Batman Beyond Rebirth #1 (DC Comics)
For long time now the Batman Beyond property has been a tough nut for DC Comics to crack. The now classic TV show has a huge following, but the numerous times that DC has tried to tap into that audience with a Batman Beyond comic have fallen flat. For some reason, Terry McGinnis’ adventures haven’t been as easy to bring to the paneled page as they should be. Until now. Dan Jurgens and Ryan Sook’s Batman Beyond Rebirth special hits all the right beats, and brings us all up to speed on the Dark Knight of tomorrow’s current adventures.
After being believed dead for a year thanks to Spellbinder, Terry McGinnis is back as Batman and making up for lost time. After stopping a crew of Jokerz gang members who were attempting to kidnap some kids, Terry tries to figure out who’s responsible for bringing the notorious gang back together. Unfortunately before he and Commissioner Barbara Gordon can interrogate the thugs more, they die from joker gas capsules in their mouths, something that hasn’t been seen in decades. But the Joker can’t be responsible, since he’s been dead for years. Or is he?
That’s the main hook for this new Batman Beyond run, and I’m not going to go any future, other than to say that the last page has me VERY interested in what’s to come in the Batman Beyond series proper. Dan Jurgens’ script does a spectacular job of catching us up on the bullet points of the previous Beyond series, wisely skipping over a lot of the parts that didn’t work all that well, like Tim Drake being in the costume for a majority of the series (it’s a long story). Jurgens also has a great handle on what makes Terry McGinnis tick, and it’s really interesting to see how the legacy of Batman and his villains makes an impact on the future.
Ryan Sook’s art evokes the classic Bruce Timm style of the original Batman Beyond series, but also keeps a style that is entirely his own. Sook’s layouts for the issue are spectacular, as are his design choices for Batman. There are some really awesome depictions of the future Batman and Neo-Gotham in these panels, and the action is portrayed wonderfully. If Sook keeps it up, this could be a book that makes him a star.
Batman Beyond Rebirth was a book that I was rooting for, and I’m really glad that it delivered. This property has always had the potential to be something really cool, and it’s about time that it’s started to live up to that. As someone who’s a big fan of the Batman Beyond TV show, I’m ecstatic that I’ll be able to pick up a comic that gives me the same feeling was watching the show.