Batman Beyond #13
Writer and Artist: Bernard Chang
Colors: Marcelo Maiolo
Letters: Travis Lanham
Cover: Chang and Maiolo
This is a one-shot so there’s no previously on
This time, on Batman Beyond:
Terry takes on Shriek in the tunnels of Neo Gotham, back when the young hero was first coming back to the suit after Future’s End. Shriek tells Terry that no one has called him that name in years, and that now he protects the tunnels below. Terry calls a truce, going on to search for his true purpose; finding out the source of a string of recent power outages. Terry makes his way down the tunnels until he finds a group of survivors way back from future’s end; who inform him that Shriek protects them, and that the tunnels are their home now. As Terry escapes back up to the street, a costumed crusader known as Hacker attacks him, noting how similar his tech is to Brother Eye’s before Terry makes it away. Meanwhile, Matt and Max compete in the Gotham Games, a city wide tri-ball basketball tournament, as Terry does his best to keep the peace. The tournament begins, as The Hacker chases after Terry, informing him that in addition to Shriek, he’s also not the culprit who’d been causing the outages. As Terry charges after one of the last shut-off points left, he’s greeted with a blast from the past; Freon, a rage-filled former hero from the Terrific Trio, with twisted memories on Terry’s last encounter with them. Freon tries to trap Terry with a radioactive trap, before the duo of Hacker and Shriek manage to blast Terry free, and send Freon tumbling. Terry unites with the two, facing on Freon as the three manage to get into the tech of her suit and disable her powers; as the cops come to apprehend Freon, Shriek and Hacker split, and Terry heads off to catch the last few moments of The Gotham Games.
Reed Strong’s Strong Read:
This issue, oddly enough, felt like the television series Batman Beyond. This has largely been a book that’s been mostly focused on integration; taking the things we like about Batman Beyond and merging those elements with the greater DCU, as well as the other way around. And it’s been a really good book, exploring what’s changed in Neo-Gotham and especially how Terry interacts with it. But something about the self-contained nature of this issue really hit that three-act structure the show did so well, as well as giving some lime-light to a fan favorite villain with the redemption of Shriek. Terry has a problem while his friends are off doing something much lighter, he runs into a villain, but they’re not the real culprit. He runs into a new character who fights a bit, but it’s not him either. When he meets a former hero, we’re met with the real villain and we get a sweet team-up as we beat the villain and hit the climax. Even bringing back Freon, a one-shot hero from a Fantastic Four pastiche in one of the first episodes of the show, is something that the old cartoon would do in that weird way every character only ever got a few episodes to shine. This issue captured the spirit of the show perfectly, taking something old and giving us a new entry in this really beloved series.