Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Batman Beyond #1 [2010] by Adam Beechen & Ryan Benjamin


BATMAN BEYOND #1

The story takes place in Neo Gotham of 2039 with an escaped patient from Cadmus Labs. On his way out he was intent on murdering another patient by breaking into his cell however fails to do so as security arrives and runs off. In an alley he steals a trenchcoat from a drug dealer and notices high above the fight between Batman and Spellbinder.

Terry McGinnis is taking on Spellbinder high above Neo Gotham, which looks like the planet Coruscant in the Star Wars films. After the battle Micron appears and solicits membership with the Justice League to Terry who appropriately refuses telling Micron that he has no time due to his current responsibilities. Terry leaves and returns to the Batman cave to meet with Bruce Wayne.

Meanwhile our mysterious escapee targets and murders one of Batman’s former enemies: Signalman. A murder report is generated drawing the attention of Bruce and sends Terry to investigate. Arriving at the scene of the crime we are made aware that the victim was stabbed twice in the heart and throat with two different knives. Terry suspects that Two-Face has returned to Gotham.

Sirens go off near St. James Hospital which houses some of Arkham Asylum patients at their psych ward including Jervis Tetch AKA the Mad Hatter. As Terry arrives he hears screams from a nurse being slashed by our assailant. He escapes while Terry comes to help the fallen nurse and asks her if he said anything. She mentions he said only one word.

Writer Adam Beechen described the pitch to the story arc with two words to DC Co-publisher Dan DiDio in 2009. The two word title at the end of the story gives away what the mini series is about and also reveals the identity of the killer. The second word is “Beyond.” Have not read any of Beechen’s previous work however I may go back and find his past comic works. Definitely worth checking out especially after this issue.

Ryan Benjamin art really went well with the style of the animated series without looking too cartoony. I remember him back when he drew Jim Lee’s Wildcats when the title was under Image Comics. His artwork is much his own style today compared to what it was back then in the 90’s where everyone was copying Jim Lee’s style to get more work.

We get a double dose of the Batman Beyond following the heels of Superman Batman Annual #14 earlier this month. Being a fan of the animated series I really am enjoying the team of Beechen and Benjamin on this book. Looking forward towards the next issue and beyond.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – 5 OUT OF 5