I don’t know how any fan of the whole DC Universe could look at this cover and not pick this comic up. How cool is that cover? I usually go for the simple covers that express what the comic is about in a minimalistic way but there’s something very satisfying about seeing all of these characters clustered together and looking so heroic.
Justice League Beyond: Knostriction Chapter 11, The Mortal Coil
Written by Derek Fridolfs & Dustin Nguyen
Pencils by Dustin Nguyen
Inks by Derek Fridolfs
Colors by Randy Mayor
Although it shows a ton of characters on the cover of this book, the Justice League Beyond story is mostly a showcase of one hero in particular and he’s not represented in that portrait. If you are a fan of Etrigan the Demon then you will be one very satisfied customer. This story has spanned 10 months. TEN MONTHS! And Etrigan joins the fight and the whole thing is over in just a couple pages. I never realized that he was this bad ass, but apparently he is. It’s a pretty disappointing final fight after 10 months of buildup, but the artwork by Dustin Nguyen is as attractive as ever. The look of the comic only slips up when we see a tombstone with bad lettering that doesn’t quite fit with the stone and served as a distraction in what should’ve been a more emotional scene. Also, if you’re a Superman fan, first of all you should be picking this book up anyway because the Superman Beyond series has been terrific. Secondly, something of major importance happens involving Superman that you won’t wan to miss. Really, any fan of the extended DC universe and the Batman Beyond series will nerd-out when they read this. The final few pages are jam packed with cameos and little hints at what became of certain characters. It’s too much to take in, really. Instead of focusing on concluding an epic story and giving each character the attention they deserve, we’re bombarded with surprise appearances by characters and relics of the old DC Universe that we thought we’d never see again. It’s sort of the equivalent of asking someone an important question and they reply by handing you a puppy. You didn’t get the answer you wanted, but…come on, you got a puppy! And please, PLEASE, can we stop calling the city “Neo Gotham”. Just say Gotham. I don’t remember the characters every saying “Neo Gotham” in the cartoon, but I could be wrong. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the show. Fun read, this. Be sure to pick it up as a TPB so you can enjoy it from start to finish. It’s kind of tough to grade this series since so much time has passed between each installment.
10,000 Clowns: Lights of Gotham
Written by Adam Beechen
Art by Nrom Breyfogle
Color by Andrew Elder
After all the build up of Doug Tan as the Joker King his character design is pretty terrible. It doesn’t fit the Beyond style nor does it look particularly villainous or the least bit iconic. His speech no nihilism over chaos wasn’t too bad and he does come off creepy in a James Jr. sort of way, but his character design really should’ve been more impressive and after leading such an enormous and successful assault on the city it’s odd to see him lower his ambitions to just going after and killing his sister (again, sorta like James Jr.). After spending a couple pages with him we get a pretty terrific scene about Tim Drake setting foot in the batcave for the first time in a long, long time. This moment was practically except for the batcomputer welcoming him home. Very good stuff and one of the most memorable moments in this series so far. Simple and emotionally heavy. Seeing Tim, Terry, and Dick working together is fantastic and when you see Bruce’s final line in this comic it’ll be hard not to clap. This was a pretty bad ass episode and I really wish it had been longer. Beechen and Breyfogle have been doing an awesome job on this series recently and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Written by JT Krul
Pencils by Howard Porter
Inks by John Livesay
Colors by Carrie Strachan
Good news, unlike the other two stories collected here Superman Beyond is starting a new arc making it a great jumping on point. All you need to know is that Kal-El decided he wanted a job again only instead of being a journalist again he would be a firefighter…the best firefighter ever. Thankfully the rest of the firehouse is just as bad at recognizing folks without their glasses as the writers at the Daily Planet were because nobody suspects he’s Superman. Jokes aside though, we’re already seeing signs of a pretty good supporting cast of characters and a cool new threat on the rise in the form of an alien race bent on revenge against Superman for some past crime. It’s a great little glimpse at a new tale and like Batman Beyond, I wish it was longer. The artwork is some of the best you’ll see in a digital-first series and every Superman fan should be checking it out.
This was a whole lot of fun. I enjoyed seeing all the cameos from characters who we never heard from in the Beyond universe until now, Batman Beyond‘s siege on Gotham is proving to be more epic than the global invasion that happened in Justice League Beyond, and Superman Beyond is taking it slow to set up a great new chapter full of new and interesting characters. The only downside is that Justice League took up most of the book and still felt rushed. After waiting 10 months for a conclusion, I wish it had amounted to more than “Let’s call Etrigan and be done with it.”, other than that I had a blast and I’m really excited to see how 10,000 Clowns ends and whatever comes next in Superman’s journey