Thursday, 8 March 2012

Batman Beyond Unlimited #1

 A few weeks back I was bemoaning the loss of a fun titles in the new line of DC books, well I can moan no more after reading Batman Beyond Unlimited.The book is broken in to two stories 10,000 Clowns concerns the influx of Jokerz into Gotham, for those who are unfamiliar with this version of Batman Jokerz are gangs of followers of the original Joker. Bruce (grumpy as ever) is concerned there is more at work than just random gangs turning up, a concern shared by Barbara Gordon now Commissioner Gordon of Gotham.

In between fighting Jokerz and trying to figure out what’s going, on new Batman Terry McGinnis is also trying to sort out his failing love life. In a continuation from the last series Terry is still single due to his unreliability, apparently he keeps disappearing or not turning up for dates for no apparent reason. He should take tips from Superman he was doing the same thing to Louis for years, and getting away with it.

There is a nice tip to continuity during a conversation between Bruce and Barbara, where Bruce asks Barbara if her legs are bothering her when she stands up rather shakily as if she is in pain. Where this actually sits in continuity is anyone’s guess, but it is one of those little references that keep the geek in us happy.

As the story progresses its clear that the Jokerz are a distraction to test Batman, and the shadowy villain is revelled at the end of the story a reveal that's quite a nice twist.

The second story Konstruction involves the Justice League still lead by Superman along with War Hawk, Kai-Ro Green Lantern of sector 2814 , Barda exiled god from New Genesis, and Aqua Girl.

Batman is joined by 3 of his JLA team mates who help him clear up a fight between a gang of Splicers and a Jokerz gang, once that is cleared up they are about to head off to fight Golems at Hamilton High. Unfortunately for Bats he is called back to JLA headquarters on more urgent matters, and as Bruce reminds him the league supersedes everything.

The League have big problems Kobra are are preparing for something big and the leagues man on the inside Micron is missing, again there is a nice twist towards the end as the team watch a network recording of a robbery.
We leave the team as they prepare to head off to Camus, the last know place Micron was seen.

At 48 pages the book is excellent value for money, with two good solid stories’s that set up their respective arch’s nicely.
There is however distinctive artwork differences in each story Norm Breyfogle on 10,000 Clowns is of a standard comic artwork for want of a better description, where as Dustin Nguyen had more of a cartoon feel to it that fits in with the animated show.
Personally I have no problem with either style as both fit the tone of the story been told, the writers Adam Beechen 10,000 Clowns and Derek Fridolfs / Dustin Nguyen Konstruction both did excellent jobs in capturing what made the animated series so good.

The nods to the animated show in the second story were particularly pleasing, as references were made to the Splicer’s, the drug know as Slappers and the appearance of Harely Quinn's twin Granddaughters last seen (by me anyhow) in The Return of the Joker story.

The book actually made me want to revisit my DVD’s (I haven’t moved to Blu-ray yet) of the animated series, so as I said at the start a good and fun book that’s well worth a try.

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