Review: Batman Beyond: Neo-Gothic #5

“The Green”
Writers: Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing
Artist: Max Dunbar
Color Artist: Rain Beredo
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Review by Adam Ray

The dramatic end of issue #4 replaced one sinister villain from Neo-Gotham’s underbelly with three others, all of whom look strikingly familiar. Batman Beyond Neo-Gothic #5 has given us the scope of the unlikely forces working to unmake Gotham itself, and masterfully ties in the returns of characters from DC’s present into this vision of the future.

The stakes have ramped up to a fever pitch, and the swirling colors of cosmic future plants make the entire issue hum with excitement.

There’s no moment of pause or catch-up between this and the past issue. We go right into the action and look at more familiar characters of “the green” as how they appear now. As someone who was raised on the deeply philosophical stories of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, I found Terry not recognizing him a little disrespectful, but it makes total sense since the character is, or was a recluse.

The elements of the magic in this issue work very well to contrast the high peaks of the skyscrapers in this highly futuristic setting. This is why I appreciate well-handled DC storytelling. There’s a level of consistency that keeps any pantheon of characters and situations believable if they’re handled by a strong team. The sight of a cat person saying some words backward just reassures me that both the creative team and the duo of Terry and Kyle can handle anything.

Conclusion

Batman Beyond Neo-Gothic #5 ends the issue with near-apocalyptic implications for this futuristic city. This is a truly dire state of affairs but handled by Dunbar’s art and Beredo’s swirling colors, with strange magical plants amidst neon buildings, it all looks wonderful. I truly don’t know how this situation will be resolved but anything can happen and I’m truly excited to see the next chapter.

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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