“A Time Beyond Hope”
Writer: Paul Levitz
Artist: Renato Guedes
Inker: Jose Wilson
Cover: Art Germ
With the week starting off slow for comics, I admit I was eagerly looking forward to this book. I was (and still am) a huge fan of Batman Beyond when it aired, and was justifiably so excited to see this book, which could technically be considered the first in-continuity appearance of the character (he was called Tim during his previous appearance in Superman/Batman, which editorial insists was a mistake and corrected in the trade; you decide for yourselves).
Picking up briefly after the Batman Beyond episode “The Call”, Superman has disappeared as a mysterious ghost is making criminals disappear in Metropolis, as a new super-drug laced with Kryptonite is being passed around.
I enjoyed the story, definitely, but I do have some qualms. Terry feels way off at times, and on the first few panels is written in an almost Frank Miller fashion.
It’s a bit jarring. Terry was always notably lighter than Bruce, even when he wasn’t trying to be. In many ways, you could consider Terry to really be the Robin to Bruce’s Batman, despite the suits they’re wearing. Fortunately, this only lasts about two pages, after which Terry more resembles his typical characterization, though it’s obvious he’s changed ever so slightly in his brief time as Batman. Terry and Bruce’s interaction also follows suit, as we get a little bit of a look into Bruce’s head as he’s watching Terry work, something we never really got before.
The book, which leads in to this month’s Batman Beyond mini-series, is a fairly strong book with an interesting plot, and is a must read for anyone who was a fan of the animated series. Despite a few character missteps, the book is still a fun read, and an enjoyable addition to anyone’s collection.