Sunday, 27 September 2015

Batman Beyond #4 - DC Comics

BATMAN BEYOND No. 4, November 2015
Mismanaging “the challenge of being essentially one long fight scene” this fourth instalment of “Brave New Worlds” arguably only succeeds in demonstrating just what a poor choice writer Dan Jurgens made when deciding to have Tim Drake as his “Batman Beyond”. For although this entire twenty-page periodical does little else but depict Brother Eye’s metropolis-scale invasion of Neo-Gotham, it also shows a frustratingly gullible and incompetent “replacement” Dark Knight, whose gross ineptitude whilst fighting the autonomous entity’s cybernetic subjugation simply reinforces Micron’s opinion that “the clothes don’t make the man.”

Indeed, having naively allowed his enemy to penetrate the Batsuit’s artificial intelligence system and thus take the City of the Future’s protective “veil” offline, this comic’s titular character is unrecognisable as the same “smart” youth who once “solved Gotham’s greatest mystery in order to discover Bruce Wayne’s secret identity and was actually “worthy of being Robin”.

Such a series of disappointing failings must inevitably fall upon the poor penmanship of this book’s Ortonville-born author. Whose “some thirty-five years from now” narrative would arguably have been far better served if he had created an all-new personality to don the state-of-the-art costume, rather than seemingly try and re-invent the personality of one “who once held a… prominent position in the DC Universe.” The creator of Booster Gold certainly doesn’t seem to have any problems in ensuring that Commissioner Gordon is given plenty of strong resourceful moments within this issue’s storyline, as the tough, determined fighter soon realises the hopelessness of battling Brother Eye one-on-one, as Terry McGinnis’ substitute tries to do, and instead logically reasons that they need ‘something Batman can fight the invasion with’ other than his fists…

Competent yet visually rather cluttered, Bernard Chang’s artwork for this comic is as furiously busy as one would expect from an illustrator depicting all the action and high-octane drama of a city-wide incursion. In fact despite the plot predominantly centring on Drake’s disheartening efforts, the Asian American designer still manages to provide the reader with plenty of glimpses as to just how wide-scale this robotic annexation is by ‘littering’ his pages with numerous micro-panels depicting battles further afield.
The regular cover art of "BATMAN BEYOND" No. 4 by Dan Panosian

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