Batman Beyond

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Batman Beyond
Batman Beyond title card.png
Genre Superhero
Action/Adventure
Science fiction
Cyberpunk
Mystery
Drama
Suspense
Format Animated series
Voices of Will Friedle
Kevin Conroy
Stockard Channing
Cree Summer
Lauren Tom
Angie Harmon
Composer(s) Shirley Walker
Lolita Ritmanis
Michael McCuistion
Kristopher Carter
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 52 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Jean MacCurdy
Shaun McLaughlin
Producer(s) Alan Burnett
Paul Dini
Glen Murakami
Bruce Timm
Running time 21–22 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel The WB Television Network
Original run January 10, 1999 (1999-01-10) – December 18, 2001 (2001-12-18)
Chronology
Preceded by Batman: The Animated Series
The New Batman Adventures
Related shows Superman: The Animated Series
The Zeta Project
Static Shock
Justice League
Justice League Unlimited

Batman Beyond (known as Batman of the Future in Europe, Latin America, Australia and India) is an American animated television series created by Warner Bros. Animation in collaboration with DC Comics as a continuation of the Batman legacy.[1] Depicting teenager Terry McGinnis as a new Batman in a futuristic Gotham City under the tutelage of an elderly Bruce Wayne, the series began airing on January 10, 1999, and ended its run on December 18, 2001. After 52 episodes spanning three seasons and one direct-to-video film, the series was put on hold for the Justice League animated series, despite the network having announced plans for a fourth season.[2]

Batman Beyond is set in the chronological future of the DC animated universe (despite being released before Static Shock, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited).

Batman Beyond is said to explore the darker side of many Batman projects, playing on key elements such as emotions, personal relations, fear of the unknown, to cyberpunk and sci-fi themed elements such as issues and dilemmas of innovation and technological and scientific progress affecting society, and to the disturbing psychological elements of the character of Bruce Wayne. As such, it was considerably darker than most other children's programs at the time, although producer Bruce Timm recalls it was conceived as a kid-friendly Batman cartoon.[3] It is also the first Batman series to portray the hero as a teenager. IGN named the show 40th on their list of "Top 100 Animated TV Series."[4] The premise of Batman Beyond has been used in various comic book stories published by DC Comics, including an ongoing series beginning in 2011.

Story[edit]

The pilot episode, titled "Rebirth," initially begins in the year 2019, 20 years after The New Batman Adventures. An aging Bruce Wayne continues his role as Batman in a high-tech Batsuit, having severed his ties with those of his former allies (such as his former sidekicks, the officers and detectives of the Gotham City Police Department, and the Justice League) and enemies who are still alive. In the rescue of a kidnapped heiress, Batman suffers a mild heart attack and, at risk of being beaten to death by one of the kidnappers, is forced to betray a lifelong principle by threatening to use a gun. Ultimately, Bruce reluctantly decides that his time as Batman is over and vows "never again" as he shuts down the Batcave.

The story fast-forwards to 2039 in Neo-Gotham, a futuristic megalopolis featuring staggering high rises and flying vehicles. Bruce is now a recluse living in bitter isolation in Wayne Manor, with no companion but his guard dog Ace. Terry McGinnis is an athletic 17-year-old high school student and reformed troublemaker with a deeply ingrained sense of personal justice. Living on poor terms with his father Warren, Terry disobeys his curfew one night to meet up with his girlfriend Dana Tan, only to incur the wrath of a group of the Jokerz gang harassing them. A high-speed motorcycle chase between Terry and the Jokerz leads them to the grounds of Wayne Manor, where they run into the elderly Bruce Wayne. Bruce and Terry fend off the Jokerz side-by-side, but the exertion aggravates Bruce's heart condition. Terry helps Bruce back to the manor and, while exploring the mansion, stumbles upon the entrance to the Batcave, only to be chased out by a recovered and angered Bruce.

Terry returns home to discover that his father has been murdered, apparently by the vengeful Jokerz. Soon after, though, he discovers that his father had stumbled onto information about the production of illegal chemical weapons by the merged Wayne-Powers (Wayne's former company, bought out and run by CEO Derek Powers) and that the man actually responsible for his father's murder is Mr. Fixx, Powers' personal assistant and bodyguard. Terry goes to Bruce for help, but Bruce refuses, feeling he is too old and too weak to be of any use. Terry subsequently steals the Batsuit, intending to bring Powers to justice. Bruce initially opposes all of Terry's efforts and vehemently demands he return the suit (at one point even paralyzing the suit while Terry is wearing it in the midst of a fight), but Terry convinces Bruce to let him take on the Batman mantle, partially by drawing on the fact they both lost a parent to criminals, and subsequently defeats Mr. Fixx. During the battle, Powers is exposed to the chemical and forced to flee into hiding to receive treatment, which subsequently mutates him into a radiation-emitting entity, Blight, though he uses artificial skin to hide the accident. Realizing that crime and corruption are running rampant in Gotham without Batman's presence, Bruce offers Terry the chance to assume the role of Batman.

