Batman Beyond #1

I'd forgotten how enjoyable an Adam Beechen written book can be. Beechen jumps right into the characters and gets moving. Of course, a rooftop fight helps move things along nicely. The story gets going after a mysterious character busts his way out of Cadmus Labs, not caring about the trail of broken bones or dead bodies he leaves in his wake. Amanda Waller, director of Cadmus Labs is on scene, and from there, winks, nods, and outright salutes to the "Batman Beyond" universe (as well as the present day DCU) abound.

Benjamin and Stanisci combine for some strong visuals that veer away from the refined stylings of the cartoon series. Their art serves as a dynamic bridge between the art style used in the cartoon and the "standard" style used in comics today. It's not revelatory, but it is effective and clean if somewhat dark. It is, after all, a Batman book, and shadows must have some room to play.

Fairly early in the series, Beechen establishes the universe around McGinnis, as Micron from the Justice League Unlimited (not the cartoon of the same name, but the team that originally appeared on the "Batman Beyond" cartoon) shows up to extend an offer of League membership to Batman. This follows Batman's fight with Spellbinder and precedes an appearance by Signalman.

There's a mystery here, a challenge to Terry McGinnis to see if he has the wit and detective skills of the Batman the antagonist is familiar with, and the title of this story will (seemingly) give away who the antagonist is. That said, though, the story itself is smartly paced and deftly balanced between being informative and entertaining.

Intriguing and exciting, this series offers a surprisingly great stepping on point for anyone and everyone who might even be marginally interested in the Batman Beyond character. As someone who was apathetic towards the character heading into this story, I'm glad I gave it a read. Possible future timelines always prove to be entertaining reads for me, and this was certainly no exception.

I'm sure "Batman Beyond" fans will certainly prove to be a great deal more enthusiastic in their assessment of the story.

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