Review: BATMAN BEYOND #49
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artists: Paul Pelletier, Norm Rapmund
Colours: Chris Sotomayor
Letters: Travis Lanham
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Batman Beyond #49: To safely return to his own timeline, Batman Beyond will have to defeat the villain Blanque without being seen by his mentor, the World’s Greatest Detective-Batman! Will Booster Gold help keep Batman Beyond hidden, or will time as we know it become completely undone? You do not want to miss this issue!
Batman Beyond #49 is the penultimate issue of the series and Dan Jurgens brings the story full circle – quite literally. As we near the end this volume of Terry McGinnis’ adventures as Batman, we also revisit the beginning. So, Jurgens begins the issue with a retelling of Terry’s origin story.
This is fitting in a story that involves Booster Gold taking Terry on a trip to the past. Terry originally believes that they are travelling to fix something in Bruce’s past to fix the present. It also involves Terry’s past as well. Terry ends up saving the life of the child who is destined to become Terry’s father.
And this is where Terry’s story literally comes full circle. By saving his father’s life, Terry makes his existence and career as Batman possible. On top of this, it turns out that Bruce and an older Booster arranged the adventure to make sure that events fell in line with Warren McGinnis’ secret journal. It’s a circular chain of causation – a temporal paradox.
This is also echoed in a smaller way in Terry accidentally teaching his dad a bit of future slang. The word “schway”, used as a synonym of “cool”, is a signature catch phrase often heard in the Batman Beyond comics and original cartoon. Warren McGinnis picks up the phrase from Terry and starts using it as well. The implication is that Warren starts the trend that makes “schway” popular in the future, where Terry learned it. This introduces a similar, but smaller paradox.
Jurgens does a nice job of capturing the bantering/bickering between Booster and Skeets. Skeets deftly gets under Booster’s skin by addressing the original Batman as “Sir”, a deference he never gives to Booster. And I chuckled at the shot Booster landed by calling his robotic pal “R2-3PO”.
I also quite liked the meeting between the older versions of Bruce and Booster Gold. While it’s hard to judge by just this brief scene, it does look like Booster eventually does grow out of the immaturity typically evident in the character. It would be interesting to see more of this older Booster Gold in future comics.
I also have to give props to Paul Pelletier and Norm Rapmund for the artwork evident here. When you have both Batmen in the same story, you definitely want them both looking their best, and they absolutely do. I also love the redesign of the older Booster’s costume. It gives him a more dignified appearance, but still maintains a lot of the flashiness of the original design.
While it makes a nice to end the series by bringing the story full circle, I’m not sure that it holds together logically. Admittedly, comics do tend to play fast and loose with the laws of time and space. But, I don’t see how a circular chain of causation like we see here could be established in the first place. It just doesn’t make any logical sense. However, it’s an extremely fun story, so I’ll let it pass.
Batman Beyond #49 is a great example of the fantastic job Dan Jurgens has been doing on this series. Jurgens has done a perfect job of expanding the Batman Beyond mythos, yet remaining true to the heart of it. Well it’s sad that there’s only one issue left, I’m sure that Jurgens has something special planned for the final issue next month.