With Rebirth in full effect at DC, it’s delightful to see the continuation of the Batman Beyond universe in the current run of books. In the Rebirth special released last month, the violent street gang The Jokerz had carved out a section of Gotham for themselves and dubbed it Jokerz Town. But the most shocking twist was reserved for the last page of that issue when The Jokerz leader, Terminal, revealed that they were attempting to reanimate the corpse of The Joker.
Batman Beyond #1 opens in that exact moment as Terminal monologues about how everyone deep down inside really wants to be The Joker. We also find Terry McGinnis, our current Batman, buried in rubble at the center of Jokerz Town. Needless to say, things are not looking great at the beginning of this issue. What follows is a super intense story of Batman fighting his way out of a town completely populated by Jokerz. The action hits hard and never lets up as wave after wave of Jokerz tries to take out The Bat.
The comics of Batman Beyond have always had the luxury of not being reined in by the censors of children’s television. You really get a sense of how dangerous Neo-Gotham is and the violent threat posed by The Jokerz. Writer Dan Jurgens really puts Batman through hell in this story, which forces Terry to confront a lot of doubts he has about wearing the cowl. One of the biggest appeals of Batman Beyond has always been seeing a younger, less confident Batman struggle to live up to the legacy created by Bruce Wayne.
It’ll be interesting to see where the book takes the resurrection of The Joker story line. There are obviously pros and cons to bringing in Batman’s most iconic nemesis. So far, the story has just played out in the background and we’ll have to wait and see what Jurgens and artist Bernard Chang have in store in coming months.
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