In Batman Beyond #6, I loved nearly everything except for Terry’s bratty attitude. This month, Terry comes to his senses (a little), Babs and Curare take out some assassins, and Bruce talks to his dad!
Batman Beyond “Rise of the Demon: Part 2” opens with an incredibly moving scene! Bruce sits in his study and speaks to his dead father, reflecting on his life, the impact he may or may not have made on Gotham, the people he affected, his happiness, and Damian. Immediately, I’m drawn into a separate and different aspect of the story than I was presented with last month – a personal one – and I want more. There’s just something about Bruce, at this age, questioning his happiness. It’s sad, and heartbreaking in many ways. A younger Bruce would say that happiness is a sacrifice that he willingly makes, but it’s clear that he now questions that to a degree. For me, seeing Batman ask himself, “Was it worth it?” is almost like watching your hero openly say, “it wasn’t worth it.” This scene hit me a little harder than I would have expected it to.
Bruce’s moment also helps Terry look less petty. He and Dana are still on that rooftop where we left them, and they’re still working through the extent that Terry should allow his duties as Batman to control his life. Yeah, I still stand by my, “You knew what you were signing up for” thought, but I will admit Terry comes off as less of a baby now. His explanation of why he’s determined to split his life and duties more evenly begin to make sense, and resonates better for two reasons: Bruce’s opening scene and the Jurgens dialogue is simply more poignant. There are still some childish responses from Terry though, as he not only continues to ignore the Bat signal, but also ignores calls from Bruce.
Meanwhile, over at the GCPD building, Curare and Babs continue to fight for their life against the League of Assassins. I’m going to assume Curare’s story lifts directly from the animated series, and that the League is out to kill her after she failed her mission. Regardless, she’s come to Gotham with a warning for Batman, and by doing so, has indirectly put a number of people in harm’s way.
Last month, I really enjoyed the action, but Chang doesn’t appear to capture the same magic here. There are a few panels that stand out, but not like I expected them to. The overall battle is engaging though, and contains a struggle for dominance – neither side completely mowing the other down.
Terry, finally, comes to his sense and swoops in to help Curare and Babs. Whether or not his assistance is enough to stop the League… well, you’ll have to read the issue for yourself to find out. What I will add, is that while one of my issues with Terry is curbed, a new issue presents itself here. Also Curare’s reason for coming to Gotham and seeking out Batman to begin with is an interesting one, but potentially different reasons than you might think. In the end, I’d consider this an engaging issue that’s well worth your time!
Breakdowns for this issue can be found in the spoiler tag.
Bruce. I touched on this at the beginning of my review, but Bruce’s monologue at the beginning is masterclass. Jurgens should be incredibly happy with his work, and Chang should be equally happy with the montage he created. Both are beautiful!
Curare. I’ve always been a fan of Curare, and I’m growing to like her even more. Despite the fact that she’s an assassin, she appears to have a strong sense of nobility in her, and I hope we get to see more over her here and there over the next few years.
Terry. I’m glad this issue continued Terry and Dana’s conversation. Terry’s points in the previous issue all felt childish and petty, but here he appears to make a more mature appeal. Having him mention lost time (the pre-Rebirth run), and that he feels like he would go insane if he were Batman 24/7 makes sense. They were nice moments that helped course correct from the previous issue… Until he started ignoring calls, of course.
Ra’s al Ghul. I’m super excited for this surprise! I’m sure most of you are going, “What surprise? If you read solicitations, then you know Ra’s is coming!” Yes, you’re right, BUT, I don’t think this is actually Ra’s… I think we’re getting a Batman Begins moments here, and I have a hunch that Damian is actually Ra’s. I got a heavy sense of foreshadowing that could be the case, and if it is…. Then holy $#!% things are going to get interesting over the next few months! *Crosses fingers*
Terry. Yeah, yeah, I know I said he improved, but he’s still acting like a bit of a brat…
The Bat suit. Ok… So apparently this Bat suit isn’t good for the person wearing it. We know that. It appears to send people into rages. I’m perfectly fine with this plot, but I do take issue with the fact that Terry wore this suit throughout the end of the first arc, and showed no signs of this. Now that it’s a plot point, it’s suddenly a problem. I would have preferred to see a progression, with hints of this in the previous arc. It’s simply a matter of planning, and a line/panel here and there.
- You’re a fan of the animated series.
- You want to know why Curare is trying to reach Batman.
- This issue deserves your attention just because of Bruce’s reflection on his past.
Overall: In many ways, this issue improved from last month, and in many other ways, it faltered. In the end though, I found this chapter of Batman Beyond to be more gripping than it’s been since its debut as Jurgens and Chang continue to expand on their universe and add a great deal of texture to their characters.