Batman Beyond

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Batman Beyond
Batman Beyond title card.png
Genre
Created byBruce Timm
Paul Dini
Alan Burnett
Based onBatman
by DC Comics
Bob Kane
Bill Finger (uncredited)
Developed byBruce Timm
Paul Dini
Alan Burnett
Voices ofWill Friedle
Kevin Conroy
Stockard Channing
Cree Summer
Lauren Tom
Angie Harmon
Composer(s)Shirley Walker
Lolita Ritmanis
Michael McCuistion
Kristopher Carter
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes52 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Jean MacCurdy
Shaun McLaughlin
Tom Ruegger
Producer(s)Alan Burnett
Paul Dini
Glen Murakami
Bruce Timm
Running time21–22 minutes
Production company(s)Warner Bros. Animation
DC Comics
Release
Original networkKids' WB
Original releaseJanuary 10, 1999 (1999-01-10) – December 18, 2001 (2001-12-18)
Chronology
Preceded byBatman: The Animated Series
The New Batman Adventures
Followed byThe Batman
Related showsSuperman: The Animated Series
The Zeta Project
Static Shock
Justice League
Justice League Unlimited
External links
Website

Batman Beyond (known as Batman of the Future in Europe, Latin America, Australia, and Asia) is an American animated television series developed by Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and Alan Burnett and produced by Warner Bros. Animation in collaboration with DC Comics as a continuation of the Batman legacy.[1] Depicting a teenaged 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), and serves as a continuance of both Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures.

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.

Plot[edit]

The pilot episode begins in 2019. Batman, despite being in his late 50s, continues to fight crime in a new high-tech Batsuit. 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 as Bruce discovers that the gun he used is the same one that murdered his parents that drove him to become Batman. Ultimately, Bruce reluctantly decides that his time as Batman is over and vows "never again" as he shuts down the Batcave. By this time, his allies (Alfred Pennyworth, Commissioner James Gordon, Lucius Fox, Leslie Thompkins, Renee Montoya and Harvey Bullock) have either died of natural causes or retired; his partners (Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, Selina Kyle and Tim Drake) are still alive and have grown up and left or had falling-outs after their retirement from their alter-egos; all of his enemies (the Joker, Harley Quinn, the Penguin, Two-Face, the Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, the Riddler, Killer Croc, Deadshot, Clayface, the Mad Hatter, Mr. Freeze, Bane, Ra's al Ghul, the Ventriloquist and Scarface, Man-Bat, Firefly, and Hugo Strange) are either retired, incarcerated, in exile, or deceased; he has severed his ties with Superman and the Justice League.

The story moves ahead 20 years later to 2039 in Neo-Gotham, a futuristic megalopolis and Megacity featuring staggering high rises and flying vehicles. Bruce is now an elderly man in his 70s and a recluse living in bitter isolation in Wayne Manor, with no companion but his guard dog Ace. Terry McGinnis is an athletic 16-year-old high school student and reformed troublemaker with a deeply ingrained sense of personal justice. Living on difficult terms with his father Warren McGinnis, 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 and thus discovers Bruce's secrets, only to be chased out by an 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 Derek Powers through Wayne-Powers (Wayne Enterprises now merged with Powers's company) and that the man actually responsible for his father's murder is Powers's personal assistant/bodyguard Mr. Fixx. Terry goes to Bruce for help but he refuses, feeling he is too old and too weak to be of any use and instead tells Terry to take the evidence to Barbara Gordon (who has become the new Police Commissioner). After the evidence of the illegal weapon production is forcibly taken from Terry by Derek Powers, 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 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, 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, with Bruce himself mentoring Terry and in addition to working as Bruce's chauffeur and assistant so that Terry can support his family.

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

Terry also makes allies in Neo-Gotham, including computer genius Maxine "Max" Gibson. After discovering Batman's secret identity, Maxine helps Terry with everything from computer hacking to babysitting. Police Commissioner Barbara Gordon also works with Terry. Though initially unhappy about another person following in Bruce's dangerous footsteps, she admits that the city needs Batman, and that Terry could not be deterred from being Batman any more than she could have been from being Batgirl. He also has a relationship with Melanie Walker, who was forced to do the bidding of her family’s new Royal Flush Gang under the codename Ten. Terry and Melanie’s relationship is similar to that of Bruce and Selina Kyle.

