batwatch's Batman Beyond #21 - Undercloud, Part One: The Sound and the Fury review

BatWatch Review: Batman Beyond #21

The Sound and the Fury

Things are really shaking up in the Batman Beyond universe. Dana just discovered that Terry is Batman, Max is caught up in a mega conspiracy, and even bigger changes are scheduled for the future. A few weeks ago, a quartet of major announcements came out which will have huge effects on the life of Terry McGinnis. First, something will soon fracture the relationship between Terry and Dana. Second, Joker is set to return which might mean disaster for Tim Drake as well was Batman. Third, the series will leap forward in time to when Terry is in college which will make a sizable gap in continuity. Fourth, Batgirl Beyond will be joining the series. Many of these in universe changes will be affected by the real universe change of Kyle Higgins taking over the writing duty of Batman Beyond, but I, for one, am in the dark about exactly when he will be taking the writing duties.

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Right now, good old Adam Beechen is still at the reigns. I've read a lot of Beechen's work, and in my book, he delivers consistently good stories. Sure, some are better than others, but they are always entertaining. As he nears the end of his time with Batman Beyond, does he compose a masterpiece of fine art or does he wreck the heroic ballad of Terry McGinnis?

In this issue, Max sees the threat that will destroy Gotham and is informed that she will give it life while Terry responds to a call from Commissioner Gordon.

Have I Mentioned Recently...

Have I mentioned recently how much I wish Batman Beyond was a regular ongoing comic? No? Well, I really wish it was a monthly ongoing comic because it is really good, and I get extremely frustrated when I only get an average of thirteen pages or so a month. This sucks!

We finally get a better view of the conspiracy which has seized control of Max, and I have to say that the villain, Rebel One, reminds me an awful lot of Anarky. For those of you who might have missed this fairly minor character, he was primarily a Tim Drake villain, and he claimed to be an anarchist, but his philosophy was actually much more Marxist with some liberal ideology thrown in on the side. Anarky did have the, “Burn the mother down” gist of the philosophy, but true anarchy would not desire any laws whereas Anarky wanted a very strict set of laws and government control which would force citizens to do what he believed was best. Similarly, Rebel One seems to want to burn society down to take the power away from the rich, but he talks about the need to rebuild, and I have the sneaking suspicion that he wants to be the one in charge of the rebuilding process. This is indeed the thought process of some leftist “anarchist” type terrorists, and it is interesting to see it presented in a comic. Oh, and for clarity's sake, I'm not saying terrorism is a leftist act, I'm saying that this is a good representation of a particular brand of terrorism which is leftist.

Bat Droppings

There is actually much more worth noting, but for sake of time, I'll finish up quickly.

1. Rebel One's costume looks kind of lame, but it does do a good job of hiding his identity.

2. The metal is interesting. This machine might look crazy awesome when it is done.

3. Seeing the damage left in the wake of the Joker suicide bombs of the last arc bothered me a bit more in the wake of the Boston bombing. This is in no way a complaint that DC wrote this story; I actually think it's pretty lame when entertainment media pulls programming when something like this happens. (though I do realize this issue was released before the bombings) Horrible things exist in the world, and I don't like it when people hide from it. I'm just saying, it rubs you differently after an event like Boston. Sadly, I think we will be seeing more attacks like this one in the future, but to explain why has nothing to do with comics, so I guess I'll store it until I have an appropriate opening for the conversation. Hopefully, I am wrong.

(Spoilers until Conclusion)

4. The “I'm going to kill those you love unless you do this horrible thing,” idea has been done too much. I'm on the verge of tiring of it completely. I understand it would be affective, but personally, I've decided I'm not going to help someone do something wrong even if they threaten and kill my family. It's sad that most characters will immediately agree to killing others to spare their own families' lives.

5. The emotion emitters the band used is a cool idea. People would flock to those concerts.

6. It's nice to see one of Batman's classic rogue's though I don't really see Shriek as being a credible threat to Batman at this point in his career.

Conclusion 9/10

Great as always. I just wish there were more.

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