Batman Beyond (comics)

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The Batman Beyond concept, based on the television series of the same name, has appeared in various DC Comics publications. It can typically be split into six volumes which follow on from each other, the first volume using the six-issue miniseries from 1999, the second being the 1999-2001 24 issue series, the third being the 2010 "Hush" arc, and the fourth being the 2011 eight-issue series. A short-running series titled Batman Beyond Unlimited, became the fifth. Batman Beyond 2.0, beginning in 2013, is the, on-going, sixth series to primarily feature Terry McGinnis.

Batman Beyond
1st issue of Batman Beyond ongoing series (January 2011). Art by Dustin Nguyen.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Genre
Publication date (vol. 1): 1999
(vol. 2): 1999 - 2001
(vol. 3): 2010 - 2011
(vol. 4): 2011
(vol. 5): 2012 - 2013
(vol. 6): 2013 - present
Number of issues (vol. 1): 6 issues (Limited series)
(vol. 2): 24 issues
(vol. 3): 6 issues (Limited series)
(vol. 4): 8 issues
(vol. 5): 29 issues
(vol. 6): 17 issues (as of April 2014)
Main character(s) Terry McGinnis
Bruce Wayne
Dick Grayson
Barbara Gordon
Tim Drake
Maxine "Max" Gibson
Creative team
Writer(s) (vol. 1): Hilary J. Bader
(vol. 2): Hilary J. Bader (#1-14, 16-19, 21-22, 24), Jason Hernandez-Rosenblatt (#15, 20), Paul D. Storrie (#23)
(vol. 3): Adam Beechen
(vol. 4): Adam Beechen
(vol. 5): Adam Beechen(vol. 6):Kyle Higgins
Penciller(s) (vol. 1): Rick Burchett (#1-3), Joe Staton (#4-6)
(vol. 2): Craig Rousseau (#1-6, #12, 15-20, #23-24), Min S. Ku (#7, 13-14), Terry Beatty (#8-11), Rick Burchett (#21-22)
(vol. 3): Ryan Benjamin
(vol. 4): Ryan Benjamin, Eduardo Pansica, Chris Batista
(vol. 5):Norm Breyfogle (BB) and Dustin Nguyen (JLB)(vol. 6):Thony Silas

DC animated universe tie-in[edit]

Cover art by Bruce Timm from the Batman Beyond comic book miniseries, depicting Batman battling Blight.

After an initial six-issue limited series released in March 1999, Batman Beyond had its own comic book series, running through November 1999 until October 2001, for a total of 24 issues. They were set in the same world of the show and aimed at younger readers.

Originally, Batman Beyond #3 (the monthly series) was to focus on the Terrific Trio from the episode "Heroes". The story would have 2-D Man and Magma trying to revive their former teammate, Freon. It was rejected due to their resemblance to the Fantastic Four.[1]

Terry also appeared in Superman Adventures #64. The story has Terry/Batman traveling to the present and teaming up with Superman against a futuristic version of Brainiac.

A comic adaptation of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker was released in 2001.

Collected editions[edit]

  • Batman Beyond: Reprints #1-6 of the miniseries.
  • DC Comics Presents Batman Beyond #1: Reprints #13-14 and #21-22 of the monthly series.[2]

DC Universe[edit]

Cameos[edit]

In Superman/Batman #22 (written by Jeph Loeb), a Batman wearing the Beyond costume appears, making his first foray into the regular DC Comics continuity. The plot involves Bizarro being transported to an alternate version of Gotham City. In issue #23, this Batman is named "Tim". The packaging for the action figure created by DC Direct based on this appearance in Superman/Batman identifies Batman Beyond as Tim Drake.

On March 3, 2007, Dan DiDio announced that Terry McGinnis may be showing up in the DCU sometime that year.[3] Terry appeared in Countdown to Final Crisis #21, Earth-12.[4]

A Green Lantern implied to be from a universe within the multiverse similar to that of Batman Beyond (though not the same GL represented in the animated series) is a participant in the Countdown: Arena series leading towards Final Crisis.

The character also made a cameo in Justice League of America #43, which was released May 2010.

