Review: BATMAN BEYOND #34
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Colours: Chris Sotomayor
Letters: Travis Lanham
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Batman Beyond #34: The strange goings-on in Neo-Gotham continue, and not even Batman is immune. The Dark Knight of Tomorrow needs to stop the Splitt’s high-tech heists once and for all, but his opening move will have everyone confused and bewildered. Will Batman save the day” or be the catalyst to lead his city into ruin?
Last issue, we found out that False Face had taken Bruce Wayne’s place, but things are even worse, because False Face has moved on to his next victim, Terry McGinnis. This means that the villain is now loose in Neo-Gotham as the Batman!
It’s interesting that False Face attempts at first to maintain the façade that he is Terry. It was understandable that he did so when he took Bruce’s place. The advantages of being a billionaire are quite tempting. But why fight crime when he could just take the Batsuit and use it for his own crime spree?
I think the answer is that False Face finds some kind of fulfillment in Terry’s heroic life. Unfortunately, his bad habits quickly lead to him being figured out by Bruce, Matt, and Melanie, when he asks Splitt to become his partners in crime.
I also have to applaud the art team of Leonardi and Parks, which is exemplary, especially in how they bring the Batman Beyond Batsuit to life. They also do a superb job in conveying the semi-dystopian nature of Neo-Gotham.
I love seeing the affirmation of Bruce’s code against killing, when it seems that the impostor Batman threw a criminal off a bridge to his death. Bruce forcefully tells him, “If that’s true… I’ll see to it that you never wear that suit again!” and that “My rules are clear. Harm no one.”
The fact that Bruce had to remind Terry of this should have been a clear indication that this wasn’t the real Terry. Bruce is supposed to be the world’s greatest detective. Knowing that a villain who steals people’s identities is on the loose and Terry’s out of character behaviour should have led Bruce to immediately figure out that False Face had replaced Terry. In Bruce’s own words, “I should have realized it earlier.”
Jurgens’ take on Batman Beyond has been great fun, and much more satisfying than DC’s earlier attempts to carry on the story. This has given me a desire to rewatch the original cartoon again, and as luck would have it, a remastered Blu-Ray set has just been announced. This is a great time to be a Batman Beyond fan!