Saturday, January 18, 2014

SPOILERS: Batman Beyond 2.0, Chapters #11 & 12

The two men being held hostage by Man-Bat are, well... still hostages. The woman who has been seen with Langstrom recently comes in to give them their food, and as she does, one of them recognizes her. Apparently, her name is Tey, and she was kidnapped a couple of years ago; big story, all over the news. The two men plead to know why she's doing this, but turns out Tey isn't much of a victim anymore, because she wants this.

While Terry and Bruce start their uneasy team-up, the new Mayor is already breathing down Barbara's neck, wanting to send his own team in, and knocking a couple of hours of Barbara's time window to get something done. She and Dick Grayson talk a bit, hinting at when things went wrong for everyone, telling each other they miss just talking to the other. Meanwhile, a brooding Kirk Langstrom is thinking about his lost wife, and we find out Tey has replaced Francine as Kirk's new lover. Sorta gross, but okay.

Things aren't going well with Bruce and Terry in the sewers, lots of passive agression, lots of "You never trusted me" from Terry, aimed towards Bruce. The only thing that breaks the tension is a brief fight that breaks out when they come across some guards, but things go from bad to worse when the next set of "guards" the duo finds are a whole bunch of Man-Bats.

Sometime has passed since last we saw the Mayor, and surprise, surprise, he's got an itchy trigger fringer, wanting to send in a special ops team, which Barbara claims will end up in a bloodbath, reminding the men she still has time left, and a lot can happen. A lot can happen, indeed, as Bruce and Terry do their best to fend off all the stronger, new formula Man-Bats.

Terry Manages to grab the attention of most of the Man-Bats, leading them away from Bruce, who despite his old age, still has a few tricks up his sleeves, and deals with the rest. When Terry returns to Bruce, they start bickering again, only to be interrupted by Langstrom's opinion that Bruce's M.O. is to always jump into other's affairs. Terry wastes no time grabbing Tey, trying to trade her for the hostage and weapon, but things don't go that easy. Tey too has been injected with the Man-Bat serum, and turns on Terry. Before Bruce can do anything, many of Langstrom's regular guards who up and disarm Bruce, then begin to beat all up on all of them.


The Good:

With the news of Higgins' departure on Nightwing this week, he's mentioned in some interviews that he'll still be writing this title, and considers it some of his best work at DC, and I've got to say it really is. From the beginning, I've thought he's nailed the tone needed for this universe, and it continues here. Lord knows what happened between Terry and Bruce, but the tension present in this issue between the two is spot on, amplified from what would often be portrayed in the show. There are a lot of questions that still need answers, but not in the frustrating way, for a number of reasons. First, each issue continues to tease the fact that somewhere down the line, shit went bad for everyone, it's always on the back burner, and never forgotten. Some titles will just tease something from the very beginning and just sort of let it sit, not doing anything with it until some random big reveal. The tension just continues to stew here, and it's no secret that slow cooked foods usually turn out really well. Secondly, there's a reliance on the source material that lends itself well to this book's current status quo. Given the show/universe, how Terry interacted with Bruce, who had become so shut off from everything else, it's entirely believable that things would get to this point between the two, so even if it wasn't teased so well, you'd just be able to go with it, because it feels natural. All in all, it's just been a great read so far.

The Bad:

Okay, I lied, it's good, but I still want some answers!!! Only because it is so good...

The Bottom Line:

Batman Beyond 2.0 continues to hit that sweet spot that will both please fans of the old show, and introduce new ones to a great representation of what this universe once was. There's something about this sort of "One Year Later" Beyond universe that is just so fun to read; I want to know more with every chapter, and every chapter does just enough to satisfy me for another two weeks, while totally making me crave the next. I have no idea what is going to happen with Terry McGinnis in the New 52 universe come May, it could be fuuuucking terrible, it could be cool, who knows?! All I know is that I'm glad there's such a great representation of this character and universe to fall back on.


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