writer: Adam Beechen
artist: Ryan Benjamin
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite this being a whole Neo-Gotham, the city remains plagued by crime. Citizens still live in fear. Just because the denizens of Arkham Asylum have become too old and feeble to terrorize the people, that doesn't mean a new generation won't arise.
Or will they have to? Perhaps Batman's old enemies aren't as enfeebled as people think…
And so Adam Beechen and Ryan Benjamin plunge us into 2039 and the world of Batman Beyond, a long overdue return of that rarest of creatures: a character created for television that absolutely belongs in comics and DC continuity. Welcome home, Terry McGinnis.
Beechen and Benjamin don't have a cakewalk here, however. This future Batman sprung from a very different continuity, one that involves Justice League Unlimited and seemed very tightly wound there. Yet Beechen manages to serve both; this is early enough in McGinnis' career that the writer can keep away from later revelations, and nothing in this issue contradicts anything that's happened to "our" Batman in the past few years.
It's also a story that combines the best of both worlds. One of Bruce Wayne's old enemies, kept in a medically induced coma for the safety of the citizenry, has awakened and begun a murder spree. Though close reading might make it obvious to long-time fans, his identity is kept a mystery to Terry as he and Bruce realizes that this foe's first victims are old patients of Arkham.