Batman The Brave and the Bold Season 3

  • Series Title:  Batman the Brave and the Bold
  • Season:  3
  • Episodes:  13
  • Discs:  1 (Blu-Ray)
  • Cast:  Diedrich Bader
  • Original Network:  Cartoon Network
  • Production Network:  Warner Brothers (Animation)

The third season of Batman The Brave and the Bold introduces the JLI – Justice League International, including Fire and Ice, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, Martian Manhunter, Plastic Man, Guy Gardner’s Green Lantern and others. However, I thought the characterizations were off a bit – Ice is really dumb, Fire is a sexpot, etc. Still, there’s some fun to be had with the show now being much more of an ensemble piece – and more traditional DC Heroes also make appearances including Superman, Wonder Woman, and the ever-present Aquaman.

The format for Batman The Brave and the Bold includes a short and then the main story. The shorts are completely disconnected from the main story and give the series a chance to really dig into the DC vaults when finding characters to showcase. Many of the shorts are extremely effective. We also get to hear Aquaman sing – twice, first in presenting the theme tune to his sitcom, “The Currys of Atlantis” (one of the opening shorts), and then again when he sings to a de-powered Capt. Atom, “The Rousing Song of Heroism”. Both are a trip – and quite wonderful. Season 3 also includes Vigilante singing “The Ballad of Batman” in an opening short that is essentially a music video. I enjoyed the music of this series.

The regular stories have a great deal of humor, though, at times, it feels like the creators have run out of ideas. But, on the other hand, there are still some very wacky, out there, extremely humorous episodes and I definitely enjoyed that.

The penultimate episode consists of four shorts, and no real Batman story at all. They are amusing in their own way, but not Batman. The final episode is a Bat-Mite story. I’ve never really liked Bat-Mite, but this breaking the fourth wall story as Bat-Mite decides that BTBATB has “jumped the shark” and needs to be canceled so Batman can go back to being dark and brooding, has some fun bits – and Ambush Bug. It’s definitely amusing to have a television show dedicate it’s last episode to getting itself canceled.

Overall, Batman the Brave and the Bold, although uneven throughout it’s run, has some classic moments, and it is worth getting the entire series, including the third season.

Read my review of Batman the Brave and the Bold Season 1.

Read my review of Batman the Brave and the Bold Season 2.

Advertisements

Gotham Season 3 Review

  • Series: Gotham
  • Season: 3
  • Episodes: 22
  • Discs: 4 (Blu-Ray)
  • Cast: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Cory Michael Smith, Camren Bicondova, Morena Baccarin, Alexander Siddig
  • Network:  FOX (Warner Brothers Productions)
  • DVD Format: Blu-Ray, Color, Widescreen

The opening episode of Season 3 of Gotham brings in The Court of Owls, but then we don’t see them again, until towards the end of the season. Bruce meets the Court and gives in – giving them control of Wayne Enterprises and promising to stop his investigation into his parents’ murder. Meanwhile, James Gordon is no longer a police detective and is making ends meet as a bounty hunter, collecting the escapees from Indian Hill.

A new villain for the season is Jervis Tetch, whom long-time Batman fans will know as, the Mad Hatter. Tetch makes his Gotham debut at a club owned by Barbara and Tabitha. He appears to simply be a hypnotist and stage magician – but he has far greater control over his victims than an ordinary illusionist. Jervis Tetch approaches Jim and asks him to find his sister, Alice – weaving him a sob story about them being separated as orphans when they were children. But when Jim finds Alice, she is terrified of her brother and says he can control people. She’s also afraid because her blood is lethal and can turn people into monsters.

Alice ends-up dying (accidentally) at the hands of her brother. The death of Alice brings James Gordon back to the GCPD as a detective. However, Capt. Barnes ends-up infected by a drop of her blood. He goes crazy and starts to execute the guilty of Gotham, before being caught and sent to Arkham.

