Batman Beyond (Issue #1) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Batman Beyond (Issue #1)


Written by Adam Beechen; Art by Ryan Benjamin & John Stanisci; Cover by Dustin Nguyen; 1:10 Variant cover by Darwyn Cooke

Jan 15, 2011 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

$2.99. Ahhh, it’s good to see that affordable price tag grace the cover of a new DC title once again. My wallet thanks you, DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson. One of the marquee issues associated with the comic book company’s day-and-date digital marketing strategy is Batman Beyond. Main writer Adam Beechen has penned fun teleplays for various cartoons, such as Teen Titans, The Wild Thornberrys, Rugrats, and The Batman. He also helmed the recent Batman Beyond “Hush” miniseries. Clunky plotting often plagued that six-issue run, but the futuristic, Saturday morning-style art of Ryan Benjamin (Ghost, Grifter, WildC.A.T.S.) and John Stanisci (Azrael, Catwoman, Static) kept your interest.

Most of the mini’s creative team returns except for the lettering department. Essentially, if you enjoyed the future-punk ‘90s cartoon series, you’ll probably squeeze some enjoyment out of this new ongoing series. The artists are slowly getting closer to the edgy tone and style of Terry McGinnis’ city and render it in fairly inventive ways.

For example, the first half of the issue boasts some action-packed panels, bold color choices, and expressive character modeling. There’s also some substantial rancor drawn into Carson Jatts’ disease-wracked face on the first page. The linework starts to lose its punch around the halfway mark though. Faces become planar, formless shapes on the page and the fluidity of the action begins to stagnate visually and pacing-wise. Regardless, David Baron’s (The Authority, Batman Confidential, JLA) colors are still lively throughout.

Beechen’s rudimentary narrative is set up as the first segment of a trilogy that seems to delve into the gangs of Neo-Gotham. Dramatic tension centers on the theft of Matter Master’s wand. The Batman Beyond-era Justice League (Aquagirl, Barda, Green Lantern, Micron, and Warhawk) eventually get involved and as neat as it is to see them here, that’s when the plot sort of unraveled. The iconic Jokerz from the TV show don’t show up in this issue, but DC Universe history geeks will get a kick out of their replacements.

Beechen and his crew seem to be inching towards a solid new beginning for Terry McGinnis. Let’s hope they get their hands dirtier when it comes to plot next time. Beechen already hinted at substantial pathos with this issue’s Carson Jatts plot and during his run with Robin (vol. 4, #148-166), so he’s got it in him. ( /

Author rating: 6/10

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