When we last left our hero, Tim Drake, he was thrown into a future completely foreign to him and had been given the responsibility of being this future’s Batman Beyond. The death of previous the Batman, Terry McGinnis, weighs heavy on the Gotham of the future, and only Tim Drake can lead the beaten down Commissioner Barbara Gordon to defeating Brother Eye. Jumping right into the excitement and mayhem left at the end of the first issue, Batman Beyond #2 continues to impress with its heart-pumping action!
This issue starts with little-to-no time to really remember what had happened when we last left this future Gotham, which works simultaneously for and against it, but more on that later. Tim, Barbara, and Max are on the run with Brother Eye’s androids fresh on their trail. We do get a little bit of backstory in this issue, which makes the currently jumbled timeline a little less wonky. Essentially, Brother Eye has converted every member of the JLA into being one of his mindless cyborgs and there is very little resistance to anyone or anything. The decommissioned Barbara Gordon leads the only resistance, but it is really just a continuously losing battle. We learn that Brother Eye converts all of his captives to these droids in 3 steps. The first step results in them dealing with a creepy Joker-like smile, and chanting mantras that are not unlike the ‘Shrek Is Love’ video from the internet. During the second stage of the transformation, you are left faceless, and not as cool and/or enjoyable as any character from Game of Thrones, but actually as a person with zero face. Again, you still chant super cool mantras but this time, with no mouth. The final evolution in this backwards Pokemon scenario leaves you as the cyborgs that we have, unfortunately, seen the entirety of the JLA succumb to. Overall, it’s a very unpleasant experience, as we learn when Max is captured and ‘turned’.
The action really heats up when we see the reintroduction of a fan-favorite villain of the previous Batman Beyond, when Inque joins the fray. She is accompanied by a zombified Cyborg and is there to recapture Batman and Barbara Gordon. The issue ends on a very bleak note, which was kind of my favorite part of the issue. In the Batman Beyond animated series, more often than not, the finale of the episode was not the happy-go-lucky end that you would expect. Instead, the heroes may have defeated the villains for now, but many times were at some cost. This bleak end to the issue re-energizes my love for the book and left me wanting more.
The issue did have faults, with the pacing being just a bit too rushed and there being too much of a exposition dump early on by Barbara, but the second issue of this series just continued on with what I need from a Batman Beyond title. It may not have been such a strong outing as the first issue, but it certainly whet my appetite until next month.
My rating 7/1o