Batman Beyond: Industrial Revolution (Graphic Novel 168 pages) was another of the graphic novels that I picked up a while ago after I finished reading Batman Beyond: Batgirl Beyond.
I can now safely say that I read the entire series completely backwards, but at least I know what order the stories are supposed to be in now. Obviously, the story starts with the three seasons of the animated Batman Beyond cartoon that aired a long time ago and then continues with the animated movie Batman Beyond: the Return of the Joker. After that, I think there’s supposed to be a Batman Beyond: Hush, which should be a trade paperback that happens after those events. Then, it’s Batman Beyond: Industrial Revolution, Batman Beyond: 10,000 Clowns, and Batman Beyond: Batgirl Beyond. But even if you do find those and you read them in the proper order, it appears as though there are still character holes in the storyline.
Having read the two stories that follow this one, I can see that there were a lot of tie-ins and a lot of foreshadowing going on throughout all three books. I thought it was pretty nicely tied together and that was one of the things I always enjoyed about the animated series. Batman Beyond always felt like one continuous storyline that remained consistent and true to its origins. Characters and events that happen in the story are referenced and lessons are learned based on the threat Batman has to face at any given time. I enjoyed seeing all the initial threads for the two follow-on stories tied in with this one.
I also like how this series ties in with the animated series. The piece about Inque at the end of the graphic novel was interesting and kind of motivated me to take action to help more people out. And it really made me look at how ungrateful so many of us are for so many common things, and also a bit about how we don’t really listen to each other very well, nor are we very good as a people of taking care of those who actually need it.
I don’t normally notice the artwork because I tend to focus mostly on the story and the characters, but I did find the Batman artwork a little awkward in this graphic novel. It seemed to me as though Batman’s face and mask were a little too … evil Joker-looking for me, what with big grins and a very pointed nose.
I’m glad that I read this and would probably rate it at about a three on my scale. And I’m even more thankful because now I actually think I know what order the books are supposed to be in.