For the first time in the current run of the Batman Beyond comic book series we catch a glimpse of Terry’s very first villain. No, not the Jokers that chased him to Wayne Manor. That other guy… you know the one I’m talking about. Read on if you’re not sure.

The new story arc, starting with issue 5, is focusing in on Wayne Industries and unrest amongst the employees over their working conditions. This issue also re-introduced Paxton Powers back into the fold, fresh out of the slammer and back on the streets.

I feel like Adam Beechen is doing doing a wonderful job with the new Batman Beyond book. He has the love/hate relationship between Terry McGinnis and Bruce Wayne of the future down pat. I’m not really sure if they plan on following up on the continuity set up in the Justice League Unlimited episode “Epilogue”, but I certainly hope they do. It makes for an interesting story and getting Terry out of High School should be a priority for this book.

In this month’s book, I liked the added character layer to Terry’s girlfriend Dana. The addition of a brother returning from “parts unknown” added tension and drama to a side character who is treated mostly as an afterthought or as a plot device to add conflict for Terry.

The other big non-superhero surprise this month was the way Bruce Wayne was handled by the chief negotiator for his employee’s union. It is not often Bruce Wayne is on the losing end of anything let alone a conversation. It is nice to see they are getting him out of the Batcave as it can do nothing but add complexity to the story.

Now, the Cape-less Crusader was not immune to a surprise or two of his own. First, Terry was dumped by the above mentioned Dana. Then, when following Paxton Powers to an abandoned Wayne Enterprises warehouse (can you spot the easter egg in the warehouse?) only to have his conversation with Paxton come to an “explosive” conclusion. The other surprise, which we know but Terry and Bruce do not, Blight (Derek Powers) has returned!

If you’re not a reading this book, you are missing out on some top-notch storytelling. You won’t have to have seen every episode of the cartoon, but it sure does help. I’m really interested to see how Blight survived his last encounter with Batman Beyond and hopefully we’ll get those answers next month in issue 6.