Comic Review: Batman Beyond #30 (DC Comics)

In the aftermath of the Final Joke, Matt is plagued with dreams of the trauma he suffered at the hands of the Joker during his tenure as the Robin Beyond. […]

In the aftermath of the Final Joke, Matt is plagued with dreams of the trauma he suffered at the hands of the Joker during his tenure as the Robin Beyond.

Meanwhile, Terry is on patrol getting rid of the Jokerz gang one by one to ensure that the legacy of the Joker remains buried. Despite the protests of Grayson, Matt wants to prove his worth as a Robin, but at what cost? Can Batman (Terry) and Bruce prevent Matt from getting himself killed? Can Robin push through his trauma or will it consume him whole?

I think Dan Jurgens has a lot more up his sleeve than he is letting on within this series. This issue focuses on the aftermath of the anticlimactic end of the original clown prince of crime, The Joker. I think like many others who read the last issue might feel a little skeptical about this issue given that The Joker’s death due to a heart attack was very much anticlimactic, but given that Dan Jurgens is a fantastic writer, readers get to witness some seeds being planted within this issue that promises more surprises along the way. What I enjoyed about this issue is the role Dick Grayson plays in relation to Matt, having been once a Robin, trying to look out for Matt and ensuring that he doesn’t fall into the same cycle of trauma as many of the robins prior have endured.

I enjoy the idea that in a universe where the characters that we know in the main DC continuity, should they get older, that they would behave in a manner that feels true to their character, which Jurgen’s executes well. Jurgens even acknowledges just how anticlimactic things played out in the last issue, promising something bigger that is going to occur in the following issues. This is very much a small standalone story focusing on the dangers of having an adolescent fight a battle that is waged by adults, and I think Jurgen’s highlights that well.

Doc Shaner’s art is perfectly suited for an issue like this, it’s moody and atmospheric and has a tone that blends elements of the animated series into the aesthetic of the comic beautifully. I think the biggest thing that caught my attention the most is the textures that Shaner incorporated within the pages that Batman is in. There is some beautiful use of shadow and light that gives it a nice crackle-esque texture to Batman’s costume, which of all of the things that this issue has, caught my attention the most. Overall the art does its job in showcasing the visual narrative with ease, and with enough flair that it stands on its own aside from the story.

I feel that this is an underrated series that continues to experiment with the mythos of Batman Beyond in different ways that make for an interesting read. Compared to a lot of DC’s main continuity stuff, this is a nice break from all of that. If you’re looking for something that is standalone within the confines of its own universe, this issue is it. Plus, it’s the 80th anniversary of the Caped Crusader! So definitely add this issue to your pull list, especially if you’re an overall Batman fan that likes to read content that stretches far beyond the norm.

Anthony Andujar Jr.

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