[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artists: Phil Hester, Ande Parks
“The Long Payback” part two! The Royal Flush gang continues to deal Batman a deadly hand, but Terry soon discovers they’re not the only ones after him. Someone behind the scenes is coordinating an attack of Batman’s greatest villains against him, forcing Batman to overcome multiple threats if he has any hope of discovering who’s pulling the strings and manipulating Neo-Gotham’s underworld against him.
A mysterious hooded figure sends the Royal Flush gang to confront Batman. When this fails, he sends Stalker. Who is this person and what do they want with Terry? And why doesn’t he deal with Terry himself? This is an intriguing mystery.
Also intriguing is the unknown woman who breaks into Wayne Manor and steals nothing but a photo of Terry. She apparently has some emotional attachment to Terry, but what could it be? Is this a character we have encountered before? I can hardly wait to see if future issues tell us more about these two mysterious strangers in Terry’s life.
Also, it’s pretty clear that Terry’s brother Matt has set his mind on being Robin to Terry’s Batman. In this issue we see him watching and emulating old recordings of Damian Wayne’s early training sessions as Robin. He instructs the computer not to reveal any of his training to anyone, as he probably realizes that neither Terry nor Bruce will be terribly receptive of the idea of a new Robin. However, Bruce has fought and lost that particular battle before, so he may be more willing to allow it than Terry will.
Although Dana is willing to attempt to rekindle her relationship with Terry, she seems to want to keep Terry’s life as Batman at a distance. This could spell trouble for their relationship, especially if things like Stalker’s attack on her and Terry continue to happen. If she cannot come to terms with Terry’s alter ego, there may come a day where she forces Terry to decide between keeping her or being Batman. If Dana cannot eventually come to terms with Terry being Batman, Terry might be happier with someone who does – the mysterious stranger who stole his picture perhaps?
Batman Beyond is a fun title that nostalgically recalls the Batman Beyond cartoon, but also builds on the foundation of the show, carrying the story forward. It’s almost like getting extra seasons past the cancellation of the show.