Mainstream contemporary continuity[edit]

In Batman #700 (June 2010), Terry McGinnis is included in the one-off as a part of the DC Universe presented, having a history with Damian Wayne, who rescued him as Batman from Two-Face-Two when he was held hostage as an infant. Two-Face-Two believed Terry McGinnis was one of a pair of twin boys who were the sons of billionaires rather than Warren and Mary McGinnis. Two-Face-Two transformed Terry into a miniature duplicate of the Joker with the Joker's toxin. Damian administers the antidote after he rescues Terry. In the following page, a teenage McGinnis is seen behind the Batman cowl, battling the apparently-resurrected Joker, with Damian as his mentor, instead of Bruce.

Superman/Batman Annual #4 (2010) is a single over-sized issue featuring Terry McGinnis' Batman. Author Paul Levitz penned the story, with experience collaborating with Paul Dini and Alan Burnett in the past. It picks up after Superman's first meeting with the new Batman taking place in the DCAU, and supposedly jibing with the DCU's "Batman Beyond" verse.[5] Terry will make his New 52 debut in the 2014 maxiseries, The New 52: Futures End.[6]

2010 miniseries[edit]

Batman Beyond is a 2010 six-issue comic book limited series published by DC Comics. The series is a retcon of the DC animated universe television series Batman Beyond. The comic series is penned by Emmy Award-nominated writer Adam Beechen[7] with art by Ryan Benjamin. Beechen stated his comic book arc will open the door for the "legendary" DCAU to enter into the mainstream DC Universe (comics), tying into both continuities.[8] The story features Terry McGinnis, the future Batman, now a seasoned hero, and his mentor Bruce Wayne, the former Batman, dealing with their straining relationship over the demands of the role of Batman, as a new killer emerges with ties to the original Dark Knight's past.[9]

Creation and development[edit]

Beechem was approached by Dan DiDio in December 2008 regarding the possibility of the project. Beechem responded by pitching DC Comics editor Ian Sattler in a two-worded email, the title to opening story arc. The series was green-lit during Comic-Con 2009.[10] The series was first announced during the Emerald City ComiCon in March 2010.[11] Summarizing the series to The Source.com Beechem stated:

The arc opened in a single issue focusing-on and featuring Terry McGinnis and Superman in Superman/Batman Annual #4.[13] Following the issue, the miniseries began in June 2010, under the title Future Evil. In August 2010, the series was announced to continue following the completion of the first arc as an on-going series.[14]

Plot[edit]

The Return of Batman (Terry McGinnis).

The plot revolves around future Batman Terry McGinnis and his investigation into a series of murders involving former enemies of the original Batman, Bruce Wayne. Worried about who this new villain might be, Bruce keeps a tight rein on Terry due to his concern that he has not sacrificed enough time and effort into being a worthy Batman.

Storyline[edit]

At Project Cadmus, an inmate escapes from the Neo-Gotham based facility. During the escape, he notices that a fight is occurring above him and, upon realizing that it is Batman, expresses his disgust that someone new has taken on the mantle of the Bat. After the new Dark Knight, Terry McGinnis, successfully captures Spellbinder, Justice League Unlimited member Micron arrives and attempts to recruit Terry to the League. This is not the first time someone has tried to recruit him, and McGinnis remains resolute in his refusal to accept the League's offer. When Terry returns to the Bat Cave and mentions that a member of the League tried to recruit him again, Bruce Wayne, Terry's mentor, immediately replies to "tell them no".

The death of a minor costumed criminal, Signalman, prompts Bruce, to send Terry out to investigate. They discover that the M.O. matches Two-Face, who had disappeared years ago during his final battle with Bruce. Reports of alarms at St. James Hospital disrupts them and Terry investigates, it has been the home of the Mad Hatter since Arkham Asylum closed down. After checking in on the Hatter, who has become docile and somewhat senile, Terry discovers a nurse under attack by a man in a trench coat. The mysterious rogue flees at the sight of Batman and Terry checks on the nurse, who says the man told her to "Hush".[15]

