SpartanNerd Review…The New DC Universe “Batman Beyond #1”

As I wrote before The Convergence…Future’s End had a terribly flat ending.  The cliffhanger led me to believe that Batman (Beyond) would be featured in a new title…or something…after the convergence.  Looks like I was correct.  Looks like I was also correct in skipping The Convergence.  A meaningless crossover.

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The cover art is just not very good.  It reminds me of some of the covers and artwork from “Ultimate Spiderman…”  One reason I never read that title was the art was so off-putting.  But DC has surpised me before…sometimes bad art can be overcome by good storytelling…at least for the SpartanNerd.  (Arkham Manor comes to mind.)

Looks like the front cover is also showing us other characters from “the Beyond” story.  Justice League characters The Flash and Superman are evident.  Not sure that I can name the other guys.

My experience with Batman Beyond is pretty limited.  I am seventeen years older than my youngest brother, and he would watch the cartoon every now and then.  A couple of years ago, I snatched up “Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.”  I had a hard time getting past some jarring things about it…one of them being the language.  At the time I felt my children weren’t old enough to watch that, so I watched it on my own later.  I picked up a few things about Terry McGinnis’ universe.  And people use the word “slag” alot.   It bothered me that Tim Drake was made into Joker and Harley’s adopted and brainwashed son.

And besides Future’s End, that’s it…So I can’t say too much to die-hard Batman Beyond fans.

What I do like is that this is a “new” Batman Beyond, with Tim Drake in the suit.

The art inside wasn’t as bad.

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I have picked up that Terry’s future had a super-gang of Joker copycats.  So right away, we are given a taste of something familiar from the Batman Beyond universe.

But something is inconsistent with the Future’s End universe…Terry came 30 years into the past from a time when all of humanity was destroyed and assimilated into “bugs”.  This panel indicates that Gotham at least isn’t made of all bugs.  But as the story goes on, this seems to be something changed in all of the time jumping that Terry did.

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To assist people like me, who have minimal experience with the characters, DC did the right thing and had the Tim Drake Batman visit Terry’s home.  These other characters are bound to be important, soon.  And it seems Terry’s little brother is pretty jealous.  We know this is going to lead somewhere…

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The Statue of Liberty always seems to be a favorite thing to smash in Sci-Fi….Writers do this for us super-patriotic comics fans.  It definitely gets our attention.  But it’s a little cliche.

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Not going to give the ending away…but looks like Superman is a bug.  Who was that guy on the cover?

SpartanNerd Rating of DC Comics New Universe Batman Beyond #1 is 4/5.  The art on the cover led to me taking a point off.  But I think I will definitely read this for awhile…at least to mitigate the bad taste that Future’s End left for me.

I would like my readers who know about Batman Beyond to send me some cool information that I need to know….

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SpartanNerd Thoughts…The End of the New 52, Batman Eternal, and Future’s End

It’s Spring Break!  I have some time, readers.

I have pretty well determined I am jumping off of the DC Comics at this point.  I am not going to read Convergence.  I feel I have collected enough comics.  In fact, I have a nearly complete collection of Batman comics from the New 52.  This is a good stopping place for me…I recently purchased a “drawer box” and moved my MOTU comics to that box.  The other three top loader boxes I have a almost completely full.

I have been very devoted to reading Batman titles.  The only titles I skipped were “Batman Inc.” and I didn’t read all of “Batman: Dark Knight.”  logically, I felt Batman, Inc was a holdover from the old DC Universe…the universe I didn’t read.  I also didn’t think the art was as good as the other titles.  I hated that they killed Damien in those pages.  I eventually purchased a copy of that issue.

I am going to start cherry picking comics.  Maybe picking up graphic novels.  Doing more digital comics.  And I will continue to get Masters of the Universe comics.  I am a SLAVE!

(I also will pick up Batman #40…the final issue of “Endgame.  This book is late, coming out April 29.)

I have two reviews to offer here at the end.  One positive.  The other not so much.  Lets start positive.

(SPOILERS AHEAD)

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Batman Eternal: Issue 52, (conclusion)

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Batman Eternal ends with an oversized final issue, finally revealing our secret bossman as Lincoln March and tying up the loose ends of “what happens next” with the different characters.

What I really liked about this issue was the beating scene, where Lincoln tries to take out Batman when he is tired and weak. But Bruce proves to be the stronger fighter.  And when the city people rise up and fight down the evil people that are burning down and pillaging the city, this answers the question about whether Gotham really is a victim…a city of good people ravaged by criminals.  I like how Batman’s allies rally around him, including Jim Gordon, to bring in Lincoln.

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Other points of interest…In the “One Week Later,” Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown seem to find the beginning of their romance.

Maggie Sawyer is the new Police Commissioner.  Am I wrong in thinking that now she knows Batman’s secret identity, being so closely aligned with Batwoman?  (i don’t know much about Batwoman.  But isn’t Maggie her partner?)

The Court of Owls takes Lincoln March back under, explaining their appearance in Endgame.

This feels like a good closing to a series that is fifty-two issues long.  And the dedicated reader is rewarded with more details about the Court of Owls.  There is supposed to be another Batman Eternal series on tap soon.  I am going to miss that one, though.  All around, I feel like I got my moneys worth, which brings me to the next not-so-positive review.

