Witness The Monstrous Dark Knight In Batman Beyond #21
by James Ferguson
Everyone is afraid of Batman! That’s not really news in the criminal world, however it’s spreading to the rest of Neo-Gotham. It’s getting to the point where Terry can’t jump in to help a crowd without shots being fired and innocent lives in danger as they’re all gunning for him.
Any Batman story involving fear or hallucinations usually leads to a very limited group of suspects. Batman Beyond #21 hasn’t revealed who’s behind this sudden fear mongering, but the safe bet would be someone or something to do with the Scarecrow. However, with the added emphasis on personal digital assistants like DC’s version of Amazon Alexa, I wonder if someone has digitized the Mad Hatter’s technology.
These assistants appear as nothing but helpful and complimentary. Letterer Travis Lanham adds a nice touch to these with a special softer font and blue-toned balloons. They’re personalized too. For example, Bruce Wayne’s is named “Alfred” which is rather touching.
Artist Will Conrad draws some excellent fight scenes as Terry takes on a group of Jokers. Where he really excels is in the hallucination shots where Batman is seen as a hideous monster. There’s one incredible image that comes to mind where Terry checks in on Dana and she sees him as a demon. He appears as a floating specter of terror with the bottom half of his body falling into a gaseous haze.
Colorist David Baron completes the package with menacing red eyes and a billowing red cape that look like they were pulled straight from Hell. The cloud below Batman glows an iridescent green.
While the action scenes are top notch, some of the quieter moments appear a little blocky. The characters are positioned in stiff stances, like mannequins awkwardly acting like human beings.
When I read Batman Beyond, I have to be conscious that a chunk of my enjoyment for the series comes from nostalgia and how much I loved the cartoon. I can safely say that writer Dan Jurgens continues to craft a compelling narrative that has expanded the mythos of the TV show.
Batman Beyond #21 from DC Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.