Meanwhile, Penguin becomes mayor of Gotham and is also running Gotham’s underground. He is successful as mayor, and briefly becomes happy – and thinks he’s fallen in love with Ed Ngyma – his new chief of staff. On the night that Penguin plans on telling Ed this, Ed meets a woman in a wine shop who looks just like Kristen, his old girlfriend whom he murdered. She doesn’t even freak out when she discovers that Nygma murdered his ex. Penguin threatens her to get her to leave – but she isn’t intimated by this either. So Penguin has her murdered.

Ngyma discovers his new lady love’s brake lines were cut, causing her car to careen into a train. He blames Butch (and Tabitha) but later is convinced by Barbara that it was Penguin. Nygma shoots Penguin in the gut and dumps him in Gotham harbor. Penguin, however, survives, and is healed by Ivy – now a young woman instead of a child, but with the mental attitude of an eight-year-old. Nygma becomes The Riddler.

Meanwhile, a cult has formed around Jerome – the Joker. The cult leader tries to bring Jerome back from the dead and fails. Later Jerome revives. He and his gang of Jokerz terrorize Gotham but are ultimately defeated.

After the Jerome/Joker attack, the plot focuses more on the Court of Owls. Bruce meets his clone from Indian Hill, but he escapes and reports to the Court. During the battle with Jerome, Bruce decides not to kill him and he makes a solemn oath to Alfred that he will not kill. Bruce and Selina meet her Mom, but she turns out to be a con artist who takes advantage of Bruce to get some money. Selina has a hissy fit and walks away from Bruce. Bruce is then kidnapped. He’s turned over to “Sensai” and his ninjas – more or less the League of Assasins, with the Sensai being a level below Ra’s al Ghul himself. With the clone at Wayne Manor, Bruce is brainwashed and trained to fight. After his brainwashing is complete, he’s taken to Gotham to destroy the “corrupt” city. The Sensai tries to get Bruce to execute the Court – but he is prevented (and the entire Court leadership is killed). Still, the court has had time to place its weapon in Gotham. The weapon is a bomb, loaded with a weaponized and aerosol version of the Alice Tetch virus. The bomb will be released in a public place – causing Gotham to tear itself apart.

Lee Thompkins returns to Gotham with her fiancé, Mario, who just happens to be the son of Carmine Falcone, the gangster. When Jim is forced to kill Mario to stop him from killing Lee – Lee cannot forgive Jim. Later Lee infects herself with the virus, buries Jim alive with a sample, and tells him to use it to get the strength to free himself. Jim resists for himself but when he figures out the location where the bomb will be set off, he takes the dose of the virus.

Meanwhile, Harvey Bullock gets Hugo Strange and Lucius Fox working on a cure for the virus. There is a confrontation in which the first batch of cure is destroyed, but they continue to try to make more, even though Jervis Tetch’s blood is a key ingredient.

Jim, Harvey, and the GCPD race to Gotham train station to stop the bomb. Bruce, held by Sensai, looks down on Gotham from Wayne Enterprises with the trigger in his hand. Alfred, Jim, and Harvey try to stop him. Unfortunately, for everybody, during another fracas – the trigger is knocked out of Bruce’s hand – and pressed. There isn’t enough time to stop the bomb and it goes off.

Bruce seeks out Ra’s al Ghul and finds him by the Lazarus Pit – in Gotham. Alfred follows. Rauch forces Bruce to stab Alfred then gives him the hint to use “the water”. Bruce, now finally freed from his brainwashing, and appalled at what he’s done, pours some water on Alfred’s wound and rushes him to the hospital. The penultimate scene is Alfred starting to wake up in hospital. The final scene has a young couple and their daughter being confronted by a mugger with a gun. The mugger is defeated by a masked man in black. We then see Bruce in black clothing, and a cape, standing on a rooftop gargoyle, guarding Gotham.

Season 3 of Gotham has a few themes – the most obvious one is madness, but it’s not the most interesting. What’s interesting is the theme that no one can be happy in Gotham. Any character who may have flitting moments of happiness – loses it. This is most obvious with Penguin, when he wins the mayoral race, without bribes, he is ecstatic. When he walks into the mayor’s office a few weeks later only to be confronted with a “press conference about his numbers” – he assumes it’s bad news. When the news is good – he’s happy. He even manages to fall in love. – Only to have everything taken from him again. And when Penguin is happy – he’s standing upright, his limp is less pronounced, but as he becomes less happy – he limps more and he doesn’t look good – physically.

