Batman Beyond #3 Review
- Published on Monday, 23 August 2010 14:24
- Written by Kevin
As a big fan of Batman Beyond cartoon I have been very disappointed by this new mini-series that DC has put out. While Adam Beechen has done a solid job capturing Terry and Bruce’s voices the story involving Hush has been boring. With how Hush has been everywhere in the Batman books seeing him here has felt out of place. Still, as big fan of the cartoon I am hopeful that with Hush and Catwoman Beyond now introduced the story can pick up. Now let’s see if Batman Beyond #3 can deliver.
Writer: Adam Beechen
Artist: Ryan Benjamin
Inker: John Stanisci
Colorist: David Baron
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating:4. 5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Continuing from the last issue we see Hush beating the crap out of Terry who is trying everything to go on the attack but is unsuccessful. After knocking him down Hush goes to the Calendar Man and stuffs a piece of paper in his mouth and sets it to explode as soon as Batman goes to see what happened.
Outside as Batman searches for Hush he is yelled at by Bruce and they get into an argument.
We switch over Amanda Waller’s place Amanda sees the news report of what Hush did to the Calendar Man. Amanda tells Doctor Reid not to get involved or tell the GCPD about what she knows.
At his house Terry’s mom wonders how he can sleep so much and why he is rarely home anymore. Terry says that Mr. Wayne has been working late a lot lately. He then leaves to go meet up with Dana.
At the club Dana berates Terry for spending all his time at his job as she rarely sees him and she still does not know what Terry does.
We then see Terry in cave and he notices he is alone and goes over to the sheet covering Bruce’s secret project and when he takes off the sheet he sees a giant Batman mech. Bruce then enters the cave and asks what Terry is doing. Terry gets pissed at Bruce at the Batman mech but Bruce says they can be everywhere at once unlike Terry. They get into a heated argument that ends with Terry saying he is bringing Hush in and storms out.
Terry visits Tim Drake’s place to ask Tim where he was during the recent killings. Tim says he isn’t the killer as he and his family have taken measure to make sure he there isn’t a trace of the Joker in him. Tim then tells Terry to visit the one person who might know Hush.
Terry puts on his Batman costume and goes to meet up with the person Tim told him to find. While he is flying he is attacked by Catwoman. Catwoman says that she is just a hired hand but Batman ties her up after a brief fight and tells her that even though they don’t have history she is going to be a target of Hush. She escapes and tells Batman to watch his own back and leaves.
At Out of the Nest-Aerial a man is putting some things away and looks at a poster of the Flying Grayson’s. He heads to the roof where Terry appears revealing the person to be none other than Dick Grayson. Terry says they need to talk.
In some alley Catwoman meets up with Hush telling him that she planted the tracker on Batman. Hush gives Catwoman her reward and as she reaches for it he attacks her from behind trying to kill her by choking her. End of issue.
The Good: Batman Beyond #3 was yet another average read. Now I will say that thanks to a couple cool guest appearances and getting to see Terry interact with his supporting cast this was easily the best issue of this mini-series so far, which isn’t saying much. At the same time this issue was a very mixed bag of good and bad like the previous two issues.
One of the big problems I had with the first two issues was that Beechen completely ignored Terry’s social life in favor of trying to explore Terry and Bruce’s relationship. While the interaction between the two have been written well, for the most part, at the same time it took away what made Terry such an interesting character, which is the fact that he has a social life. Unlike Bruce, Terry is a guy that does have a life outside of Batman. In many ways Terry is a combination of Dick Grayson and Peter Parker than he was a Bruce clone like Bruce’s other pupils. Even though Bruce was a father figure for him Terry still had an actual mom and brother as well as a girlfriend.
Even though it only took up two pages in this issue I will say that not counting the Dick Grayson reveal, which I will get to in a bit, they were the best pages in the mini-series. It helps to show that the Batman Beyond world is not just about Terry’s life as Batman.
The scene between Terry and his mom and brother gave this series a much needed light hearted moment with all the tension we have seen between Terry and Bruce. I especially liked the small joke of Matt putting a neurosonic pad under Terry’s bed and Terry still did not wake up.
The scene with Dana also helped to show that, like Peter Parker, being Batman is killing Terry’s personal life as he has to hide his identity from Dana. What will be cool is if at the end of this mini-series Terry actually reveals to Dana that he is Batman since we know from the JLU episode “Epilogue” that Terry does eventually reveal his Batman identity to Dana.
My favorite scene though was the very short scene between Terry and Dick that will continue on to the next issue. Dick has been a character that I always wanted to see the Beyond version of since out of all the characters in the Batman family it was his story that didn’t meet the proper conclusion like it did for Bruce, Barbara, and Tim. His strained relationship with Bruce still existed in the Beyond universe as it was teased that Terry should talk to Dick a few times during Beyond but nothing came of it. And it was honestly because of Dick's guest appearance that this issue did not get a lower score than it did.
