Batman Beyond #35 – Dan Jurgens, Writer; Rick Leonardi, Penciller; Ande Parks, Inker; Chris Sotomayor, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: After a current arc that took a while to get started, the plot in Batman Beyond picks up speed (pun intended) with Batman Beyond #35, a packed issue that reveals the secret origin of Splitt, gives a hero a major new role, and returns a massive player to the world of Batman’s future.
When we last left off, False Face had stolen Terry’s identity and was impersonating Batman, while Terry was left with no memory and framed for murder. As False Face cuts a deal with Splitt to take over the Batcave, Bruce and Matt watch helplessly. I had the feeling for a while Splitt wasn’t going to be a true villain and this issue bears it out – essentially the victim of a strange genetic defect where two people are trapped in one body, they were turned over to Derek Powers by their confused father and experimented on. It seems likely they’re going to pull a face-turn, especially as they hesitate when “Batman” tries to get them to kill someone.
I wasn’t as interested in Terry’s plotline, as he’s basically duplicating Jurgens’ other book at the moment – he doesn’t have his memories, but has all the fighting abilities and spends most of the story getting into fights.
It’s interesting that the book is as compelling with Terry out of commission, and I put a lot of that on the presence of Melanie, who steps into the hero role for the first time in this run by borrowing a Bat-utility belt and taking the fight to False Face before he can head to the Batcave. She puts up a big fight, but is overwhelmed by two metas and winds up being captured – leading Bruce to put in an emergency call to an old ally.
I’m not sure if this is the Flash from the recent The Flash: Year One story, but they look almost identical and that’s a great callback. Are they still feuding due to Bruce’s words in “The Button?” I don’t know, but this is one of the biggest twists in the book’s run – only eclipsed by who solicits have revealed is returning in future issues.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.