A new Batman Beyond series! I used to love the cartoon, so I was excited to see a new series that I could easily jump into. Batman Beyond Universe begins a year after “Joker Night” which is available in Batman Beyond: 10,000 Clowns. For those of you unfamiliar with the Batman Beyond series, in short, it takes place in the future. The cartoon series pilot began in the year 2019 with an aging Bruce Wayne as Batman, not quite able to keep up with the battles anymore. The series then moves forward to 2039 and now sits in the 2040’s. Terry McGinnis joins forces with the old Bruce Wayne and becomes Batman. The new Batman suit implores new technology like a cloaking device, night vision and rocket boosters.
This issue, as I noted, picks up after “Joker Night” . Batman Beyond Universe #1 eludes to events that occur in that story, so it’s definitely something I want to pick up. The first issue in this new series is a lot of fun. It was exciting to get back into this universe, where I haven’t been in nearly a decade. If anything, reading this issue just made me want to go out and pick up the cartoon series on DVD. Nether the less, I like this issue and the story is it beginning. We get to see old Bruce Wayne and Barbra Gordon, as well as a couple other exciting character additions. Kyle Higgins’ writing is solid with smooth dialogue that is easy to follow. This is tricky because many of the character speaking are doing so over headsets or phones and are not actually pictured in the comic book cell. As a new #1 issue, this Batman Beyond Universe spends some additional time on the characters. We get introductions to the primary characters, ensuring that we know who is who. Higgins also makes it a point to ensure that this series is not a break from previous Batman Beyond canon but instead, is just a continuation of where “Joker Night” left off.
The end of the issue also includes a cool side story of Justice League Beyond (A.K.A. JLB) which is the futuristic Justice League that includes several new characters along with our legendary hero, Superman. The side story reminds me of the Shazaam story DC did with the new Justice League series in The New 52. I’m very curious how that story will pan out and am excited for the next issue.
The illustrations are a lot of fun. Thony Silas and Andrew Elder do a fantastic job of bringing the look and feel of the cartoon series into Batman Beyond Universe. The primary characters look exactly how I remember them which is reassuring and also brings in a sense of nostalgia. The only negative I have for this issue surrounds the action sequences. In scenes where physical confrontations are occurring, I found myself a little unclear as to what exactly was happening in each frame. This is something that is not uncommon in comic books, so it’s not a make or break situation but I’m hoping that as the series continues, Elder and Salis will ease into their roles more smoothly.
Overall, I like this new series and am excited to get back into the Batman Beyond time frame. I’m a little disappointed that some of the story relies on events that occurred in other publications not because I don’t want more to read but because I wasn’t aware of their connection prior to Batman Beyond Universe #1 being released. I am now going to check out Batman Beyond: 10,000 Clowns, which is a graphic novel, and Batman Beyond 2.0. Both are referenced in this issue and I’m curious how deeply the stories are tied together. Hopefully I’ll be able to knock them out before next month’s issue and I’ll have a better understanding of Batman Beyond Universe.