Batman Beyond: 10,000 Clowns (DC)

10,000 clowns

Rating: 4/5 – The Hero We Need.
Collects Batman Beyond digital chapters 1-16.

Batman is never the wrong answer – unless you’re asking whose parents are coming to Show & Tell.

Outside of that loophole, DC has done a great job over the last two decades proving to the world at large that the Batgod is the most unstoppable force in the DCU. And, as much as I love that rendition of the unflappable sociopath, DC has struggled to tell stories that make anyone wearing the cape and cowl relatable.

That’s what makes the Batman Beyond concept such a coup.

The man beneath the mask isn’t Bruce. He isn’t infallible or the world’s most brilliant billionaire detective, he’s so much more the everyman. Terry has a family, and that gives him not just something to lose, but something to fight for. When Terry dons the mask for the first time, it isn’t about justice; it’s about revenge with just a splash of petty larceny.

As the Batman changes, so to must his rogues gallery. All that remains of the Joker are bunch of loosely connected bands of street toughs. Trouble makers and thugs in face paint hassling people on the maglev for their change. With small exception, these gangs are unworthy, barely a nuisance to the populace living high atop the spires of Neo Gotham. That is until a crazed maniac calling himself the Joker King turns them into mind controlled suicide bombers and sends them out into the city. Overnight the menace of their threat escalates astronomically.

While the story doesn’t provide the depth of a book like say, Watchmen, writer Adam Beechen pens a world that feels and sounds like the animated series which is an immense complement. He is able to fold in newer concepts like Batman Inc. in a way that feels natural, without undoing the magic of the TV show’s continuity.

Of all the things that please me immensely in this book, nothing brings a smile to my face more than the return of Norm Breyfogle to the bat fold. Jim Aparo aside, he is my Batman artist. With his smooth almost liquid style he is able to capture elements of Bruce Timm’s designs, while maintaining the style that made him famous on books like Prime and Detective Comics.

Batman Beyond: 10,000 Clowns is the perfect jumping on point for fans of the Dark Knight. It reminds us why Terry McGinnis is the only man to make the mantle his own, not just a repaint of the Batman you already know, but something beyond him.

Guest Reviewer: Asher L. Turnaround – Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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