Batman Beyond #6

Story by
Art by
John Stanisci, Ryan Benjamin
Colors by
David Baron
Letters by
Travis Lanham
Cover by
DC Comics

It's Hush and Batman one more time. This time, however, Hush is a clone of one of the most integral supporting characters from Batman's legacy and Batman is Terry McGinnis. The battle involves facets from across the Batman legacy, but it does so in an amazing method that presents it all as fresh and full of promise. Catwoman, Ace, and Bruce Wayne are here, as is Dick Grayson. In bringing Dick Grayson into this story, the fans of the "Batman Beyond" legacy finally get answers about Grayson's life and relationship with Bruce Wayne in this not-so-far-flung future.

Beechen has a great handle on these characters and the setting in this series and doesn't hesitate to build the world around Wayne, McGinnis, and their supporting cast. The biggest joy I've found in this series has been the seamless blend of DC Universe concepts and legends, from Cadmus and Amanda Waller to the legacy of Harvey Bullock and a surprise appearance by the Thawnes.

Benjamin and Stanisci provide some rough, gritty art that is more torn from the underside of future imaginings than it is streamlined by the future. It is a good look for the series, but it sacrifices detail for grit. Still, Benjamin's characters are consistent and solid, and his storytelling is traditionally straightforward. It's a darkly fun match for this story that features a light-hearted antagonist in a shadowy future.

This issue does a great job setting up the upcoming regular series without neutering the story that this series has worked so hard to establish. The Hush story is wrapped up, the relationship between Wayne and McGinnis is defined, and a mystery is unveiled as this issue draws to a close. This series wraps up smartly, but also leaves the reader wanting a little more.

That little more is set to debut in early 2011 as "Batman Beyond" swoops onto the new comics racks. This same team - including Dustin Nguyen on covers - will be the creative team in place for the ongoing series coming in January.

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