But it isn’t just Penguin who goes through these transformations. Lee returns to Gotham, and to her job as medical examiner for the GCPD – even though she’s now engaged. She should be happy, and she should have stayed away.

Harvey ends up as acting captain, and seems to enjoy it – but there was a time when Harvey had also quit the GCPD – and started running a bar. That was his ultimate time of happiness.

Ed Nygma seems to be happy with his Kristin clone, but she quickly dies. And I found myself wondering just how much of a coincidence it was that they met, and they met when Ed was supposed to be on a date with Oswald.

Bruce and Selina have a moment – but then Selina gets angry at him, and leaves.

Pretty much everyone in Gotham cannot be happy – that’s the ruling principle of Gotham.

But this is still a film noir styled show. It’s about protagonists – not heroes. And sometimes even the villains can be just as interesting or more so than the “heroes”. It’s also violent. There are plenty of instances of someone walking into a room and killing everyone there – usually with guns (although the Court of Owls is appropriately enough cut to death by knives). But the violence is disturbing at times.

Gotham also continues to have incredible cinematography. The fight between Bruce and Jerome in the Hall of Mirrors is particularly well shot, avoiding clichés, while simply looking really cool. Early in the season, white graffiti bats appear on buildings. There’s a style to the filming that is reminiscent of the great film noir movies, and it’s just there, without calling attention to itself.

Overall, Gotham is still a good show, and well worth watching.

Please also see my Gotham Season 2 Review.

Please also see my Gotham Season 1 Review.

Batman (1966) Season 1 Review

  • Series Title: Batman
  • Season: 1
  • Episodes: 34 (half-hour episodes)
  • Discs: 5 
  • Network: ABC (US)
  • Cast: Adam West, Burt Ward, Alan Napier, Madge Blake, Neil Hamilton
  • Format: Standard, Technicolor, DVD, NTSC

Batman – in Color, and boy is it! The 1966 television series is filmed in Technicolor, and the colors are extremely bright – almost cartoonish. Oddly enough, this wasn’t part of the “camp” nature of the Batman television show – it was a result of the Technicolor process – which produced strong jewel-tone colors, especially in the bright California sun of Hollywood back lots, or under extremely bright studio lights. Everything about Batman is bright: the sets, the costumes, the occasional locations – it’s all very storybook, and the same you would see in other early Technicolor films (such as The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, or Singin’ in the Rain) and early American color television (everything from I Dream of Jeannie to The Wild Wild West, even Classic Star Trek). Once you realize that at the time that the show was made everything looked like that – the colors are a bit less garish.  However, it’s still jarring and takes awhile to get used to if you’ve been watching any modern television recently.

The first season of Batman actually is very, very formulaic. Most episodes start with a crime committed by a supervillain such as the Riddler, the Joker, the Penguin, or in this season one time villains (some of which would return in subsequent seasons), Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara discuss the villain and the crime (mostly stating that the case is too difficult for the police) and they then use the red hot line phone to call Batman. The phone is answered by Alfred, who alerts Bruce Wayne, who makes an excuse to Aunt Harriet. Bruce, in his Batman voice, answers the phone and he and Dick rush to the Bat Poles, then to the Batmobile and the Commissioner’s office. They get an update, and start to investigate clues (either provided by the villain himself or going to the scene of the crime etc.). There’s almost always a fist fight between Batman and the villain and his goons, but the villain himself gets away. Part 1 ends with the caped crusader and the boy wonder in a elaborate death trap. Sometimes Robin only is taken by the villain and is in a death trap by himself. Part II – opens by resolving the cliffhanger, additional crimes and clues, a huge fist fight with the villain and his lackies, and Batman defeating everyone and having the villain taken to jail by the police. Many episodes had the villain have a female underling used as a distraction – and the coda of the episode would show her getting help to reform from the Wayne Foundation.

