DCAU #336: Grounded

IN THIS ONE... Batman vs. Batman when Terry starts misbehaving.

CREDITS: Written by Hilary J. Bader; art by Craig Rousseau and Rob Leigh.

REVIEW: The first issue of the Batman Beyond ongoing has a nice hook, one I can't believe they let Bader scoop the show on - Bruce Wayne, back in costume, vs. Terry's Batman. We start WITH the fight, which highlights Bruce's deviousness and experience, but just when you think the twist might be that Terry's got his own devious streak, we go back to the beginning to figure out just what's happening here.

On the homefront, Terry's been grounded for spending too little time on chores and his crabby attitude. As on the show, there's a toll to pay for staying out at all hours to fight crime. But then Terry starts acting more and more reckless, even violent and dangerous, and Bruce feels the need to take him down. Has, in fact, Spellbinder hypnotically pushed the young Batman to cause mayhem? To hurt his own family?

The issue keeps throwing out twists, when it's eventually revealed that the villain couldn't GET to Terry, but that his message to "Batman" in fact influenced Bruce, and set him on HIS mission based on hallucinatory evidence. Bader plays fair with her audience. The clues are all there and can be figured out. That it only dawns on the reader later is a testament to her craft in this story. We're off to a good (re)start.
REREADABILITY: Medium-High - A well-designed twisty-turny story with an obvious draw.



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