Review: BATMAN BEYOND #39
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Inaki Miranda
Colours: Chris Sotomayor
Letters: Travis Lanham
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Batman Beyond #39: The mystery of Neo-Gotham’s newest protector deepens! With Terry McGinnis missing, a new, unidentified person has stepped up to replace him as protector of Gotham! Even the greatest detective of all time, Bruce Wayne, is unable to determine who’s hidden behind the mask. Gotham’s newest hero appears capable, but does she have what it takes to combat Terry’s greatest enemy-the murderer of his father-Derek Powers, a.k.a. Blight? Or will her time as the city’s guardian end in tragedy?
For the last few issues, an amnesiac Terry has been wandering the streets of Neo-Gotham with Constance Gustinov. Terry’s friends have been unable to find him, but now he’s about to become embroiled in Batwoman’s fight with Blight.
Blight’s body is decaying and he needs a new host body, so he puts a call in to the only person who can help him, which happens to be Gustinov. Gustinov was formerly an employee of Blight when he was still Derek Powers. She agrees to provide him a new host body, clearly intending on handing Terry over to Blight.
I quite liked the touching moment between Bruce and Terry’s brother Matt. While watching Batwoman fight Blight, Matt realizes that Blight is his father’s killer. Bruce’s words, “Believe me… I understand,” speak volumes. No one knows the pain of losing a parent better than Bruce Wayne.
And the mystery of Batwoman’s identity continues. Bruce suspects Barbara Gordon and Matt favours Terry’s girlfriend, Melanie Walker. But are those the only two options? My theory is that Batwoman is neither, but is actually Dick Grayson’s daughter Elainna.
Batwoman mentions that she has training and experience. While Dick has stated that he doesn’t want Elainna to get involved in the world of superheroics, he presumably would have trained her well enough to defend herself if any of his past foes ever decided to strike at him through his family.
I think that Jurgens has had Matt and Bruce put forward their suspects as a red herring, distracting from the newly introduced Elainna. Whatever her identity, the final page promises that we will find out who she is next issue, so we will see who is correct next month.
The only problem with the last few issues is that the title character has barely appeared in them. Terry only appears briefly, and not as Batman. One can argue that he isn’t even really Terry, considering his amnesia. However, it looks like Terry’s predicament will be addressed soon. Hopefully, he will be donning the Batsuit again, and not become the new host body for Blight.
Batman Beyond #39 showcases the future Batwoman, proving her to be an interesting new addition to the Bat-family. Jurgens is not only doing a great job at capturing the feel of the original cartoon, but also at expanding the Batman Beyond mythos.