Ah yes! We’re seeing some story lines come together here. Things are happening. Tim’s got that beard. Good stuff!

This issue opens up with our would-be criminals still trying to plan a break-in at Terrifitech all the while sitting in the park. I guess in the future it’s normal to look like super villains while playing chess. No one will think you’re conspiring to commit burglary as you stare at that building all day long. Terry is still acting homeless trying to figure out what they and everyone else is up to. It’s a good ploy.  A.L.F.R.E.D. is written well in this issue, even if it does make Terry seem a lot like Cyborg with all his “abilities” but as is the nature of Batman Beyond.

Mr. Terrific is still up in the air for me. He is clearly someone capable of posing a threat and he is clearly hiding something. But I don’t quite understand his motivations yet. He seems like a haughtier Lex Luthor which, to me, seems less effective. Perhaps this will play out like other parts of this story are, so I’m not casting judgement yet. With his super smarts and super hiring of other smart guys who can do stuff with computers, he is able to narrow down who he thinks the “new” Batman is.

Meanwhile, back at the Ant Farm, Frankenstein and crew are about to pass through the Phantom Zone to find out what happened to Stormwatch. It’s interesting seeing Dr. Palmer a little older and a little beardier. Thankfully Frankenstein knows nothing about the Phantom Zone and asks Palmer so we can find out.

The flight through the Phantom Zone is not without its dangers as this is the place Krypton sent their worst criminals. The ship in which Frankenstein, Dr. Palmer and Agent Amethyst are traveling gets attacked by many foes. The fight ensues and soon escalates becoming something very dangerous fast.

Here the issue changes gears and lands us back on Earth. Tim, under the name Cal Corcoran, is closing down the bar and must deal with a certain drunkard we’ve seen before. I didn’t catch it till the second time through, but it is a neat circle the story makes. For the rest of Tim’s part of the story I’ll put them in spoiler tags just in case.

Spoiler
Lois Lane confronts Tim at the bar. She believes he is, or rather was, Red Robin. Tim is naturally apprehensive. He’s been under an assumed name for quite some time. I wonder, what is that sticking out of his leg on the picture Lois shows him on her iPad? Maybe nothing of importance. What we do see is that there has been an incredible war in which several heroes have died. One more note: Lois Lane has dug around and found out that Tim is Red Robin, yet Clark Kent goes undetected?

The last few pages introduce another character and about forty more questions.

Spoiler
It’s Superman with a mask. Why a mask? Is it Clark Kent? What’s up with the defense of Lois? Who is Faraday talking to?
But I am delighted to see this character. What’s been going on in the world in five years? How will Terry change all this for the better? When do Bruce and Mr. Terrific begin working together to create this mess to come?

The pencils, inks and colors were overall a step up from last issue in my opinion. Perhaps it was the little bit of action this issue had that the last didn’t. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the grittier faces and fine inks found in this issue. The threat in the Phantom Zone was a nice splash page.

Recommended if:

  • You’ve been reading the series thus far and plan to continue
  • You wanted to see more Terry or bearded Tim

Overall:

It’s picked up the pace over the last issue. Intriguing pieces of the puzzle are being put together for the reader’s enjoyment. Artwork is solid overall. This is chapter you could get by without having read, but I doubt you’d want to skip it.

SCORE: 6/10