Welcome back to Batman Beyond 2.0 coverage! Going to try something different this time around... I used to wait to write this stuff up every two chapters, because that way I'd have a full issue to write about (aka 20 pages of content), but when I did that, I didn't like having to do full coverage on Saturdays. I like having nothing to do, go figure. So I figure I'm now just going to do short write ups and offer some thoughts on each chapter, nothing too deep, but consistent weekly coverage nonetheless.
So, let's get into the first chapter of the new "Mark of the Phantasm" story.
Comes in with Terry at his father's grave in the present day, feeling pretty down about some stuff, and apologizing if this is the last time he comes to visit, and for taking so long to figure out what really happened.
Flash back to a year ago, Terry and Jake Chill, who is now operating as The Vigilante, break up a Jokerz heist, but in the process, Chill gets a chemical burn on his arm, and leaves one of his gauntlets behind. When they're cleaning up after the Jokerz escape, Bruce makes his disapproval of Chill and Terry working with a partner known, but Terry doesn't care.
The next day, Terry meets Dana at Gotham U for what looks to be an admissions meeting, as Dana is vouching for him to a university official, and then there's some play on words with them talking about their future with college/personal lives, that sort of stuff. Back at the GCPD, Barbara Gordon finds a lab tech waiting for her, telling them they got a hit on the metal they found at the previous nights crime scene, and it leads them to Jake Chill...
Speaking of Jake Chill, he's in his base looking at some Jokerz info, but turns out that hit the GCPD got on him lead someone else to finding him... The Phantasm, seeking retribution for the murder of Warren McGinnis.
So there are a couple of notable things of... note... here... The first of which is the fucking Phantasm. For as popular as The Mask of the Phantasm is, I have been shocked at how little if any of the Phantasm we've seen in the comics. How is that not something that has been adapted to regular continuity yet? So thank god Phantasm's back, because it's been a long time coming for me. But now, the question is, is this still Andrea Beaumont or what, I'm sure we'll find out sooner than later.
Next up, Phil Hester is the new penciler on the series, aside from one page from Thony Silas in the beginning. Not sure what the split between those two is going to be, maybe Hester is the one year ago stuff and Silas is the present day story, but regardless, both artists work real well for the Batman Beyond universe. Hester's general style mixed with the bold inks of Eric Gapstur just fits the mold of Beyond's visual styles so well. You look at their work and just think "Yeah, makes total sense these guys are illustrating Batman Beyond."
Final thing to note is that Kyle Higgins isn't alone on the writing duties now, as his C.O.W.L. co-creator/writer has become co-writer here as well. Saved this one for last because it was the least noticeable aspect of all the changes going on, in a good way. The issue remains consistent with what came before, there's no glaring differences or any problems, the series is as good as it has ever been.
While this chapter was a bit light on what's actually going on, it's a bit hard to fault it for that, because it's just the first ten pages of a much longer story. Nevertheless, many big events and answers to the series' question have been teased for this arc, and just the inclusion of the Phantasm alone is enough to get me excited for it. Good start.