It is a great move by Beechen to bring in Dick for this story as it is something I was not expecting, since I only thought we would see Tim and Barbara during this mini-series. There is a lot of potential for what can happen in meet up between Terry and Dick. Hopefully this scene will get a good amount of time in the next issue because there is a lot of interesting things that can happen. Maybe it can lead to a Bruce and Dick confrontation/argument over the Batman mechas.
Also, while Amanda Waller’s involvement in this story did not interest me that much at the beginning I actually enjoyed her scene with Dr. Reid in this issue. It adds an extra layer to the mystery of who Hush Beyond is and what he is really after even though that mystery is very dull. And it is fun seeing Waller unable to escape her Cadmus past even though she would like to bury it.
The Bad: One of the big problems with this Hush Beyond story is that it is very hard to become invested in yet another Hush story arc. I enjoyed both the Hush and Heart of Hush stories, I even got the trades for the stories, but having Hush appear in the Batman Beyond universe just seems out of place. Terry has a very deep and unique Rogues Gallery that Beechen could have easily used and made this a much more fun story arc.
One thing that made Terry as Batman so great to go along with Terry supporting cast was that even though he was Batman he did not have the same old Rogues Gallery that Bruce had during his time as Batman. Sure we did see Mr. Freeze and Joker appear in Beyond but for the majority it was new villains that Terry faced. Though many of them had some traits to the old Batman villains they were all able to have their own unique power sets and personalities that they were not just derivative characters from older Batman villains.
With Hush being the main villain for this story it makes the whole story lack originality. Hush has quickly become the new Black Mask within the Batman books as he appears in just about every Batman related ongoing. So just seeing Hush has me going “Here we go again with another Hush story arc.” This story would have been much more fun if Beechen would have used Derek Powers, Shriek, or other Batman Beyond villains.
Also not helping matters is the very uninteresting derivative version of Catwoman with this new Catwoman Beyond. Though I don’t hate derivative characters as much as Rokk I am not a fan of a lot of derivative characters and Catwoman Beyond has become one of those derivative characters I don’t like. I honestly couldn’t care less about who this Catwoman Beyond is. Beechen has not given us a reason for why we should care who she is and what makes her different than a common thief for hire, which even she herself says she is in this issue. It doesn’t help that this character does not seem to have any connection to Selina Kyle at all.
The other big problem with this comic is that Beechen does not seem to know what world he is working in. He is trying too hard to mix in elements of various different universes with integrating plot elements from the current DC Universe and making Bruce act much more like his Kingdom Come version while trying to fit it all in post-Return of the Joker. The mixture of the three just makes the story very awkward and does not fit with what happened when we last left off in Return of the Joker. At times it actually feels like Beechen does not know which universe he is working in: the DCAU or the DCU.
Also at times during the story it seems as though this story is actually taking place during the very beginning of Terry’s tenure as Batman with how antagonistic Terry and Bruce relationship is. There is just no trust between the characters which is the complete opposite from how the two of them acted towards the end of Beyond and in crossover episodes that happened in Static Shock and JLU, which took place after the movie. Bruce actually showed Terry a lot more respect, and vice versa, with both characters calling each other by their first names on a regular basis by Return of the Joker. But here we see that they have gone back to calling each other by their last names which fits more in line with season 1 not post-Return of the Joker status quo.
And just reading these first few issues it actually feels more like it is taking place during season 1 but then gets confusing with how we see it actually takes place post-Return of the Joker with Tim’s appearance. It just does not fit.
To add to things being more complicated is the unnecessary addition of Hush to the series. The whole backstory to Hush’s character feels out of place with the DCAU as Beechen is trying too hard to integrate his origins from the current DCU into the DCAU. It all just comes off as very awkward.
And though the idea of Bruce building a Batman mechas to protect the city is cool it does not mesh with how Bruce is portrayed in the DCAU or the DCU. This plotline fits more along the lines of Kingdom Come Bruce. It almost feels like Beyond Bruce and KC Bruce have switched universe with how Bruce is acting and his decision to create the mechas out of nowhere.
Not helping matters is that Ryan Benjamin’s artwork has gotten sloppier and sloppier with each issue. Though his artwork for the in costume stuff is okay his out of costume character designs are just horrible. All the characters just look like they are from some emo rock concert. All the characters just look depressed and even when trying to make the characters look angry, like the scene between Terry and Dana, they look more sad than angry. And I do not like Dick’s character design in this issue as he looks too much like Deathstroke. He even looks like he is wearing an eye patch on his right eye.
Overall: Batman Beyond #3 was another average read at best. Though this issue is helped with some cool guest appearances that make it the best read of the mini-series it is still a disappointing story. When this mini-series was first announced I was very excited at the prospects of finally revisiting the Batman Beyond universe but getting to read this has been a big letdown as a big fan of the cartoon. The only people I would possibly recommend this mini-series to are die hard Batman Beyond fans and even to those fans I would say treed with caution. If you have a friend that is reading this mini-series borrow their copy to see if you like it. Otherwise I say avoid this mini-series as it is a very average story.