Batman Beyond: Batgirl Beyond (DC)
Written by Adam Beechen, Scott Peterson & Hilary J. Bader, drawn by Adam Archer, Annie Wu, Norm Breyfogle, Rob Leigh, Peter Nguyen, Craig Rousseau & Craig Yeung
Collects Batman Beyond #1-2, Batman Beyond Unlimited #14-18 and online at Batman Beyond Chapters 19-29
In two previous posts, I wrote about how much I enjoyed Adam Beechen’s run on Batman Beyond. I think he did a great job of continuing the adventures of a character I wasn’t super familiar with while also tying it in to the existing Batman comic book mythos. At the same time, he crafted a series of stories large and small that kept me intrigued and turning pages. However, as I mentioned in my last post, I was a bit concerned about how it would end. The previous volume had a huge threat in Gotham that Batman stopped, but not long after the series got a reboot, so I wasn’t sure how it would end. And, even after reading this last chapter of Beechen’s run, I’m a little up in the air on that subject.
The first half of this book is by Beechen and does pick up on the previous elements while always moving forward and adding new elements even up to the very end. I love the reintroduction of the Metal Men (possibly my favorite book featuring these beloved, but not particularly well handled Silver Age characters) and the potential for those characters in this new world. There were also satisfying conclusions and continuations of storylines that all felt right and complete.
And then there’s the other half of the book, which focuses on a new Batgirl running around Gotham who interacts with Barbara Gordon. This is actually a really cool story featuring some awesome art by Wu which looks like Phil Noto-meets-Freddie Williams II. My only problem is that there’s a lot of set-up for things that just don’t happen as the series ended. I’m sure these ran along with the ongoing chapters of the Beechen stuff, but it feels like a strange way to end the collection. Actually, there’s another story by Hilary Bader that looks like one of the Batman Beyond tie-in comics from when the cartoon was airing. This was a fun little story that got Bruce back in the Batsuit which is fun, but after all the craziness of the first story, it felt a little too light.
So, while I thought Beechen’s stuff did put a solid bow on the end of the series, these others just felt a little out of place thematically. I think when/if I add these trades to my collection (I got all of these books from the library), I’ll probably read these last couple of stories earlier because they don’t make for a great finale.