The Week In Ink: June 30, 2010

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!

20 thoughts on “The Week In Ink: June 30, 2010

  1. There is something weird about the fact that the only ‘NEW EVENT VILLAIN WHO WILL DEFEAT BATMAN!’ who’s actually had any real staying power has been Bane.

    Especially since he’s a giant hispanic dude in a wrestling thong and a bondage mask who doesn’t use contractions.

  2. I think part of the genius of Batman Beyond is that they didn’t just give us future versions of old Batman villains. Yes, we saw the fates of Mr. Freeze and Ra’s, who were both essentially immortal, and we got The Return of the Joker (because, c’mon, you can’t not have Batman fight the Joker), but aside from a cameo by a invalid Bane, that’s it. We got new guys like Inque and Blight instead.

    So when we see that the villain of this story is apparently the current king of overrated/overused Batman villains (well, Heart of Hush was alright) set out to stalk other old Batman villains, I can’t help but feel let down.

    Also, what the hell is up with “Neo-Gotham”? Wasn’t it just “Gotham” in the series? Did the mayor decided that since they lived in the future they had to add the “Neo”?

  3. That’s not weird, Simon Jones, that’s exactly as it should be.

    Everything is better with luchadores.

  4. What did you think of WW #600 Chris?

    As for me I found the Conner story the star of the show (I mean Wonder Woman, Power Girl, Bat Girl vs. Egg Fu is pretty fantastic alone) and the prologue to Odyssey was exactly like Grounded everything I do not want to see in a story about this character, although I couldn’t shake the thoughts that this reminds me of Mage only with Greek Legends/Myths instead of Arthurian but at the same time I doubt it will get anywhere close to that good.

  5. Nah, heart of hush is the best Hush story (not saying much) and isn’t bad.

    I know a lot of the Beechen hate has a direct correlation to his treatment and usage of Cassandra Cain, and well, yeahhh

  6. “Heart of Hush” is NOT VERY GOOD, to borrow a phrase from our esteemed Mr. Sims.

  7. “I know a lot of the Beechen hate has a direct correlation to his treatment and usage of Cassandra Cain, and well, yeahhh”

    And that was something he was told to include in his story that wasn’t his idea, so really, he kind of gets an unfair rap for that one.

    His Teen Titans “run”, however….

    Also, Heart of Hush at least had Dustin Nguyen on art, so it at least looked nice? The covers were pretty much great there.

  8. BTW, the new Tales Designed to Thrizzle #6: best issue ever.

    The chase scene between Jungle Princess and Tigerboss is one for the ages.

  9. “And that was something he was told to include in his story that wasn’t his idea, so really, he kind of gets an unfair rap for that one.”

    No-one actually forced him to have Cassandra use a million billion words instead of just “Hai Tim I kill you now!”, or to write her as a daddy-issues crybaby. Beechan admitted as much in interviews while trying to diffuse the hilariously disproportionate fanboy outrage, as well as admitting he didn’t even know who the character was at the time – the important thing is that he put his hands up and admitted a mis-step, which is classy but sadly rare.

    Plus Beechan wrote ‘the Super-Batman of Planet X” for Batman: Brave and the Bold. That’s gotta count for something.

  10. I think the important lesson here is, Dan DiDio fucking sucks.

    Beechen writes for Kick Buttowski, Suburban Daredevil. That gives him a lot of points to me. For his TV work, anyway. Comics? Not so much.

  11. Oh hey, I just remembered something I forgot to bring up when Legion #2 (!!!) came out last month. What do you think about Tyroc’s entry into the world of Superheroes Who Have Costumes That Are Not Totally Embarrassing? I know Levitz handwaved a lot into one panel there (“hey look here’s Tyroc and he looks totally different, also bald, and he no longer makes really embarrassing grunty noises”) but I am a big fan of his reintroduction. I always wanted to see his powers treated more like Black Canary’s and less like, well, some kind of horrible cringeworthy albatross thing.

    Also? Dude got pants. Not everyone in the future got pants.

  12. Speaking of Tyroc, he was using his powers in space to break up debris. Is it just me, or shouldn’t his sonic powers be pretty much useless without an atmosphere to propagate sound waves?

  13. Cassandra Caine comes off as kind of the platonic ideal of how to completely screw up a character. Death is somewhat easier to fix than some of the storytelling decisions taken there. In years to come, they will point to her and go ‘That! That is how you f that up!’

  14. Beechen tried to fix it, but even made it WORSE with that exposition filled miniseries.

  15. Hey, that mini was hilarious: it starts with a whole bunch of people taking a double page spread to tell Cass HER OWN ORIGIN, and ends with Batman saying “You’ll always have a family AS LONG AS I LIVE” and his shadow is this huge gravestone with “RIP” on it.

    No way that shit is accidental – give our boy Beechan a break.

  16. Hot damn, Steve, you’re right! Personally, I’m willing to handwave physics if it means our man gets to keep his pants.