Batman Beyond #36 Brings The Story Arc To An Abrupt Conclusion

by James Ferguson

When you’re fighting a speedster, it’s a good idea to call in the Flash. Barry Allen has rushed to Neo-Gotham to help Ten stop False Face (who has taken on Terry’s identity in the Batman suit) and Splitt. Even if the fastest man alive is successful, they still don’t know where Terry is or how they might reach him.

Batman Beyond #36 brings this story arc to a speedy conclusion. After meandering for quite a bit over the course of several issues, the multiple storylines are rushed to a close. This arc has had some cool ideas, but has taken quite awhile to get to any sort of meaning. It’s kind of funny that the Flash comes in to rush the story’s end. Why couldn’t he have been brought in three issues ago?
With Terry missing, the Flash basically takes over this issue. He becomes the adult in the room, showing Ten how it’s done and figuring out how to deal with Splitt. Again, I wonder how this would have played out if he came in earlier. I do love the design for the older Barry Allen. He’s done away with the mask and gone with a short-sleeved suit with gloves. The suit has a construction vibe to it, like he’s ready to get to work.

Artist Rick Leonardi has some nice speedster effects in Batman Beyond #36. We often see after-images of the Flash and Splitt as they run across the page. While there are some pretty solid action sequences, the characters often appear blocky and awkward. Their feet are also really strange-looking, like big triangles at the end of their legs. The pencils could be a little tighter to add some more contour to the characters. Inker Ande Parks helps this in some shots.
The real standout in Batman Beyond #36 is colorist Chris Sotomayor, particularly with the speedsters. When they’re running, the lightning trailing behind them is an electric yellow. You have to squint at times because of how bright it is. This extends to the experimental cure for Splitt’s illness with shining swirls of energy flowing across the page. This contrasts against the dark nature of Neo-Gotham.

Since there is a lot to get through in a short amount of time, writer Dan Jurgens keeps the story moving at a brisk pace. You have dialogue between Ten, Barry, and Bruce back at the cave, pulling us through these events in a speed rivaled by the scarlet speedster. Letterer Travis Lanham gives this a nice flow through the action, distinguishing the different voices. For example, since Bruce is speaking through the radio, his words are shown in spiky balloons.

While this arc came to an abrupt end, there’s a teaser for a major new development on the final page. Unfortunately, as with the bulk of this series as of late, it looks pretty predictable. I’m willing to bet I know what’s coming. I love Batman Beyond, but the book has been rather bland lately. It’s not delivering much in the way of new or memorable stories. I’m hoping that changes with the next issue.
Batman Beyond #36 from DC Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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