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Today, in the pages of Batman: Urban Legends #7, the future hero known as Batman Beyond returned to DC Comics with the battle of his life. In the new story, Terry McGinnis was tasked with finding out who killed his mentor, Bruce Wayne, and discovered plenty of new secrets about his city in the process. Now, with the legacy of Batman resting squarely on his shoulders, Terry McGinnis is embarking on the next chapter of his adventure in Neo Gotham.
As teased on the final page of his Urban Legends story, next year will bring the launch of Batman Beyond: Neo-Year, a six-issue miniseries from writers Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing and artist Max Dunbar, the same creative team who brought Terry back to solve Bruce's murder. Drawing inspiration from classic noir stories like Batman: Year One and Batman: The Long Halloween, Neo-Year will follow Terry as he sets out to rebuild the Batman legacy for himself, even as the very heart of Neo Gotham seeks to oppose him at every turn.
"This is the long-awaited next chapter in Terry McGinnis' life—one where he must learn what becoming Batman means to him in a city that doesn't want to be saved," Lanzing told SYFY WIRE. "We're digging into the noir tradition of Batman: Year One and The Long Halloween to push Terry past the lessons Bruce gave him and into a tradition defined by his own character and the strange new Gotham in which he operates. What's past is prologue. This Batman must go beyond."
In the gallery below, you can get an exclusive first look at Neo-Year #1 via Dunbar and colorist Sebastian Cheng's main cover for the issue, as well as a variant cover by Christian Ward.
As revealed in the pages of Urban Legends #7, Terry's facing a powerful new threat in Neo Gotham in the form of the city itself, which has formed into a sophisticated and deadly artificial intelligence with no reason to trust or believe in Batman Beyond. With that new foe in mind, it's up to Terry to literally protect the city from itself, all while forging ahead on a path that, for the first time, he'll have to walk without Bruce Wayne in his corner.
"Terry is finding out what it means to truly be Batman, without the mentorship and guidance of Bruce Wayne, and the support system he had relied on," Dunbar said. "He'll feel for the first time what it means to be alone in a city that wants him dead."
For longtime Batman Beyond fans, it's an exciting time, as we find out where Terry McGinnis will go as he finally moves beyond Bruce Wayne and the old ways of being Batman. That means that, while the character's history is still in the minds of the creative team, the "neo" in Neo-Year is something they're embracing. This is a new age of Batman Beyond, and it'll have the characters and stories to prove it.
"We're hoping to forge a new path forward into Neo Gotham in a way that fans of the show will love and be excited to see," Dunbar said. "There are familiar faces, but it is a time of great change in Neo Gotham. There will be plenty of new threats for Terry to face, as well as some old ones. Sebastian has managed to fuse the dark and brooding look of the animated series with his own take on cyberpunk tech noir that is nothing short of stunning. I feel so lucky to be working with him on this project."
Lanzing added, "Our number one priority with Neo-Year is to introduce new villains, new allies, and a new paradigm for Neo Gotham. Fans can expect the return of certain fan favorites like the Jokerz and Commissioner Barbara Gordon—but we're taking this opportunity to forge a new era quite seriously. Bruce's villains reflected his journey through mental health. obsession, and tragedy—it's time that Terry had a rogues gallery who reflected his path through legacy, loneliness, and hope."
The next phase of Terry's path forward begins when Batman Beyond: Neo-Year #1 arrives April 5, 2022.