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Batman Beyond, by DC Comics, continues to thrill audiences and fly off comics shelves around the world. Our own Anthony Angiolilo takes a look at how the current story arc is unfolding.
Since Future’s End finished up, Batman Beyond has kept right on rolling, so I thought it was time to get everyone current with the current series.
We pick up with Batman meeting up with some Jokerz and, as you may have guessed, things went south for them shortly afterwards. While he’s taking care of business, Batman is also talking to the Alfred program in his suit. It’a at this point we realize the man in the suit is not Terry McGinnis, it’s Tim Drake (Red Robin).
Terry had died trying to stop Brother Eye and passed his suit on to Tim. Once the Jokerz had been dealt with, Tim pays a visit to Nora Boxer and Terry’s younger brother, Matt McGinnis. Upon meeting them he gets his mission; save Terry’s friends. When he arrives at his destination he encounters A Cybernetic Superman who is controlled by Brother Eye. Tim manages to escape by electrocuting the cyborg, but doing this shorts out his suit.
Being that his destination was a Brother Eye controlled prison, he decides that it’s better to hide in plain sight. While in the prison, he is noticed by Maxine Gibson, an ally and friend of Terry’s, and grabbed by some of her henchmen. He is then noticed by an old friend who happens to be acquainted with Max, Barbara Gordon.
Barbara then tells Max that Tim is none other than Red Robin.
Brother Eye’s drones appear to have noticed something is amiss when we pick up again in the next issue. Max, Tim, and Barbara are running from what is called “processing”. They pass people who are blank faced, or that have creepy smiles saying things such as “ The Lodge is Happiness”. While running away, Barbara begins questioning what happened to Tim. She says he disappeared Decades ago. To which he explains that he was trying to stop Brother Eye on a satellite, it went wrong and threw him years into the future. Barbara was explaining “ processing” and how Brother Eye controls his victims when they are attacked.
As they make their escape Max is captured, which unfortunately leads to Brother Eye figuring out that Tim has arrived in the current time-period. Brother Eye then sends out Inque and a Cyborg to capture them, which proved successful after a small bout between the four. Brother Eye then proceeds to process Tim.
We return to Nora and Matt. Matt believes that Tim couldn’t take Terry’s place and couldn’t cut it as Batman. Nora tells him that “we must have Faith,” that deep down Tim Drake deserves to be Batman.
We jump to Tim as his memories lie scattered in front of him. They are being searched by Brother Eye. Tim, being conscious throughout the process, is devising a way to escape. He has Alfred shock the suit and manages to escape with Inque on his tail. Once he manages to get away from her, he goes back to Barbara, who is being attacked by a cyborg. He defeats the cyborg and is able to escape the prison with Barbara and Max. They return to Nora and Matt, who goes to the aid of “Processed Max” and Commissioner Gordon. Tim starts another talk with Alfred when Brother Eye takes over. He had infected Tim’s suit during Processing and now knows the location of Neo- Gotham. Micron appears before Tim, who Tim mistakes for The Atom, offering assistance. All the while Brother Eye plots a course to Neo-Gotham.
The challenge has begun. Brother Eye is launching a full on assault on Neo-Gotham. This is more than just another challenge for Tim. This is the time he gets to prove he is worthy of being Batman. As the battle commences, Tim joins forces with Micron. While fighting, Tim realizes that he is being tracked through Alfred, and puts a stop to this by removing Alfred from the suit completely.
The battle continues and the city is in flames. Jokerz are parading through the streets declaring that Brother Eye has taken the city. Tim and Micron tear through the city, taking down Jokerz wherever they can, and that’s when the cyborgs arrive.
The fight continues, but Tim’s suit is starting to run on fumes. Finally, he uses the last ounce of his suit’s power, and the last items from the utility belt. Fortunately, Barbara has his back, as she extracts him out of the fight and then brings him to the Batcave. Upon arrival, Tim proceeds to look for a newer version of the suit he’s wearing, or something feasible to replace his current suit. Barbara happens to have an idea and shows him a different suit.
Jim Gordon’s BatBot.
The Cybernetic Superman has made it to Neo-Gotham, determined to crush all before him. He starts destroying the city. All the while, Tim and Barbara are still in the Batcave figuring out how to work the (at this point) ancient BatBot. Once it’s booted up Tim hops in the driver’s seat and the suit adapts to the Batman Beyond color scheme.
We flash back to the city, where we see Matt and Nora being confronted by a Cybernetic John Stewart, until Tim bursts in and puts him down. They continue to battle as a Cybernetic Wonder Woman and Superman show up and join the fight. As this happens, Micron shows up and takes down Wonder Woman, then Tim bursts out of the BatBot with a kryptonite ring, which he makes the cyborg eat – literally.
As Tim flies away, he is met by Barbara and they go to track down one of bruce’s last known secrets, which is hidden behind a Court of Owls statuette.
All the while Brother Eye had tracked them there and is sending an army to greet them.
Batman Beyond has been my second favorite Batman book ever since I could remember. Although, I never would’ve thought that I’d see another person in that bat-suit – let alone Tim Drake. Frankly, I never wanted to see anyone else, but Terry in it.
Although, I think Tim this series has changed my mind.
I have read a lot of Batman Beyond, and it’s actually really nice to have a fresh personality in the suit. Someone who isn’t quite as confident in his ability to be Batman.
What is really important is that Tim, himself, keeps questioning whether he’s doing well in place of Terry. He’s someone who doesn’t know what’s going on and who is unsure of himself.
Jurgens, Chang, and Maiolo have done an excellent job keeping the series going, they have kept me on my toes since the first issue dropped. There hasn’t been a moment of calm in the arc so far, and it’s great reading.
Being that the comic is so hectic, it feels more fast-paced. Not only do I love the frantic nature of the comic, but I love the moments where you see things from the main continuity of Batman incorporated into the series. Especially in the last two issues, with how they tied in two huge things; the BatBot and the Court of Owls.
I’m also really enjoying how Tim has to get used to the city and how he gets to meet all of Terry’s allies; including Barbara Gordon who becomes his ally and friend. Something else I like about the series is the use of the Justice League.
All in all, I’m enjoying my time with the series and I’m loving how everything unfolds. I can appreciate how full of action and how fast paced it is.
I look forward to what’s coming next.
Anthony Angiolilo is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @AnthonycommaA
Batman Beyond’s quick paced action keeps you on your toes, and leaves you craving the next issue.