Future’s End: Issue 48, (conclusion?)

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This is the worst ending I have ever read in comics.  EVER.  I am going to try and keep the four letter words down…but that is how strongly I feel about it.  Mad enough to cuss.

Really, when you read every issue, weekly for 48 weeks straight, and then you are rewarded with the ending we have here.  Oh yes.  Reason to be mad.

This book has been a terrific read.  Why such a dumb ending?  Really.  UGH.

So why am I so disgusted?  Two issues ago, Terry McGinnis was killed.  OK.  Fine.  I haven’t ever been a Batman Beyond fan.  But I like what they did with him.  And I enjoyed the unlikely romance between him and Plastique.

So Tim Drake takes his costume.  I’m OK with that too.  He is certainly worthy.  But next is where the rushed writing, nonsensical ideas, and the flat ending all come in.  In issue 47, Tim Drake (Batman Beyond) goes back in time to prevent Brother Eye from terminating humanity (just like in Terminator, oh so cliche’.)  They wind up having a conversation, and Brother Eye, seeming still to be a “good guy”, agrees to preventing the action that triggered it all.  Then Brother Eye uses his time travel capabilities to send Tim back.  We are greeted with a final panel of issue 47 with Tim in a situation where a peaceful light is shining on him.   Nothing more.  So I was hotly anticipating what would happen next.  Tim would find the world fixed.  etc.

In issue 48 we see what that peaceful light was.  The reader thinks “Oh yeah.  Heroes save the day.”  And we now have a nice happy conclusion to the New 52 timeline.  IF ONLY THIS WERE TRUE.

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I’ll admit I was a little thrilled when Maddison’s eyes turned into Brother Eye’s eyes, and her speech text became red.

The peaceful landing that Tim received was apparently a ruse.  Brother Eye intended to trap him and assimilate him as one of his bugs.  So the real madison jumps in, is thirty years older, and Tim is apparently now in the 35 years in the future timeline, where the whole thing started, not in the year he was supposed to be returned to.

Basically there is a resistance against the machines, led by Madison, they manage to escape.  But the book ends with Brother Eye looking down on the ruins of the city.

So the heroes failed?  Brother eye has taken over the world.  Tim says that Brother Eye hasn’t won.  Not yet.

OK, how has he NOT WON?  The New 52 universe is ending, and this is the end of the Future’s End comic book.

BOO!!!  They should have given us a clue about what to read next.  And if that something was supposed to be Convergence, then TOO BAD DC.  YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE CLEAR.

Enough of my rant.  All I’m saying is I might just throw up if Endgame doesn’t end well.  (Alfred’s hand got chopped off!)

Maybe I shouldn’t be so mad?  Didn’t the other DC Universes in the past come to abrupt decay?  I have heard about Superboy Prime punching reality, and am knowledgeable somewhat of the Flash inadvertently creating the New 52 universe, with the old universe just “disappearing.”  These worlds are supposed to be revisited with Convergence.  Because I am so ignorant of all that, I am just going to refrain.

SpartanNerd Christmas Thoughts.

I am really in the season already.  Considering that most years I feel overworked, directing all kinds of music, this year I feel more relaxed.  Maybe because I am really into the play I am helping direct this time.  Or maybe because the church Christmas cantata really does it for me.  I don’t know.  But today is Thanksgiving, and I am just about ready to put that tree up!

Hub City geeks are probably wondering what it is I might actually want for Christmas.  Well I already know some things coming my way.  Or at least towards me so that I might review them here at SpartanNerd.com.  So here’s the list!

1.  I am getting a foil Windswept Heath for my anniversary.  Those of you who REALLY know me will appreciate why I like this card so much!

2.  The Dual Deck Anthology is as good as pre-ordered!  I will review it as soon as I get it, guys and girls.  I am absolutely psyched!

3.  SpartanKid jumped me on this one.  He wants the new “Nihiri, the Lithomancer” Commander deck!

4.  And the same kid is asking for the new set of Mega-Man cards!  (Will keep my readers posted as I can review things.)

5.  Looks like I missed out on getting a Battle Ram…:(  Regardless, I will have my eye on the MattyCollector Flash Sales on Cyber Monday.

6.  Oh yes.  It seems it is time for a big upgrade.  The SpartanNerd family is moving from the “old school” style of TV to the flat screen style!  Now we can enjoy modern games the way they should be enjoyed!

In other news, I am actually thinking about NOT subscribing to Batman comics anymore.  Not because I don’t like them.  But because I feel out of the loop.  The subscriber is punished for his loyalty.  Sure, you get a better deal on your comics.  This year has been great in the value department.  But on the other hand, sometimes the books are WEEKS late.  Also, at least one issue was lost in the mail this year.  And occasionally they arrive beat up.  I intend to keep reading them, but cherry picking.  And I suppose paying newsstand price.  I find myself buying comics weekly anyways, with Batman Eternal and Futures End.  Those will be wrapping up in the spring, just about time for my subscriptions to run out.  If I want to really serve the blogosphere, then I should make this change.

What do you think, Hub-City geeks?  Let me know in the comments!