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Steve Ray Archives Vol IX - Review: Batman Beyond #6
“Rise Of The Demon,” Part One
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Bernard Chang
Review by Steve J. Ray OK, I have to say it. I love this title. This, for me, is the most fun Batman book. Not to say that it isn’t action-packed and full of gritty Bat goodness. It is, but without losing any of the charm of the TV show it’s based on.
Dan Jurgens is THE Batman Beyond writer. After the epic New 52 “Future’s End” storyline he entrenched himself in my affections as, not only one of the greatest ever Superman writers, but amongst my favourite Batman scribes too. This guy really gets his characters.
Jurgens’ Terry McGinnis is heroic and fun, but not a clone of either Dick Grayson nor Bruce Wayne. He shares the daredevil mentality of Nightwing, but also a more measured and serious approach to his role, more akin to that of his mentor. He has Bruce’s sense of justice, but Dick’s joie de vivre. A lovely, fresh take on Batman.
Now, let’s talk about Bernard Chang’s art. This is my first experience of Mr. Chang and I’m really loving his style. I was in my twenties when the classic Batman: The Animated Series aired in the 90s. That clean, cartoonish, high contrast art style was simple, yet atmospheric and impactful. When Batman Beyond launched it added a more futuristic and Manga/Anime style edge to both character and background design.
With animation simplicity is key, both for continuity purposes between artists, and for their health and sanity. In comic books a more detailed style is usually the norm. Bernard Chang grasps the nuances of the animated series, whilst adding a more detailed comic-book level of realism and detail, particularly with human anatomy. I feel like I’m watching an updated, yet still wholly fitting version of the TV show.
Back to the future
Another thing I love about this title is the returning cast. The poisonous Curare is back! Following her are a bunch of demonic, gargoyle-like ninjas. With a title like Rise Of The Demon, can Ra’s Al Ghul be far behind? Or is Mr. Jurgens throwing red herrings, still thrashing and splashing into our unsuspecting faces, to keep us off balance? We all know that there’re no shortage of demons in the Batman mythos.
Matt McGinnis, Dana, Max and Commissioner (Barbara) Gordon are all back too. Yay!
I always liked Curare in the old show. She was a sympathetic villain, and seeing her accosted and fighting for her life against hordes of demonic ninjas doesn’t hurt her rep at all. The trouble is, while Curare, Barbara Gordon and the beleaguered GCPD are fighting off the demon horde, Terry is in the cave getting Bruce settled in and trying to reweave the tattered threads of his complicated relationship, with long-time love interest Dana Tan.
Not only are Terry and Bruce seemingly back from the dead, but she’s finally discovered the truth about her boyfriend’s nocturnal activities. I guess that finding out that he’s alive and that he wasn’t bailing on dates because of her, but because Gotham was in danger is some relief. Knowing that he was risking life and limb and keeping her in the dark the whole time, however, must make all these revelations bittersweet, at best.
Dan Jurgens and Bernard Chang are onto a winner. Batman Beyond brings action, humour, character developement and surprises, wrapped up in gorgeous artwork. The whole package is a yummy bat-tastic delight. Now, Terry! Get off your heinie, leave Dana be and go and fight some ninjas!
Images courtesy of DC Entertainment
This review was originally published on the Dark Knight News website on March 24th 2017)
“Detective Comics #1000” Writers: Peter J. Tomasi, Tom King, Geoff Johns, Brian Michael Bendis, Christopher Priest, Denny O’Neil, Warren Ellis, Paul Dini, Kevin Smith & Scott Snyder Artists: Dough Mahnke, Tony S. Daniel, Joëlle Jones, Álvaro Martínez Bueno, Kelley Jones, Alex Maleev, Neal Adams, Steve Epting, Becky Cloonan, Dustin Nguyen, Jim Lee, Mikel Janín, Jason Fabok, Amanda Conner & Greg Capullo Inkers: Jaime Mendoza, Raül Fernandez, Derek Fridolfs, Scott Williams & Jonathan Glapion Color Artists: David Baron, Tomeu Morey, Brad Anderson, Paul Mounts, Michelle Madsen, Dave Stewart, Elizabeth Breitweiser, Jordie Bellaire, John Kalisz, Alex Sinclair & FCO Plascencia Letterers: Rob Leigh, Clayton Cowles, Sal Cipriano, Josh Reed, Willie Schubert, Andworld Design, Simon Bowland, Steve Wands, Todd Klein & Tom Napolitano Review by Steve J. RayBatman’s Longest CaseWhen DC revealed the incredible talents that would be contributing to Detective Comics #1000, I was understanda…
DC Comics’ imprint for younger readers, Zoom, has produced some beautiful books recently, each one accompanied by its own trailer. Today the comics giant revealed the latest video, for their Dear Justice League graphic novel. Check out the press release: TRAILER REVEAL! GET A FIRST LOOK AT ‘DEAR JUSTICE LEAGUE’ BY MICHAEL NORTHROP AND GUSTAVO DUARTENew Middle Grade Original Graphic Novel from DC ZoomHits Stores Everywhere Books are Sold on August 6, 2019Available to Pre-Order Now DC revealed today a new book trailer and preview artwork for DC Zoom’s forthcoming middle grade graphic novel, DEAR JUSTICE LEAGUE, by New York Times bestselling author Michael Northrop (TombQuest) with art by Gustavo Duarte. In DEAR JUSTICE LEAGUE, I wanted to explore who these DC Super Heroes are behind the masks and answer the kinds of questions kids would have for these larger than life figures,” explained Northrop. “On a personal note, comics helped me become a better reader, a better …
"Harleen" - Book Two
Writer/Artist: Stjepan Šejiċ
Letterer: Gabriela Downie
It Starts With Fantasies…Review by Kendra Hale Harleen #2 is here, and I was so hungry for it. In the first issue, we got to see a new take on just how Dr. Quinzel began her journey to becoming Harley Quinn. From her theory on what makes people become criminals, to seeing a more personal side to Harleen, that hasn’t really been shown before. It was an exquisite dive into new waters and a deeper look into just how a woman, who is so intelligent, was taken in by the master of manipulation and mind games. Harleen #2 is ripe with the promise of digging even deeper, and explosive with story flow.
The More Sane Place To BeThe book comes out the gate running with an exquisite start. Joker greets us, by narrating and setting the tone for what’ to come in this issue. We watch the scene unfold as the Harley Quinn we’ve all come to know, steps to the plate swinging for the fences. I want to take a second just to…