After what seems like a year of being out of the spotlight following the end of Batman: Streets Of Gotham and the previous run of Batgirl, today marked the release of the first issue of Batman Beyond Unlimited which features our Justice League Beyond story that
and I have been working on behind the scenes for such a long stretch.
Of course, as part of the way DC is handling its release, the first 2 chapters of it came out at the start of the month digitally before being collected into print at the end of the month. And this is the way it'll continue, although that will sort of shift around once Superman Beyond also joins in on the fun.
Anyways I thought it would be cool to give a bit of a behind-the-scenes commentary on the issue. Thoughts about various scenes or characters and hints at things to come.
I'll start with the title "Konstriction". Our opening storyarc for Justice League Beyond concerns the criminal cult organization Kobra. I always felt there was some potential with them being a huge threat, as they got introduced on the Batman Beyond show towards the end of its run. So this was a chance to make them a huge threat, and just one of many Jack Kirby inspired elements that will show up over the course of this opening arc.
Splicers -- One of those great episodes in the show that brought a cool element to Gotham, having people splice their DNA with animals. After that episode, there was always elements of splicing present in the show here or there, but I always wondered what happened to their group after their leader presumably died. This was a way to open our story with something familiar, having that group of splicers form a gang that was getting into conflict with the Jokerz gang. Plus I thought it would be a bit of an odd confrontation as the Jokerz have their own spliced member in their crew (Woof).
Jokerz -- "Return Of The Joker" brought a lot of cool elements to the series, not least of which, was the newer Jokerz gang members. It was a no-brainer to include them here, just to see Dustin draw the Dee Dees along with Ghoul, Chucko, and Woof (if only Bonk had lived long enough heh heh). Having the twins be crime molls on the arm of the main Jokerz leader seemed like it would be fun. I actually picture them being the type to side up to a different beau with each appearance. And it was fun to create the new creepy Jack-In-The-Box inspired thug "Punchy".
Barda -- It's been too long since we've seen her regularly in comics. And she grew to be one of our favorites to work on. I can't wait until people see her backstory. We actually will have a chance to spotlight each character in their own "Beyond: Origins" stories interspersed between this opening arc, drawn by a variety of artists. And for Barda
we'll go back and see what life was like for her mom before she gave birth to Barda on Apokolips.
Bruce Wayne -- Just like his portrayal in the JLU show and comics, his Batman was always an unofficial member when needed. And that carries over here. With Terry on the team, Bruce will alway have some involvement throughout the series. And being able to play off his experience, history, and tenuous friendship with Superman, it makes it that much more interesting for him to keep tabs on what's going on. And the batcave always serves as a place for Terry to get away to, to talk with Bruce, away from the team.
GoLeMs -- Any chance to toss in villains and ideas from the old episodes, we'll take. Thought it would be fun having Willie Watt's robots attack a high school homecoming game. Seemed natural.
Commissioner Gordon -- I don't know how often we'll get the chance to have stories happen in Gotham, since the Justice League will always be more of a global unit. But I couldn't help wanting to have Barbara make an appearance here. Dustin draws a great old Babs.
Tie-Ins -- I've always said that our comic continues that Animated Series timeline, started in Batman, thru Superman, Justice League, and Beyond. Everything we need for foundation was started in that long continuity, and can only grow and enrich from there. So being able to mention Superman being controlled by Darkseid from the "Legacy" episodes, and also Starro's encounter with the future Justice League
.this is only the start. There'll be more tie-ins to all sorts of stories and how they relate to our current arc as we move forward. Just wait until you see Warhawk and Kai-Ro's origins.
I think that about covers it. Thanks to all the people that have bought the comic on their computer or at the comic shop. We appreciate it! And we're only just getting started.