Review – Batman Beyond #16 (DC Comics)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Stephen Thompson
Release Date: 7th September 2016

I’ve been quietly falling in love with Dan Jurgens and Bernard Chang’s Batman Beyond run. The first story arc came out of Futures End with Brother Eye as the main villain and Jurgens nailed it. The size and scope of that story was perfect.

The second arc was a bit more convoluted and while dealing with the fallout of Brother Eye’s war was interesting enough, the coolest part of that story was seeing the city of Metropolis turned into a wasteland. Now, this final issue of Batman Beyond concludes The New 52 run, but sadly the story fizzles out even though the series is left in an interesting, if not familiar place.

In the rush to get Terry McGinnis back into his traditional costume, it’s obvious this was an epilogue even without it being in the title. It’s most obvious in the cave, when Tim Drake and McGinnis have a conversation about the different timelines. It’s a scene that should have been meaningful, considering that Drake saw McGinnis die in his original timeline, but the moment is as impersonal as it is fleeting.

Aside from closing a story or two, this is more about resetting the playing field for Batman Beyond: Rebirth. Which had me thinking this was the The Bourne Legacy of the series.

Like that Bourne entry, the story in this issue is anticlimactic. Since the reveal of McGinnis as Rewire happened last week, the impact of the reveal is lessened by extending it into this issue. On top of that, issue 13 telegraphed the reveal by cross-cutting a mission that McGinnis and Bruce Wayne worked on with the case Tim Drake and Barbara Gordon had.

Jurgens has put Drake through hell in this series and it proved that had is indeed worthy of the Batman mantle, in spite of what he may think. Guest artist Stephen Thompson does a fantastic job depicting Tim’s physical strength in a fight scene with Spellbinder. The action lines really emphasise Drake relying solely on his physical strength, rather than the suit’s gadgets and enhancement capabilities.

Then we get another epilogue – it’s really odd that there are two epilogues in this issue – this time for Tim Drake’s story. He’s seen riding a motorcycle outside of Gotham as he goes out to explore the world, but his trip is cut short when a bright light causes him to literally vanish.

The issue conveniently wrapped everything up, but the thing I find most troubling is the retreading of parts of the Rebirth story already told. Bruce Wayne’s Batman is looking for the individual responsible for stealing 10 years from the DC Universe. Similarly Terry is back as Batman, and his memories are messed up too. And then there’s the Wally West comparison since Drake is lost in time… again.

Judging by the way Jurgens communicated his love for Drake through various characters, it suggests that we’ll see him again, which would explain the open ended ending. I for one would like to see Drake back in the Rebirth comic book universe sooner than later. Especially if he comes back to the current timeline as a Titan. And while the ending to this series leaves much to be desired, my hope is that more people will check this run out if only to give Drake his due. I know Jurgens is capable of so much more so I’m expecting a lot out from Batman Beyond Rebirth.

Rating: 3/5.

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Lawr_avThe writer of this piece is: Laurence Almalvez
Laurence tweets from @IL1511


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