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Review: Batman Beyond #12

beyond“Wired for Death Part 1 of 4” opens in the Batcave. It is earlier in the history of Batman Beyond, before Brother Eye. Barbara Gordon is commissioner of the Gotham City Police Department and she and an aged Bruce Wayne, walking with a cane, walk up to Terry McGinnis. Bruce is furious, he yells at Terry to leave and Barbara tries to talk Bruce down. Terry is adding his own case files to Bruce’s files. We see on the computer three of Batman Beyond’s villains in addition to the Penguin, Joker, Mr. Freeze, and Killer Croc. Above Bruce’s villains is a picture of Red Robin. Terry is surprised at Bruce’s anger, after all he is trying to do is to document his cases. Bruce uses his cane to shut off the computer and storms out with Ace, his dog. Barbara calls out after Bruce insisting that Terry did not mean any harm. Terry is equally angry at Bruce Wayne.


Barbara now focuses her attention to Terry. She defends Bruce, saying that his intensity is what kept him alive when he was Batman. Terry still does not understand what set Bruce off, he continues to think it was one of the villains that was on the screen. Barbara tells Terry that it was not a villain but a friend that set Bruce off. Barbara says that Bruce fears that something could happen to Terry, who insists that he hasn’t suffered any injuries in his cases as the new Batman. Barbara refers to some of Bruce’s protégés not ending well. Terry mentions Jason Todd but Barbara says that he was resurrected but one was not so lucky. We see an image of Tim Drake as Red Robin. The issue is that Tim actually fell off the face of the Earth. All Tim said was that he needed some rest and no one ever heard from Tim Drake again. Bruce spent years trying to find Tim but he could not find any trace of him. When Bruce saw Terry reading the Tim’s case files of himself, it reminded Bruce of his greatest failure.


We go forward in time to the “present”. An older Barbara is standing in front of the Red Robin uniform talking to Tim Drake, Batman Beyond. She mentioned to Tim that there was an alarm indicating a break-in at S.T.A.R. Labs. Tim insists that he can take care of it without the need to call the police.


Barbara taps into the lab’s security camera. She sees some of the employees dead and the perpetrators are in the Tech Forward Wing that houses the super secret items. Barbara sees that there is only one invader but she cannot get a good look at him. She sees him reaching for what looks like a battery. The man is charged up and starts to leave. Tim attacks discovering that the perp is Rewire. Tim has been looking for him ever since the tailor was killed in issue 7. Rewire fights back telling Tim that he did not kill the man and he is not going to go down. Barbara hears this exchange and debriefs Tim on Rewire’s past. He is not a meta but rather the troubled son of a former mayor of Gotham who developed renewable sustainable power by using gravity as a source. Rewire tells Tim that the tailor was himself dirty. Tim wants to take him in so he can “convince” Barbara himself. All of a sudden the suit fails to work. None of Tim’s weapons are functioning and Rewire takes advantage of Tim’s situation.


Barbara tells Tim that the suit should be fully functional because all the systems are operational. It seems that the suit is ignoring Tim’s commands. Tim crashes into the Gotham harbor and fails to answer Barbara’s calls.


After the battle, Rewire meets up with a mystery companion. The companion praises Rewire for taking out Batman. The only question is that Rewire is not sure how he was able to defeat Batman. That does not matter, as all that matters is that they have done what they needed to do to keep Rewire alive. Next issue: Revelation!


The art in this issue is interesting. The last time we saw Bruce Wayne with Terry McGinnis in an in continuity book was in Future’s End. There we see an older Bruce Wayne but he was still Batman and was not using a cane. Here we see the Bruce Wayne from the Batman Beyond animated series. He is scarred and older and even needs a cane to move around. He also appears to have had the gruff mannerisms we saw in the series.


Bruce is not the only change, we see Barbara more as she appeared in the series as well. In the prior comic arc, Barbara looked older but she still had her red hair, in the flashback at the beginning of this issue, she looked like she did in the earlier issues of this series. When we move to the present, her appearance resembles her appearance in the animated series as well. With the art it appears to be a melding of the animated universe to this post Future’s End universe.


To the story itself. Not a lot happens here as this is only set up for a four part story. We clean up a little plot point from the Metropolis story line in revisiting Rewire but here we see he is working with an unknown partner. The main crux of this issue was the fight in which the batsuit stops functioning. What caused this failure, was it Rewire’s attack or something else. To answer that we will have to continue to follow this story.


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