As Jimmy and I recently started discussing Batman Beyond for our DCAU Rewatch, it seemed only appropriate to see how DC Comics is treating that world.
The first volume under the Rebirth aegis is subtitled Escaping the Grave.
Now, I am vaguely aware that DC during the “new 52” phase did a big storyline called Future’s End that featured the Batman Beyond characters. I read a few issues of it. It wasn’t all that good. If anything, it was mostly a downer, like a lot of the New 52. Rebirth has been about putting hope and optimism back into the DCU, and the new Batman Beyond isn’t an ugly mess of any kind.
Set a few years after the animated series, a now-adult Terry McGinnis returns to Neo-Gotham. He was believed dead thanks to something with the villain Spellbinder the book doesn’t spell out, but ultimately doesn’t seem to matter. Both his parents are now dead, and Terry is taking care of his kid brother Matt. Matt seems fully aware Terry is Batman and works with their friend Max to keep things going. Bruce Wayne also appears to be dead, and in his absence the Jokerz gang took over a while neighborhood. Terry is a bit out of shape and badly outnumbered, and they just kidnapped his high school flame Dana Tan as she was trying to do some good as a social worker. Can Terry defeat the Jokerz while out of condition and practice, rescue Dana, and maybe prevent the resurrection of the dead man the Jokerz leader is trying to bring back from the dead?
Writer Dan Jurgens has never been one of my personal favorites when it comes to dialogue, but he’s great at plotting, and he ably ties Terry from the animated series into current DC continuity. Jurgens created or co-created a lot of concepts DC still trots out these days like the Linear Men, Waverider, Doomsday, and Booster Gold, so he can plot a creative story. He’s not bad here, with capable art from Bernard Chang and Pete Woods. There;s a twist or two in the end to set up a new status quo for the character, and it does look like Jurgans is angling Matt McGinnis to be a new Robin, so I think I’ll be back to check up on this series again in the future. Nine out of ten familiar crowbar scenes.