Review: Batman Beyond #20

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

Writer: Dan Jurgens

Artists: Marco Castiello, Mark Morales

 

Summary

“Target: Batman” part one! After his first outing as a vigilante, Matt is hungry for another chance to prove himself, but Bruce and Terry butt heads over what’s next for Matt. Will Terry shut his brother down for good, or will the original Batman succeed in training him to become the latest Robin? Meanwhile, a hostage crisis turns deadly, and Commissioner Barbara Gordon has to sort out why the Jokerz are resorting to far more violent and extreme measures than ever before.

 

Positives

This issue presents the official debut of Matt McGinnis as Robin to Terry’s Batman. But is it also his last outing in that role? Bruce convinces Terry to take Matt out for what should be an easy first mission, but it goes badly wrong and Terry declares Matt’s tenure as Robin over before it’s even begun.

And Bruce manages to provide a reasonable rationale for allowing Matt to be Robin – well, reasonable enough for comics. Bruce tells Terry, “if we don’t coach, train, and bring him along properly… he’ll sneak out on his own”- which Terry admits would be more dangerous.

I really like the Matt’s Robin costume. It is recognizably a Robin costume. It seems somewhat reminiscent of Tim Drake’s first Red Robin outfit, but updated with the same aesthetic as Terry’s Batman costume. It even eschews the cape for retractable wings.

Also, there seems to trouble brewing in Terry’s romantic life. His girlfriend, Dana Tan catches Terry kissing Melanie (a.k.a reformed villain Ten). It will be interesting to see whether Terry decides to patch things up with Dana or pursue a relationship with Melanie.

 

Negatives

Terry didn’t give Matt much of a chance did he. He ends Matt’s career the very first time he fails to obey an order. The order was for Matt to get any civilians to safety while Terry fights the villain Scab.

However, the only civilian is Barbara Gordon, who refuses to let Matt drag her away from the situation. Poor Matt really didn’t have a chance of following that order. It seems that Terry wasn’t really willing to give Matt a shot at being Robin. Hopefully, Matt and Bruce can convince Terry to reconsider.

 

Verdict

It was great to see Rebirth bringing Batman Beyond back to a status quo that closely resembled the original cartoon incarnation, but it’s even more exciting to see the mythos evolving and expanding. And what better addition could there be than a new Robin?

 

 

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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.