The last Bruce Wayne of the big screen shares a common belief with the Batman Beyond. The iteration of Robert Pattinson in tthe batman It begins with a young Bruce proclaiming himself a symbol of revenge. Seeing his antagonists operating for the same reason, he realizes that Batman must represent hope. In his own words, “Revenge won’t change the past… I have to be more. People need hope. To know that there is someone there for them.”
Terry McGinnis expresses the same belief in Batman Beyond: Neo-Gothic #4 – by Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing, Max Dunbar, Rain Beredo and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. To defeat Batman Beneath once and for all, Terry concludes that there is only one weapon against the embodiment of fear: denying it.
“Batman is not death” Terry says defiantly, as Batman Beneath charges at him. “And he can’t live in fear. None of us can.” This is a thematically similar line to that of Matt Reeves’ film, which establishes a direct connection between the two versions of the Bat, reinforcing what it means for each of them to be Batman.
Batman is not death, Batman is life
Batman Beneath, a twisted creation of the Court of Owls, forces Terry and his partner Kyle the Catboi to succumb to their worst nightmares. Kyle, forced to relive the day he broke up with his mentor, Constantine, has the worst experience. To save them both, Terry fights the monster head-on. Instead of simply fighting the monster, he fights fear itself. As Terry explains to Kyle, before hugging him, the only way out of something like this is to get over it. That being said, Batman Beneath evaporates into thin air.
Like a twisted version of Batman himself, Batman Beneath emphasizes fear, almost like a watered-down parody of the real deal. More specifically, he is the product of a creator – in this case, the Court of Owls – who wanted to make a Batman focusing on one of his characteristics, fear, without understanding or worrying about understanding the totality of the person. It takes Terry, the Batman who learned what it means to play the role directly from the original, to point out what Batman is really about. Batman tries to remind people like Kyle that hope can be found in desperate situations.
Batman is about love, in his own unique way
Batman is about spreading love and hope, something that the Batman played on screen by Robert Pattinson and the Batman of the future Terry McGinnis came to understand as they agreed to be Gotham’s protector. Part of his crusade against evil includes reminding people that love can still be found in the darkness. Terry’s love for Kyle is enough to stop Batman Beneath and the fear it created. As Terry says, “Do not be afraid. The past is a shadow. But we are the night.” This understanding gives a whole new meaning to the phrase Batman Beyond because Batman always has to be more, far beyond being just a symbol of fear.
batman Beyond: neo-gothic #4 is now available from DC Comics.