Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Batman Beyond #10

The last Batman wanna-be I’ll be doing for the year is the future boy himself: Terry McGinnis from Batman Beyond. I talked about the show a couple of years ago. It was a good one. His story feels a little similar to Bruce’s. Terry got pulled into a retired Bruce Wayne’s life when his father was brutally murdered. Terry accidentally stumbles upon the Batcave and steals the last experimental suit Bruce made. After Terry uses the suit to get justice for his father, Bruce thinks that Terry could be a suitable replacement. After Terry accepts Bruce’s job, he officially becomes Batman.

He is far from that of Bruce’s Batman. He’s much younger, sarcastic, has a past as a troublemaker, and has a family.  He’s essentially another Robin but he’s doing all of the heavy lifting since Bruce is in his twilight years. They even share a connection which is something I won’t talk about here (hint: "Epilogue" from Justice League Unlimited). Unlike Jean-Paul, Dick, and even Comm. Gordon, Terry actually gets to interact and get help from Bruce on things. Heck, he’s only a high school kid, so he’s going to need a lot of help. The suit he and Bruce (Bruce wore it before he retired) wear on the show is pretty cool and has all sorts of tricks and gadgets.

DC Comics have done a few series on the character and this futuristic world. Today’s issue comes from the second volume that was coming out at the same time the show was on. Batman Beyond #10 was written by the late Hilary J. Bader. Not only did she write for the show, she also wrote for other shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation, Superman: The Animated Series, and The New Batman Adventures. The pencils were provided by Craig Rousseau and the inks were done by Rob Leigh.

Batman Beyond: #10
Writer: Hilary J. Bader
Pencils: Craig Rousseau
Inks: Rob Leigh
Colors: Lee Loughridge
Letters: Tim Harkins
Assistant Editor: Frank Berrios
Action Figure (Eh?): Joseph Illidge

“Toy Wonder”
Our issue starts with Terry and his family having Sam Bifford and his young son, Morgan, over at the house. Morgan is… autistic? The issue never says what his condition is. Anyway, he can’t talk nor do much physically, so Sam has built Morgan a robot that he can control with a headgear set. Morgan uses the robot to play with Terry’s brother, Matt. We find out that Sam is an ex-con who wants to do well for his son since he’s a single father. The two then head home after their time with the McGinnises. Before Sam can get in the house, the police come to arrest him because the parts he found for the robot were apparently stolen. A scuffle happens and the robot is damaged which causes Morgan a little pain. What the cops and Sam don’t know is that the robot starts moving for itself.
It's 2039 and the justice system still sucks? Figures.

Later, Terry gets Bruce Wayne to bail Sam out of jail. He claims the stuff he found was junk and nothing else. Terry looks into Sam’s story to see if everything checks out by going to the place where he found the parts. It turns out that some of the parts Sam found were actually supposed to be destroyed instead of thrown into the junkyard. Suddenly, Batman gets attacked by the robot. It’s gotten bigger by adding different parts to it and Batman has a tough time taking it down. It gets worse when it finds a crystal and uses it to get stronger. It then knocks out Batman with a blast.

When Batman wakes up, he realizes that the illegal parts were actually a part of the Golem from the episode, “Golem.” He thinks Willie Watt (the teenager who used the machine to go on a rampage) is behind its control. Terry gets out of costume and heads to the juvenile hall where Willie is now located. It turns out that Willie isn’t behind its control because of a headset that stops his powers of controlling stuff.

We then switch scenes to the foster home where Morgan is being held. Sam tries to see him, but the cops won’t let him get near him. The Golem then shows up and starts to attack. Luckily, Terry is there in costume and takes on the machine. He realizes that Morgan is the one controlling the Golem because he can’t be with his father, so he takes the kid to Sam and the Golem calms down. Morgan even uses it to say “papa” to Sam. The cops destroy the Golem and Morgan is still unable to speak. The issue ends as it begins with Sam and Morgan at the McGinnis household. Sam has made Morgan a new robot and it looks like Morgan could one day be able to really connect with Sam.


I thought this was an okay issue. It wasn’t that good but it was far from horrible. I did like the father/son scenes between Sam and Morgan. I really felt for them in this situation. I also liked that this tied back to villains and concepts that were introduced on the show. I liked most of the dialogue between Bruce and Terry. The artwork emulated the look and feel of the show well. It wasn’t spectacular, but it did get the job done.

I did have a couple of problems with the issue. I thought the ending was really rushed especially after that first battle. The end battle and epilogue definitely felt rushed. I also wondered why we never found out what condition Morgan had. I thought it might have been autism but I may be wrong. That’s more of a nitpick since it doesn’t matter, but it would have been good to get some explanation on that. Lastly, there was some dialogue I wasn’t digging.

Overall, this was okay. I may not have liked it much since this series seems if it was geared towards the younger fans of the show. Still, I did like a lot about it. After Batman Beyond went off the air, this comic series also ended. The character did still come back in comic book form. DC has released series and some of them were even made for digital markets. DC added the character into the regular DC universe through the series called Future’s End. A new Batman Beyond series was released a few months ago that spun out of that series, but Terry isn’t the Batman in that suit. After I heard that, I was uninterested in it. I might check out some of the earlier series of the character. Well, I have one post left. Peace, God Bless, and watch out for giant robots.

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