Batman Beyond #21 (volume 2)
DC Comics (July, 2001)
“In Blackest Day”
(don’t worry, no notazombies here)
WRITER: Hilary J. Bader
PENCILER: Rick Burchett
INKER: Dan Davis
COLORIST: Shannon Blanchard
SEPARATIONS: Digital Chameleon
LETTERER: John Costanza
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Michael Wright
EDITOR: Bob Schreck
With members of the Justice League on another mission, Batman agrees to stand-in alongside Green Lantern Kai-Ro, Barda, and Warhawk. (Dana is not too happy about not having access to Terry for two weeks.) During his stay a ship is attacked by robots and the group goes to investigate. While the robots are defeated the ship’s occupant, using a “black light” ring similar to the Green Lantern rings, attacks our heroes and Kai-Ro is not able to push it back. Disappointed in himself because he believes the fault likes with him (there is no yellow weakness in the rings now but it acted like the black light worked like one), Kai-Ro takes the opportunity of Aquagirl’s early return to head back to the monastery he grew up in to solve his problem, but Batman soon realizes that “Black Light” was after him…and indeed Black Light is waiting at the monastery, with the monks defeated!
What they got right: The “Justice League Unlimited” (the future version of the Justice League long before the Cartoon Network series) didn’t make a lot of appearances. One episode of Batman Beyond and time-travel episodes of both Static Shock and Justice League Unlimited (fittingly enough, but an alternate reality story) and that was it. So I like that we got to see them in action again. Black Light makes for a good “anti-Lantern” in the days before Geoff Johns started playing with other colors besides green and yellow with his spectrum idea.
What they got wrong: There’s no explanation given why Aquagirl comes back. I like her and I’m glad she can make it into the story but why not leave her here if she’s going to show up without a reason? For that matter Micron really never gets to do anything in these appearances so it would have been nice to see him as well. The story needs Kai-Ro, and Batman’s interactions with both Warhawk and Barda are interesting, but really Superman is the only one that would deter from the story. I guess Bader couldn’t work Micron into this story either but that still leads to why Aquagirl is suddenly here when she was with them, but they haven’t returned?
Recommendation: The story is starting strong and hopefully will also have a strong finish. Cautiously recommended for now.