Terry's Batman soon develops his own rogues gallery, with both new villains (Blight himself; seductive shape-shifter Inque; hypnotist Spellbinder; sound weaponizer Shriek; deadly assassin Curare; insane terrorist Mad Stan; cybernetically-enhanced African big game hunter Stalker; nerdy psychokinetic Willie Watt; a new version of the Royal Flush Gang) as well as some of his mentor's old foes (a rejuvenated Mr. Freeze; Bane's strength-enhancing Venom substance reborn as slap-on patches; the longevous Ra's al Ghul; and, almost inevitably, the Joker himself).

Terry also makes allies in Neo-Gotham, such as the 17-year-old computer genius Maxine "Max" Gibson, who discovers Batman's secret identity and helps Terry with everything from computer hacking to babysitting, and police commissioner Barbara Gordon, the former Batgirl who is unhappy about another person following in Bruce's dark and dangerous steps (though she admits the city needs Batman and that Terry could not be deterred from being Batman any more than she could have been from being Batgirl).

Main cast[edit]

Voice Actor Role
Will Friedle Terry McGinnis/Batman
Kevin Conroy Bruce Wayne
Cree Summer Maxine "Max" Gibson
Frank Welker Ace
Lauren Tom Dana Tan
Stockard Channing (1999-2000) Barbara Gordon
Angie Harmon (2000-2001)

Crossovers[edit]

In the third season of Batman Beyond, a two-part story entitled "The Call" featured (for the first time) the futuristic Justice League, a springboard for Bruce Timm's next series Justice League. The setting and characters of Batman Beyond were also briefly revived in 2004 for an episode of Static Shock in which Static is accidentally transported 40 years into the future.

Justice League Unlimited revisited the world of Batman Beyond twice in 2005, first in the first season finale, which featured Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern being transported 50 years into the future to stop a time-travelling villain with the help of the future Justice League (Terry as Batman, a future Static and Warhawk). The second time occurred during the second season finale, where Terry McGinnis's true origin is learned in a story meant to be the de facto series finale for Batman Beyond.

Series finale[edit]

The Justice League Unlimited episode "Epilogue", the unofficial series finale, reveals that Bruce Wayne is actually Terry's biological father. The story, set fifteen years after Terry became the new Batman, grows out of Bruce's kidneys failing and doctors needing a tissue donor to clone him new ones. When Terry shows a perfect histocompatible match with Bruce, he becomes suspicious and has a DNA test run on himself, which shows half of his DNA, is from Bruce. Terry accuses Bruce of orchestrating the whole thing, possibly using old Cadmus nanotechnology to rewrite his genes to match Bruce's; similar to what the Joker did to Tim Drake. Terry tracks down government agent Amanda Waller, who reveals his origins to him.

She explains through flashbacks that, even though she trusted and respected Batman, she was aware of him growing older and slower. Finding the idea of a world without Batman unacceptable, Waller used her Cadmus connections to gather the technology for "Project Batman Beyond", whose goal was to literally create a new Batman, starting with a collected sample of Bruce's DNA. After finding a young Neo-Gotham couple, the McGinnis', with psychological profiles nearly identical to those of Bruce's parents, a nanotech solution was injected into Warren McGinnis to rewrite his reproductive material into an exact copy of Bruce's. The result was, a little over a year later, Mary McGinnis giving birth to Terry, a child biologically the son of his mother and Bruce.

When Terry was 8 years old, Waller employed an elderly Andrea Beaumont (the enigmatic killer from Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Bruce's first love) as an assassin to kill Terry's family, hoping the trauma would put him on the path to becoming Batman. However, Beaumont could not commit the act, arguing that Batman would never resort to murder to achieve his goals. Waller eventually conceded that Beaumont had been right and made no further attempts to push Terry into becoming Batman, which indirectly resulted in Terry's brother Matt being born later. Nine years afterward, Warren McGinnis would be murdered by criminals and Terry meets Bruce, resulting Terry to become Bruce's successor. Waller reminds Terry that he is Bruce's son, not his clone, and that despite his genetics; he still has free will and makes his own choice in becoming Batman.

Whether Bruce was the genetic father of Matt McGinnis as well was not clearly established in-story, as nothing was stated as to the longevity of the alterations made to Warren McGinnis; however, the series' creators have said that this is the case.[5]

Batman: The Brave and the Bold[edit]

Terry McGinnis's first animated appearance outside the DCAU is a cameo in the last scene of the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Night of the Batmen!" when Aquaman, Captain Marvel, Green Arrow, and Plastic Man dress like Batman to protect Gotham City while Batman himself is incapacitated. At the end many more actual Batmen come out of a wormhole to help, including Batman Beyond's Batman.

