Review: Batman Beyond #5 of 6

Published on October 23rd, 2010

Anyone who pays attention to our humble site will know that we at Comic Impact have all been loving the Batman Beyond mini-series.  Every issuehas been at least good, if not great.  That said, Batman Beyond #5 came out this week and it was AWESOME!

Written by friend of the site Adam Beechen with art by Ryan Benjamin, Batman Beyond is the comic book adaptation of the cartoon series of the same name.  Batman Beyond takes place in a future Gotham City where Bruce Wayne has long since retired from being Batman.  A teenager named Terry McGinnis stumbles upon Wayne’s secrets and, with training from Bruce and a high tech bat-suit, becomes the new Batman.  The show was canceled years ago and the mini-series has managed to evolve the character, integrate him into the mainstream DC Universe (even though it’s in the future) and incorporate more recent Batman history into the future timeline.

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The Batman Beyond mini has been about “Hush: Beyond.”  Someone in the future Gotham has been running around killing Batman’s enemies dressed as Batman villain Hush.  Issue #4 revealed that this new Hush is actually Dick Grayson, but not the original.  Terry learned that Grayson had been severely injured as Nightwing and had since been unable to be a crime fighter.  Issue #5 revealed *SPOILER ALERT* that long before Terry became Batman, Amanda Waller and Cadmus Labs cloned Grayson after his injury to try and create a new Batman for when the real Batman died/retired.  Waller is obsessed with Batman and feels that the world needs him, but she felt that Bruce Wayne’s mind was too unstable.  So, she decided to clone Dick who she felt would be better suited at taking orders.  Unfortunately, the clone escaped with a warped, malformed version of Grayson’s personality and felt that he deserved to be Batman.

As I’ve said, every issue of this series has been great but issue #5 really started pulling things together, answering questions and building up to what looks like a fantastic climax.  Calling back on a Batman story from over a decade ago called Cataclysm, Hush/Grayson clone has holed up deep under Gotham City in the fault that caused the massive earthquake in Cataclysm.  Hush has a massive amount of explosives and control of Bruce’s Bat-Wraiths and plans to level Gotham City to purge it of all the evil people that Batman fights.

I could go on for days about all that this series does to make me a giddy fanboy.  A previous issue introduced the older version of Dick Grayson who revealed the story about his injuries.  He also said that he can’t fight crime due to a bullet still lodged near his spine.  I had accepted that fact and moved on until I read issue #5 and saw Dick jumping around an alley, beating the crap out of people to save one of the Cadmus scientists.  So cool!  What a great surprise!

If you’re not reading this series, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice.  Get your hands on the previous issues or pick up the trade once this mini is over, because come January Batman Beyond is going to be an ongoing, monthly series with the same creative team of Beechen and Benjamin.  I seriously can’t wait.  Is it January yet?

Ian Candish
Ian@ComicImpact.com