Batman Beyond #14
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Penciller: Phil Hester
Inker: Ande Parks
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Colorist: Michael Spicer
Previously on Batman Beyond: After a bittersweet reunion with Damian Wayne, the new Ra’s Al Ghul, Bruce Wayne and Terry McGinnis succeeded in striking a change of heart within the demon’s head and having a short but sweet family reunion. Terry managed to overcome the increasingly malicious AI empowering his suit, and Bruce revisited his painful glory days in a brawl with Ubu’s successor.
This time: The Royal Flush Gang strikes out on the town, minus a few cards in their deck. Missing Queen and Ten, the trio of Ace, Jack and King report in to a mysterious hooded figure, who threatens to pull their contract if they fail again. Bruce returns home with Terry and Matt, resting in a wheelchair after his last fight strained a few long-broken muscles. Bringing himself to his feet with his trusty cane, much against doctor’s orders, Terry and Matt announce that they’ve already moved their things into the mansion, ready to watch Bruce during his time of need. A mildly satisfied look upon his face, Bruce accepts having one of his sons live with him again. Down in the Batcave, Bruce reveals a newly spruced up Batsuit; AI-free. Dana trains at home with the help of a virtual coach, lunges interrupted by a truly rare visit from her Bat-boyfriend. Terry tells her that while he is more committed to Batman than ever, he’s ready to commit to her, as they share a night together. A night that doesn’t last nearly long enough, as Bruce invades the room with a large bat-screen with his face on it, to send Terry back into action. As Terry flies into the scene, a fight with the ‘new and improved’ Royal Flush Gang comes to a quick hault; taking down King with enough ease, Terry is caught off guard quite literally by Ace; who proceeds an old Bat-classic, in snapping Terry’s back over his knee.
Reed Strong’s Strong Read: It’s just real nice to get back into a real arc again. This is a book that much like the show it gets it namesake from, really benefits from having one-shots. Batman Beyond rarely had more than a one-shot, even two-parters coming quite rarely; but despite that, seeing the story pick back up again in a straight forward fashion for this book is exciting. The Royal Flush Gang are another great group of characters from the show and the comics who always did have a tendency for coming back at the worst times, and their forces being reduced to three is both a rather amusing scenario as well as a new dynamic. We get some good Terry and Dana, we get some good Bruce, Matt and even Barbara, all tossing us a few hints to where this arc is going. And with a breath of fresh heir after the rather long League of Assassins arc, it’s time to go back to going beyond.