Is this a Jack Kirby anniversary year that I hadn’t noticed? Kobra and Apokolips are both featured in the recent futuristic Beyond title which has me wondering if this is a Jack Kirby anniversary year given that Kobra just showed up in Young Justice #16 this week too.
Batman Beyond Unlimited #4 is a fine title. Like Young Justice, Batman Beyond Unlimited is quickly becoming one of my favorite DC titles. The strength of this book is the multi-story format helping to expand the Beyond World. Like 2099 Unlimited a decade before it, this title can explore not only the prominent characters but also bring in new faces to the world. At the moment this title is being filled with characters that Beyond fans already know but hopefully new characters will appear in time.
Like the previous issues we see Justice League Beyond on the trail of Korba’s plans and Terry McGinnis’ solo adventure combating Mad Max–which seems to throw doubt on the Batman Beyond miniseries from two summers ago. Additionally this title also provides more exploration of the Kryptonians place in the Beyond world and an exposition heavy glimpse at War Hawks secret origin as narrated by the tight lipped character.
My main gripe with this issue is that it is out of order. The previous issues started with the solo Mad Stan vs. Batman story and then ended on the Kobra story. Because of that opening this story–which starts with the Justice League vs Kobra story–was slightly confusing at first.
This is a good Bruce Wayne Beyond issue. The grumpy mentor that was hoarding kryptonite just in case also has a few other tricks up his sleeve. Dipping into the trophies around the cave is always fun. Dipping into his uniform closet is also fun. Batman Beyond gets a new temporary look as he slips into a prototype suit.
Perhaps it is my distaste for complicated cross-overs that makes me excited to find a world developed completely within one title. Even with a few one-shots like Superman Beyond, the Unlimited title is a growing world that needs to start developing more unique characters. 2099 Unlimited was a proving ground for new characters and this Beyond Unlimited title can be as well.
I’d still like to see Kevin Hopps take a turn drawing this title. Hopps is currently nailing the cartoon to comic page look over in Young Justice at the moment. I’d like to see Hopps take on the Beyond world.
So, what happens next?
Batman Beyond Unlimited #5:
Superman faces off against a new generation of Luthor! The conclusion of the origin of Warhawk in Justice League! Batman Beyond sees both the introduction of a major new character and tells an important story for Beyond and classic fans alike! Don’t miss these digital-first tales!
Introducing a new character should be interesting and it is about time.
Art by: Howard Porter, Livesay, Norm Fogle