- Terry McGinnis realizes that Batman must represent hope, not just vengeance, to truly make a difference in Gotham; similarly, Robert Pattinson’s on-screen version of Batman had a revelation of this kind in the Matt Reeves’ film.
- Terry fights back against fear itself to defeat the twisted creation of the Court of Owls, the Batman Beneath, emphasizing the importance of confronting and overcoming one’s fears.
- Batman is about spreading love and hope, reminding people that love can still be found in the darkest of situations, as Terry’s love for Kyle helps defeat the Batman Beneath.
Warning: Spoilers for Batman Beyond: Neo-Gothic #4!
The latest Bruce Wayne of the big screen shares a common belief with the Batman Beyond. Robert Pattinson’s iteration in the Batman opens with a young Bruce proclaiming himself to be a symbol of vengeance. Upon seeing his antagonists operating for the same reason, he realizes instead that Batman must represent hope. In his own words, “Vengeance won’t change the past … I have to become more. People need hope. To know someone’s out 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 the Batman Beneath once and for all, Terry concludes that there is only one weapon against a personification of fear: denying it.
“Batman isn’t death,” Terry defiantly says, as the Batman Beneath charges at him. “And he can’t live in fear. None of us can.” This is a thematically similar line to the one from Matt Reeves’ film, drawing a direct connection between the two versions of the Bat, reinforcing what it means for each of them to be Batman.
Batman Isn’t Death, Batman Is Life
The Batman Beneath, a twisted creation of the Court of Owls, forces Terry and his sidekick Kyle the Catboi to succumb to their worst nightmares. Kyle, forced to relive the day he broke away from his mentor, Constantine, gets the worst of the ordeal. To save them both, Terry combats the monster head-on. Rather than simply fight back against the monster, he fights back against fear itself. As Terry explains to Kyle, before embracing him with a hug, the only way to get out of something like this is to get through it. With that said, the Batman Beneath evaporates into thin air.
As a twisted version of Batman himself, the Batman Beneath emphasizes fear, almost like a diluted parody of the real deal. More specifically, it’s the product of a creator –in this case, the Court of Owls –who wanted to make a Batman by focusing on one of his characteristics, fear, without understanding, or caring to understand, the whole of the person. It takes Terry, the Batman who learned what it means to fulfil the role directly from the original, to point out what Batman is truly about. Batman is about reminding people like Kyle that hope can be found in hopeless situations.
Batman Is About Love, In His Own Unique Way
Batman is about spreading love and hope, something that the Batman portrayed on-screen by Robert Pattinson, and the Batman of the future Terry McGinnis, both grew to understand, as they embracing being Gotham’s protector. Part of their crusade against evil includes reminding people that love can still be found in the darkness. Terry’s love for Kyle is enough to put a stop to the Batman Beneath and the fear he created. As Terry puts it, “Don’t be afraid. The past’s a shadow. But we’re the night.” Such a realization gives a whole new meaning to the phrase Batman Beyond because Batman always has to be more, far beyond just being a symbol of fear.
Batman Beyond: Neo-Gothic #4 is available now from DC Comics.