DCAU #304: Never Mix, Never Worry

IN THIS ONE... Blight is after experimental elements and Terry meets kids living under the city.

CREDITS: Written by Hilary J. Bader; art by Rick Burchett and Terry Beatty.

REVIEW: The first two issues of the original Batman Beyond 6-issue mini-series retold Rebirth, the first Batman Beyond episode. So let's start with issue 3, from which point the series starts to tell original stories. It's an untold encounter with Blight, in which the radioactive villain is stealing various fictional elements whose names kind of run together, with some invented techno-babble to resolve the matter... Well, it's not the most memorable of plots, though it's certainly well presented and drawn, giving us a rare glimpse of what the world looks like outside NeoGotham.

Much more interesting is the subplot in which Terry finds orphans living in the tunnels under a power plant. It presents him with a dilemma that also uncovers the darker side of this classist future. Many of these kids are handicapped, all are poor. They are the unwanted of society and better as a community than in the system. Bruce seems to know all about it, and probably made his own decision about this. Terry doesn't just keep their secret, he brings them food, toys and pets. He makes their lives better, which is a trope of the contemporary Batman show and comics. These heroes don't stop at the spandex action.

Unfortunately, these two plots don't really work together. The latter may be the better element, but it's a distraction, and not particularly well woven into the A-plot's themes (because the A-plot doesn't really have a theme).
IN THE MAINSTREAM COMICS: The power plant is situated in Outer Blüdhaven, an extension of the fictional city Nightwing operated in during the 90s.

REREADABILITY: Medium - There are really two stories here; at least one of them deserved to be on its own.



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