REVIEW: ‘Batman Beyond,’ Issue #30

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batman Beyond #30

Batman Beyond #30 is published by DC Comics and concludes the Joker’s storyline decades from now. Titled, ‘The Final Joke: Epilogue,” the issue picks up directly where the last left off, a seemingly dead joker, and a whole bunch of pieces to put back together. Written by Dan Jurgens, with art by Doc Shaner, colors by Jordie Bellaire, and letters from Travis Lanham, Batman Beyond #30 made me see parts of myself.

Even in the Joker’s absence, the pain and trauma he inflicted on the current Bat Family are visible. Instead of glossing over the events that almost left the new Robin, young Matt McGinnis dead, Jurgens tackles it head-on. The issue focuses on Matt’s trauma and his attempt to push past it by not acknowledging it and hiding it from those around him.

This issue is pivotal in bringing together the small moments of the story arc and pulling them to the front, namely Dick Grayson’s aversion and guilt over letting children take part in the Bat’s crusade. Because he was there before, Dick does what he can to protect Matt, even if it results in anger from him. As for Bruce, he wants Matt to get back up, put on the suit, and try again. He wants him to push through it, he believes it’s what he needs, but Dick knows better. Instead of continuing Bruce’s cycle, Dick chooses to break it and pull Matt from the fire that the child is forcing himself into.

As much as the villains this issue are the remaining Jokerz, trauma is the big bad. With crowbars showing their effect this issue, a call-back to the death of Jason Todd, that has been used, sometimes too much this arc, Jurgens makes you feel Matt’s struggle.

Having dealt with trauma in my own life, it’s taken a lot for me to realize that my way of coping doesn’t suit everyone. Like Bruce, I just pushed through it and I continue to push through it to break through my anxiety daily. But that isn’t the answer for everyone, a truth that Dick highlights. Instead of forcing Matt to push through, he needs to be given the space to handle his experience in his own way. Thanks to Dick, he is alive long enough to do this.

When we think about Bruce Wayne, we know that he is a man who turned childhood trauma into fuel for his fight against the bad in Gotham. But, we hardly ever talk about the standards he sets for those around him or that fact that he has no problem pushing his young allies to handle their trauma the same way he did. There isn’t room to experience your pain on Bruce’s team. And in Batman Beyond #30, we see that.

Pushing through blockers and anxiety is what I choose to do. I fail and I get back up. I’m hurt and I push it away and keep moving. But that’s my way and I need to understand that others deserve to traverse their trauma in their own time and on their own path. Especially when they’re a child, which something we can forget when we see the endless Robins putting their bodies in battle.

Beyond exploring trauma, the issue’s art from Shaner and Bellaire’s colors pull me into an episode of the series. It’s a comic, but I can hear the voice cast of Batman Beyond, and it leaves me desperate for another animated show to make a comeback. It’s a style that is both its own thing and the television show.

Overall, if this is your first exposure to the newest Batman Beyond comic series, I recommend that you at least pick up the start of “The Final Joke” arc in issues number 27 through 30 of the series. That’s where I started and I’m hooked.

Batman Beyond #30 is available where comic books are sold.

Batman Beyond #30
5

TL;DR

Overall, if this is your first exposure to the newest Batman Beyond comic series, I recommend that you at least pick up the start of “The Final Joke” arc in issues number 27 through 30 of the series. That’s where I started and I’m hooked.