Batman Beyond

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Batman Beyond (known as Batman of the Future in Europe, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand and India] is an United States of America|American animated television series created by The WB Television Network in collaboration with DC Comics as a continuation of the Batman legacy.

Batman Beyond began airing on January 10, 1999 and ended its run on December 18, 2001. With 52 episodes and one direct-to-video movie under its belt, the series was then put on hold for the new Justice League animated series. As of 2008, Batman Beyond remains on hiatus with no plans to revive the series in the near future. However, there was a short-lived spin-off, The Zeta Project. It is worth noting that in The Zeta Project's first season episode "Shadows", there is a crossover with Batman Beyond; in this continuity (fiction)|continuity, the story takes place between the episode "Countdown" and the series finale "Unmasked."

The series is set in the chronological future of the DC animated universe, although it was released before Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, and Static Shock. Some characters from the series appeared two years later in "Future Shock", an episode of Static Shock, and then again in "The Once and Future Thing," episodes of Justice League Unlimited. The character was revisted a final time in the JLU episode "Epilogue"', which tells much about the future of Batman.

Contents

Story

In the pilot episode, we see approximately twenty years into the future, where an aging Batman is having increasing difficulty handling criminals he once subdued with ease despite the aid of a new, high-tech Batsuit. One night, a heart attack forces Batman to betray a lifelong principle by threatening a criminal with a gun. Because of this, Bruce Wayne decides to retire the Batman persona.

The story then fast-forwards another twenty years. Gotham City is now a futuristic megalopolis equipped with staggering high rises and hovering/flying vehicles. Bruce Wayne is now a recluse, living in bitter isolation with no companion but his guard dog, Ace. It is implied by virtue of his continuing to fight crime long after he should have, and his retaining of the costumes worn by Robin, Nightwing, and Batgirl, that even before he had a heart attack, something horrible transpired that caused Bruce to sever his ties with the Justice League and forbid his disciples from ever again assuming their alter-egos. The events which caused all of this are revealed in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.

In 2039, Terry McGinnis (born on June 27, 2023) is an athletic sixteen year-old high school student and reformed troublemaker with a deeply ingrained sense of personal justice. During the pilot episode, he saves a fellow passenger on a commuter rail from a member of the Jokerz gang, and later single-handedly takes on an entire gang of them to defend his girlfriend, ultimately resulting in a harrowing high-speed motorcycle chase through Neo-Gotham's expressways. The chase ends at the doorstep of Wayne Manor, where a fleeing Terry runs into the elderly Bruce Wayne. Bruce and Terry fend off the Jokerz side-by-side, but the exertion aggravates Wayne's heart condition. Terry helps Bruce back to the manor, and while staying there, he discovers the entrance to the Batcave. He later returns to "borrow" the Batsuit to avenge the death of his father. As crime and corruption are beginning once again to rear their ugly heads in Gotham, Bruce ultimately allows Terry to assume the mantle of Batman.

Terry continues the battle against crime, tutored by Bruce and aided by a new, high-tech Batsuit that augments his abilities, fires Batarangs from the wrists, flies using jets fired from the feet, allows eavesdropping through a hypersensitive touch microphone, and provides camouflage abilities. He comes to have his own rogues gallery, such as the seductive shape-shifter Inque, the hypnotist Spellbinder, the bitter, deaf sound expert Shriek, the deadly assassin Curare, the insane terrorist Mad Stan, the African people|African hunter Stalker, a new version of the Royal Flush Gang, and the Jokerz, a gang idolizing the Joker. However, on occasion, Terry is also forced to face his mentor's old foes, such as the atrophying Mr. Freeze, Bane (elderly, wasted, and dying from his consumption of Venom, the substance that gave him his strength), the immortality|immortal Ra's al Ghul, and even a reborn Joker.

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

Terry's first foe is Derek Powers, a ruthless billionaire who took over Wayne Industries and is later accidentally mutated into a radioactive monstrosity known as Blight. Powers had Terry's father, Warren, murdered after Warren discovered that Powers was in the process of developing a biological warfare|biological weapons program. The first season ended with a showdown between Batman and Blight aboard an abandoned nuclear submarine, where Powers was in hiding after his identity as Blight was revealed to the world by his ambitious son Paxton, who planned to usurp his father as chairman of Wayne-Powers.

Maxine "Max" Gibson (born October 28, 2023) is a seventeen year-old computer genius who discovers Batman's secret identity, and helps Terry with everything from computer hacking, to babysitting, to coming up with excuses for Terry's girlfriend, Dana Tan. Max plays an integral part in Batman's war on crime, essentially as his Alfred.

Terry also finds one other ally, though a begrudging one: Barbara Gordon, the former Batgirl. Having followed in the footsteps of her father, James Gordon, Barbara is now Police Commissioner of Gotham City. In one episode, Barbara reveals to Terry that she and Bruce had once been romantically involved. However, she is unhappy with the idea of a new Batman, especially a teenager, as she is still haunted by the same event that caused Bruce to go into isolation. Knowing from personal experience that she cannot deter Terry anymore than she could have been deterred from being Batgirl, she relents, possibly also out of respect for her mentor and former lover, the original Batman. Passing conversation between Barbara and Bruce suggests that at the time of Batgirl's retirement, the suit had bullet holes in it that had been repaired.

