Review: BATMAN BEYOND #41
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artists: Sean Chen, Sean Parsons
Colours: Chris Sotomayor
Letters: Travis Lanham
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Batman Beyond #41: In her pursuit of Blight, Batwoman finally discovers the fate of Batman, but doing so leaves her with a choice: take the villain into custody or free her friend and take him home. That is, if enough of Batman’s mind is left that he’ll even know what “home” means. Also, how will all of Batman’s allies react when they discover the Batwoman’s true identity?
Last issue let the readers in on the true identity of the mysterious new Batwoman: Elainna Grayson, the daughter of Dick Grayson. In Batman Beyond #41, we see that the Bat-Family have finally figured her secret out. The elimination of Barbara Gordon and Melanie Walker as suspects, plus the news of Elainna’s disappearance has finally allowed Bruce Wayne and Matt McGinnis to connect the dots and solve the mystery.
While discussing Elainna being Batwoman, there was a nice little exchange between Dick and Barbara. When Dick expresses surprise that Elainna would even want to be a superhero, Barbara tells him, “You of all people should understand how that life can appeal to a child and draw them in”, referring to his past as the original Robin.
When Barbara then comments, “Young women who have their minds set have a way of moving forward… while hiding it from their fathers. To this, Dick points out that Barbara, of all people should understand that, in reference to her having been Batgirl without her father’s knowledge.
I find it interesting that Dick’s reaction to Elainna being Batwoman isn’t anger at her defying him, but rather surprise. I wonder if this means that he will be accepting of her being a costumed crimefighter. This would be a bit surprising, considering that he has expressed that he didn’t want that for her. On the other hand, as Barbara pointed out, Dick understands the appeal of being a superhero.
Meanwhile, Terry is in the clutches of Derek Powers, a.k.a. Blight. Blight’s lackey is forced to restore Terry’s memory, as his amnesia somehow prevents her from being able to overwrite Terry’s mind with Blight’s. Luckily, this is where Batwoman intervenes, and results in Terry being rescued with his memory restored.
With Blight’s attempt to extend his life by stealing Terry’s body thwarted, he turns his mind to revenge. He declares, “If I have to die… I swear by all that is holy… that I will take Bruce Wayne with me”. It appears that next issue will feature an all-out assault on Bruce and the Bat-Family by a Blight with nothing left to lose.
It still seems odd to me that the world’s greatest detective couldn’t figure out Batwoman’s identity with a very limited set of suspects. From the start, Elainna seemed to me to be the most likely candidate. However, she didn’t even register as a possibility to Bruce.
Of three women who it could have been, Barbara is the least likely. She’s a bit too old for the job, plus being the Commissioner of the GCPD doesn’t allow her adequate time to be leading a double life. But Bruce marks her as the prime suspect. And Dick, who is a pretty good detective himself, admits to having held the same theory.
Matt also picked the wrong suspect, but at least his suspect, Melanie, was a much more likely possibility. I think that it would have made more sense if Bruce had suspected Melanie and Barbara had been Matt’s suspect.
Batman Beyond is a delight for readers who were fans of the original cartoon. Very often titles that spin out of a movie or TV series are rather forgettable. However, Jurgens makes this title feel like an organic continuation of the original. The animated series truly lives on, just in a different medium.