Cast[edit]

  • Will Friedle as Terry McGinnis: The current Batman. Under the pretense of doing errands for Bruce, Terry fights crime as the new Batman. Terry was chosen to be the new Dark Knight as he shared a similar loss as Bruce had; that being the death of a parent.
  • Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne: The original Batman, he is Terry's employer, mentor, and predecessor. During his final mission as Batman, Bruce suffered a heart attack that forced him to use a gun in self-defense; abhorred by this, he hung up his cape and cowl.
  • Cree Summer as Maxine "Max" Gibson: A genius high schooler and friend of Terry's. She discovers his secret identity early on in the series, and from then on occasionally helps Batman in an "Alfred"-type role, though she is considered a nuisance to his predecessor (but less so as time went on). Her parents are divorced and she has an unnamed sister.
  • Frank Welker as Ace: Bruce Wayne's pet, the billionaire rescued and took in the stray Great Dane after the canine defended him from a Jokerz thug at Crime Alley during one of Wayne's annual visits there in memory of his slain parents. Fiercely loyal to Bruce, he eventually develops a bond with Terry.

Episodes[edit]

Episode list[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 13 January 10, 1999 (1999-01-10) May 22, 1999 (1999-05-22)
2 26 September 17, 1999 (1999-09-17) May 27, 2000 (2000-05-27)
3 13 August 19, 2000 (2000-08-19) December 18, 2001 (2001-12-18)

Crossovers[edit]

In the third season of Batman Beyond, a two-part episode "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 the 2004 Static Shock episode "Future Shock" in which Static is accidentally transported 40 years into the future.

Justice League Unlimited revisited the Batman Beyond world twice in 2005, first in "The Once and Future Thing" (Part 2), 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 (Batman II, 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 McGinnis's biological father. The story, set in 2054 (fifteen years after Terry became the new Batman), centers on a 31-year-old Terry tracking down a geriatric 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, thus accepting the idea of either Bruce retiring or being killed at some point. Finding the idea of a world without Batman unacceptable, Waller used her Project Cadmus connections to gather the technology for "Project Batman Beyond", whose goal was to physically create a new Batman, starting with a secretly collected sample of Bruce Wayne's DNA. After finding a young Neo-Gotham couple — the McGinnises — with psychological profiles nearly identical to those of Bruce's parents, a nanotech solution was injected into Warren McGinnis to rewrite his reproductive material. The eventual result was his wife Mary McGinnis giving birth to Terry, a child sharing the genetic traits of his mother and Bruce Wayne.

When Terry was 8 years old, Waller employed an elderly Phantasm (Andrea Beaumont, Bruce's ex-fiancée, whose exit from Bruce's life became one of the reasons why he became Batman in the first place) 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 Bruce would never resort to murder to achieve his goals. Waller eventually conceded that Beaumont had been right and abolished the project altogether. Eight years afterward, Warren would be murdered, and Terry would meet Bruce by happenstance—resulting in Terry becoming Batman's successor. Waller concludes by reminding Terry that he is Bruce's son, not his clone, and that despite the circumstances of his existence, he still has free will to live out his own life; Terry comes to terms with his revelations, and continues in being Batman. With a new sense of purpose, Terry plans to propose to Dana, while continuing his life of crime fighting.

Whether Bruce was the genetic father of Matt McGinnis as well was not clearly established in-story, since nothing was stated as to the longevity of the alterations made to Warren McGinnis's DNA; however, the series' creators have said that this is the case. The fact that Matt McGinnis was born with black hair despite both of his biological parents having red hair is also an indicator of Bruce Wayne's dominant DNA.[5]

Animation[edit]

In order to complete the series, Warner Bros. Animation outsourced Batman Beyond to Dong Yang Animation, Koko Enterprises and Seoul Movie in Seoul, South Korea. While the South Korean studios animated the series' episodes, the feature film, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, was animated by TMS Entertainment in Tokyo, Japan.

Spinoff[edit]

A spinoff from Batman Beyond, an animated series called The Zeta Project, featured 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 ultimately did not.[6] The second-season episode "Ro's Gift" has an appearance 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]

Reception[edit]

While the idea of Batman Beyond seemed as if it were "not a proper continuation of the legacy of the Dark Knight",[4] it gathered acclaim after its release. It has been praised for its dark, mature, and often unsettling storytelling. 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.[7] In 2009, IGN.com named Batman Beyond the 40th best animated television series of all time.[4] Greg Weisman commented that while the series was well made, it felt more like a Spider-Man series and much less like Batman.[8]

Home media[edit]

VHS releases[edit]

Some episodes of the series were released on VHS from 1999-2000, including the series' premiere (Batman Beyond: The Movie), and select episodes as five VHS volumes containing three episodes per tape (same contents as the individual DVD volume releases, see below), and direct-to-video film Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (edited version).

Season DVD 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 DVD 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 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.

In other media[edit]

Comics[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

Batman Beyond
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedAugust 31, 1999 (1999-08-31)
Length39:58
LabelRhino Entertainment
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4/5 stars[9]

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 with some metal influence, to tie in with the show's futuristic cyberpunk genre.

