Hey there Alt Beat fans! I know it’s been a while, so I’ll jump right into my column. I haven’t had a lot of time to read this summer due to project commitments, and now that I have time I’ve been playing catch up in the days leading to my next semester of college. What have I been reading you ask? Well, to be honest, it’s something that might stretch the concept of alternative a little too far when it comes to comics.
I want to talk about Batman Beyond 2.0.
I know, I know, I picked a Batman book again. How could that even be an alternative to the normal things you have piling up in your pull box? I can defend my choice with a simple answer . . . It’s just too good not to talk about.
Kyle Higgins’ work on such bat titles as Gates of Gotham and Nightwing made me an instant fan of his work, and when I heard that he was moving over to Batman Beyond I was excited at the fresh blood being brought on the title. Don’t get me wrong, I love Adam Beechen’s work on the future Dark Knight of Neo-Gotham, but it’s always fun to see a new creative team take over on a beloved character. Yes, I said it; Terry McGinnis is a beloved character.
It’s not an argument I really have to make, because I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like him or the concept of Batman Beyond. It took one of America’s greatest fictional characters and gave the mantle to a new, younger person in a future setting. Now the concept should have sent people running for the hills, but it didn’t. Audiences welcomed the idea of McGinnis with open arms, just like I’m welcoming this new 2.0 series from Higgins and Thony Silas.
The opening of the series is a time jump from where Beechen’s arc last left off. McGinnis is on his own, not talking to Bruce Wayne, and making a name for himself as Batman. A murder in the new Arkham facility sets off a chain of events that rock McGinnis’ already rocked (unbeknownst to us) world. The stage is set for an incredible detective story, and now is the time to hop on.
DC has been really hitting it hard on the digital first front with this title and others like Batman ’66, Legends of the Dark Knight, Justice League Beyond, and The Adventures of Superman to name a few. All of these titles and more are collected in print at the end of the month, and are eventually moved to trade. What makes the digital versions a wonderful alternative is that they cost around a dollar per installment and arrive at different times during the week.
Are you sick of waiting until Wednesday for new comics? Batman Beyond 2.0 drops on Saturdays to break up that lull. It provides just enough storytelling for a quick read on your phone, tablet, or computer. And I hate to drive this point home, but it’s less than a dollar per installment!
I just want to be clear here and let everyone know that I don’t work for DC. Digital first initiatives have been taking place at every mainstream publisher, but DC seems to be striking the right cord with content. It’s also nice to have out-of-continuity stories to sink your teeth into in your comics reading experience.
Now the new Batman Beyond is kind of a mix between Timm-Verse continuity and actual DC continuity, but it’s enough of a separation that you don’t have to read any other books to know what’s going on. In this day and age, that’s saying a lot. So if that kind of story intrigues you, or if you’re a fan of McGinnis as much as I am, this is a great way to dip into comics when you’re on the go.
Ken Porter also writes comic books with his latest being "Ink Ribbon" from Visionary Comics. Ken was also the winner of this year's Top Cow Talent Search contest.