Is Batman Beyond Another “Death in the Family?” BATMAN BEYOND #28 Review
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Penciller: Brett Booth
Inker: Norm Rapmund
Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse
Publisher: DC Comics
Last week’s cliffhanger entailed Matt and Terry, or Batman and Robin for the new readers, standing face to face with none other than Joker. Well, not exactly The Joker, but a highly teched-out cyborg-like Joker called Johnny. With its actions being controlled by Joker from a remote location, Batman and Robin are forced to endure an intense battle, eventually leading to Joker being able to hear Terry communicate to somebody named “Bruce”, and we all know who that is. This is the most pivotal part of the story, as quickly as it happens. We’ll get back to that later. Soon after, while still in battle with Johnny, Matt gets separated from Terry after an intense blast created by Joker, I mean “Johnny”. With Terry knocked out, Joker takes an opportunity to replay an old fantasy of his, and torture a poor little Robin by dragging him through an alley and taking creepy selfies with his unconscious body, which are then sent to Terry. Now with Joker’s leverage of Matt over Terry, Dick and Bruce, he demands to know who this “Bruce” is in exchange for Matt. I told you I’d get back to that. Could we have another “Death in the Family” on our hands?
Dan Jurgens is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers over at DC. I recently jumped on the “Beyond” title, and have been nothing short of impressed with where Jurgens is going. I have no doubt he will have his haters going on about retelling stories that have already been done, but I personally have no problem with such things. If this is in fact a rehash of “A Death in the Family”, then we are getting the opportunity to relive one of the greatest DC stories ever told, but with new characters like Terry and Matt McGinnis, along with a renewed Joker, who has been gone for some time in the “Beyond” universe. The writing is always leaving me wanting more, and that doesn’t just fall on the heavy cliffhangers this book has entailed. Throughout, we get nostalgic glimpses of Bat-history, like the crowbar used to kill Jason Todd, which is a wonderfully chilling moment. In summary, I believe in Jurgens and his ability to deliver preserved, but fresh at the same time.
The art team of Booth, Rapmund, and Dalhouse deliver the perfect tone and grittiness this story deserves. The love and hyper-detail that went in to Johnny’s design made you hope to see him in every single panel. The colors somehow remained vibrant, but not overdone in any way, all throughout every page. The teals back at base drew the eye, but also gave the dreary tone of a Batcave as well. Rapmund’s ink was the cherry on top. He was able to deliver the grit with the saturation of hash marks, which also helped deliver the message of Joker’s aged face. Overall, this was the perfect team for this book.
If you are looking for something fresh, but somewhat familiar at the same time, then you need to read Jurgens’ Batman Beyond, specifically this issue. It has all the action you could ask for. There is plenty of weight on the table with our new Robin, Terry’s own brother, being dangled as leverage in exchange for info on Bruce. The art is nothing short of fantastic as well. This could just be a new version of a classic story, but you will be left wanting more.
If you are looking for something fresh, but somewhat familiar at the same time, then you need to read Jurgens’ Batman Beyond.