WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Batman Beyond #22 by Dan Jurgens, Will Conrad, David Baron and Travis Lanham, on sale now.
In the Batman Beyond universe, Bruce Wayne has finally moved past tragedies of old and his loner mentality, once more accepteing the role the Bat-family plays in fighting crime. This has led not only to him fully accepting Terry McGinnis as the new Batman, but to training Matt, Terry's younger brother, as Robin. What made this such a surprise was that it was against Terry's will, although he eventually came to accept that with the proper training, Matt could be a superhero, too.
At first Bruce gave the youngster a traditional-looking Robin suit (similar to the one Tim Drake wore) but with some futuristic upgrades, much to the young hero's delight, of course.
With Scarecrow now descending upon Neo-Gotham and Terry needing all the help he can get, Bruce has decided it's time for yet another upgrade, one which puts Matt on his brother's level.
The new suit has sleek and streamlined feel to it, coming off very similar to the design we saw Terry debut with in the cartoon in 1999. It's slender, mostly black, with green tinges on the limbs. The torso, instead of a Batman logo, has a red Nightwing-esque emblem. As for Matt's mask, it's similar to his previous one, only this time, it's attached to the bodysuit.
What's most impressive is, in addition to the wings, Robin Beyond has firepower, as well as defensive capabilities, equal to Terry's. He immediately heads into the thick of things, going after his brother to save him from a mob. However, while his first instinct is to jump into the Bat-cycle, Bruce levels him up a notch yet again, letting him take the Batwing, Batman's famous aerial assault vehicle.
He commandeers the plane and speeds off to help his brother, who's relieved to get assistance. Terry's in shock at the upgrade but clearly, it's lifted Matt's game, so he approves. Prior to all of this, Terry was very vocal about his reservations, believing Matt was too immature to be Robin, as he almost cost them their lives in the field on previous missions. Now though, it appears he's matured and grateful to be given these new opportunities, and is proving to be very tactically astute with his new getup.
Both Bruce and Terry are still reemphasizing he needs to follow their orders though, and so he does, no longer acting rashly in the heat of battle. This is something Terry has longed to see and it shows the youngster is repaying Bruce's faith in him, as he didn't want to have the kid going out on his own as a vigilante risking his life.
It remains to be seen if Matt can keep living up to this potential as Robin, as with a great suit comes great responsibility. He's definitely living by this code at the moment, but if he's to help stop the wave of fear engulfing Neo-Gotham, he'll need to rely not just on the suit, but his ability to play as part of a team.
So far, Bruce's optimism and Terry's inspiring role as mentor are proving to be all the motivation he requires as he aims to truly stand out with the Robin mantle. And with villains like Scarecrow and the Joker still to come, he will definitely need to be on his A-game.