Batman Beyond #35, published by DC Comics, written by Dan Jurgens, with Rick Leonardi as penciler, Ande Parks on inks, Chris Sotomayor as colorist, with letters by Travis Lanham, is a continuation of the “Divide, Conquer, and Kill” arc of the series. The last issue of Batman Beyond showed a False Face Terry running through Gotham and attempting to work with The Splitt, the speedster and secondary big bad of the arc.
This version of Terry burst through Wayne Manor for all to see, almost killed a bad guy, and ultimately is completely out of character from the Terry we know. It’s one of those moments, like earlier in the arc, where I was utterly confused by both Matt McGinnis and Bruce for falling for the very bad act of playing Terry. Luckily, on the first page of Batman Beyond #35, Matt and Bruce discover the truth. Or at least they hear the truth said when False Face Terry attempts to strike his deal with The Splitt.
With a bad guy Batman, the danger is apparent but The Splitt isn’t buying it. Assuming it’s a trap, the two-in-one speedster takes some convincing before they decide to listen. In this, we learn more about Adam and Caden, their birth and their struggle to live with one consistently causing the other pain.
Their power set is strong, but their identity is stronger. Jurgens crafts a story for The Splitt that is empathetic, drawing a connection between us and them. Ultimately, the speedster trusts Batman and helps us somewhat trust him. In Batman Beyond #35 we also get to see Melanie suit up as Ten again as she takes on Batman and The Splitt.
Batman Beyond #35 is one of the better issues in the “Divide, Conquer, and Kill” arc. As part five, it continues the story while adding much-needed depth through the brief exploration of Adam and Cadan and how they became The Splitt. In addition, we see an old friend of Bruce stop by, adding to the narrative.
However, the real Terry is still running and wanted for murder – but sadly, you wouldn’t know this because of how he’s illustrated. Instead of being easily recognizable as Terry, Leonardi and Parks’ art continues to stumble on representing facial expressions out of the mask. This is true in Terry’s face as well as the darkly shaded, to the point of obscuring, close-up of Bruce in the opening pages of the issue. In addition, Terry fighting out of his batsuit isn’t dynamic and reads almost stagnant.
But, as I’ve said in the past, Batman Beyond #35 remains a tale of two art styles, stumbling on the human characters and excelling with its masked characters. Batman, The Splitt, and Ten look perfect in both their active and their static poses. Sotomayor’s colors remain the perfect pallet for Batman Beyond, echoing the mood of the show and lighting the suits in a way that details the bodies of those wearing them.
Overall, this arc is reshaping itself and moving away from out-of-character decisions that marred previous issues. So long as the story keeps moving away from False Face pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes without even trying and towards exploring The Splitt, the arc can be a good one despite the rocky start.
Batman Beyond #35 is available everywhere comics are sold.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.