In nearly every episode, Batman would also deliver some sort of positive civics lesson, or safety message, or even encouragement in education to Dick Grayson (and the show’s audience). So if Dick were to complain that he couldn’t learn Latin or Italian, Batman (or Bruce Wayne) would answer how important it was to learn other languages to understand different people and other cultures. Other lessons were on rarer occasions taught more practically, such as Batman using geometry to triangulate the position of a radio signal. Or Batman figuring out a clue by his knowledge of French, Spanish, Italian, Spanish, etc.

However, the only time we see a gag that later became famous, a famous person sticking there head out the window as Batman and Robin climb the wall is in a episode towards the end of the season. The celebrity is Jerry Lewis – but that is the only time the gag is used in the entire season.

One story I did find interesting and a bit different (though it followed the format described above) was, “The Joker Goes to School”/”He Meets His Match, the Grisly Ghoul”. Joker buys a vending machine and novelty company, and places the machines in Dick’s high school. But the machines are rigged – put in a dime for milk, get a fistful of silver dollars (like a slot machine paying off). The Joker’s female assistant is the high school head cheerleader, and his plan is to lure the high schoolers into dropping out of school and living the “easy high life” from the machines. Yes, it makes no sense. But we also get to both see Dick at high school, and see him try to go undercover to find out more about the high school gang. Dick in his black leather jacket, calling the girls “babe” and even attempting to smoke a cigarette is both fun and a little outside the norm for this show (we rarely see either Dick or Bruce undercover, though Bruce uses his position as a “famous millionaire” to occasional pick up information or set traps for the villain.

The Batmobile is stolen by a villain four times in this series. You’d think Batman would learn – though he always gets it back, and stealing the Batmobile is a pretty good way to get caught. This series also features as regulars: Commissioner Gordon, Chief O’Hara (played with a very offensive “Leprechaun” Irish accent), Alfred, and Aunt Harriet (apparently she’s Dick’s Aunt – and this being a 60s show, she’s there to cook and clean for Bruce and Dick. Poor Alfred, meanwhile, seems to only be there to answer the Batphone – though he does occasionally get involved in Batman’s work.) Bruce Wayne (Not Batman) is kidnapped once, with the villain demanding Batman deliver the ransom. Bruce cleverly rescues himself. Dick’s kidnapped once, and as mentioned above, Robin is kidnapped often.

Overall, though, even though it’s much different than the more serious Batman adventures we are used to now (even Batman: The Animated Series for the most part takes the character much more seriously than this series). West and Ward actually play their roles pretty straight. And it’s got a 60s vibe that brings to mind other series from the roughly same time period: The Avengers (the British series with Patrick MacNee and Diana Rigg – no relation to Marvel Comics), The Prisoner, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and The Wild Wild West. Overall, I enjoyed it and will probably at some point purchase the next two seasons.

Book Review – The Further Adventures of Batman

  • Title: The Further Adventures of Batman
  • Author: Martin H. Greenberg (ed.)
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 02/15/2013

This is an anthology by the king of genre anthologies, Martin H. Greenberg, as such – some of the stories are quite good, others are so-so, and one was really pointless. This collection of fourteen stories has a disappointing line-up of authors.

I also found this book in a box of old paperbacks of mine – and it dates from 1989, and man does it show. Computers built with vacuum tubes and operated with punch cards? It’s unfamthomable! And Batman’s tech should be slightly futuristic not hopelessly out of date. But it wasn’t just the tech that was out of date – several of these stories seemed to be based on the old 60s TV series Batman rather than the comics, and certainly not the Nolan films. It’s both understandable (the book pre-dates the Nolan films by two decades plus) but it also pre-dates many of the more serious events in the history of the Batman comics books and DC comics in general.

