Writer: Dan Jurgens
Penciller: Phil Hester
Inker: Ande Parks
Colorist: Michael Spicer
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Cover: Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo
Last time: Terry was involved in a dangerous struggle with Stalker; motivated by saving the lives of his people, he was moments away from unmasking Batman to the world.
This Time: With his hands around Terry’s throat, Stalker’s victory is swiftly snatched away as he’s shocked back by the Batsuit’s defensive mechanisms, and Dana calls into the Batcave reporting Terry’s urgent need for backup. Bruce tries to shoot to action, but his old bones just aren’t enough, as Matt eyes a familiar sidekick’s costume on ready display. An old ally or enemy de-masks themselves in shadow, but it’s a short-lived mystery; after Payback reveals himself as Stalkers boss, Matt and Bruce go over the foe’s old history in shock- before Ten reveals herself to give Terry a boost. But Payback strikes back, as he snatches up Melanie in his plasma whip; and lobs a bomb at Terry, blowing him and Stalker off the side of the building to the streets below.
Reed Strong’s Strong Read: If there’s one thing the Batman Beyond comics are known for and will apparently always be known for, it’s generally having the opinion on continuity of, “Sure, why not.” While this book is still advertised to firmly be the future of Earth-0, and it easily could be, the book also has a tendency to pick up from the end of episodes of the original series without a lot of context, and tell the next part of the story. Payback is another example of this, he shows up, we get kind of a reminder of who he is, but it’s mostly presented as yeah, this happened to Terry last episode. It’s an interesting mix, but not one that always does a book like this favors when attempting to snatch one identity or the other.