Saturday, August 30, 2014

Batman Beyond 2.0 #31 Review

Written by: Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel
Art by: Phil Hester and Thony Silas
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: August 30, 2014

Exit Wounds

Boy, the Mark of the Phantasm story has been non-stop awesomeness.  Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel have given fans of Batman Beyond (and the DC Animated Universe in general) a new masterpiece.  It may sound like I'm a gushing fanboy, but if the shoe fits... This issue we see the aftermath of all the crazy events of the arc and get a few surprises as well.

The issue starts with everyone picking up the pieces.  Barbara is getting her arm looked at, the Jokerz (what's left of them) are being hauled away and Jake Chill...well, Terry is taking care of him.  In the next bunch of panels, Higgins and Siegel deal in a side of being a Superhero that fans rarely get to see and usually don't think of.  This isn't a "good guy wins, everyone is happy, rinse and repeat" story. We knew going in that this story had lasting repercussions and they really hit the fan here.

The question after such a personal story is where do the characters go from here.  Terry doesn't beat around the bush.  He's pissed and heads of the Wayne Manor.  If you are like me, you were expecting a lot of shouting, a few punches and maybe some roundhouse kicking. What we get is so much better.  Terry shows how much he's grown and that's not necessarily a good thing.  The scene comes off as a young kid being forced to grow up too fast and do things he really wasn't ready to do.  That sort of thing can lead you down a dark path where you don't trust anyone and become a bitter old man.  That path can lead you to becoming Bruce Wayne and Terry already sees that's not for him.

All of this could have been the whole issue and I would have been satisfied, but Higgins and Siegel go above and beyond by showing that this whole story had a few more participants than we were aware of.  It looks like someone else was pulling strings from the shadows and I'll admit, I was pretty shocked.  Speaking of being "shocked", the book ends with a little origin story of a major villain and then jumps to the present day to show that he's back in business.  Awesome.

The major portion of the art is done by Phil Hester and it's great.  He really shows the emotions of the characters and believe me, there are emotions galore going on here.  I was happy to see Thony Silas pop in for the last page which was superb, of course.  Stop "slumming it" on that Superman book, Thony.

Bits and Pieces:

I can't say enough about this issue, but especially the whole arc.  So much of it was jaw dropping and game changing. The Mark of the Phantasm story should go down as one of the best Batman Beyond stories of all time and seriously deserves to be made into an animated film immediately.  I applaud everyone involved and can't wait to see how they even attempt to top this.



  1. After 30 issues we finally know what broke up Bruce and Terry. Awesome; you can even see the beginnings of the cracks in Terry and Dana's relationship. Also, I wondered why Phantasm was so hellbent on killing Vigilante (I didn't buy the whole "dont give Terry the temptation of killing his father's murderer" thing) and this issue revealed the reason in an unexpected way. I mean...the big reveal hit me like a Wall.

  2. I was going to say the same thing!! At least I got the "shocking" cliffhanger.

  3. I was also expecting punches and kicks...but this really shows how Terry has matured; a more stereotypical story would make him obsessed about at least some of the lies, but this Terry realizes it matters less in the big picture than being around someone like Old Man Wayne in the first place. I really feel for the kid and look forward to where he's heading from here.

    1. i agree with everything you said. Terry became a ma, but it makes me sad seeing what it took.

    2. Terry also became a man, btw. I should have put a spoiler alert before the reveal that he became a ma

    3. Just published this (spoiler-full) review of the whole story:

    4. Nice! Great review of the entire arc. Like you said, it's such a shame such talented creators won't be around to give us more stories like this and the Justice Lords arc.