Comic Review: Batman Beyond #25 (DC Comics)

It’s amazing how Dan Jurgens is able to write comics with a voice and lense that never feels detached from its audience, nor feeling dated like other contemporaries. Dan Jurgens […]

It’s amazing how Dan Jurgens is able to write comics with a voice and lense that never feels detached from its audience, nor feeling dated like other contemporaries.

Dan Jurgens on Batman Beyond is to what Gerry Conway is as a writer on any spider-man book where he never lost his narrative touch as a writer and the modern sensibilities that they bring that never feel dated or cringy at all. With that being said, it’s great to see Terry Mcginnis really grow into his character as Batman now as a mentor for his younger brother Matt as the new Robin after the last arc that featured the new Scarecrow. This issue really shows how much Terry is taking up that responsibility as a mentor, and how each of the legacy characters such as Commissioner Barbara Gordon, among a few others feel about the idea of Matt as Robin, and the entire history of the many robins that go through such tragedies. One of the many characters that I enjoyed Jurgens take on, is Grayson AKA formerly known as Nightwing within the context of this series.

I really enjoyed the character development of the characters especially in regards to Dick Grayson who in this series isn’t like his Batman Beyond 2.0 counterpart. He’s a Mayor, has a daughter and is established as a successful individual that is no longer under any kind of shadow of Batman/Bruce Wayne. There is a special charm that this book, let alone any other book that focuses on the growth of legacy characters beyond the main continuity. That is something that I always appreciated during Paul Levitz time during the pre-Flashpoint/ New 52, where legacy characters took up larger roles and started to fully come into their own and growing along with the readers. I think that’s what makes this issue along with the idea of Batman Beyond as a character and concept so special. What’s most interesting is that Batman has a ton of legacy characters but Batman isn’t often allowed to grow up so much because if his protege’s continue to age, then that means Batman would have to age, and I think that it’s strange that legacy characters aren’t allowed to grow organically due to being stunted by their predecessor/mentors. It’s always refreshing to see characters that become worthy successors that really excel and lead by example, if not, at least surpassing their mentors as they should since that is what they are meant to do.

When I think of Batman Beyond, I think of it as a perfect series that matches well to the world of Marvel’s MC2 Spider-Girl. Letting readers see a world where comic characters get to grow up, grow old, pass their mantle and see it persevere throughout history and reflect the context/ issues that occur in the times that are reflected. I hope one day readers will continue to get content such as this because Batman Beyond especially under Jurgens is a solid example of how to write legacy characters and letting them flourish. Although Batman Beyond has the advantage due to the original animated series, I think it still carried the main idea of focusing on a series where there is room for characters to organically grow. That’s the point of legacy characters, and I feel that Dan Jurgens has a good grasp of that as he did on Action Comics (along with Joshua Williamson on Flash and Tomasi/Gleason on Superman).

Now in regards to the return of a certain clown prince of crime, It’s interesting seeing this version of the Joker make his debut within the post-New 52/DC Rebirth landscape. Most people who are familiar with Batman Beyond will recall the DCAU film Return of The Joker, but since this is the comics, it’s kinda cool to see how Jurgens takes a crack at taking on a character such as that within in this series. All I can confirm is that it’s pretty awesome seeing how Jurgens incorporates the Joker and makes subtle references to other stories while possibly forging something new within the world of this series.

Cully Hammer and Marco Santucci’s artwork on this issue is really awesome especially with the switch between the different eras between Grayson’s time as Robin, in contrast to the modern time of Neo Gotham. The design of Neo-Gotham and the subtle aesthetics that call back to familiar hallmarks that Batman Beyond fans and general Batman fans will enjoy reading within the pages of this issue. The colors by Staples is nicely rendered to the artwork, making it feel as Neo Gotham needs to feel, which is vibrant, yet dirty, yet neon like, which is always required for the world of Batman Beyond. Lanham’s lettering compliments the rest of the artwork nicely which never feels minimal nor overwhelming for readers, making it a balance reading experience for readers who want to indulge in both the artwork aside from the dialogue.

This is a worthwhile issue and I think Dan Jurgens is really gonna deliver a really solid story that may leave a strong impression among fans and readers for years to come. I urge readers that are more interested in reading about legacy characters to definitely pick this issue up and add it to your pull list for new comic Wednesday.

Anthony Andujar Jr.

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