Writer: Dan Jurgens, Artist: Bernard Chang, Colorist: Marcelo Maiolo
For those not familiar with how western comics work, as a way to bring in new readers companies will renumber issues after awhile. It’s a marking gimmick. Basically, this volume one isn’t the true Batman Beyond volume one, but a jumping on point for those wanting to give the series a chance. Everyone on the same page? Let’s begin.
Escaping The Grave, I like it. It feels like Batman Beyond. Yeah, I’ve seen the cartoon series and read previous Beyond comics, but I stopped reading the series years ago. Can’t remember why. Think DC’s New 52 had something to do with it (when in doubt, blame New 52). Either way, I lost interest. After reading the volume my Batman Beyond thirst is back.
The volume picks up after the last arc (which I didn’t read) ended. Terry McGinnis is back (Huh?), his little brother, Max, knows he’s Batman (What?), and Bruce Wayne, Terry’s mentor, is dead (The f*ck?). Whoever wrote the last arc when out with a bang. At least this writer’s quick to explain all the important past plot points, including a general recap of Batman Beyond’s origin. Again, nice for old and new fans.
Fresh from being kidnapped, Terry’s ready to restart his life and I’m sure everything will be okay. Oops! His old girlfriend, Dana, is kidnapped (I’m sensing a pattern.) and it’s up to Terry/Batman to infiltrate Jokerz Town to save her. At least she wasn’t taken to Harley Quinnz Town. The fanboys there are like rabid dogs!
Nothing world shattering here. Just a good story establishing Terry’s current status as well as him getting back into the Batman role. I love that. The focus is on the main cast and this arc’s villain, Terminal. That’s it. It’s the writer’s trust in the cast (and the cast’s trust in each other) that made me fall in love with Batman Beyond all over again. Terry is a Batman who always had help. It’s a team effort, even more so with Bruce gone. It’s like a character progression bargain sale. You can tell this is the next step for every character and it all makes sense. Plus, they’re not assholes to each other. They’re family.
The only big problem I have is Dana being the damsel in distress. That’s all she contributed. She needs a bigger role, something for her to do other than get captured and play the love interest. Bit of a minor nitpick but I’d like to see more realized Jokerz characters like from the Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker movie. Ninety-nine percent of them are just background extras.
Batman Beyond Volume One: Escaping the Grave is a great comic. It dumps a lot on you in the beginning so you know what’s been happening, but once that’s out the way, just sit back and enjoy the twists and turns. Cause, baby, there are some good surprises in there. The main plot was resolved, but other things setup weren’t. Time to read volume two. No idea what’s gonna happen. My guess: Terry and the team leave Neo Gotham to go on a quest to find a pirate king’s treasure. Yup, I’m sure I’m right about that.