Beware: Spoilers for BATMAN BEYOND #15 are abound!

In a tale that pits Batman against notable villains such as the Royal Flush Gang and Stalker, one would expect BATMAN BEYOND #15 to be entertaining. This issue’s story wears a little thin, though. The narrative, which is composed by writer Dan Jurgens, lacks dimensionality. It falls short on presenting a cohesive adventure. Despite these overarching flaws, there are moments in the issue that feature brief specks of potential.

batman beyond #15
Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Long Payback

The introduction of BATMAN BEYOND #15 is the issue’s best segment. It features an overlying conversation between Bruce Wayne and Barbara Gordon. They discuss Terry McGinnis’ involvement in crimefighting, as well as Bruce’s role in Terry’s lifestyle. The two reveal their fears of history repeating itself. Or, more specifically, to the potential consequences Terry may face. They consider the possibility if he were to encounter a traumatic experience similar to those of his predecessors. The narrative then proceeds to make an allusion to the famous moment when Bane broke Bruce Wayne’s back, which is one of his most notable defeats.

In the present, Ace of the Royal Flush Gang attempts to break Terry McGinnis’ back. Despite Ace’s efforts, they work to no avail. Batman then goes to make some jokes about Ace’s failure. It is in that moment that Jurgens asserts the distinction between the past and present Batmen. Though Bruce has advised Terry to bear the cowl, he has learned from past experiences. Bruce wants to ensure that Terry has a differing career as the Dark Knight. Perhaps even a better one than Bruce had and endured.

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Aside from these few pages of engaging narrative, BATMAN BEYOND #15 does not have a lot of substance. There are a few moments of intrigue, though. Readers learn of a mysterious employer who is using the Royal Flush Gang and Stalker for his own ends. As a result, the conclusion of the issue features Stalker kidnapping Dana Tan. In spite of everything, these moments of interest are few and fleeting. The issue feels anticlimactic. It will leave readers wanting more but not for the right reasons.

batman beyond #15
Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues of BATMAN BEYOND #15

Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of BATMAN BEYOND #15 is its artwork. The backgrounds, which is illustrated by penciler Phil Hester, lack dimension. The cityscapes don’t feel like a futuristic Gotham City as a result. Because of this, there isn’t enough detail to define them. The tone seems to shift inconsistently throughout the issue. Colorist Michael Spicer’s palette excels in the sequence between Stalker and his employer. Yet, many of the issue’s panels seem to be void of color depth. The depiction of Gotham City drifts and grows further removed from what it could have been. The atmosphere and mood suffer as a result.

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The artwork of this issue shares similar flaws to the narrative. Both aspects embody the potential to excel. To be greater than what they could have been. They both end up falling short in exemplifying that potential. In regard to future issues, I believe it would be beneficial for there to be more depth in the characters. As well as, but not limited, to the background depictions. The opening page of this installment highlights some beautiful intricacies that I had hoped would continue throughout the issue.

I think if these aspects that showcased the potential for greatness was improved upon, then future issues will certainly push the series forward in the right direction.

What Lies Beyond

BATMAN BEYOND #15 is not as satisfying as one would expect it to be. Even with the characters that are included in the issue, it is not enough to improve the overall output. The Royal Flush Gang are such notable villains in the Batman Beyond mythos. It becomes disappointing to see them brushed off to the side. The Royal Flush Gang and the issue itself do not leave much an impact. The opening pages appear to allude to a story of much more emotional depth and engaging artwork. Neither of these elements comes to fruition on this particular issue. One can only hope that BATMAN BEYOND #16 will improve upon its predecessor’s flaws and present a more engaging work.

You can catch BATMAN BEYOND #15 on December 27, 2017 here. Do not miss out!

BATMAN BEYOND #15 by Dan Jurgens, Phil Hester, & Michael Spicer
Art 6.5
Characterization 5.2
Plot 5.5
Summary
In an issue full of seemingly interesting characters and potential storylines, BATMAN BEYOND #15 falls short of making a lasting impression.
5.7
A Bummer
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