Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Batman Beyond #4 - Review

The Return of Nightwing!

A reporter is selling information to the media outlets that Dick Grayson was once the crime fighter called Nightwing, and Bruce and Terry take it upon themselves to try and stage events to fake Nightwing's return to the Gotham of the future. Terry puts on some aging makeup and the old Nightwing outfit and takes to the streets to show up in the public eye. But the plan goes awry when someone takes the problem into their own hands. Meanwhile, Max's computer is hacked by an organization called Undercloud that wants her to join their ranks. In order to protect her family and the identity of Batman, she takes steps to be her own breed of crime fighter in order to uphold the integrity of being "Batman's Best Friend."

Written by Adam Beechen and drawn by Edvardo Pansica, this issue takes the role of Max and puts her in the spotlight in terms of her role in the DC Universe. The writing is tight, lean, and at no point feels forced or hokey. It's wonderful. The pacing and artwork is just as good,and the book isn't afraid to use panel in panel artwork to tell the story. It's something that not every book does, but when done well it feels right on the page.

If there's something that DC is doing very well, it's building their female characters and making them something more than minor additions to the burgeoning cast. Max is a character strong enough to go off, on her own, and investigate villains without the help of Batman or Bruce Wayne. The fact that she can make decisions and take action on her own is something to be considered when some comics still show women as nothing but sex objects. To make it short, it's been a breath of fresh air.

I've always enjoyed the story of Batman Beyond, and this new series is really exploring territory that didn't get addressed in the TV show. Keep reading it, because I have a feeling that it's only going to get better. As someone who is writing and producing their own comic book series, this is a book that can be used as an example of a wonderful collaborative effort.

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