Episodes

Characters

Main Characters

  • Terry McGinnis: The current Batman.
  • Bruce Wayne: The original Batman. Revealed to be the genetic father of Terry in Epilogue.
  • Maxine "Max" Gibson: A friend of Terry's who knows his secret. Occasionally helps Batman.
  • Dana Tan: Terry's girlfriend. In Epilogue, a flashback shows that Terry has revealed his identity as Batman to Dana some time previously.

Terry's family

Recurring characters

  • Barbara Gordon: The Gotham City police commissioner and the former Batgirl.
  • Sam Young: A Gotham district attorney and Barbara's husband.

Villains

  • Derek Powers: After exposure to nerve gas, Powers is treated with extreme radiation and becomes the radioactive villain Blight.
  • Inque: Treated with a mutagen, Inque has the ability to turn her body into liquid. She is a freelance saboteur.
  • Shriek: Walter Shreeve, an engineer equipped with a special suit that allows him to manipulate sound in a wide variety of ways. Ironically, following a fight with Batman which caused a malfunction in his suit, Shreeve himself is now deaf and must use a special headset to hear normally.
  • Spellbinder: Ira Billings, a bitter and underpaid psychologist at Terry's high school, commits crimes using sophisticated virtual reality systems and his knowledge of the human mind.
  • Curare: A member of the Society of Assassins who wields a laser-sharpened scimitar.
  • Mad Stan: A terrorist who rebels against what he sees as a corrupt system. He is an expert with explosives.
  • The Joker : The evil psychotic who only appears in the direct-to-video Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. In this incarnation, the Joker's personality has survived in Tim Drake via a nano-technological implant.
  • Mr. Freeze : The tragic villain lives on as nothing but an immortal head preserved by Derek Powers. He is used as a test subject for a future attempt to clone Derek Powers another body. However, Freeze's new body begins to get the same symptoms as his previous body and he seeks revenge, facing off in one final battle with Batman.
  • Ra's al Ghul : Living on by possessing his daughter Talia's body (effectively killing her), the seemingly immortal Ra's intends to take over Bruce Wayne's body and gain control of Wayne Enterprises as a means of revenge against his former foe.

Lexicon

To help carry off the feel of a world 50 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". May have been inspired by Wayne's World
  • Twip: An insult implying immaturity or scrawniness. Likely a corruption of "Twerp" or "Twit".
  • Slag: General purpose expletive used as both noun and verb. Interestingly, this term may have been inspired by the use of the same word by characters in the all-CGI TV series "Beast Wars: Transformers" (1996-1999), who used the word in much the same manner.
  • Dreg: generally meaning "lowlife".
  • Credits: The general currency is referred to as "Credits" and are carried on plastic cards.

Post-series cross-overs: 2004–2005

! # !! Title !! Director(s) !! Writer(s) !! Original Airdate(s) Episode list |EpisodeNumber=40 |Title=Future Shock |Aux1=Vic Dal Chele |Aux2=Stan Berkowitz |OriginalAirDate=January 17, 2004 |ShortSummary=Static is sent 50 years into the future, where he has to help the Batman of that era, Terry McGinnis, save a captured superhero: Static's future self.



! # !! Title !! Director(s) !! Writer(s) !! Original Airdate(s) Episode list |EpisodeNumber=12 |Title=The Once and Future Thing, Part 1: Weird Western Tales |Aux1=Dan Riba |Aux2=Dwayne McDuffie |OriginalAirDate=January 22, 2005 |ShortSummary=Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern chase Chronos to the past, where they team up with some of the greatest DC heroes of the Old West. After defeating stolen future tech in that era, they again follow Chronos to the future. Warhawk from the Batman Beyond era is revealed to be Green Lantern and Hawkgirl's son. Guest starring: Bat-Lash, Jonah Hex, and other DC characters from the Old West. This episode also teases with the idea of Wonder Woman and Batman having a relationship.

Episode list |EpisodeNumber=13 |Title=The Once and Future Thing, Part 2: Time Warped |Aux1=Joaquim dos Santos |Aux2=Dwayne McDuffie |OriginalAirDate=January 29, 2005 |ShortSummary=Batman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman's pursuit of Chronos takes them to the future Gotham City of Batman Beyond, just in time to face a battle with a group of Jokerz beside that era's Justice League. The time travelers are taken to the JLU's refuge. An older Bruce Wayne reveals the street gang they fought together was enhanced by Chronos who lead them to kill the rest of the League of that era. The combined heroes defeat the retooled Jokerz, and Batman traps Chronos in a time loop, right before he started his first time travel. This episode contains references to Crisis on Infinite Earths. The second time in the DCAU in which Hal Jordan appears as Green Lantern.

Episode list |EpisodeNumber=26 |Title=Epilogue |Aux1=Dan Riba |Aux2=Dwayne McDuffie |OriginalAirDate=July 23, 2005 |ShortSummary=In the future, Amanda Waller reveals to an older Terry McGinnis that through her scientific manipulations, he is actually Bruce Wayne's son. The final scene in this episode mirrors the first scene in Batman: The Animated Series, as the creative team thought it could possibly be the final JLU episode.

