REVIEW: BATMAN BEYOND #2
AUTHOR: Ricky Church (Follow @RICHARDCHURCH16)
DATE: July 12, 2015

SYNOPSIS: Thirty-five years in the future, Batman’s gotten himself caught in a P.O.W. camp where the enemy refuses to give up trying to crack the only “data source” he can't access – the human mind! And this foe doesn’t care how many people he has to burn through to get there, including original Batgirl Barbara Gordon! To make his great escape, Batman will have to take down both his greatest hero and a traitor to humanity! Featuring the DC Universe debut of Batman Beyond-villain Inque!

Whereas Batman Beyond #1 was rather slow and busy establishing its new world and threats, issue two starts with a bang and doesn’t let up from there. Picking up immediately from the last issue, Tim Drake finds himself on the run with Max and Barbara Gordon and the power cells of the Batsuit drained as enemies surround them. Things obviously do not look good for our heroes.

Writer Dan Jurgens gives readers a better look at how Brother Eye operates and the dystopian society it’s trying to rule. We already saw the fate of one of the world’s greatest heroes last issue as well as the fates that await most other humans isn’t much better. It shows just how desperate the situation is as Tim tries to fully understand the situation.

Something that was a little distracting was the strong Terminator vibes as Tim and Barbara explored the prisoner camp. Brother Eye really has taken the place of Skynet as the ruthless machine dedicated to wiping out humanity and nothing else. However, there was also a sense of a greater plan being set in motion by the evil AI towards the end of the story. It seems Brother Eye has simply been anticipating Tim’s arrival in the future so it probably won’t be long before Tim is in an even more dangerous situation against the machines.

Jurgen’s writing was set at a good pace with some quiet scenes in between all the action and running of the characters. When it slowed down it did so for just long enough before moving along and gave just enough exposition for the reader to go off. A couple lines of dialogue were a little clunky, but overall the writing was quite strong. The same goes for Bernardo Chang’s artwork, though in some panels Barbara seems to be much younger than she should actually be and other panels didn’t seem too detailed.

Batman Beyond has not only continued its momentum from the first issue, but has actually raised it by revealing a tiny bit of Brother Eye’s machinations. With some questions answered and new ones uncovered, this series should be an enjoyable read for Batman Beyond fans, even if Terry McGinnis is not the man in the cowl. Let’s see if Tim can be a true successor to Terry’s legacy next month. - Ricky Church

GRADE: B+


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