These are short stories, a couple of which are novella length, but not graphics. I liked “Death of the Dreammaster”, “Bats” was unique, and “Subway Jack” though gross did a better job of pitting Batman against a reincarnation of Jack the Ripper than I’ve seen before. “The Sound of One Hand Clapping” could have been really good but it fell flat. I couldn’t help but compare Joker’s would-be paramour to Harley Quinn and find her (The Mime) lacking. “Neutral Ground” was cute but seemed pointless – and I always figured that Bruce and Alfred made Batman’s costumes and gadgets. “Batman in Nighttown” seemed totally pointless. “The Batman Memos” was cute and at least was a unique approach to story-telling. “Wise Men of Gotham” – a good mystery. “The Pirates of Millionaires Cove” – not only does the title sound like the title of a Hardy Boys Mystery – it really read like one, predictable outcome and all. “The Origin of the Polarizer” was very much like a 60s TV Batman adventure. “Idol” was really awful. It was terrible and left a bad taste in my mouth that spoiled the whole book. Honestly, it would have been better if the editor had cut the story completely. “Daddy’s Girl” and “Command Performance” both feature Dick Grayson in a starring role, and I liked them both. “Daddy’s Girl” was slightly predictable – and there’s one scene with Batman that should have been a bit more emotional, but both were pretty good.

Overall, one should not search high and low for a copy of this no doubt out-of-print book, even if one is a big Batman fan.

Book Review – Teen Titans vol. 1: Damian Knows Best

  • Title: Teen Titans vol. 1: Damian Knows Best
  • Author: Benjamin Percy
  • Artists: Khoi Pham, Jonboy Meyers, Diógenes Neves, Wade Von Grawbadger, Ruy José, Sean Parsons, Jim Charalampidis, John Kalisz, Corey Breen
  • Line: Rebirth
  • Characters: Damian Wayne (Robin), Beast Boy, Starfire, Raven, Kid Flash (Wally West mark II), R’as al Ghul, Batman, Talia al Ghul
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 09/01/2017

This graphic novel re-introduces Teen Titans as part of DC Comics’ Rebirth. Rebirth also has a Titans book, with older heroes from the former Teen Titans. The Titans in this book are: Beast Boy, Starfire, Raven, and Kid Flash, and it brings in Damian Wayne as Robin. But this isn’t really a team book – it’s Damian’s story that the other Teen Titans almost guest star in. The book opens with each of the Titans being knocked out by a mysterious figure. They wake up, in restraints, and meet their attacker and the person holding them captive – Robin. But the team is still reeling from the death of their Robin, Tim Drake (in Rebirth’s Detective Comics).

The Titans pull together as a team, and break out of their restraints. Robin uses this to prove his point – they are stronger together, as a team. He tells them a team of assassins has been sent after them, then Damian tries to appoint himself leader of the New Teen Titans. This doesn’t go over well, and when the assassins show up almost immediately – the Titans are quickly defeated. Robin disappears but returns with a stolen Bat-plane and rescues them.

However, the team doesn’t really pull together or gel – and soon Damian leaves again, making his way to R’as al Ghul’s island fortress to offer himself in return for the other Titans’ lives being spared. R’as pits Damian in a fight against his cousin, a girl he’s always managed to defeat before. But she’s learned a few things. In their first fight, she defeats Damian but doesn’t kill him.

The Titans follow Damian and try to rescue him. In the end, they defeat the team of assassins not in a fight, but with the truth – exposing R’as al Ghul’s lies about their families willingly abandoning them. Damian is able to escape and the threat against the team is neutralized. The Teen Titans agree to accept Damian into their ranks. Damian, however, has to face his father – Batman.

This really is a Damian story, more than a team book – though the team is definitely there. I also personally preferred the older team of Titans. But, considering the book is about Damian and his history, as well as how he spends his thirteenth birthday, it’s about Damian becoming part of the team – though not in the typical way. The story at times is very cold, because Damian is a cold character (and oddly suited to the warmer team – even this slightly older version of Raven).

Still, it’s a good book, and a good story. It’s interesting to see Damian choosing Bruce and Batman over Talia and his grandfather. Recommended.

