Review: Batman Beyond #9

[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writer: Dan Jurgens

Artist: Bernard Chang

 

Summary

Wearing a dangerous prototype Batsuit, Terrry McGinnis has travelled to the Himalayas to face Ra’s Al Ghul. To his surprise, the Demon’s Head has been replaced by Batman’s son, Damian Wayne.

The suit informs Terry that to defeat Damian, lethal force will be required. Terry’s easy agreement to this is indicative of the effect the suit seems to be having on his mind. However, the fight will not be an easy one, as Damian’s skills seem equal to the suit’s.

From a flashback, we discover that Damian wore this prototype Batsuit to fight his grandfather, the original Ra’s Al Ghul. But the suit’s effects on Damian made it possible for Ra’s to recruit him to his side.

Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne is attempting to come to Terry’s rescue, but first he has to fight his way past the son of Ubu, who intends to get revenge on Bruce for the many slights his father suffered from Batman.

Bruce finally arrives just as the battle is about to be decided.

Positives

When the Batman Beyond cartoon was first aired, the character of Damian Wayne didn’t exist. The comic adaptations have followed suit by not having Damian as part of the world. So that leaves the problem of how to introduce him to the series that implies that he was always in the world, but not a presence in the stories so far.

The brilliant answer is that he had fallen in with his grandfather and was with the League of Assassins rather than with his father. This neatly explains what Damian has been up to and why Terry has never encountered him before now.

Also, it seems fitting that the suit that is now currently endangering Terry is also the cause of Damian’s defection to Ra’s Al Ghul. The suit has effectively ended Bruce’s career as Batman as well as Damian’s very brief tenure as Batman. Could it be the downfall of a third Batman?

 

Negatives

It’s an interesting and fitting angle for the character, but I’m a bit disappointed that Damian has become a villain. Perhaps Terry, Bruce, and Damian can come to terms and this Ra’s Al Ghul might be an ally of Batman’s rather than a foe.

 

Verdict

Another good issue in this great series.  Definitely give it a read if you haven’t already.

 

 

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Derek McNeil

I have been an avid reader of DC Comics since the early 70s. My earliest exposure was to Batman and Superman comics, Batman (Adam West) reruns, and watching the Super-Friends every Saturday morning.