“Batman Beyond #1” and “Batman Beyond #2”
The Heart of the Matter Part One: Madness, Mayhem, and Mentachem and The Heart of the Matter Part Two: Rough Justice
Written by ADAM BEECHEN
Art by RYAN BENJAMIN & JOHN STANISCI
Cover by DUSTIN NGUYEN; 1:10 Variant cover by Darwyn Cooke
“Issue #1” On Sale January 5, 2011
“Issue #2” On Sale February 2, 2011
DC Comics; 32pgs.; Color; $2.99 US
I’ve been a big fan of “Batman Beyond” since it’s premiere on television in 1999. This new take on the Dark Knight married two things – Batman and science fiction – that I loved very much together into one entertainingly beautiful package. The only thing I could compare it to was watching my favorite super hero battle villains in the world of “Blade Runner.” What could be wrong with that?
Apparently nothing, as the TV show was soon adapted into first a six-part comic book miniseries and then a regular monthly title that ran for 24 issues from March of 1999 to October of 2001. The show even spawned a direct-to-DVD movie entitled “Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker,” which was adapted for the printed page in 2001. Since then the futuristic Batman and Terry McGinnis have made appearances in ” Superman Adventures,” “Superman / Batman,” “Countdown to Final Crisis ,” ” Batman,” “Superman / Batman Annual” comic books and episodes of “Justice League,” “Static X,” and “The Zeta Project,” proving even more that the character is quite capable of carrying his own title. Well, that time has finally come. After a successful six-part miniseries which was launched in June 2010, it was announced that a new ongoing monthly series would begin in January of 2011. Welcome back to the world of Neo-Gotham circa 2039!
“Batman Beyond #1″ picks up with ” Terry McGinnis and Bruce Wayne being stronger than ever after the battle with ‘Hush’ brought their alliance close to the breaking point. But now a super-powered criminal has gotten in way over his head – and the whole Justice League has come to Neo-Gotham to hunt him down! To top it all off, the crook’s taken hostages… including Terry’s mom!” “Batman Beyond #2” picks up the story with “Terry’s family being held hostage by a crook who’s boosted technology so powerful, he doesn’t even understand what he has – and the Justice League intends to neutralize the threat with full aggression. But Neo-Gotham is Batman’s town, and Bruce Wayne doesn’t intend to give up one iota of control over the situation! With his loved ones’ lives on the line, which way will Terry turn under the pressure?”
“Batman Beyond #1” and “Batman Beyond #2” have all the darkness, excitement, character chemistry, and edge of the original TV series. Writer Adam Beechen (“Teen Titans,” “Robin,” “Justice League Unlimited”) has had no problem adapting the characters and atmosphere from the TV screen to the published page. The book picks up almost right where the six-issue miniseries of 2010 ended. Beechen certainly knows how to just throw a reader right into the action. He keeps the pacing and adrenalin pumping full-speed ahead throughout both issues. The blowout between Batman and the Justice League in this is awesome!
The art for “Batman Beyond #1” and “Batman Beyond #2” is great. Colorist David Baron (“Countdown,” “JLA,” “Green Arrow and Black Canary”) fills in Ryan Benjamin’s (“Teen Titans,” “Iron Man,” “Star Wars”) penciling and John Stanisci’s (“Catwoman,” “Static,” “Blackest Night”) inking with contrasting hues that jump off the page. The trio’s splash pages do exactly what they’re supposed to – grab your attention and give you a bigger window into the action. A couple of them would be suitable for framing.
“Batman Beyond #1” and “Batman Beyond #2” do a phenomenal job of kicking off the new monthly series. It gives lovers of the original TV series and all the comic book incarnations of the past something to look forward to every month. Let’s hope that this time the title will go on and on like “Batman” or Detective Comics” has.
You can buy “Batman Beyond Issue #1” right here.