Book Review – Trinity vol. 1: Better Together

  • Title: Trinity vol. 1: Better Together
  • Author: Francis Manapul
  • Artists: Clay Mann, Seth Mann, Brad Anderson, Steve Wands
  • Line: Rebirth
  • Characters: Superman (Clark Kent), Batman (Bruce Wayne), Wonder Woman (Diana), Lois Lane, Jon Kent
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 06/30/2017

**Spoiler Alert** I read Trinity twice, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There are some parts that are a bit confusing, especially at first, but it’s a wonderful story – about Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. The story opens with a monologue by Lois Lane who is now married to Clark Kent and the two are raising their son, Jon. Bruce Wayne and Diana arrive at their farm house. Young Jon experiments with his powers, which he can’t quite control. Next, he’s in the barn, Jonathan Kent is unconscious on the floor, young Jon is freaking out, and Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman arrive in their costumes. Jon flies off. The costumed heroes save Jonathan then go after young Jon. They find him, and later, Superman begins to wonder what just happened, though he’s happy to have seen his parents again.

Next, is Bruce’s story – he’s too late to see his parents before they die, or to prevent the horrible events of That Fateful Night. He sees a counselor, who gives him some medication to control his fears. This causes horrible, frightening hallucinations. Superman, adult Batman, and Wonder Woman have to save Bruce. By this point everyone is getting suspicious.

Next, Wonder Woman takes a boat, with Bruce and Clark, to Themyscira. By now, the three, including Wonder Woman, know nothing that is happening to them is real. The Amazons test the three, and they pass their tests. Hippolyta offers “Wonder Woman”, as she introduces herself, the chance to stay, but says the two men must leave. Diana decides she must go with her friends. Meanwhile, young Diana, is incensed at this and follows them, then begins to lead them through. They discover that Mongul, under the influence of the Black Mercy is behind everything. However, he had contacted Poison Ivy, Avatar of The Green, whom he manipulated to help him escape. The third person that is behind the dreamworld is the White Mercy – something created by Mongul’s need to escape and his boredom. The White Mercy, who appears as a child, appears to Poison Ivy as a child – she wants to use Superman to free her “daughter” the White Mercy. Mongul wants to escape the dream world of the Black Mercy. Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman are caught in the thrall and dream world of the Mercy plants. Ivy even goes after young Jon. However, though, basically a construct, the White Mercy learned from the three scenarios he had Clark, Bruce, and Diana experience. In the end, he helps them escape the dream world. Mongul is returned there, Ivy forgets everything, including her “daughter”, and the White Mercy? It may have escaped to the real world.

This is a beautiful book – the art is gorgeous, with a marvelous painted look. The panels reflect the characters, as well, forming the famous symbols for Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman at times. Though at times it was hard to tell what order to read the panels in. All three interwoven stories really explain and stress the strengths of Bruce, Clark, and Diana. It’s a great book and deserves a spot on any DC Comics fan’s shelf. Highly recommended.

Book Review – Batman Beyond: Batgirl Beyond

  • Title: Batman Beyond: Batgirl Beyond
  • Author: Adam Beechen
  • Artist: Adam Archer
  • Characters: Batman (Terry McGinnis), Bruce Wayne, Barbara Gordon, Dana Tan, Max(ine), Dick Grayson, Ace the Batdog 
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 7/14/2016

**Spoiler Alert** Batman Beyond was an excellent animated television series produced by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, with voice direction by Andrea Romano. Bruce Wayne has, amazingly, lived to a ripe old age, so much so that he has to give up the cape and cowl due to his physical limitations. But Terry McGinnis ends up as the New Batman in a tech savvy suit – saving Neo Gotham from a new breed of super villains. Although Terry’s father was murdered (by Amanda Waller it later turns out), Terry’s mother and younger brother survive. Terry is also dating Dana Tan, and his best friend Max(ine) is a computer expert who knows Terry is Batman. And Bruce has a dog, Ace.

This is the second Batman Beyond graphic novel I’ve read (the other being Batman Beyond: Hush Beyond) and I really enjoyed this book. I thought that in Batman Beyond: Batgirl Beyond the characterization was excellent. We see the familiar characters from the TV series, even the Bat-dog Ace makes an appearance, and they are all in character. The world of Neo Gotham also seems very familiar and true to the animated series. Even little details that were confusing, such as Barbara Gordon not only being the police commissioner but being able to walk are explained. Dick Grayson, a character completely ignored in the series and the follow-up movie, makes an appearance that begins to explain what happened to him.

