WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Batman Beyond #36, written by Dan Jurgens and art by Rick Leonardi, Ande Parks and Chris Sotomayor, on sale now.
DC's current Batman Beyond arc, "Divide, Conquer and Kill" has changed the mythos of the character drastically in Neo Gotham. Not only was Barry Allen returned to resume duties as the Flash in order to stop False Face and the twins known as Splitt, with the latter co-opting Terry McGinnis' identity, but the Batman of the future has also been left without his memory, wandering the city like a vagrant.
However, in Issue #36, other key developments arise that proves that even if Terry isn't around, a Batman is needed, especially with new threats incoming. The first important point comes in the form of a Batwoman rising to the fore because of Terry's absence and secondly, the book teases the return of his archnemesis, Blight.
ENTER THE BATWOMAN
With Bruce Wayne and Terry's younger brother, Matt, at a loss regarding his whereabouts, Wayne Manor left empty. When False Face died, seeing as he didn't revert to another identity and he perished as Terry, the memories couldn't go back to the elder McGinnis. So, as Terry roams the streets of Gotham, scouring for food with fellow hobos, the news gets out Batman Beyond has been killed, with people not realizing it's False Face.
However, as the issue ends, we see a woman breaking into the Bat-cave and stealing Terry's suit. She'll be repurposing it to become Batwoman as future solicits show, although we don't know how because Bruce has a tech lock on the suit. Still, she may well know a trick or two if she has a past with Bruce, with some fans believing her red hair means she may be related to the mainstream Batwoman, Kate Kane, and could be a descendant. Other theories suggest it could be Melanie Walker aka Ten (Terry's love interest) who fought alongside Barry, and who has proven to Bruce she can be a hero when needed.
THE BLIGHT RETURNS
As for her first test, upcoming issues will see Batwoman going face to face with Derek Powers aka Blight, the man who killed Terry's dad and put him on this dark path in the Bruce Timm-led cartoon in 1999. The premiere episode, "Rebirth," showed how Powers, who merged his company with Bruce's, ran the show, driving the ex-Bat to become a recluse. Powers would use the company for sadistic experiments, but when Batman Beyond intervened, exposure to a biological nerve gas turned Powers into Blight, someone whose skin peeled off to reveal a green-glowing skeleton and atomic abilities.
He'd feud with Bruce, Terry and Mr. Freeze before eventually being betrayed by his son, Paxton, which led to him seemingly perishing in a submarine in that cartoon. Blight would return as a semi-amnesiac, however, in the "Industrial Revolution" comic storyline in 2011 for revenge, wielding a special hazmat suit. Although, when Terry punctured it, he was reduced to radioactive slime and taken away, leaving fans assuming he was dead. In a brief panel here, we surprisingly see Blight's hand rising from what seems to be a river, indicating he's returning.
We don't know where Powers' remains were kept or how he was resurrected after yet another apparent demise, but we're certain he'll be the catalyst to bringing Terry back into the fray.
Batman Beyond #37 goes on sale Sep. 30.
KEEP READING: Batman Beyond Debuts Neo-Gotham's Batwoman of the Future