WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Batman Beyond #18
At long last, Batman Beyond has a Robin of his own in Matt McGinnis, Terry's little brother. It's a moment that's been a long time coming, as reader of DC's new Batman Beyond comic series have watched Terry's little brother living his own superhero origin story in slow motion. All under the watchful eye of Bruce Wayne himself.
Years out of practice have arguably dulled Terry's senses and instincts, but he's back on the job in the new future of DC's Rebirth continuity. He's still the same Terry fans of the animated series, features, and comics know and lover. But in the world of Neo-Gotham, the criminals are upping their game on a daily basis. And Terry may finally need help.
Time for Matt McGinnis to choose his own destiny as... Robin Beyond?
The writing has been on the wall for a few issues now, as Matt McGinnis started his own Robin training behind both Bruce and Terry's back, examining Batcave recordings of Bruce training his son, Damian Wayne. But the official debut comes in Batman Beyond #18 when Terry finds himself outmaneuvered by the villain Payback (a different threat than either Bruce or Terry believed).
Seeing his big brother in need of help, Matt makes good on the issue's cover art, and smashes open the display case Damian's costume is stored in, and dons it himself.
The issue concludes with Matt taking parts of Damian's costume and a hover motorcycle to rescue his brother, meaning his first official fight as Terry's Robin will come in Issue #19. Once the threat of Payback is concluded, series writer Dan Jurgens will turn greater attention to Matt's own journey.
One that Bruce Wayne is familiar with, having trained multiple successors and sidekicks. But one that Terry is... less enthusiastic about. Jurgens explains to Newsarama:
First of all, there really aren’t that many siblings that function as superhero partners. The idea of Batman having a kid brother as a Robin felt fresh — certainly different than Bruce taking a young person off the street and giving them a costume. Secondly, it forces Terry McGinnis to be somewhat protective as Batman. That’s a bit counter to being a hero, right? Most heroes are supposed charge into battle in selfless fashion.
Suddenly, we have Terry who, as legal guardian of his brother, is bound to be protective of him... Let’s just say it won’t be the instant “Dynamic Duo” that people might expect. There are bound to be growing pains here.
Jurgens goes on to address those who may feel that such a move runs counter to the origins or spirit of Batman Beyond. The hero was created to fight crime with Bruce Wayne in his ear, no longer able to be by his side, which is a partnership of its own. According to Jurgens, fans of the original animated series will find this new arc for the McGinnis brothers "perfectly consistent."
What do you Batman Beyond fans think? Is Matt McGinnis' promotion to Robin only natural? Is a (biological) brother duo of Batman and Robin long overdue?
Batman Beyond #18 is available now from DC Comics. Batman Beyond #19 arrives on April 25, 2018.