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Written By: Dan Jurgens Art By: Ryan Sook, Jeremy Lawson, Tony Avina, Travis Lanham Cover Price: $2.99 Release Date: September 28, 2016
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
It's time to get back into our Batman Beyond world now that Tim Drake is out of the picture........ and possibly out of time...... and get back to a more classic feel with Terry McGinnis running around Neo Gotham and kicking the shit out of crime on a regular basis. Not only Terry, but we need to get the classic cast of this series back as well and distance ourselves from anything related to Brother Eye because what fun is it to have a regular superhero in a world that's already destroyed? Now, I'm a stickler for continuity, but if this series decided to retcon everything that we dealt with in the previous series, I wouldn't mind at all because it honestly became a mess and for Batman to flourish in this title, he needs to be able to save the world, not pick up its shattered pieces. Let's jump into this issue and see what our new series looks like and what kind of tone this Rebirth issue sets. Let's check it out.
Our issue begins with Jokerz attacking a school bus full of kids for the purpose of possibly ransoming them off........ since they say they want to turn the kids into money....... and unless the Jokerz have developed a money machine that's fueled by children, I'm guessing ransom. Of course though, with Terry McGinnis back in the bat suit, we see our hero take these gang members down with ease and with style, but before he could question them on their new modus operandi since they usually just cause havoc for the sake of chaos instead of monetary gain, the two Jokerz off themselves with joker toxin.
With the Jokerz dead, Terry flies through Neo Gotham, remembering everything that led him to this point in his life so we get the classic Batman Beyond animated series origin story about how Terry met Bruce Wayne and how he avenged the death of his father. It's really nothing new and after it's all said and done, we're left knowing that the previous Batman Beyond series is still in continuity, but left wondering how Neo Gotham seems to be the classic city we all know and love instead of the last bastion of hope to a terrorized world still reeling from Brother Eye's domination......... That and well, where the hell Bruce Wayne ended up. He's just gone like he was in the previous series and besides for Terry saying that it's weird not having Bruce in his ear piece, we get nothing of the character.
In the end, we see that Terry is still trying to find a way to tell Dana Tan that he's still alive....... since he was believed dead the whole time Spellbinder controlled his mind, but before he could come up with a way to approach her, we find out that she's been taken by the Jokerz.......... which turns out to be weird as hell because even though Dana seems to know the head joker in charge since they went to highschool together, it turns out that the one who ordered her capture was the original Joker, who the gang are trying to bring back to life so that they can claim Neo Gotham as their own.
That's it for this Rebirth issue of Batman Beyond and while I didn't really know what to expect going in because of all the strange things we got from the previous series, I certainly didn't expect to see some new version of the Return of the Joker going on. Besides for that strange turn of events though this is a pretty standard "catch-up" issue that gets all new readers on board the Batman Beyond trolley and talks about the previous series so minutely that it comes across that DC is seriously trying to get back to the legacy of the character and besides for the absence of Bruce Wayne, it does this in spades. This felt like Batman Beyond through and through and I appreciated that the whole time, but because I knew all the information that this series presented besides for the cliffhanger, it just wasn't that exciting. I loved the art though and find myself really looking forward to what this series has to offer us in the future now that it's finally back on track.
Bits and Pieces:
For readers who aren't familiar with the Batman Beyond canon this Rebirth issue does an excellent job in bringing you up to speed, but for anyone else, who watched the animated series or read any of the previous comic book series, it comes off mostly as just a rerun.......... but does offer up an excellent cliffhanger to get us excited for where the series is headed.