Warning: Contains spoilers for Batman Beyond: Neo-Gothic #3!
- Terry McGinnis must shed Bruce Wayne’s legacy and flaws in order to save Neo-Gotham and its citizens, striving to become a better hero.
- Batman’s secretive nature and lack of trust in others resulted in negative consequences, leading Terry to prioritize honesty and trust.
- Terry’s journey through the darkness beneath Gotham symbolizes his quest to surpass the achievements of the first Batman, requiring him to trust others and leave behind Bruce Wayne’s shortcomings.
Since Terry McGinnis took the cowl, Batman Beyond has chronicled his journey toward being a better hero than Bruce Wayne ever managed. Although he protected Gotham for decades, it was often with cruel ruthlessness. Now, as Batman delves deeper into the world beneath Neo-Gotham, Terry must shed Bruce Wayne’s legacy and flaws in order to save the city and its citizens.
In Batman Beyond: Neo-Gothic #3 by Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Max Dunbar, Sebastian Cheng, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, Batman and his companion Kyle the Catboi continue their search for the Court of Owls, some missing children, and whatever secrets the endless dark holds. Batman begins to question his companion about his past, but Kyle repeatedly deflects or avoids his questions, leaving Terry to remind him that he was trained by the master of that evasive tactic.
Not only was Bruce Wayne secretive, Terry says that he “never kept a secret that didn’t come back to punch him in the heart.” It isn’t a mistake he wants to repeat, nor will he support that lack of trust from anyone else.
Batman Beyond Will Always Choose to Trust
In the Neo-Gotham timeline, Bruce Wayne continued to wear the cowl until he had nothing left to give. His tactics of fear and control ultimately failed, preventing him from becoming the hero he originally sought to be. He was never able to save Gotham, not through his own actions or through the many proteges he mentored over the years. Instead, his body began to wear down until a twisted version of Gotham itself killed him by overloading his pacemaker — making Terry’s comment about a punch to the heart both darkly metaphorical and literal all at once. Bruce put everything into being Batman, and even after wearing the cowl for a while, Terry is still finding out new secrets he kept.
Even thought Bruce told Terry that Waylon Jones had died, Batman and Kyle came face to face with a starved and raging Killer Croc. Bruce also never mentioned the maze and vault beneath Gotham Deep, yet there are clear signs everywhere that the original Batman was involved in sealing away the Court and whatever waits deeper in the darkness. Throughout his whole Dark Knight career, Bruce maintained tight control of everything around him, making contingency plan upon contingency plan for practically every eventuality. He did much of that alone, entrusting Gotham to no one but himself. In the end, those who follow in his footsteps are left to pay the price.
Batman’s journey through the deepest layers beneath Gotham is the perfect symbol for navigating the world Bruce Wayne left behind. Terry must find a path beyond it, just as he’s meant to become a hero beyond what the first Batman accomplished. That means walking headlong into the darkness and finding a way to the other side. He must be the one to shrug off the shroud of fear and isolation and find something new — and that starts with trusting others. As he and Kyle plunge into yet another level, Terry says that he doesn’t want to “choose the dark” but is the only one who can. Batman Beyond heads toward the heart of darkness in order to leave Bruce Wayne’s biggest shortcomings behind.
Batman Beyond: Neo-Gothic #3 is available now from DC Comics!