The story starts with the aftermath of a disaster, the street gang the Jokerz are blowing themselves up all over Neo Gotham – causing chaos, destruction, and death. But rather than focusing on this disaster – the story starts in a hospital waiting room. Present are Dana Tan, her mother, Terry, and his mother. Dana’s father is in intensive care, Dana’s brother is also in emergency and dying and the one behind the Jokerz bombings, Bruce Wayne is also in the hospital, dying of liver failure. A doctor tells those gathered that Dana’s brother has died. Dana asks Terry to come with her to see Bruce Wayne, as they make there way there, Terry makes up a story about being saved by Batman but being knocked out (he’s beaten-up and has a concussion).

When they see Bruce however, Dana tells them both she’s realized that Terry is the new Batman, and that Bruce was once Batman. Bruce welcomes her to the family and stresses the need for secrecy. Terry tells Dana he loves her. A doctor comes in and tells Bruce they’ve found a compatible liver for him – Bruce realizes it was Dana’s brother’s liver, but allows the transplant to take place.

Meanwhile, Max has gone on a mission on her own to investigate the Undercloud, a secretive hacker group, lead by Rebel. She’s forced to work with some old superhero tech to create a giant robot to destroy the upper levels of Neo Gotham that are home to the rich and powerful. Max struggles to find a way to send a message to Terry secretly.

Max finally sends an SOS, and Terry arrives but not before the robot is released on Neo Gotham. Yet Rebel’s control box doesn’t work. Terry tries to lead the robot away and minimize damage. Max knocks out Rebel and tries to decode the box. Terry shocks the robot as a defense mechanism – and the different metals start to pull apart. Max realizes that the six metals need to be separated and urges Terry to “do it again”. He does – and what emerges is the Metal Men.

Terry and the Metal Men work to prevent further damage in Gotham and to safely bring down Reed Tower in a more controlled fashion, as well as evacuating the restoration crews inside. Max angerly condemns Rebel’s selfish “point” of mass destruction – telling her she could have made her hacker army a force for good.

With the success of Terry and the Metal Men, and Max getting rescued and Rebel turned over to the police – everyone meets up at Wayne Manor. Bruce mentions the hundreds of space junk satellites in Earth orbit, and suggests that the Metal Men take up residence in one as Watchmen for Earth, to respond to any disaster, natural or man-made, immediately and world-wide. He adds Max and Dana to his bat-family (Max already knew about Terry) and Max comes up with the idea to secretly focus the Undercloud into a force for change and for good (moving it away from the destructive model that Rebel had set-up). Finally, Bruce tells Terry he has to decide if he wants to continue to be Batman (Terry has doubts) but that he will support him no matter what.

Commissioner Barbara Gordon, meanwhile, walks through Crown Point – a less than good neighborhood in Neo Gotham that’s in the middle of a gang war. She’s able to take care of herself, but when the odds are overwhelming she’s rescued by a new Batgirl. This Batgirl tells her the violence isn’t just a co-incidence – there’s literally something in the water. Gordon goes to the ME’s office and is told one of the dead from Crown Point is soaked in chemicals and has very low serotonin levels. Gordon remembers Bane. She also takes her officers and a search warrant and goes after a businessman for his “super steroid”. The businessman attacks in a rage. Gordon’s cops arrest him. Barbara looks up Batgirl and offers her a type of partnership – but insists Batgirl not go to far. At first, Batgirl thinks she can ignore this – but she learns she can’t.

In a story drawn to look very much like the animation style of the Batman Beyond and featuring Ace, Terry’s mom, and Terry’s brother – Bruce and Terry go up against Spellbinder, who puts Bruce in a hallucination using television signals.

Finally, Terry goes up again Inque – a unique character also from the series.

I loved this book – again, it’s very in keeping with the television series and everyone is in character. The only negative comment I have is that for a book entitled, “Batgirl Beyond” – there really wasn’t much of Batgirl. And we didn’t see the new Batgirl meet Terry, or Bruce or anyone in the cast. I liked seeing Commissioner Barbara Gordon being given her own story, and watching Batgirl meet a new Batgirl was fun, but considering the volume title it needed more “oomph”. Maybe other volumes will include more of this new Batgirl.

Highly recommended.