Lexicon[edit]

To help carry off the feel of a world at least 40 years in the future, Batman Beyond employed a group of slang terms either specifically invented or with altered usage:

Schway
An adjective generally synonymous with "cool."
Rips
A verb generally synonymous with the colloquial meaning of "rules" or "kicks ass".
Slag
A noun and verb derived from the actual definition of slag as waste (from smelting ore). In fact, usage of the word in current British and Australian slang in reference to a promiscuous woman is derived from the connotation of impurity. The closest colloquialism to American English would be "waste" in the sense of "destroy" -- e.g., "waste him!" or "I'm wasted."
Slapper
A futuristic form of steroids, administered by a transdermal patch that is "slapped" onto the skin. It is later revealed that the drug is derived from Venom, the same poison that gave Bane strength. (episode: "The Winning Edge")
Twip
Generally meaning "twerp" or "twit".
Fiz
A soda or beverage.
Credits (or creds)
The general currency is referred to as "credits," and are carried on plastic cards.
Atrac
A parallel of Amtrak, it appears to be a monorail-like railway service which travels nationally.
Splicing
A futuristic form of body modification which involves genetically splicing animal DNA with human DNA.
Slammin'
An adjective similar to "awesome" or "sweet."

Spinoff[edit]

Batman Beyond spun off an animated series called The Zeta Project, featuring a revamped version of the synthoid Zeta from the Batman Beyond episode "Zeta." Batman would guest-star in the episode "Shadows." The supervillain Stalker was to have appeared in The Zeta Project episode "Taffy Time," but did not make it.[6] The second season episode "Ro's Gift" has an appearance made by the Brain Trust from the Batman Beyond episode "Mind Games." Terry McGinnis/Batman was originally slated to appear in this episode as well, but was cut since Bruce Timm and company were working on Justice League.[6]

Media[edit]

Comics[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

Batman Beyond
Soundtrack album by Shirley Walker, Kristopher Carter, Lolita Ritmanis, Michael McCuistion
Released August 31, 1999 (1999-08-31)
Length 39:58
Label Rhino Entertainment
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[7]

Released on August 31, 1999, the soundtrack to Batman Beyond features many of the same composers who worked on the previous animated Batman shows. The music style is more industrial, to tie in with the show's futuristic cyberpunk style genre.

Batman Beyond
No. Title Composer Length
1. "Batman Beyond (Main Title)"   Kristopher Carter 1:00
2. "Cold vs. Hot"   Lolita Ritmanis 3:12
3. "Terrific Trio vs. Rocketeers"   Michael McCuistion 1:50
4. "Bat-Slapped in Store"   Kristopher Carter 1:16
5. "Farewells"   Lolita Ritmanis 2:44
6. "Batman Defeats Chappell"   Kristopher Carter 2:14
7. "Batman Chases Inque"   Kristopher Carter 2:43
8. "Yachting with the Card Gang"   Michael McCuistion 2:09
9. "Batman's First Fight"   Michael McCuistion 2:57
10. "The Legacy Continues"   Michael McCuistion 1:24
11. "Hotel Scuffle"   Shirley Walker 1:57
12. "Trouble in the Museum"   Shirley Walker 1:46
13. "Inque Escapes!"   Kristopher Carter 1:22
14. "Nuclear Lab Destruction"   Michael McCuistion 1:54
15. "Golem Chases Shoppers"   Shirley Walker 2:00
16. "Willie Defeated"   Shirley Walker 2:37
17. "Genetic Theft"   Michael McCuistion 1:29
18. "Joker Chase"   Lolita Ritmanis 3:08
19. "Move to the Groove"   Lolita Ritmanis 1:16
20. "Batman Beyond (End Credits)"   Shirley Walker 1:00

Toys[edit]

In 2000, Burger King had Batman Beyond toys in their kids' meals.

Video game[edit]

Terry McGinnis's first appearance in a video game is in the Nintendo 64, PlayStation, and Game Boy Color video game Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.

Terry McGinnis's advanced batsuit appears as an alternate costume in Justice League Heroes (as the "Infiltration Suit") and as downloadable content in Batman: Arkham City and Injustice: Gods Among Us.

Films[edit]

A direct-to-video feature film, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, was released on December 12, 2000. The original release was censored for elements of violence and death, though a second, uncensored version was later released.

