Written by Dan Jurgens
Pencils and Inks by Will Conrad and Shane Davis
Colored by David Baron and Wil Quintana
Cover by Shane Davis and Viktor Kalvachev
Some things never change in Gotham city, or with Bruce Wayne. As we see in this issue of Batman Beyond #22, Bruce is still sending teenagers out to fight crime, giving them Robin suits, high tech weaponry and the keys to the freakin Bat Jet. As the city of Neo Gotham is in a state of chaos, Batman is being attacked by both the Joker gang thugs and everyday citizens of Gotham who are being controlled through fear. Because of this, Batman can’t fully fight back. Good thing the new boy wonder is on his way.
Somehow even when burning down and under attack, Neo Gotham still remains as bright and colorful as ever as colorist David Baron’s vibrant hues really made the artwork pop and jump out at you more than the Joker’s jack in the box after Bane winds it up. The pencil and ink work throughout the panels is handled with expert precision from artist Will Conrad and Shane Davis, with the dark shadowing around characters adding plenty of detail that contrast well against the vivid color.
The second part of this story shows reporter Jack Ryder searching for clues about a woman named Adalyn, and this brings him creeping into the Batcave looking for Bruce Wayne’s help. Its here that we are treated to my favorite artwork in this issue: camera footage from the batcomputer showing us a mission during Bruce’s time as Batman that relates to this case.
The fight scenes here show Batman attacking quickly and with force, and the character design of Batman reminds me of Jim Lee’s work during the “Batman Hush” storyline.
Ultimately it’s no shocker who the surprise villain in this story arc is, as she’s featured on the cover art, and I’d be lying if I told you that didn’t hurt my read, because for me it took away the mystery that I typically enjoy trying to solve throughout a book. As a person who watched Batman Beyond the animated series when it originally aired, it felt great to finally see the pay off of Matt McGinnis helping his older brother out as the new Robin Beyond. I liked the concept of a 2 brother combo being the dynamic in the duo as much as I enjoyed seeing Matt as Robin. I do hope that over time they grow or redesign the new Robin suit to flesh it out a bit more, but in the end I’m glad to see him there fighting alongside Batman.
I give Batman Beyond #22 a 7 out of 10
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