The Joker’s Reign Of Terror Continues In Batman Beyond #26

by James Ferguson

The Joker has returned and he’s got a bunch of new toys to play with in Neo-Gotham. The Clown Prince of Crime is making his presence felt by destroying a newly built Wayne Tower and wreaking all kinds of havoc. Terry and Matt already have their hands full saving the people from the tower’s collapse and now they’re going to have to deal with one of the deadliest villains Batman has ever encountered.

For the longest time, The Joker was off limits for Batman Beyond. Yes, we got the Return of the Joker movie, but nothing in the comics, especially to this extent. This brings the Joker back in full force and it is absolutely terrifying. He’s this unstoppable force of chaos and he’s so very hard to prepare for. Bruce knows how dangerous that can be and needs to make sure Terry and Matt are aware of what they’re getting themselves into.
Before they can do that, they have to help out the innocent people stuck in the tower before the rubble kills them. Artist Brett Booth keeps the excitement up here as Batman and Robin zoom in to save people falling from elevators and trapped under debris. Booth’s layouts are varied with no two pages looking alike. This keeps the reading experience fresh and interesting.

There’s a particularly awesome scene where Terry is holding up an unbelievable amount of concrete so Matt can whisk some people to safety. The weight gets heavier with each passing moment and it’s only a matter of time before it all falls down on top of him. This is what makes a hero.
It’s a little strange at first to see Batman out during the day. The dark colors of his costume contrast with the bright light of the daytime, like he’s out of his element. Colorist Andrew Dalhouse plays up the red elements of Batman’s suit in an almost demonic way. Yes, he’s here to save people, but they might be a little afraid of him.

Booth’s style works very well with facial expressions. When the Bat family gets together, a wave of serious disposition swoops over them. This is a grave danger. This is the complete opposite of the entropy given off from the Joker. It’s like he just falls through life and everything lines up for him. There are some chilling shots of his eyes that lack any sort of compassion. This is pure madness.
The Joker’s speech comes through in jagged, scratchy word balloons. We don’t know how he’s come back from the dead just yet, but maybe he’s not all the way there. Letterer Travis Lanham adds a nice touch with this setup.

When it comes to Batman, it doesn’t get any bigger than the Joker. Writer Dan Jurgens has brought the Dark Knight’s nemesis into Batman Beyond in a big way. This is a statement and it’s a powerful one. We’ve seen Terry combat all kinds of foes from the past and present, but nothing like this.
Batman Beyond #26 from DC Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: