Review: Batman Beyond #1 by Adam Beechen & Norm Breyfogle

Batman Beyond #1
10,000 Clowns (Prelude)

Written by: Adam Beechen
Art by: Norm Breyfogle
Colored by: Andrew Elder
Lettering by: Saida Temofonte

Published by: DC
Cover Price: $0.99

Note : This review is for the digital version of the comic available from DC Comics on Comixology

Summary (contains spoilers): This issue starts with Batman (Terry McGinnis) confronting a group of Jokerz in a magic shop. Terry feels this is almost beneath him:

Batman is making pretty short work of these guys. From his control center, Bruce Wayne immediately notices that these Jokerz aren’t from Neo Gotham. Their markings suggest that they are a gang of Jokerz from Star City.

The battle is being observed by a mysterious shadowy figure who seems to be manipulating events. He seems to have an inside man in GCPD and is bringing in Joker gangs from all over the country.

Meanwhile, Terry’s friend Max (who made a deal with a computer based criminal network called Undercloud in one of the last issues of the last Batman Beyond series) is changing a seemingly innocous piece of data at the computer systems of a small credit union. She seems to be doing what she’s asked, but at the same time, figuring out how she can take down Undercloud.

Bruce Wayne meets with Police Commissioner Barbara Gordon and they talk about their concerns with all these Jokerz coming to town, wondering what they could possibly be planning.

Review: Who chose that color for the credits page? Bret Hart? It was just painful on the eyes! Whoever thought black and white writing on a pink background was a good idea clearly is as deranged as one of the Jokerz.

This issues was a really good way to bring Batman Beyond back. The Jokerz are probably the best known of Batman Beyond’s reoccurring enemies. I always love the mysterious shadowy figure working with some kind of agenda that is clear only to him. The idea of bringing in Jokerz from all over the country to Neo Gotham definitely should be a great challenge for our hero.

I do think it could have been cool if the different DC cities in the Beyond universe had their own villain-based gangs (I want to see Central City’s Coldz or Opal City’s Mistz), but I guess Joker really is DC’s best known villain, so it makes sense that he would have acquired a nationwide cult following.

One thing DC has done a lot lately is to bring back some of my favorite creators from years past. Norm Breyfogle has always been one of my favorite Batman artists, and his crisp, tight style works perfectly on Batman Beyond. I especially loved how different he managed to make each of the Jokerz look, and Batman Beyond’s exasperated look on the opening page really helped kick start the book right.

Adam Beechen has a great handle on Batman Beyond and his supporting cast. Honestly, any real complaint I would have about this book is just because of how much I missed it the last few months, and the storylines that were left hanging. I want to know what’s been going on with Bruce Wayne taking a more direct hand with Wayne Enterprises. Also, Terry’s girlfriend’s brother had just gotten out of jail and that seemed to be building someplace big too.

Solicits for upcoming issues definitely suggest all of this will be dealt with, but patience is not my strong suit. I do love that Max’s story with the Undercloud was addressed right in the first issue.

Oh! Before I forget, I made a promise for this review. Promised I would name drop my friend Tasha, so HI TASHA!!

I’ve really enjoyed these first three digital issues of Justice League and Batman Beyond. It definitely was the right way to bring the series back. Batman Beyond was one of my favorite comics when it abruptly ended (still haven’t quite figure out why) when DC decided to do Relaunch. It has been a long six months without Terry and company, and I am glad to have it back!

Final Score: 8.0 – A strong return for Batman Beyond. Not shattering any barriers or breaking new ground, but solid storytelling, great characters, and Norm Breyfogle art definitely make this well worth 99 cents!

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