Batman Beyond volume 2 #24
DC Comics (October, 2001)
“Terry’s Mom Dates A Splicer”
WRITER: Hilary Bader
PENCILER: Craig Rosseau
INKER: Rob Leigh
COLORIST: Shannon Blanchard
SEPARATIONS: Digital Chameleon
LETTERER: John Costanza
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Michael Wright
EDITOR: Bob Schreck
Splicers try breaking into the lab where Terry’s mom works, but Batman defeats them. They work for a man named Noah, who has spliced numerous animals and thanks to a genetic quirk is able to control the various forms. He has another plan to get into the laboratory–just date one of the workers. And guess who he picks. Terry is suspicious of Noah, and it turns out he’s right to because Noah wants the alien DNA found on samples taken from a Mars expedition. However, the alien DNA isn’t as easy for him to control as Earth animals and it takes him over. Batman manages to rescue his mother and stop Noah, who is going to need treatment in Metropolis.
What they got right: At least they explain why Noah can handle being spliced with multiple animals and shapeshift when Dr. Cuvier couldn’t after he got a DNA overload. The idea of Terry not being comfortable with his mom dating again probably wouldn’t have had room to be properly explored in the comic but it does serve as a question as to whether Terry’s dislike of Noah comes from his “jealousy” or the instincts he’s gotten being Batman. Splicing alien DNA is one way to making splicing a relevant process again besides a random slicer in gangs like the Jokerz.
What they got wrong: Still, it would have been interesting to see Terry wrong, since it’s something of a cliche that the hero is proven right in this sort of situation. I’m also sad to see this comic go. I’m not sure why I didn’t pick up more issues of Batman: Gotham Adventures around this time (there’s a reason there have been so many Batman Beyond reviews in a row) while Superman Adventures had drifted away from the tone of the show and started doing more Silver Age style stuff, which is why I lost interest there. (With the show long since off the air I might be more accepting of those stories, especially considering we’re still under the Bendis crisis.) Meanwhile the Batman Beyond we get now is “Terry fights Bruce’s old enemies except when someone else takes over as Batman”, although long time readers know I dropped out after the first Beechan miniseries.
Recommendation: Ignore what DC is doing today, and look up the Batman Beyond cartoon as well as this run as a whole. It’s mostly good stuff (nothing’s perfect) and worth your time. It’s really quite good and a good addition to the DC Animated Universe.