This leads on a hunt for Hush, with Bruce explaining what took place during his last confrontation with Hush. During a fight with him, Hush dived through a window and was shot by the homeowner. Bruce then fled without inspecting the body, but was satisfied with the report that it was Thomas Elliot, for a while. Bruce admits Hush's skill for strategy and plastic surgery meant that Thomas could have planned the entire scenario. After a brief encounter and chase with a new Catwoman, Terry discovers that another villain has been killed, this time with the use of the Penguin's classic trick Umbrellas. Attempting to stay ahead of their foe, Terry and Bruce search out the Calendar Man, Julian Day, upon confronting Day, Terry is suddenly ambushed by "Hush".[16]

During Terry's fight with "Hush," it is revealed that he is not only capable of matching Terry, but is also aware it's not Bruce Wayne. "Hush" reveals his plan while regarding Terry as an 'imposter', and states he'll 'orphan' Batman all over again by killing Batman's rogues gallery. "Hush" escapes, leaving Terry to decide whether or not to pursue him or rescue Calendar Man, who is bound with a bomb attached to him. Choosing the latter, Terry to arrive too late as a bomb detonates, killing Day. After he returns to the cave, Terry receives a talk from Bruce about commitment to Batman. Meanwhile, Amanda Waller talks with Doctor Reid about reports of the murders, when Reid insists that they report their role in this, Waller shoots down the option.

Terry, finally returns home and lives a normal life for the day, meeting up with his girlfriend, Dana. She wasn't happy about their lack of time together and asks whether anything long term will ever come out of his working for Wayne. Terry soon after returns to the cave and confronts Bruce but finds nobody around and investigates Bruce's secret new "gadgets". The "gadgets" turn out to be Bat-Wraiths, robotic drones created to help assist Terry in his duties. Terry decides that he will prove himself to Bruce, without the drones and sets out to capture "Hush" once and for all. Terry's first lead is to check on Tim Drake confirming that Tim has been under constant physical and psychological observation since his time as the Joker. Terry then proceeds to confront and question Dick Grayson. We see "Hush" hired the new Catwoman to plant a tracking device on Batman so that he can monitor his whereabouts, before proceeding to strangle her as part of his 'vendetta'.[17]

Using a Bat-Wraith, Bruce attempts to apprehend Hush, allowing Catwoman an opportunity to escape. The attack fails as Hush attempts to hack the Drone, forcing Bruce to activate the Wraith's self-destruct. Meanwhile, Terry talks with Dick Grayson, who now runs an athletics training center. Dick explains that he retired as Nightwing after he was shot, resulting in losing an eye while aiding Batman. He then retired in disgust at Bruce's lack of concern for Dick's health after the shooting. As Terry leaves, Dick warns Terry but Terry disregards it. At Cadmus, Waller learns that Doctor Reid has gone missing. Attempting to lure Hush into a trap, Terry uses a hologram to pose a villain, only to be hit by Hush using Shriek's Tech. Mocking Terry, Hush unmasks himself and reveals himself to be Dick Grayson, determined to replace Bruce Wayne once and for all.[18]

In an alley, Reid is preparing to provide information to Commissioner Barbara Gordon regarding Hush's origin and motives. However, she is being pursued by Cadmus' security, under Waller's orders, but Reid manages to escape. Dick Grayson arrives and saves the doctor, however Reid is terrified and faints after seeing Grayson's face. Elsewhere, the other Dick savors the moment over an incapacitated Terry, and spares him so that he can witness his plan. Catwoman arrives after the second Grayson departs, and saves Terry's life from his wounds. Bruce deduces Catwoman's true identity as the daughter of supervillain Multiplex. In the Batcave, all of the Bat-Wraiths have been activated and controlled by Hush after developing his own remote sparing Bruce as the drones leave. At Cadmus, more inmates have escaped, including Killer Croc and Waller deduces that Hush must have done it.

