[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Bernard Chang
As the issue opens, Bruce Wayne ponders his life as Batman and wonders if he has been too demanding of Terry McGinnis, the current Batman. However, his reverie is interrupted by word of an attack on Gotham City Police headquarters by the League of Assassins.
Meanwhile, Terry is with Dana Tan. He has just finished telling Dana that he plans on putting his personal life ahead of his career as Batman, when the Bat Signal appears. Much to Dana’s misgivings, Terry tries to ignore it, but eventually gives in when Bruce contacts him and informs him of the danger Commissioner Barbara Gordon and the Gotham Police are in.
Terry arrives and fights the League off, but Bruce is alarmed to find that Terry is wearing a dangerous prototype Bat-suit that seems to be affecting Terry’s mind. However, before Bruce can get Terry to return to the Batcave, they learn that a very old villain is still alive.
It’s great seeing Bruce Wayne back in the Batman Beyond title. And both Terry and Bruce are coping with returning to a changed world after being thought dead. It’s also interesting to see how Bruce is adapting to the changes Terry has made in how he operates as Batman after being forced to function on his own without Bruce’s guidance.
DC seems to be bringing a sense of legacy back to their titles as part of the Rebirth storyline. A number of titles are re-establishing the mentor-protégé relationships: Ted Kord and Jaime Reyes in Blue Beetle, Clark and Jon in Superman, and Barry Allen and both Wally Wests in The Flash. I am happy that DC is keeping their promise to restore this sense of legacy to the DC Universe.
Revealing that an old villain is still alive and active seems a bit repetitive, coming on the heels of the similar revelation that the Joker is back. At least in this case, it is a villain that it makes sense would be still active, even after so many years have passed. I hope this doesn’t become a pattern. Sure, it makes sense that Terry would occasionally face one of Bruce’s villains, but it generally makes more sense for him to be pitted against their successors or new threats altogether.
Even though Batman Beyond doesn’t seem overtly connected to the Rebirth storyline, it seems to be exemplifying the Rebirth ethos. It is so far proving to be one of DC’s better titles.