(spoilers) In the third issue of his ongoing series, Batman Beyond and the Justice League take down the Matter Master, who has turned his hostages–including Terry’s family–into copper.
This is easily the best issue so far because there’s finally some action. I know, that sounds totally shallow, but after all the setup, ego-brawls and talk…it was becoming rather boring. The conclusion was good, not great; the threat of the villain was not nearly as great as the villain himself, and the art was still subpar.
Beechen is still warming up to the Batman Beyond universe; the plot still isn’t as gritty and dark as the show (though the mini series came close). But I do like how he focuses on the differences between Terry and Bruce, particularly the fact that Terry has a family; Terry is understandably horrified that his mom and brother are dead underneath the copper, however he must put his feelings aside and act only as Batman. Terry’s struggle has of course been done before (Spider-Man!) but continuing to emphasize how Batman Beyond is a unique universe will make this more than just a supplemental Batman title.
Bats and the JL defeat the Matter Master far too easily, as he was unstable anyway, and it felt like an easy out. The issue still manages to end strong, as Batman actually joins the Justice League, albeit with his own conditions (leaving Bruce grumpy but reluctantly accepting it). It will be interesting to see how often the JL calls on him, and we see Bats leaving Gotham, but I appreciate how Beechen isn’t rehashing the show but taking it to new places.
While the writing is taking small but constructive steps forward, the art is not. There are some weird angles, and Warhawk and Aquagirl looked particularly funky in several panels. I have no problem with creative, unique art, like Kaare Andrews’ work, but this felt sloppy.
I’m excited to see the next arc. A former police detective has revealed to the media that Dick Grayson was once Nightwing. How will Bruce and Terry react if Bruce’s secret gets out? Also, Dana just found out that her brother’s getting out of jail.