There is a madman loose on the streets of Neo Gotham that’s killing people from Batman’s past using weapons of his old enemies. Speculation points to Hush but how could that be when Batman was there the day Hush died?
Batman Beyond #2
Written by Adam Beechan
Pencils by Ryan Benjamin
Inks by John Stanisci
Colors by David Baron
Letters by Travis Lanham
Edited by Michael Siglain
Cover by Dustin Nguyen
Published by DC
Previously in Batman Beyond: Cadmus Labs has two dead guards on their hands when they revived one of their detainees for his annual physical. Escaping into the streets of Neo Gotham, the subject attacked and stole a drug dealer’s clothes as Batman chased Spellbinder across the roof tops over head. After sending Spellbinder on his way to Police Headquarters, Terry headed back to the Batcave. As Terry tells Bruce he’s headed home for sleep, a police report comes in saying that an old Batman villain was murdered. Upon investigating the crime scene, Batman is deterred to St. James Hospital where an alarm was just triggered. St. James’ Psych Ward is the home of the Mad Hatter and now only suspect in the crime. Determining that Hatter is not the reason for the alarm, Batman runs down the hall when he hears a woman scream. As he approaches her, her attacker runs off. When asked what he said to her, all she said was “hush”.
OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW
The issue opens with a news reports on television claiming to suspect Hush as responsible for the Signalman’s murder and the trouble at St. James Hospital. Returning back to the Batcave, Terry gives Bruce a piece of bandage that was left behind for analysis. As the computer runs its tests on the cloth, Bruce tells Terry the story of the last time he fought with Hush. Hush was assumed dead long ago when he tried to climb through an open window to escape Batman. Waiting on the other side was a scared woman who shot the intruder for fear of her safety. As the police approached the scene, Batman fled without being able to confirm the kill. Police positively identified the body as Tommy Elliot though. Bruce now wonders if not following up on Tommy’s passing was perhaps a mistake on his part.
Elsewhere, our killer strikes again. This time the victim is the one time Batman Beyond villain known as Armory. He and his family were killed with an umbrella that was sharpened to a point. As Terry leaves the crime scene, he notices a robbery in progress as a cat burglar has just broken into Cloudware Data Storage’s offices. Calling herself Catwoman, Terry joyfully chases her through the streets of Neo Gotham hoping to have his own legendary romance with her just as Bruce had with Selina. Uninterested in the offer, Catwoman proves more than capable of dispatching the Dark Knight and slipping away unnoticed. Later that night Batman investigates a former villain named Calendar Man who is now living in a retirement community, when suddenly our attacker flies in through the window and crashes into Batman. Holding a Cavalier knife, this “Hush” calls Terry a pretender and decides that it’s about time he killed Gotham’s new protector.
IT IS AS YOU PERCEIVE IT TO BE
I’m happy to say that the second issue of Batman Beyond’s return to the printed page is just as satisfying as the first issue was. Once again Adam Beechan does a phenomenal job of telling a story that is based on a cartoon and making it feel like an amalgam of the Batman comics and the television show. The feel of the comic is all in the perspective that you bring to it while reading it. If you’re looking at it as an episode of the show, you’ll definitely feel like they captured that essence. Conversely, if you read this as the far distant future of the Batman comics, there is enough of a serious tone to the issue to make you feel like it’s possible. The flashback scene where Bruce recalls his final fight with Hush looked and felt like a couple of pages out of Batman or Detective comics (or Legends of the Dark Knight since that’s where majority of Hush’s adventures were written). Recently, Grant Morrison introduced Batman Beyond into the mainstream continuity with Batman #700. The only question that remains to be seen is if this comic is based in that Earth’s time line or Earth-12’s where Batman Beyond was seen in Countdown to Final Crisis.
Once again, this issue is filled with more cameos. Personally, the cameo references were one of my favorite things about the TV show. It makes me exceedingly happy to see them in the comic. There is so much of Batman Beyond that is based in nostalgia that it would be hard to capture the tone of the story with out dropping references like these. This issue gives us the reappearance of Armory who, for those of you that don’t know, was a villain of Terry’s in the Batman Beyond season 2 episode by the same name. By the end of the episode, James Tate gave up being a super criminal after the life of his family was endangered when an arms deal went bad. He was one of those one shot villains who you believed would have rehabilitated himself and could have possibly found himself to be an ally in the future. While it was great to see this character again, it is upsetting to see that he and his family were murdered. Other cameo references were the Calendar Man, the Penguin, the Cavalier, a picture of an aged Two-Face and our new Catwoman. I’m going to have to say that I don’t like the new Catwoman’s costume. The sexiness seems to have been taken out of the costume’s design and they went with the baggy turtleneck look that The Batman’s Catwoman had. The ears seem rather strange too. I almost wouldn’t have recognized this character as a Catwoman if the comic didn’t tell me it was. So far I don’t care for her personality either. Her costume wasn’t the only place where the sexy was removed. A lot of Catwoman’s persona was her ability to be powerful while alluring and seductive. This new character reminds me too much of another Batman Beyond character (Inque) with her aggressive attitude. Hopefully this is just a bad first impression and perhaps I’ll be won over in later issues.
If you enjoyed the first issue of this mini series, I’m sure you’re going to enjoy this issue too. For those Batman Beyond fans out there, how could you resist buying this anyway? The story telling is great. The art however tends to get a little ugly whenever Bruce is on panel. This issue seems to have forgotten that Bruce Wayne has lips. I give this issue four out of five stars for making me feel that Batman Beyond is still alive and well somewhere out there.