Batman Beyond #36 – Dan Jurgens, Writer; Rick Leonardi, Penciller; Ande Parks, Inker; Chris Sotomayor, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Batman Beyond #36, the conclusion to the extended arc featuring False Face and Splitt features some big surprises – including the return of the Flash, an aged Barry Allen whose slightly reduced speed makes him still the fastest man alive and the perfect foil to the speedster with two minds.
Batman Beyond #36 is almost entirely a single exciting action segment, as Barry chases down Splitt and tries to stop them before they get away with an experimental power source, while Ten fights against the man who stole her boyfriend’s face and suit. While False Face is a total psychopath with no redeeming qualities, Splitt is only trying to survive and it doesn’t take long for Barry to figure that out. The more compassionate side of Barry Allen is definitely at play here, and it’s a nice counterbalance to his gruff fellow Justice Leaguer in his ear. The banter between Barry and Bruce is one of the highlights of the issue.
The back half of the issue is the best this series has been in a while, with Barry and Splitt racing against time to pull off a treatment that will split them into two while neutralizing their unstable powers. This is the best look we’ve gotten yet at what drives the two halves of Splitt, and they could have been heroes in another world.
Meanwhile, Melanie and False Face have a high-stakes aerial battle that reminds me of some classic Spider-Man/Green Goblin fights. Surprisingly, this issue doesn’t reset the table like most arcs do – things end in a messy fashion that leaves Terry’s fate still up in the air (as he does his own Ric Grayson-style walkabout, in an oddly popular plot point right now) and the end of the issue hints at the debut of a new Batwoman. Melanie? Dana Tan finally getting her own storyarc? Someone new/ No way of knowing yet, but I’m more excited for the first issue of this series than I have been in a while.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.