Hey Captain America’s Foot! What’s a better slang term for heroin than “China Cat?”
Yes, as the boot to the jaw indicates, I have something to say about comics this week that I haven’t already said, and that means it’s time once again for the Internet’s Most Increasingly Sporadic Comics Reviews! Let’s get to it!
Batman Beyond #1: Adam Beechen has always been one of the most underrated writers on the Batman family titles. I absolutely loved his run on Robin, and while I got the feeling that I may have been the only one, the thing that I really liked about it was that he wrote Robin like exactly what I wanted to read: A teenage Batman. A Fun-Size World’s Greatest Detective, if you will.
That alone makes him a pretty good choice to take on Batman Beyond, as “teenage Batman” is pretty much exactly what’s going on there. And I’ve gotta say, I really liked what he did here. I watched the entire series over the past week, and Beechen’s script slots right into where the cartoon left off, hitting a lot of what’s so enjoyable about it. I like the art, too: While Dustin Nguyen gives Terry McGinnis a bulkier look than I’m used to, Ryan Benjamin’s interior art is very fluid and dynamic and works really well. It’s got a lot going for it.
As to the story itself, well, I’m about to get into some spoilers, so if you’re planning on reading it and haven’t yet, you may want to do that. One one level, I really like what Beechen’s doing here. Like I said in the ComicsAlliance article, my favorite episodes of the show tend to be the ones that involve Bruce Wayne’s villains returning or handing down legacies, and the idea of someone coming back to kill the surviving members of Batman’s Rogues Gallery hits those buttons perfectly. I’m not sure if it’s the familiarity of it, the fun of seeing the new ways creators play with old toys, or just the sells-itself high concept of “Batman vs. the Joker… in the future!!!!“, it’s just right up my alley.
But then Hush shows up.
I was just talking to Chad today about how there really aren’t that many bad characters, but if ever there’s been a guy that has led to nothing good, it’s neuro/heart/plastic surgeon Tommy Elliot, Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend that I just remembered who just will not go away. He’s essentially the 21st Century version of the Thief of Night, in that he’s an inexplicable super-huge deal that we’re all going to look back on one day and go “wait, there were a ton of comics about this guy?” And yet, here we are with another piece of his empire.
But that said, his appearance here doesn’t make for a bad story, if that is who the bad guy is and not just Beechen setting up a plot twist (in which case, even better). In fact, I had a great laugh when I finally hit the last-page reveal that the story is actually called “Hush Beyond,” and I actually appreciate the fact that Beechen’s doing what nobody else has been able to do on Batman Beyond: Tell a story that doesn’t have its basis in the animated universe. Unless he’s going to do a one-issue flashback Animated Universe version of Hush, which I have to admit sounds like it could be pretty awesome.
In either case, it’s solid enough comics that espite the fact that my eyes tend to glaze over whenever they hit the words “Tommy Elliot,” I’m willing to give it a chance. Why?
Because Terry talks about “that weird convention of Jokerz,” and if you can’t get excited about Batman fighting the Gathering of the Juggalos in the year 2059, then we will never understand each other.
And that’s pretty much it, although for those of you who missed it, I had very strong feelings about the Iron Man Annual, with the short version being that it’s easily one of the best comics of the year — and considering how much Shirtless Batman we’ve gotten in 2010, that’s saying something.
So go get it, and if anything caught your eye this week, feel free to tell me all about it in the comments below!