At Gotham Central, Reid reveals that Hush is a clone of Grayson created by Cadmus, due to Waller insisting that "the world must always have a Batman." Waller believed that Bruce's psyche was too unstable, and Grayson was seemingly the next best candidate, as he shares Bruce's passion, as well as other factors. However, the clone escaped before he was ready, believing himself to be the real Dick Grayson and wanting to replace Batman as Gotham's champion. Reid also reveals that she is a granddaughter of Thomas Eliot, and is seeking to atone for her family's sins by working for Waller. In the Batcave, Bruce begins treating Terry's wounds, he monologues that he has been making faults in Terry's actions where none existed. Terry had regained consciousness during his monologue, to which Bruce confirms to Terry that everything he heard is true. Hush reveals by transmission that he, inspired by Gotham's last earthquake, will save the city by performing mercy killings of its corrupt, by a mass of explosives at the epicenter to set off another quake.[19]

The wounded Terry, aided by Dick Grayson and Catwoman, confronts the clone, with Grayson unable to convince Hush that he is merely a clone. The group defeats Hush when Bruce temporarily overrides Hush's control of the Bat-Wraiths, resulting in the clone being accidentally impaled on a Bat-Wraith. Catwoman departs quickly and Grayson departs despite Bruce's attempts to offer an apology for how things ended between them. Terry returns to Bruce where they discuss the ideals of heroism. Bruce offers Terry a chance to step down as Batman, Terry refuses, stating that it's better than anything else he could do. Unknown to them, Waller has escaped blame for her role in Grayson's cloning by claiming that Reid was acting alone, and is now aided by a new geneticist, Doctor Thawne. Waller has begun research into a new line of clones, stating that recent events have merely confirmed her belief that the world will always need a Batman.[20]

Reception[edit]

The first issue of the series was well received and met favorable reviews for both writing and art.[21][22] Ian Robinson of Craveonline.com noted the series was both blended well with and matured from the animated series.[21] Jesse Schedeen of IGN provided a favorable review, but commented that while the writing transitioned well from small screen to comic, the art was 'haphazard' and 'inconsistent.'[23]

Batman Beyond (2011)[edit]

Batman Beyond was published as an ongoing series that lasted for 8 issues. It featured two major storylines, the first of which featured the Justice League Beyond and a person who would became the Matter Master of the future. The second storyline featured the return of Blight, Terry's original nemesis. Two issues also provided an in-depth exploration of characters Max Gibson and Inque, whose origins were revealed. Several plot threads were not resolved and left for 2012 relaunch.[24] Also in 2011, a comic book one-shot titled Superman Beyond #0 was released, set in the "Beyond" timeline and featured a cameo of Terry McGinnis.

Digital comics (2012-present)[edit]

Cover of Batman Beyond Unlimited #1. Art by Dustin Nguyen.

The Beyond universe returned as a tri-weekly digital issues, which will be published on a monthly basis in print as the Batman Beyond Unlimited ongoing 48-page comic book. This monthly title will include Batman Beyond, Justice League Beyond and Superman Beyond.

Superman Beyond ceased publication with its 20th digital release, in June 2013. Justice League Beyond then ceased publication with its 25th digital issue, in June 2013. Batman Beyond eventually ceased publication with its 29th digital issue, in July 2013.[25]

After the cancellation of Batman Beyond Unlimited, the Beyond line was relaunched. Starting in August 2013, Batman Beyond 2.0 and Justice League Beyond 2.0 began publication, with each digital title receiving new creative teams.[26] The print release was relaunched as Batman Beyond Universe,[27] The new series takes place a year after Batman Beyond Unlimited. Terry is now a freshman at Gotham University and now has more experience as Batman. One of his classmates is Melanie Walker. Terry is no longer working with Bruce, instead it is Dick Grayson sitting at the computer. The Justice League also must deal with Superman when his powers go out of control and an old foe from his past also returns.

Collected editions[edit]

Numerous mini-series have been reprinted under the same title as collections. This section lists only reprints from ongoing series. All were issued in trade paperback format unless noted otherwise.

