Terry McGinnis -- the Batman of the future in Batman Beyond -- is not only dealing with the revelation that his long-thought-dead mentor Bruce Wayne is apparently alive, but he's doing so in a dashing new suit.
As seen in this week's Batman Beyond #4, the new suit bears a striking resemblance to the classic Batman Beyond garb, except that it's struck through with lines of red tech/detailing, and the cape is seemingly attached to the costume's arms.
Batman Beyond has seen a lot of changes in the last couple of years.
The comic, based on the hit animated series from 15 years ago, has been published on and off by DC Comics since then, but hasn't really found a permanent home in the publishing lineup.
Part of that is likely the nature of the comics market: stand-alone series that don't tie into the larger shared universe or play into big events are generally considered extracanonical, and so "unimportant" and ignored by a portion of the superhero comics-reading audience.
Batman Beyond is, by nature, one of those books. It takes place in a possible alternate future in which Bruce Wayne is no longer physically capable of being Batman, so he allows a younger man to wear a batsuit filled with tech that allows Wayne to help him wage war on crime.
The character was incorporated into a major DC story in 2014's The New 52: Futures End, which saw Batman Beyond's future overrun by OMACs. Wayne sent Terry McGinnis 35 years into the past to prevent the rise of Brother Eye, but somehow he arrived five years too late and the whole Futures End story ended up being another alternative future. Following the events of that story, McGinnis was dead and the "Five Years Later" Tim Drake, wearing Terry's batsuit, ended up returning to Terry's present to be the next Batman.
That lasted the duration of the 30-issue series that ended with Batman Beyond: Rebirth. In the last few issues of the Drake series, McGinnis returned, but had been brainwashed and had to be restored not only to his role as Batman but to himself.
And now that we've had somebody else in the costume for a while, the look of Batman Beyond -- unchanged since the TV series in what's an almost unprecedented move in this era of comics -- changed this week.
It was born out of necessity: the suit has been damaged several times since Futures End, and it's always difficult to get back up and running since Bruce Wayne has been out of the picture since his apparent death in that series. In Batman Beyond #2, it was severely damaged and Terry wasn't seen wearing it in #3. When he reappeared in #4, he was wearing the new suit, based on experimental specs found in Bruce Wayne's Bat-computer.
You can check out the issue at your local comic shop, see our preview pages below, or order a digital copy here.