Batman Beyond
No.TitleComposerLength
1."Batman Beyond (Main Title)"Kristopher Carter1:00
2."Cold vs. Hot"Lolita Ritmanis3:12
3."Terrific Trio vs. Rocketeers"Michael McCuistion1:50
4."Bat-Slapped in Store"Kristopher Carter1:16
5."Farewells"Lolita Ritmanis2:44
6."Batman Defeats Chappell"Kristopher Carter2:14
7."Batman Chases Inque"Kristopher Carter2:43
8."Yachting with the Card Gang"Shirley Walker2:09
9."Batman's First Fight"Michael McCuistion2:57
10."The Legacy Continues"Michael McCuistion1:24
11."Hotel Scuffle"Shirley Walker1:57
12."Trouble in the Museum"Shirley Walker1:46
13."Inque Escapes!"Kristopher Carter1:22
14."Nuclear Lab Destruction"Michael McCuistion1:54
15."Golem Chases Shoppers"Shirley Walker2:00
16."Willie Defeated"Shirley Walker2:37
17."Genetic Theft"Michael McCuistion1:29
18."Joker Chase"Lolita Ritmanis3:08
19."Move to the Groove"Lolita Ritmanis1:16
20."Batman Beyond (End Credits)"Shirley Walker1:00

Toys[edit]

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

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, Dini and Alan Burnett, were hired to write a screenplay for the feature film, with author Neal Stephenson consulting the duo.[10] 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[11] eventually placed Batman Beyond on hold in August 2001, but ultimately canceled the proposal.[12] Robbie Amell (who portrayed Ronnie Raymond/Firestorm on The CW's The Flash) has talked about pitching his ideal Batman Beyond movie.[13][14]

Video games[edit]

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

The Batman Beyond Batsuit appears as an alternate costume in Justice League Heroes and as downloadable content in Batman: Arkham City and Injustice: Gods Among Us.

A Batman Beyond DLC was included in the third Lego Batman videogame.

A "Batman of the Future" character pack featuring the Terry McGinnis Batman with all its trademark gadgets (such as the flying suit and the ability to turn invisible), other Batman Beyond era characters were revealed to be PS3/PS4 exclusive DLC for Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.[15]

Rocksteady Studios created their own unique take on the Batman Beyond Batsuit for Batman: Arkham Knight as a pre-order bonus along with The Dark Knight Returns Batsuit titled "Gotham's Future Pack".

Animation[edit]

In April 2014, a Batman Beyond short by Darwyn Cooke premiered at WonderCon. The short, which saw Will Friedle and Kevin Conroy reprise their roles from the show, sees Batman (Terry McGinnis) battle a Batman android in the Batcave, resembling the design from The New Batman Adventures, with help from the elderly Bruce Wayne and the Batmobile. Once defeated, Batman and Bruce look out to see and prepare to fight seven additional invading androids 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 Bill Finger.[16] Though the source of the androids is unstated they are reminiscent of the Batman: The Animated Series story arc involving the computer program HARDAC. The Batmobile from Batman: The Animated Series, also made a cameo appearance in the short's background.

In Teen Titans Go! episode "Sandwich Thief", Robin travels to the future to interrogate Nightwing. In his future self's apartment, a poster of the Batman Beyond Batman can be seen, indicating that Nightwing admires this incarnation of Batman.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A History of Batman on TV". IGN. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
  2. ^ "News". 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. 67. ISBN 978-1-893905-30-6. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c "40. Batman Beyond". IGN. Archived from the original on January 22, 2009.
  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. ^ Awards for Batman Beyond on IMDb
  8. ^ "Search Ask Greg". Gargoyles : Station Eight.
  9. ^ Phares, Heather. "Batman Beyond". AllMusic. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  10. ^ Harris, Dana (August 22, 2000). "There's new 'Batman' in WB's belfry". Variety. Retrieved May 17, 2007.
  11. ^ Linder, Brian (July 17, 2001). "Beyond Doubt". IGN. Retrieved May 17, 2007.
  12. ^ Linder, Brian (August 31, 2001). "Aronofsky's Sci-Fi Epic Postponed". IGN. Retrieved May 17, 2007.
  13. ^ Burlingame, Russ (September 27, 2015). "Robbie Amell Has A Pitch For A Batman Beyond Movie". Comic Book.
  14. ^ Burlingame, Russ (September 27, 2015). "Check Out This Awesome Rendition of Robbie Amell as Batman Beyond". Comic Book.
  15. ^ "The Batman of the Future is coming to LEGO Batman 3 in Europe". VG247.com.
  16. ^ McDaniel, Matt (April 18, 2014). "Spot the Easter Eggs in a New Batman Film for His 75th Anniversary". Yahoo!. Retrieved April 20, 2014.

External links[edit]