Review: Batman Beyond #21

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

Writer: Dan Jurgens

Artist: Will Conrad

 

Summary

“Target: Batman” part two! When a hyper-crime crisis strikes Neo-Gotham, Batman flies in to save the day. But why is the local news bashing him for his heroic deeds? Stranger still, why are the very people Batman saved suddenly turning on him with anger and almost uncontrollable violence?

 

Positives

Since Bruce Wayne first created his alter-ego, Batman has been intended to strike fear in the hearts of criminals. But now, it seems that the entire population of Neo-Gotham is terrified of Batman. Could this be the work of the Scarecrow, or some spiritual successor?

And it even extends to people who know Terry personally. Dana Tan also has a terrified reaction, only regaining her senses once Terry removes his mask. But soon she starts to fear sets in again.

We also see the love triangle getting more complicated. Terry discovers that Dana saw him kissing Melanie (Ten from the Royal Flush Gang). While Mel seems to believe that Terry is interested in continuing a relationship with her.

We also see Matt complaining about Terry cutting short his career as the new Robin. But Matt blames Batman for this. It appears that Matt is also affected by the city’s fear of Batman. And if that weren’t bad enough, Commissioner Barbara Gordon is also affected, turning Neo-Gotham’s police force against the Batman.

I also quite enjoyed the appearance of Jack Ryder. Hopefully, this means that we will see the Creeper returning to action in upcoming issues.

 

Negatives

Bruce mentions that Matt disobeyed Terry’s orders in his first outing as Robin, but that isn’t quite what happened. There was only one order that was broken, and that was to remove Barbara Gordon to safety. Matt had no chance of getting Barbara to leave. Terry is being unfair to use this for a justification to keep Matt from being Robin.

Bruce’s failure to call Terry out on this is somewhat disappointing. However, I suspect that Bruce will help Matt convince Terry to give him another chance.

 

Verdict

Batman Beyond is definitely a must for fans of the original cartoon, but it’s also a fascinating exploration of what might happen after Bruce hands over the identity to an eventual successor. It’s great to see DC continuing the story.

 

 

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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.