Review: BATMAN BEYOND #32
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Colours: Chris Sotomayor
Letters: Travis Lanham
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Batman Beyond #32: “Lost Daze” continues as Batman’s battle with the Splitt reaches a fever pitch, but the Dark Knight isn’t getting any support from the Batcave. The normally reclusive Bruce Wayne is too busy lavishing cash all over Neo-Gotham to care that his protégé is in trouble. Does this out-of-character behavior have something to do with the strange goings-on at Arkham Asylum?
While Matt McGinnis may be barred from donning the Robin suit, Batman Beyond #32 shows us that he still is an indispensable part of Terry’s support team. Matt manages to remotely disable the Splitt’s deathtrap, saving his brother without leaving the safety of the Batcave. I like that Matt has not been cut off from assisting Terry altogether and has a useful role to play until Terry allows him to take up the mantle of Robin again.
There seems to be a recurring theme of Terry being reluctant to risk letting others assist him as Batman. Not only has he forbidden Matt from joining him as Robin, but in this Batman Beyond #32, he refuses when Melanie offers to join him in the field as 10 (formerly of the Royal Flush Gang. Like Bruce before him, it seems that Terry needs to learn that there is no shame in accepting help from other people.
As for Bruce, his odd behaviour continues from last issue. He doesn’t show much concern about Terry nearly being killed. Instead of trying to help, he tells Matt he’s going to bed, but actually goes for a night of gambling at a casino.
It’s evident that Bruce a villain has taken Bruce’s place, leaving Bruce trapped in Arkham. It is now revealed that this mysterious villain is False Face. He is a Silver Age villain, who has recently appeared in Harley Quinn, but is best known as one of the more bizarre Batman ’66 TV show villains.
I like this choice for a threat to pit against Terry. While it does give a nod to Batman’s past, False Face is a rather obscure villain. Thus, he is a much fresher and novel threat than using a Joker, Penguin, or Riddler would be. There is much that is unknown about this character, allowing Jurgens plenty of room to be creative with him.
There isn’t much to complain about in this issue. However, it does seem to me that it takes a bit too long for anyone to start noticing Bruce’s odd behaviour. However, it does give Matt another opportunity to prove his worth by being the first to realize something is off about Bruce.
Dan Jurgens has managed something unique with Batman Beyond. He has given us a series that seems both connected to the wider comics universe while also feeling like a continuation of the cartoon as well. Never before have we seen such a complete merging between the DCU version of a series and its counterpart from another media, pleasing comic and cartoon fans alike.