Review: BATMAN BEYOND #37
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Colours: Chris Sotomayor
Letters: Travis Lanham
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Batman Beyond #37: In the wake of his fateful showdown with False Face and the Splitt, the Batman of tomorrow has gone missing! With the Caped Crusader AWOL and Neo-Gotham facing the threat of one of the deadliest villains it’s ever known, a new hero is needed! Bruce Wayne will turn to friends both old and new in order to keep his city safe, but that won’t be enough. Fortunately, a new and mysterious protector will arrive on the scene, taking flight to save the city!
In his Batman Beyond series, Dan Jurgens has shown his respect for the source material. He has made this title a continuation of the cartoon rather than a reboot. However, while he leaves the backstory unaltered, he doesn’t shy away from expanding the mythos by adding new elements.
And in Batman Beyond #37, Jurgens introduces us to a new character… or is it an old character wearing a new face? The new Batwoman poses an intriguing new poses a mystery for the future Bat-Family.
With Terry McGinnis missing, someone has entered the Batcave and stolen Terry’s Batman suit. Soon after, a new crimefighter appears wearing that costume, but it’s a woman.
I find it interesting that both Bruce and Matt have conflicting theories about who it is. Bruce believes it must be Barbara Gordon, while Matt thinks it must be Melanie Walker, the reformed 10 of the Royal Flush Gang. Or could it be a unknown third woman?
I don’t think it’s likely to be Barbara. She’s a bit long in the tooth for superheroics. However, the high-tech Batsuit could compensate for that. Plus, she has her hands full as the Police Commissioner for Neo-Gotham.
I think Melanie is more likely. Her experience as a supervillain would be enable her to be an effective crimefighter. Plus, her identity of 10 doesn’t make much sense now that she’s no longer with the Royal Flush gang. And, she has access to the Batcave, which would have allowed her to take the Bat-suit.
Who else might it be? It would have to be someone that knows about the Batcave and either has access or the ability to get past the cave’s defences. One possibility that hasn’t been mentioned yet is Dick’s daughter, Elainna Grayson. And she has been in the Batcave, and would presumably still have access to it. Maybe Jurgens introduced her with the intention that she would join the Bat-Family.
Hopefully, Jurgens won’t keep us waiting too long, but it will be fun to scour each issue for clues until that revelation happens.
I was glad to see Jack Ryder pop up again. Seeing him still active as a reporter makes me wonder if he is still occasionally active in his other role. My very first comic book, Detective Comics #447, had The Creeper guest-starring with Batman, which gives both characters a special place in my heart.
Jurgens also reintroduces a villain from the original cartoon, Blight. It appears that the new Batwoman will soon be facing a baptism by fire as she faces one of Terry’s most dangerous foes.
Speaking of Terry, I was a bit disappointed that he only had a brief appearance in this issue. While it’s an interesting development to have him wandering the city with no memory, I hope that this storyline will reach a resolution sooner than later. He is the hero of the book, unless DC is planning to change the title to Batwoman Beyond.
Batman Beyond both honours its history, yet carries the story on in new directions, which makes it a good successor to the cartoon series. Under Jurgens’ stewardship, we have been reacquainted with old friends and foes and met new ones. Jurgens has mastered the art of balancing the old with the new, an art that other writers might do well to emulate.