The all-new Beyond adventures continue and just like last month, I’m breaking this into two separate reviews with separate scores.
Batman Beyond: The Trigger Man
Part 1 of 2: Reports of My Demise
Written by Adam Beechen
Art by Norm Breyfogle
Colors by Andrew Elder
If you didn’t read “Hush Beyond” (and I wouldn’t recommend it) then you might be a bit confused by the 2nd issue of “Batman Beyond”. This installment focuses heavily on Mad Stan returning and if you read “Hush Beyond” you have to be thinking “But I thought he was dead?”
You’re right. And that story was written by Beechen as well. See, Hush was killing off all kinds of rogues including Stalker, who was a pretty damn cool villain as well. But as it turns out, Hush was lying about offing Stan. He’s fine. He was out of town visiting his mother. It’s a fairly funny twist, but it reminds me how much I hated the “Hush Beyond” story.
So the last issue devoted a lot of energy building up the 10,000 Clowns thing, this mass migration of Jokers and it seemed like war had come to Gotham by the end of that issue. Here though, all of that has been dropped. I honestly felt like I had missed an issue or something. But, oh well, Mad Stan is way more fun to read about than the Jokerz from last month’s issue!
And if you remember the animated series, it’s going to be awfully hard for you to not read Stan’s lines in Henry Rollins’ voice. And why would you want to read it any other voice, really?
Other than some funny Mad Stan moments (I’m very happy that he isn’t dead) you’ll also get plenty of pages with old Bruce who brings up some very good points about how Bruce always withheld tech from the police that could have potentially helped the war on crime. And there are a few cameos of Batman characters from the past, too, but they feel cheap. Rehashed and shoehorned in just for the sake of it.
Is it a better issue than last month? Yes. It’s quite funny actually(there’s a laugh out loud moment between Bruce and Terry) and even the artwork is much improved. Did it manage to outshine the follow-up story from Justice League Beyond? No, but they compliment one another well for a pretty solid read that’s worth $3.99.
Justice League Unlimited: Konstriction
Chapter 2: Embedded
Written by Derek Fridolfs & Dustin Nguyen
Pencils & Cover by Dustin Nguyen
Inks by Derek Fridolfs
Colors by Randy Mayor
The first page is full of dinosaurs so you’re already winning from the get-go. Once again I had to stop for a second and wonder if I had missed something. How did we get to Dinosaur Island? There’s a Dinosaur Island? So I dug out last month’s issue and it said that the team was going to Cadmus. I’m admittedly pretty ignorant when it comes to Cadmus. It always sounded like DC’s attempt at a Shield organization lead by their own Nick Fury named Amanda Waller who is far less bad ass, but in a film version I would still like to see the role played by Samuel L. Jackson Madea-style.
So we’re on Dinosaur Island and Superman gets more to do this time, but for some odd reason Aquagirl is still working in the Justice League IT department. She’s really, really, really, really getting underutilized here. Why even have a girl with water powers if she’s just going to hang back and Google things for you? It’s not like Bruce Wayne isn’t eavesdropping on everyone’s conversations anyway, make him look stuff up!
The grander story here about Micron’s apparent brainwashing/deception wont’ be any clearer by the time you finish Part 2, but that won’t matter, you’ll get a sufficient glimpse at the unfolding mystery and I think that if you had fun with part one then you’ll enjoy this. The art is still top notch and Dinosaur Island and Cadmus safehouse allow for a lot of unique imagery from Nguyen and Fridolfs, whether it’s brawling dinosaurs, robot guards, or even a few surprises that are sure to excite Superman fans. There was only one scene in which I couldn’t quite distinguish who was pressing what and I didn’t know if Batman was hurting the bad guy (don’t want to give anything away) or if the bad guy was hurting Batman…
The coloring is very vibrant and beautiful as well. The art as a whole just does a great job of recapturing the look of the animated series.
It’s not as amazing an issue as last month’s, but it’s still a lot of fun to read and I’m excited to see what happens next.
I have to say that this book is kind of flying under the radar and it shouldn’t be. It’s your last link to the Beyond universe. Wouldn’t it be fun to find out what happened to Lex Luthor? Who some of the other DC heroes are in the future? (This series should definitely swap out the team members from time to time) It’s an incredibly fun read and when the “Batman Beyond” half manages to pull its weight, the whole thing is definitely worth the price of admission.
OVERALL SCORE: 7/10