Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Pete Woods
Release Date: 25th January, 2017
Issue four of Batman Beyond is out this week, and it has been the most enjoyable issue of the series to read so far. The story remains tightly focused, keeping mainly to a single location rather than bouncing back and forth to various locations (i.e. the Batcave, Jokerz Town, downtown Neo Gotham and back again). The action also has a far better flow to it this time.
That said, after twenty pages, this issue still only manages to barely inch the main narrative forward. We still don’t know what Terminal’s big plan is – unless it’s just acquiring Wayne’s wealth, which would be beyond anticlimactic to say the least.
The janitor who has constantly been hinted at as some sort of significant figure does more here, but I’m expecting quite a reveal given Dan Jurgens’ propensity for twist endings. This is just an assumption, but which Bat-family member is under the hood?
The bulk of this issue is dedicated to giving Dana Tan a sense of closure. McGinnis’s long-lost love finally learns the truth that McGinnis is not only alive, but he’s Batman too. The exchange between a frustrated Tan and guilt ridden McGinnis is a truly cathartic moment, especially when you consider how long he’s been lying to her, albeit a short one. It’s the most authentic moment in this series and well worth the price of admission.
Pete Woods takes over the art and colors of this issue, and he does a fantastic job, even making a Jokerz-disguised McGinnis look just like Jared Leto’s Joker. Despite only being four issues in, the Batsuit gets another redesign. Woods’ take on the suit does bear a resemblance to the Spider-Man 2099 costume, but the black and red-trimmed wings works as a bit of a throwback to the Adam West-era Batmobile, which is a nice touch given that this is an “older model” of the new Batsuit.
It remains be seen if the big mystery surrounding a defaced Bruce Wayne pays off, but Jurgens’ attention to McGinnis and Tan’s history is a curious one. In a way, this issue repositions McGinnis as a more mature character. Could this be suggests a deeper and more defining story arc? This writer definitely hopes so.
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The writer of this piece is: Laurence Almalvez
Laurence tweets from @IL1511