Batman Beyond: Neo-Year by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing is the latest miniseries and this most recent one features Terry McGinnis as Batman. This is another soft reboot with a new status quo and new supporting cast. It is a broad strokes sequel to all the previous series while ignoring the various parts that contradict. One example of that fact is that this read does not pick up where the previous series ended with Terry joining the Justice League to be the team’s Batman. The league is completely absent from this title.
Instead, the plot is that Bruce Wayne has been murdered by a self-aware AI that has manifested out of the infrastructure of Neo-Gotham. It wishes to take complete control over the city and kill the last piece of resistance, Terry. So, Terry is on his own and must take the fight to a technologically superior enemy. That means all his usual gadgets and tech are out the window. It is time to use what Bruce has trained him to be --a ninja in the night and to operate based on hit and run tactics.
The story acts like this is the first time that he has fought without Bruce for such a long period of time however in other series he also has done this same thing. It is hard to know if that is still canon since the character has been rebooted and retconned so much. It is harder to get invested in a character with so much rebooting.
Each new writer has their own new spin with a new villain and new love interest for Terry. One weird thing is that his new love interest looks a lot like his most commonly used love interest. The art depicts them very similarly.
Despite these flaws and a lack of humor from Terry who is usually more prone to jokes, Batman Beyond: Neo-Year by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing is a good read. It is a darker tale so working in his more jokey parts of his personality might have been too difficult. I enjoyed this action-packed thriller with featured a more guerrilla warfare version of Terry. The layouts on some of the pages are really different than what normally is done. The art is pretty good and the new characters introduced are interesting. I really liked Batman Beyond: Neo-Year by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing.
On the last page, it is declared that Batman Beyond will continue in 2023 in some new form. So, one is hopeful that this means an actual follow up and not another soft reboot.
My reading copy was on Hoopla via the Dallas Public Library System.
Scott A. Tipple ©2023