Sunday, September 9, 2012


I'm finally getting caught up with all the behind-the-scenes of some of these issues. Then I'll probably venture off into all sorts of shop talk and other topics that come to mind.

Let's start off with the title name itself…Batman Beyond Unlimited. Sort of a catch-all title since there's all sorts of stories running in the Beyond universe. And since it all started with Batman Beyond, it was his name that would be most associated for the title itself. At the time I came up with the name, it was looking like the stories that Dustin and I would be working on would be a team-up book. It would be Batman (Terry) teaming up "Brave & The Bold" style with some other Beyond hero each story. But then that would get changed into us doing Justice League Beyond. And then once the League got put in there with Batman Beyond and later Superman Beyond, it just all fell under the "Unlimited" banner.

As far as this issue's cover, this one seems to get a lot of notice for Terry's cape. I mentioned before that some of the early talks between Dustin and I when brainstorming ideas, was to try to make the book our own. Give it a bit of our own taste and flavor and put our own style and identity on it. So one of the first things we came up with was doing something with Terry's Batman uniform…to add a cape. This was all before the new52 launch was known. And I think once it did come out, and we saw the redesign for Nightwing's costume (black & red), I immediately got a little worried. It was one thing that Batwoman's outfit got designed with a very Beyond color scheme with the black and red, but now the new Nightwing uniform as well? It felt like some of the Beyond stylings were being used outside of Beyond. Made me want to change Terry's cape and bat symbol color into something different (maybe a purple or blue or something). But better heads prevailed, and Dustin kept it red. Definitely looks striking. Of course it's only a temporary thing, as Terry will have his suit fixed up by Bruce in no time.
As for the rest of the JLB story this issue, there's probably not a whole lot more to say. It's finally our big battle issue, as everyone groups together to fight the giant snake. A chance to see allies and enemies side-by-side for a brief period. An excuse to have all the girls go into battle together, along with all the winged characters.
top half art by James Brouwer / bottom half animation from the Justice League show
Batman Beyond Unlimited #7 would be one of our busy issues, with half of the League's allotment of 20 pages going to another Beyond: Origin segment. This time, for Aquagirl. As I mentioned last time, at the time of writing the entire Justice League Beyond "Konstriction" script, it wasn't known that we'd be doing origin stories (and that they'd be placed sporadically in throughout the run). That came later once the script was done. There was no mandate to tie in any of those origins to anything going on in the current arc, but when we could, I thought it might be an interesting way for the two to relate to one another. Especially with the origins showing up almost "commercial break" style in these issues.

Since Aquagirl was going into battle with the Female Furies, it would be ironic if that was the plan for her earlier in her life (kidnapped against her father's will of course). It was a chance to recap the Aquaman story in the animated series, and see ol' hook hand Aquaman in action. I think as goofy as that look seemed to be originally in the comics, I really liked how it was adapted into the animated series.

Watch List:  Justice League "The Enemy Below" Parts 1 & 2
James art on the left / the original creation by Jack Kirby on the right
This origin story also gave me a chance to drag out yet another old Kirby creation "Deep Six". I mean, these forgotten characters wouldn't have a chance to show up anywhere else. But with the way they're tied into Apokolips and the ocean…of course they'd be perfect to fit into this story as the ones sent to kidnap Aquaman & Mera's child. He has the worst luck when it comes to his children apparently.
Marina doing her best "Part Of Your World" impression
The story definitely wears it's homage to "The Little Mermaid" right out in the open. And that was even before this story was written, as the show itself cast Jodi Benson (Ariel's speaking and singing voice) as Aquagirl in Batman Beyond. So we just kept that running theme here, about the sheltered girl from the ocean, growing up and wanting to venture to the surface world against her father's wishes. But gave it more of a DC animated spin to the complications.
There's always been some debate by the shippers who they'd like Aquagirl to be with. But this story, we sort of solidified that she's with Rex (Warhawk). In their brief appearance in Batman Beyond, Marina was always the most welcoming to Terry joining the League. The most open and friendly towards him. But I always felt she was closest to Warhawk. And far be it from me to break up Terry and Dana.
James snuck in some familiar fish-wear at the bottom right...
Artist James Brouwer did a great job drawing the story. I think our editor or Dustin coined the term, that James brought a very "dark Disney" feel to the art, which was perfect for this story. Very animation friendly. I really love what he brought to it, and it was a joy seeing the pages as they came in! And more origins still to come for Micron, Barda, and Kai-Ro.


  1. Man, I'd totally dig a "Brave and the Bold" style team up book with Terry Mcginnis done by you guys.

    1. While it would've been interesting, I think it was probably too close to double dipping Batman Beyond. At least with the League, we'll be having all sort of characters showing up and not just limited to Terry.