Review: Batman Beyond: Neo-Gothic #1

“The Undergoth”
Writer: Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing
Artist: Max Dunbar
Color Artist: Sebastian Cheng
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Review by Adam Ray

It has been far too long since we took a trip to visit the Batman of the Future. Terry McGinnis is back in this welcome new series. Batman Beyond: Neo-Gothic #1 hits the ground running with a powerful mixture of classic Batman Beyond adventure, while also bringing new flair to the setting.

The narrative picks up close to where Neo-Year concluded. We see Gestalt as an unlikely ally and Terry after having gone through the emotional wringer. This is important to the human side of any hero who wears the pointed ears of Batman in any point in time, or other world. He’s a very capable man, but a man nevertheless.  Being burned out and in pain isn’t an unthinkable thing, but keeping at it through that pain is what makes him a hero to all.

As someone who’s been reviewing Catwoman on this site for a very long time, I love that the Catbois (excellent respelling) somewhat worship Selina as a powerful figure. New stories are taking this vision of future Gotham in new directions that still honor the animation but also bring something new, fresh and vibrant to the universe.

I live for the high creep core style of a nursery rhyme or parable given a sinister reframing. The opening sentiment of this issue, the calm wise words offset with the disturbing images of hungry flora, really stick in the mind as a perfect way to open a new Batman of the Future story.

An excellent and unique choice from the letterer, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou occurs in a phone call scene. In all my time reading comics, I’ve never seen a speech bubble reflected on a rainy window.

Conclusion

Batman Beyond: Neo-Gothic #1 gives takes us on a headlong rush into a new and thrilling look into the Gotham City of the Future, a world and story that I deeply love. We get another fresh look at Neo-Gotham, with a layered and tortured hero and a colorful but memorable cast of characters. You couldn’t drag me away from stories this exciting.

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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