BATMAN BEYOND 2.0 is a Digital First Series from DC Comics, set in the future world of “Batman Beyond”. This current incarnation is written by KYLE HIGGINS (Nightwing) with art currently by THONY SILAS (Venom). It’s released bi-weekly digitally (via ComiXology) and collected at the end of the month with JUSTICE LEAGUE BEYOND 2.0, as “BATMAN BEYOND UNIVERSE” every month in print.
Today, we’re going to jump into the first story arc of “Beyond 2.0”, which spans issues 1-8, and is called “REWIRED”. So let’s re-enter the world of Terry McGinnis, and go beyond….
Batman Beyond 2.0 takes place roughly a year after the final issue of the previous Batman Beyond series-which ended introducing the new Batgirl to fans, and her unsteady relationship with Barbara Gordon.
From the very beginning, “REWIRED” is a mystery. A murder mystery-and beyond. Chapter One begins with the Mayor of Gotham opening up the new Arkham Institute for the criminally insane. He recieves a phone call from home-and upon taking the call, suffers what appears to be a massive heart attack. This puts the inmates of the Arkham Institution into a frenzy-as well as the mass media.
Meanwhile, Batman (Terry McGinnis) is fight a Man-Bat creature. People who worship in a cult that stumbled across Kirk Langstrom’s formula to splice with their own DNA. Terry affectionatly calls them Man Bat Splicers, and the voice in his head tells him otherwise.
Barbara Gordon-who is the commissioner of police now (and the former Batgirl, and former Oracle), and she doesn’t believe that this was just a random act of heart attack. She believes someone in Arkham is responsible for it. She gets a mysterious phone call, telling her about the Man Bat’s waiting for her. She goes into another room, to give him the update on the events of Arkham.
MEANWHILE, at Stately….well..not Wayne Manor-Terry McGinnis is hitting the books for his Sociology midtern. He runs into Dana Tan-his now EX girlfriend (she previously was told he was Batman while her family lay in a hospital next to Bruce Wayne during Jokers Night). They’re now split, and an alert comes on the TV screen about the mayor dying in Arkham. Terry runs off-talking to the voice in his cowl. Than we cut to the man on the otherside, and its NOT Bruce Wayne…it’s..SPOILER……DICK GRAYSON, the former Nightwing!
Thus ending issue one.
We open issue two with a recap, a News Report focusing on the mayors death, being watched by a certain former Dark Knight-who simply mutters “I hope he knows what he’s doing”.
Meanwhile, Barbara is meeting with Terry on the roof of Arkham. She’s explaining the situation to him. She thinks its somehow related to Jokers Night-and that Ghoul is responsible for it. Cut away, and Ghoul is sitting at a table in Arkham-where he’s visited by Batman-who gives him some old school interregation tactics he had to of learned from a hobbly old man.
Meanwhile, Barbara visits the mayors family, and breaks the news to them. We find out Mayor Dusk just had a check up the week prior, and his heart was fine-pointing once more to foul play. Babs gets a phone call from the coronor-and he reports that he suffered massive electrical shock to his nervous system-which introduces a new villain to the Rogues Gallery!
Issue two ends with a breakout at Arkham, caused by electrical outage…..
Issue three deal with a breakout at Arkham-setting loss the rogues on the workers of the institute. Of course Batman comes to make the save.
Meanwhile, Dick gets a call from Bruce-who is already working on an electrical analysis based on the coronors report. Because he’s Batman.
We get a televised message from the man responsible to end issue three, before jumping into my personal favorite-issue 4, “Shadows of the Past”.
In Part 4, we get to see the team of Spellbinder, Inque, Shriek and the new guy-who we learn is named Rewire posing as Batman, Nightwing, Robin and Batgirl (via Spellbinder’s illusion)-and all hell breaks loose.
We also get more clues into the mystery of the mayor-and a possible suspect in his murder.
Issue 5 features the actual fight between Batman Beyond, and the “Bat-Family”. We get a great back and forth between “Classic” Batman and New Batman-that until the reveal you actually believe is the real deal.
We get a good jump between the fight between Batman and the Rogues, and the mystery that Commissioner Gordon is unraveling-I think people forget that she used to be Batgirl…
The fight rages on, and it looks like Rewire might have actually offed the Tomorrow Knight-had it of not been for a former Nightwing who rushed in to save the day-and lead us into Part 6, “Family Values”
We find out that Terry’s original theory-that Ghoul is involved-was correct, and he shows up to help Rewire when his spark runs out. Dick Grayson comes in to save a few cops who are about to die in an explosion-meanwhile-Batman’s body washes off the water craft, and floats over to a conviently located cave…..
we also get the big mystery revealed-Rewire is the mayors SON!
Issue 7 features Dick Grayson helping Babs create a pod to house Rewire when they finally capture him…
and we get the first meeting in what is probably over a year between Terry and Bruce. Bruce has brought Terry-who was hurt last issue-into the Batcave for medical attention-as well as repaired the batsuit. Bruce also turns over the detective work he has done on Rewire, revealing who he is to Terry.
Meanwhile, Ghoul takes Rewire to a power plant-and super charges him. He goes off the deep end and begins attacking the city.
Bruce visits Dick, who gives him some brotherly advice about not being like the old man.
Terry goes and finds Babs-while Rewire is destorying things. Terry asks for something from police lock up–and that takes us to part 8…”Power Hungry”.
Dick is watching the carnage unfold from his base-while Terry is going off to fight him. Terry dumps a truck of sand on him-in attempt to ground the livewire. It doesnt work, and the two battle to a rooftop-where Rewire is visited by his dead father-who tries to reason with him. This is obviously a trap laid by Dick Grayson, Babs, and Terry-using Spellbinders orb. Rewire sees through it-but the distraction is enough to allow Terry to send him into the holding cell, and save the day.
The issue ends with a conversation between Dick and Terry-about Terry needing to NOT be like the old man, and allow people in-as he’s walking into his little brothers birthday party. THE END.
Overall, i LOVED the first story arc of Batman Beyond 2.0. The Terry / Dick dynamic is so fresh and different than the Terry / Bruce relationship. It doesn’t hurt that I am a huge Nightwing fan-and seeing Dick Grayson mentoring the new Batman is just plain awesome. The tease line at the end of issue 8 says “NEXT TIME: THE BAT MEN”-so I’m curious as to what we’re going to get.
overall, Batman Beyond 2.0 took an already well established book, the previous Batman Beyond run-and turned it on its head. Kyle Higgins is proving to be a powerhouse at DC, as he’s the head writer on NIGHTWING, one of the best print books out there right now-as well as the writer on Batman Beyond 2.0-one of the best “Digital First” books. Check it out!