Beware; spoilers for BATMAN BEYOND #16 abound!

Writer Dan Jurgens’ work on BATMAN BEYOND #16 features an action-packed confrontation between Batman and the villainous Stalker. The two exchange attacks throughout the issue, culminating in one victor. The question that remains though is, who is it? Well, if you desperately want to know, find out below!

batman beyond #16
BATMAN BEYOND #16 page 10. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Hunt Begins

The beginning of BATMAN BEYOND #16 provides a brief introduction to Stalker. His true name is Shaka Okoro. He spent the majority of his life as a hunter, taking down big game across the globe. After a near-death experience that took place during one of his hunts, his body was repaired with cybernetics. These enhancements not only augmented his body but also his thirst for the hunt. The problem is that his tastes have changed. Big game no longer gives him the enjoyment he seeks. Instead, the hunt of humans satiates that thirst.

So, in this issue’s adventure, Stalker’s latest prey is none other than Batman. Interestingly, he’s aware that Terry McGinnis’ face lies behind the mask, only raising the stakes of this confrontation. Additionally, Batman isn’t prepared for Stalker’s ferocious attacks. Thankfully, his suit’s recent update is mitigating most of the danger. Unfortunately, his suit can only help so much because the end of the issue depicts Batman’s defeat as Stalker goes in for the kill.

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BATMAN BEYOND #16 is definitely fun. It also features an intriguing subplot in which Commissioner Gordon is investigating the presence of a new vigilante in Gotham City. However, as a whole, this issue doesn’t dig deep enough. As a result, it suffers from the same problems that previous installments have also suffered from. There isn’t enough characterization to identify with the primary players. Because of this, the narrative itself only scrapes the surface of conflict. So, overall, I believe that this particular storyline has potential. In order for it to be a successful one though, there needs to be a little more than just action.

batman beyond #16
“…as Batman.”

The Many Hues Of BATMAN BEYOND #16

In regard to the imagery of BATMAN BEYOND #16, I enjoy the work by colorist Michael Spicer. I enjoy the juxtaposition of the purple hues scattered throughout the backgrounds with the intensity of the action sequences happening within them. Along with this, my favorite panels of the work take place when a fuel tank carrying Batman and Stalker crashes into a building. Penciller Phil Hester does a great job in depicting the power of the explosion as well as Batman’s fortitude as he survives it.

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Though there are good aspects of this issue’s imagery, I still felt as though there were many flaws throughout. Just as I have said in previous reviews, I wish there were more detail in the backgrounds. I believe it would make the world of BATMAN BEYOND more immersive. With this, I found some of the characters to be inconsistently depicted. This is especially apparent in the opening sequence with Dana Tan.

The organization of panels and the issue’s color palette are balanced. However, its subtle flaws are distracting and take away from other aspects of the work’s imagery. Thus, it’s a shame to see these evident faults when they’re present in a work with potential.

batman beyond #16
BATMAN BEYOND #16 page 16. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

What Lies Beyond

BATMAN BEYOND #16 is fun. It’s full of action and explosions. So, it offers enough to pique a reader’s interest. However, it suffers from a struggle to retain that interest. Its narrative and artwork are pretty one-dimensional. This is quite unfortunate when it’s an issue that features a potentially engaging story. I hope that future issues will improve upon these faults.

In regard to the story, this issue certainly left us on a cliffhanger. Stalker has the life of Batman in his hands. The battle seems to be over… but my money is still on Batman.

BATMAN BEYOND #16 by Dan Jurgens, Phil Hester, Ande parks, and Michael Spicer
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
BATMAN BEYOND #16 is fun and thrilling, but it isn't gripping. As a result, we're left with a one-dimensional story that stumbles in elevating its titular hero.
63 %
A Swing and A Miss
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