Review: Batman Beyond #19

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Dan Jurgens

Artists: Phil Hester, Ande Parks

 

Summary

“The Long Payback” finale! When Batman was at the mercy of Payback, Melanie Walker—a former member the Royal Flush Gang—swooped in to save his life. Now, with Melanie on the receiving end of Payback’s wrath, Terry will have to return the favor. But can a bruised and battered Batman save the day, or will he need the help of his mysterious new partner?

 

Positives

The Batman of the Future now has a Robin – but for how long? Bruce reluctantly sends Matt out to help his brother out of a jam, but no one apart from Matt is happy about it. Terry’s girlfriend calls it sick, and Terry is furious for Bruce, not only for endangering Matt, but that it wasn’t rightfully Bruce’s decision to make.

So, does Matt have a future as Robin? Terry flatly tells him no, but something tells me that this is not the end of the matter. Perhaps Terry, like Bruce before him, will come to realize that Robin is an essential part of the Batman legend and take Matt on as his junior partner.

What is clear is that the incident has raised a number of tensions amongst the title’s cast. Dana is extremely disgusted with Bruce, but not as much as he is with himself. Bruce, for once in his life, has to face being helpless. As the epitome of resourcefulness, this is a humbling position for the original Batman to find himself in.

The story gets a touching epilogue where Terry brings food to Stalker’s starving village. Terry does not do this to repay any debt to Stalker, but rather because he feels a moral obligation to help those in need. This, as much as his battles with Gotham’s villains, shows him to be worthy of the mantle of Batman.

 

Negatives

If Matt does continue as Robin to Terry’s Batman, I hope that he given a proper costume, rather than the outfit he wears in this issue. Matt put the outfit on the spur of the moment and it shows. It’s just Damian’s old mask and utility belt and a grey hoodie. He’s recognizable as Robin, but the uniform doesn’t seem complete.

 

Verdict

The one thing that Batman Beyond has been lacking is for Terry to have his own Bat-Family.  The addition of a Robin is the logical first step towards rectifying this. This issue could be as important to Batman Beyond as the introduction of the original Dick Grayson Robin was in the Golden Age Batman comics.

 

 

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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.