A member of the Jokerz named Scab has invaded the Gotham City Police Department headquarters, has taken a hostage, killed many officers, and has pinned down Commissioner Barbara Gordon. Batman Beyond is ready to respond, but Bruce Wayne insists that Terry should take along his little brother and new Robin, Matt McGinnis. Terry is reluctant but ultimately agrees. Before they leave, 10 from the Royal Flush Gang visits Terry in her civilian persona.
Batman Beyond #20 focuses on the rise of the new Robin as well as a bit with Terry’s romantic life. Neither uses many fresh or interesting angles by which to attack their story. Terry is mad that Bruce has made Matt into Robin, using the “you should have told me first” line. Terry’s romantic life uses the trope of one person in a love triangle — a love triangle being a tired concept to begin with — witnessing their romantic interest kissing someone else.
That said, the characters are likable enough so that all of this isn’t inherently fatal. Matt is a likable Robin, and his costume looks great. Terry’s concerns for his little brother are valid, and, despite Bruce seeming to be portrayed in the right by the comic, his eagerness to send a youth into potential gunfire has always been a troubling tendency. Plus, the plot with Scab of the Jokerz has an interesting angle to it.
Marco Castiello’s artwork is an interesting mixture of gritty detailing, classic comic styling, and some of the sleekness of past Batman Beyond artists. It looks great and fits Terry McGinnis well. Mark Morales’s ink work supports this style well with slightly thicker lines. Wil Quintana’s color art is darker, fitting for a Batman title, and it supports the tone well.
Batman Beyond #20 has its clichés, but the story is paced well and it’s hard to dislike the lead characters. The art team does a good job on the visuals, and the complete product is worthy of a recommendation in the end. Feel free to pick it up.
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