If we learned anything from Batman Beyond #10, it’s that Damian never loses his arrogance!
Batman Beyond #10 is a really quick read, but it’s an entertaining one! We finally get to take a glimpse into what put Damian on the path from Boy Wonder, to Batman, to Ra’s al Ghul. If you’re not a fan of Batman’s petulant son, then you probably hate this arc. I, on the other hand, love Damian, and am eating up this story as if it were the best slice of chocolate cake that’s ever been put in front of me.
Damian has always been an arrogant brat, and that hasn’t changed, but there is a difference now. Although he’s acting out of jealousy (much like he did in regard to Tim Drake operating as Robin), there are times when I understand where he’s coming from. I can also see reason for his past actions (Lord, forgive me), after realizing there is some truth or value in his grandfather’s outlook on life. I’m not saying their approach is right, I’m merely saying that despite the fact they’re evil, they do, at times, have a point.
Bruce plays a pivotal role in this chapter, creating an interesting dynamic separating his biological son from his “adopted” son. If I could have it my way, I’d honestly take an entire issue of these two trading emotional blows at one another, but I know that nobody would buy that. Terry, unfortunately, continues to be as stale as a two-week-old piece of toast. He has the benefit of the drama incorporated from the new suit, but that still isn’t enough to save him. I’d even go so far as to say it might hinder him more if you’re one of those people who fall into the camp of someone who’s tired of the, “It wasn’t me, it was the suit/A.I./ brainwashing that made me do it” shtick.
Stepping away from character portrayal, one of the best aspects of this issue is the action! The issue is practically split between flashbacks and the present, where Terry and Damian are fighting for their namesake. Bernard’s art delivers superbly in both categories, and is ultimately the reason this issue works so well. We also get a surprise appearance by a special “little” guy who won my heart roughly a year ago during Gleeson’s Robin, Son of Batman.
As a stated earlier, this chapter is a quick read, but entertaining none the less. I look forward to the upcoming conclusion of “Rise of the Demon,” but I sincerely hope Jurgens and Chang have plans to keep Damian around!
The Art: Everyone, and I mean everyone, should be giving props to Bernard Chang for this issue! The dude killed the art in this chapter! From the incredibly choreographed action, to the beautiful spreads scattered throughout the book, Chang’s art is a real treat!
Breakdowns for this issue can be found in the spoiler tag.
Goliath. You don’t understand how happy I got when Goliath was introduced! Seriously, I made an audible “ahhh!” sound. This is coming from a guy who would make a point to write animals in as characters as often as possible though… so… yeah.
Daddy Issues. I’m sad to see Damian as a villain, but I also think it makes his journey from where we see him in present day, to where he is in this timeline one of the most interesting aspects of this story. From the moment he was revealed as Ra’s al Ghul, I’ve wondered what put him on this path, and the answers Jurgens churns up are quite satisfying.
Damian’s Skillset. One day the Batman-News team had a chain of emails ranking out favorite Gotham heroes based on their fighting skill set. It was a ridiculous, yet incredibly fun, e-mail chain, and in nearly every answer, three people followed Bruce: Dick, Cassandra, and Damian. Now, considering Damian is roughly 9 to 13 in these assessments, it’s only natural to assume he becomes even better as an adult. And in fact, that’s exactly what Jurgens does. He makes Damian better than Batman, and even Bruce recognizes it. It’s pretty clear that Damian is the best martial artist alive at this time, and I’m happy to see that.
Oh No He Didn’t! Uh… Did Terry just kill Goliath? Cause if he did (suit or not), I’m pissed! That bat dragon better be passed out, otherwise I’m taking my unhappy butt to the future and taking out this pretender on my own!
Terry. Yeah… Terry, the lead, is still the least interesting character in Batman Beyond. That’s bad.
- You want to know what drove Damian to become Ra’s al Ghul.
- You’re curious to see how the suit effects Terry.
Overall: Jurgens continues to deliver a great read with “Rise of the Demon.” Damian continues to be the most interesting aspect of this arc, and I really hope we get more interaction between Damian and Bruce in the near future. As for Terry and his suit… I could do without that.