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Written By: Dan Jurgens Art By: Bernard Chang, Marcelo Maiolo Cover Price: $2.99 Release Date: August 5, 2015
Admiral Ackbar Line
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
It's time to get back to the future....... Ha ha, see what I did there? Yeah, I know that it's old hat to make a Back To The Future joke in referring to time travel, but that doesn't make it any less fun...... jerks. Anyway, when we last looked thirty-five years into the future, we saw that Tim Drake wasn't having the best of times as the new Batman. After traveling to a Brother Eye prison to free Max Gibson......... mainly so Matt McGinnis would get off his back, Tim found himself become one of the prisoners and after spending an entire issue running around the complex, keeping one step ahead of Brother Eye and his borged out goons, it looked like all was for not. Not only was Max Gibson captured and turned into a drooling Brother Eye loving idiot, but by the end of the issue we saw Barbara Gordon and Tim Drake captured as well. Hopefully Inque, the warden of The Lodge, will come to her senses and turn against the Eye in the sky or Batman Beyond finds a way to escape because as of right now, things look pretty grim. Let's check this issue out.
Our issue begins with Matt McGinnis coming off as a little snot again and me just loathing the character. Well, I guess loathing is too strong of a word, but he doesn't come off very likable, I can tell you that. It's obvious from this and the previous issues that Matt isn't a Tim Drake booster and is very suspicious of the former Robin taking his brother's Batman suit. While I can understand the kid being a bit jealous of the suit being passed to Tim instead of himself, Matt begins making claims like Tim killed Terry McGinnis and stole the suit and I just can't abide slander. Hopefully Matt gets on the Tim Drake trolley because as of right now, I don't trust Matt not to stab our hero in the back down the line. We move on from Matt's tantrum to getting the reader caught up in everything Tim Drake and how the once leader of the Teen Titans finds himself strapped to a chair in The Lodge, getting pumped full of drugs so Brother Eye can find the location of Neo Gotham. It's during this time that we get a bit of retconning to the finale of Futures End because Brother Eye tries saying that the reason that it didn't try to stop Tim Drake when he went back in time to prevent the refugees of Earth 2 from coming to Earth-0 is because the Alfred A.I. uploaded "The Veil" program into Brother Eye keeping Tim Drake invisible to him.......... but then somehow Brother Eye saw him and sent him to the future to stop him...... So yeah, that's a bit weird, especially since Brother Eye seemed to want to reward Tim by getting him back to his own time. Only problem is, you know besides for current day Brother Eye having time travel capabilities, is that he sent Tim to the Bat suit's time instead....... Thus giving us this current Batman Beyond. So yeah, it's kind of weird of Brother Eye trying to fake the funk here and come up with a reason why he let Tim Drake into his systems Thirty Five Years ago, when all we needed to know is that the computer system wasn't crazy yet at that point in time.
After Tim yells at a not fully functional Alfred to shock him, Tim gets a jolt that disables the chair and jogs the drugs right out of his system. After he's enveloped in the Bat suit, the fight begins with The Lodge's warden Inque........ I just find it kind of dickly that he left Barbara Gordon to fend for herself. During the fight, Tim discovers that this prison is a production line for information and the people that inhabit it are lined up and their minds are sucked dry, adding to the Eye's god complex. Luckily though, the fight doesn't last long as we find out that the reason Inque turned on humanity was because Brother Eye had kidnapped her daughter, but after Deana breaks away from the Brother Eye construct because of it's interest in what's going down in The Lodge, Deanna sends a message to Inque letting her know that she is okay. After Tim promises Inque that he will get her daughter back to her at any cost, Inque agrees to help Tim destroy the facility. It's a good thing that the two came to a compromise so quick too because Barbara Gordon was about to drink the Brother Eye kool-aid and become a drooling idiot like Max. So Batman Beyond saves Barbara, Inque destroys the facility and Tim makes good on his promise of retrieving Max Gibson for Matt McGinnis. All in a days work, right? Nah....... nah, shit goes really bad again.
In the end, after we think that everything is all pinatas and RC Cola, it turns out that Brother Eye injected itself into the Batman suit when Tim was captured and now that Tim has returned to Neo Gotham, The Veil system has become compromised and Brother Eye begins sending the information to the borged out Justice League. So yeah, Tim done fucked up. One good piece of news though, it looks like Tim won't have to fight his former friends alone. As our issue closes we see that Micron has survived the Brother Eye onslaught and the pairing of these heroes should be pretty bad ass in the next issue......... Oh and just so you know, it's hinted that War Hawk and Barda might have survived the Brother Eye invasion as well.......... So we got that going for us too!
That's it for this issue of Batman Beyond and while this issue amps up the story from the previous one, it's still a bit of a rocky road to travel. First off, I don't know why we're trying to retcon Brother Eye's actions at the end of Futures End when I could do more with an explanation on why Brother Eye had time travel capabilities at that point....... Maybe that's just me though. I also have problems with the characterization of Tim Drake in this book because as we saw in Futures End, Tim is a bit out of shape and up until very recently, had swore off superheroics. So it's odd to me that Tim would be so gung ho to jump into being Batman in this terrible world that he doesn't know or understand without having any real emotions about his current state of being. Tim lost everything and now he's just fighting a god like A.I. without any real knowledge about what he's doing. It just seems too sloppy for a character that is supposed to be as smart as Tim Drake is. That's just an overall feeling though, getting back to this issue, everything just seemed too simple. To Deanna's secret Skype call with Inque, to Inque flip flopping sides, to Brother Eye infecting the Bat suit and while I dug the action of this story and the inclusions of characters, who I can't wait to see get into it in the next issue, this just came off flat in plot. I love the art team, but I wish Marecelo Maiolo had a brighter landscape to work with because this dim apocalyptic setting really hinders the beautiful colors that I've seen him do in other books.
Bits and Pieces:
While I love Batman Beyond, I don't know if this version of the character will ever be one that sticks with me. If it does, it probably won't be in a positive light because as of right now, the series isn't doing much for me other than besmirching Tim Drake's character. Our main character is a really smart, level headed guy, but for some reason in this title, he's a act first, think later doofus and it's missing it's opportunity to really flesh out this future Tim Drake and what he must being feeling being trapped in a terrible world he doesn't know or understand. Hopefully the series picks up and gains a little heart because as of right now, it's just a dud.