Title Material collected Publication date ISBN
Batman Beyond: Hush Beyond Batman Beyond Vol. 3 #1-6 March 8, 2011 978-1401229887
Batman Beyond: Industrial Revolution Batman Beyond Vol. 4 #1-8 January 31, 2012 978-1401233747
Batman Beyond: 10,000 Clowns Batman Beyond stories from Batman Beyond Unlimited #1-13 (Batman Beyond digital chapters #1-18) May 21, 2013 978-1401240349
Justice League Beyond: Konstriction Justice League Beyond stories from Batman Beyond Unlimited #1-10 (Justice League Beyond digital chapters #1-16) May 21, 2013 978-1401240233
Superman Beyond: Man of Tomorrow Superman Beyond #0, Superman/Batman Annual #4 and Superman Beyond stories from Batman Beyond Unlimited #1-10 (Superman Beyond digital chapters #1-10) April 30, 2013 978-1401238230
Justice League Beyond: In Gods We Trust Justice League Beyond and Superman Beyond stories from Batman Beyond Unlimited #10-17 (Justice League Beyond digital chapters #17-25 and Superman Beyond digital chapters #11-20) March 18, 2014 978-1401247546
Batman Beyond: Batgirl Beyond Batman Beyond stories from Batman Beyond Unlimited #11-18 (Batman Beyond digital chapters #19-28) & Batman Beyond Vol. 2 #1-2 April 8, 2014 978-1401247539
Justice League Beyond: Power Struggle Justice League Beyond Stories from Batman Beyond Universe #1-4 (Justice League Beyond 2.0 digital chapters #1-8) October 7, 2014 978-1401250737
Batman Beyond: Rewired Batman Beyond stories from Batman Beyond Universe #1-4 (Batman Beyond 2.0 digital chapters #1-8) November 11, 2014 978-1401250607

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The World's Finest". 
  2. ^ "DC Comics Presents Batman Beyond #1 at". Tfaw.com. 2010-12-02. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  3. ^ "Comics Continuum by Rob Allstetter: Saturday, March 3, 2007". Comicscontinuum.com. 2007-03-03. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  4. ^ "COUNTING DOWN: CARLIN & BEDARD ON COUNTDOWN #22". Newsarama.com. 2007-11-30. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  5. ^ "The Future is Calling: Paul Levitz "Beyond"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  6. ^ Moore, Matt (December 11, 2013). "DC Readies Weekly Weekly Series, 'Futures End' for Spring". Associated Press. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Batman Beyond #1 (of 6) (2nd Printing) at". Tfaw.com. 2010-07-28. Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  8. ^ "Adam Beechen on BATMAN BEYOND's Secret Story Arc Title". Newsarama.com. Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  9. ^ "Interview Adam Beechen on Batman Beyond". Ifanboy.com. 2010-04-23. Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  10. ^ "Beechem on "Batman Beyond"". Comicbookresources.com. 2010-03-18. Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  11. ^ "Beechen & Benjamin Team for Batman Beyond Miniseries". Robot6.comicbookresources.com. 2010-03-17. Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  12. ^ "Batman Beyond Returns in June". Dcu.blog.dccomics.com. 2010-03-17. Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  13. ^ "Batman Beyond Press Release". Tfaw.com. 2010-07-28. Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  14. ^ "Batman Beyond To Receive An Ongoing Series". Inside Pulse. 2010-08-28. Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  15. ^ Batman Beyond Vol.3 #1 (June 2010)
  16. ^ Batman Beyond Vol.3 #2 (July 2010)
  17. ^ Batman Beyond Vol.3 #3 (August 2010)
  18. ^ Batman Beyond Vol.3 #4 (September 2010)
  19. ^ Batman Beyond Vol.3 #5 (October 2010)
  20. ^ Batman Beyond Vol.3 #6 (November 2010)
  21. ^ a b Maddox, Dante. "Batman Beyond #1 Review". CraveOnline.com. Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  22. ^ "Batman Beyond Issue #1 (REVIEW)". ThinkHero.com. 2010-07-11. Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  23. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (2010-06-30). "Batman Beyond vol.3 #1 Review". Comics.ign.com. Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  24. ^ DC Universe: The Source - Inque’s Origins Revealed
  25. ^ "DC Comics' FULL June 2013 Solicitations". Newsarama. Retrieved July 14, 2013. "...don’t miss the epic conclusion of Superman Beyond!" 
  26. ^ Esposito, Joey (March 29, 2013). "Batman Beyond and Justice League Beyond Get New Creative Teams". IGN. Retrieved July 14, 2013. 
  27. ^ "DC Comics' FULL August 2013 Solicitations". Newsarama. Retrieved July 14, 2013.