 continues to be the cream of DC’s digital-first crop. The dynamic duo of Higgins and Silas offers readers the opportunity to jump aboard a title that combines the mature storytelling modern audiences want with a healthy dose of fun. As Terry and Dick’s bromance continues, there are now bearded Manbats thrown into the mix. What more could you want?