Among the live-action films proposed between the critical failure of Batman & Robin and the reboot of the Batman franchise was a live-action Batman Beyond feature, to be written by Paul Dini. In August 2000, Warner Bros. announced that it was developing a live action film adaptation of the TV series Batman Beyond with Boaz Yakin attached to co-write and direct. The TV series' creators, Paul Dini and Alan Burnett, were hired to write a screenplay for the feature film, with author Neal Stephenson consulting the duo.[8] By July 2001, a first draft was turned in to the studio, and the writers were waiting to see if a rewrite would be needed. The studio, also exploring other takes of Batman in development,[9] eventually placed Batman Beyond on hold in August 2001.[10]

DC Nation[edit]

In April 2014, a Batman Beyond short by Darwyn Cooke premiered at WonderCon. The short, which saw Conroy and Friedle reprise their roles from the show, sees Terry battle a Batman robot in the Batcave, resembling the design from The New Batman Adventures, with help from Bruce and the Batmobile. Once defeated, Bruce and Terry look out to see and prepare to fight seven additional invading robots resembling the designs from Beware the Batman, The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, The Dark Knight Returns, Batman (1989 film), Batman (TV series), and the original design by Bob Kane.[11]

Release[edit]

Season releases[edit]

DVD Name Release Date Episodes Additional Information
The Complete First Season March 21, 2006 13 Special Features: Creators' Commentary on 2 Key Episodes; Inside Batman Beyond: Meet Series Creators; Music of the Knight: Enjoy Score-Only Versions of Key Scenes.
The Complete Second Season October 24, 2006 26 Special Features: Creators' Commentary on 2 Key Episodes; Inside Batman Beyond: The Panel – In-Depth Dialogue with the Show's Creators. DVD art designed by Jesse Stagg at RDI.
The Complete Third Season March 20, 2007 13 Special Features: Inside Batman Beyond; Featurettes on 4 episodes by producers, directors and Will Friedle. DVD art designed by Jesse Stagg at RDI.
The Complete Series November 23, 2010 52 Special Features: Creator Commentaries, Season Retrospectives, Bonus 9th Disc with 95 Minutes of New Special Features, Secret Origin The Story of the DC Comics Documentary and 3 All-New, All- Revealing Featurettes,

Individual releases[edit]

DVD Name Release Date Episodes Additional Information
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (edited version) December 12, 2000 1 Commentary by the Filmmakers*; Behind-the-Scenes Documentary; Deleted Scenes; Animation Tests; Music Video Crash by Mephisto Odyssey featuring Static X; Animated Character Bios; Interactive Menus; Production Notes; Trailers; Scene Access; Subtitles: English and French.
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (original uncut version) April 23, 2002 1 Commentary by the Filmmakers*; Behind-the-Scenes Documentary; Deleted Scenes; Animation Tests; Music Video Crash by Mephisto Odyssey featuring Static X; Animated Character Bios; Interactive Menus; Production Notes; Trailers; Scene Access; Subtitles: English and French.
Batman Beyond: The Movie May 18, 1999 6 This movie is a compilation of the first six episodes (by production order, not by air date) of the series: Rebirth (Parts 1 and 2), Golem, Dead Man's Hand, Meltdown, The Winning Edge
Batman Beyond: School Dayz and Spellbound March 2, 2004 6
Batman Beyond: Tech Wars and Disappearing Inque March 2, 2004 6
  • Note: The audio commentaries for both the edited and uncut versions of Return of the Joker were provided by the same contributors, however both versions are slightly different from each other.

Reception[edit]

While the idea of Batman Beyond seemed as if it was "not a proper continuation of the legacy of the Dark Knight",[4] it gathered acclaim after its release. The show was nominated for four Daytime Emmy Awards, two of which it won in 2001 for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program and Outstanding Music Direction and Composition. In addition, the show was nominated for five Annie Awards and won two of those nominations in 1999 and 2001.[12]

In 2009, IGN.com named Batman Beyond the 40th best animated television series of all time.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A History of Batman on TV". IGN. Retrieved August 15, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Comics Continuum". Comics Continuum. February 9, 2001. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  3. ^ Nolen-Weathington, Eric (June 1, 2004). Modern Masters Volume 3: Bruce Timm. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 128. ISBN 978-1-893905-30-6. Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c IGN, Top 100 Animated Series.
  5. ^ "Epilogue". Jl.toonzone.net. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "The World's Finest - The Zeta Project". Worldsfinestonline.com. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  7. ^ Phares, Andrew. "Batman Beyond". Allmusic. Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  8. ^ Harris, Dana (August 22, 2000). "There's new 'Batman' in WB's belfry". Variety. Retrieved May 17, 2007. 
  9. ^ Linder, Brian (July 17, 2001). "Beyond Doubt". IGN. Retrieved May 17, 2007. 
  10. ^ Linder, Brian (August 31, 2001). "Aronofsky's Sci-Fi Epic Postponed". IGN. Retrieved May 17, 2007. 
  11. ^ McDaniel, Matt (April 18, 2014). "Spot the Easter Eggs in a New Batman Film for His 75th Anniversary". Yahoo. Retrieved April 20, 2014. 
  12. ^ Awards for Batman Beyond at the Internet Movie Database

External links[edit]