REVIEW: ‘Batman Beyond,’ Issue #31

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Batman Beyond #31

Batman Beyond #31 marks the start of a new arcREVIEW: ‘Batman Beyond,’ Issue #30, “Divide, Conquer, and Kill.” Published by DC Comics, this issue is written by Dan Jurgens, penciled by Rick Leonardi, with inks by Ande Parks, with Chris Sotomayor as colorist and Travis Lanham as letterer. Coming after the traumatic events of “The Final Joke” arc, Terry is flying solo again with Matt leaving Robin behind at the request of his Batfamily.

This issue opens at the new and improved Arkham facility. There is a new focus on rehabilitation instead of past abuse, hoping to forget Gotham’s worst. As Bruce Wayne walks through the institution, he is corrected by the doctor that the people in the rooms are not patients, not inmates, but guests. Arkham is a far cry from its dark and abusive roots, with pictures of children, Batman, Superman, and other similar inspirational things hanging on the walls.

As Bruce leaves he begins to drink, something that is called out in the issue multiple times by Alfred AI and by Terry, to which he responds with essentially that Arkham is making him do it. This is the first time we see that something is wrong with Bruce. The second is when he doesn’t know how he can help Terry and Matt in their deep dive into the Powers Technology. But, old man Bruce has been through a lot in the last arc and it’s normal that Arkham would have a serious effect on him.

As Terry returns to the night solo, he attempts to hunt down the reason behind the massive amount of technology thefts. There he encounters a new opponent, as this issue introduces Splitt into Batman Beyond. With a unique power set that makes them difficult to hit, Terry is at a disadvantage.

Batman Beyond #31 was more set up than anything, but that isn’t without merit. Coming off of “The Final Joke” it was nice to have an issue to relax with, that is until the end.

Even if there aren’t any “kapows” to be illustrated by Lanham, his lettering this issue is exquisite. With distinct designs for each situation and origin of sound. Sotomayor’s colors are also top notch, as is to be expected from this series that lives in the early 2000s television show while expanding on it. In addition, I’m not terribly fond of the way that Leonardi illustrated the McGinnis boys, beyond looking related, the two look exactly the same in this issue. But, he hits the mark on Terry in the batsuit and honestly, that’s all that’s matters.

There is much more to say without giving away spoilers, but if this arc is going the way I think it is, it’s going to be a great ride. Overall, Batman Beyond #31 is a great decompression from the last few issues, but it sets up the next area of tension nicely.

Batman Beyond #31 is available everywhere comics are sold now.

Batman Beyond #31
4.5

TL;DR

There is much more to say without giving away spoilers, but if this arc is going the way I think it is, it’s going to be a great ride. Overall, Batman Beyond #31 is a great decompression from the last few issues, but it sets up the next area of tension nicely.