Batman Beyond #24 probably has the most straight forward story to come from the Bat family of titles this week.
Following closely to the character models, and the overall tone of the Batman Beyond television series, this comic proved fun to read for a longtime fan of the show.
The story of this issue is that a group of metal humanoids known as the “Metal Men” have been melded together by a devious peer of Batman(Terry McGuiness), and his female classmate Max. The antagonist of the issue, Rebel, attempting to topple Gotham’s class structure, has found a way to meld the Metal Men together, but the newly melded ultimate metal man loses control. The vast majority of the issue is Batman Beyond and Max attempting to stall the giant metal man.
To start, fans of the television show will definitely enjoy this issue. Adam Archer’s art style is slightly more stylized than Bruce Timm’s, the artist and the animator on the television series, but the art follows the same basic style, and all of the characters look almost identical to the way they did on the show.
As it pertains to people who were not fans of the show or never watched it, the reception to the issue will based off of one’s like or dislike for simple, and straightforward storytelling.
The issue is mostly action oriented, and the dialogue is nice and crisp. An elder Barbara Gordan and Dick Grayson make a nice appearance, and it looks like the reader will be seeing more of them in future issues, which is a good thing. The majority of the issue is spent with Batman and Max attempting to stop the lethal combination of the manipulated Metal Men, and having a hard time doing it.
The writer Adam Beechen is not attempting to write his grand statement on Batman with this issue. Instead, it appears that his goal is tell a simple Batman story that is fun to read, and further contributes to the greatness of Batman. His story is not layered, it does not contain many heavy themes, and it does not try to forever change the comic book genre. Instead, he gives you story where Batman has to stop, and help, the classic DC Comics team the Metal Men.
I really enjoyed this issue. However, I am a big Batman Beyond fan. Also, I find simple Batman stories refreshing. Often times people who write Batman always try to define him according to their own standards. While some of those stories are classics, there are a a lot of them, and they can get tiresome if you don’t agree with a particular writer’s view on Batman. What is nice about Beechen and this issue is that he is not forcing a narrow view of the Batman world on anyone. Instead, he puts a crime out there that needs to be stopped, and he lets Batman go and fight it.
This was a good issue, but it is not for everyone. If you liked the Batman Beyond television show, then I would recommend picking this up digitally (only published digitally, not in print). Also, those who enjoy simple Batman stories should read this. However, if epic Batman stories are the only type of Batman series you like to read, then you should probably stay away from this one.