Review – Batman Beyond #38: Radioactive Hate

Batman Beyond #38
Batman Beyond #38 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Batman Beyond #38 – Dan Jurgens, Writer; Sean Chen, Penciller; Sean Parsons, Inker; Chris Sotomayor, Colorist

Ratings:

Ray – 8/10

Ray: Dan Jurgens has completely upended Batman Beyond’s status quo over the last year in a very effective way, with a storyline that echoes his plot in Nightwing to a degree but also has its own twists and turns and that continues in Batman Beyond #38.

Terry McGinnis has had his mind wiped by False Face, leaving him a wanted criminal in the company of a mysterious woman with ties to Powers Tech. As they run from the police, the rest of the Bat-network searches to find him – something complicated by the sudden appearance of a new Batwoman who has stolen his armor from the Bat-cave. The best segments of this issue come as Bruce and Matt investigate their top suspects. Bruce confronts Barbara Gordon, who laughs it off and says she’s way too old to pull off something like this. Matt, meanwhile, interrogates Melanie Walker, who denies everything – to Matt’s disappointment, since he was hoping for a new ally in the search for Terry.

Batwoman in action. Via DC Comics.

While Terry finds out more about his fellow fugitive’s ties to Derek Powers, of course, the man himself is returning. Powers is an interesting villain because he still looms large over the franchise – despite being conclusively dead since the first season.

Being the one to bring him back after three more seasons and hundreds of comics is a risky move, but Jurgens seems to hit the right notes immediately. He portrays Powers as a massive physical threat, a sort of nuclear-powered Bane – but also one with a ruthless intelligence and a burning, petty hatred for Batman. That sets up a bigger threat level than we’ve seen yet in this series, with Terry at his weakest and a new rookie Bat coming into the game at the exact wrong time. We still have few hints as to Batwoman’s identity – my favorite guess is Max Gibson, who has been absent for a long time – but the story is more compelling than it’s been in a while.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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