Justice League connection

In the third season of Batman Beyond, a two-part story featuring the Justice League entitled "The Call" formed an early basis for Timm's next series, Justice League, which was in turn succeeded by Justice League Unlimited. 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 forty years into the future.

Justice League Unlimited revisited the world of Batman Beyond twice in 2005. The first time featured Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern transported 50 years into the future to stop a time-traveling villain with the help of the future Justice League Unlimited cast, including Terry McGinnis as Batman and a future Static. The second time occurred during the episode "Epilogue", where the true secret origin of the future Batman is learned in a story meant to be the de facto series finale for this Batman's story.

Project Batman Beyond

The Justice League Unlimited episode "Epilogue", set 15 years after the conclusion of Batman Beyond, reveals that Bruce Wayne is actually Terry McGinnis' biological father. The episode is told largely in flashbacks.

Over the years Amanda Waller came to respect Batman and even trust him. She especially admired that he always was two steps ahead of everyone else. In her job as government liaison to the Justice League, Waller says she met some extraordinary people--but none of which were the equal of Batman. She watched as he saved the day dozens of times, with nothing but his wits, body, and will. But, as the years passed, she saw that he was getting older and slower. She figured that soon he would have to retire or more likely, someone would finally manage to kill him. The thought of a world without Batman was unacceptable to her, so she decided to make a new one.

She used her old Cadmus connections to gather the technology for "Project Batman Beyond." Bruce Wayne's DNA was easy to obtain since he literally left it all over Gotham City while being tended to for injuries during his crime fighting. Then she found a young Neo Gotham couple with psychological profiles nearly identical to those of Bruce's parents. When Warren McGinnis thought he was getting a Influenza vaccine|flu shot, he actually received a nanotechnology|nanotech solution programmed to rewrite his reproductive material into an exact copy of Bruce Wayne's. A little over a year later, Mary McGinnis gave birth to Terry, a child sharing half her genetic material and half Bruce's.

When Terry was eight years old, his parents took him to the rousing adventure film, The Grey Ghost Strikes. Waller hired Andrea Beaumont (the title character from Mask of the Phantasm) as an assassin. Waller's plan was simple, Beaumont would leap out and kill Terry's family. The trauma would put him on the path to becoming Batman. However, at the last minute Beaumont refused to do it, arguing with Waller that Batman would never resort to murder to achieve his goals. Eventually Waller agreed. Tragically, Derek Powers would later instigate Terry's path towards becoming the new Batman anyway by having Warren murdered.

Fifteen years after Terry McGinnis became the new Batman, Bruce Wayne's kidneys fail and doctors need a tissue donor to clone him new ones. It turned out that Terry was a perfect histo-compatibility match with Bruce. Since the odds of that were 111 to 1, Terry ran a DNA test and found out that half his DNA was from Bruce. Terry assumed that Bruce set the whole thing up, using some old Cadmus nanotechnology to have Terry's genes rewritten to match Bruce's, similar to what the Joker did to Tim Drake.

He tracked Amanda Waller down and broke into her house where she revealed his origins to him. She also reminded him that he was Bruce Wayne's son, not his clone, and that despite his genetics he still had free will and made his own choice in becoming Batman. Waller also pointed out to him that even though he held many similarities to Bruce Wayne, that there were more than a few differences too: he didn't "quite have his (Bruce Wayne's) magnificent brain", but that he did have Bruce's heart and sense of responsibility.

Terry, who had been contemplating abandoning Bruce, the mantle of Batman, and his girlfriend Dana Tan (the two were still in a relationship), eventually opts to return home and continue on as Batman as he has. He also calls Dana and asks her to meet him, with the implication that he intends to ask her to Marriage|marry him.

According to writer Dwayne McDuffie, Bruce was aware that Terry was his son, but would never bring it up as he wanted Terry to be his own man.[1]

It should be noted that the black and white sequences of "Epilogue" are intended to represent a dream and not flashbacks.

Though it is not specified in the episode, as Warren McGinnis' sperm was genetically reprogrammed to contain Bruce's DNA, Terry's brother, Matt, is also the biological son of Bruce Wayne. Bruce Timm himself stated, "Well, we didn't come right out and say it,... yes, Matt is also Bruce's biological son."[2]

It is interesting to note that this episode marks the first time that the title "Batman Beyond" was actually mentioned in the context of a Batman Beyond story. While in costume, Terry identifies himself simply as Batman. In some parts of the world, the title itself was dropped, and the show is called Batman of the Future.

It should be noted that the story in "Epilogue" does not justify the coincidence of Terry ending up at Wayne Manor and eventually stumbling upon the Bat Cave. Waller, in the episode, posits that maybe it was fate (or divine providence per her and Terry's talking about their Christian faith) that led Terry to Wayne Manor and to assume the mantle of Batman.

Movies

  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker - A direct-to-video feature in which the Joker makes his return to Gotham. The original release was censored for elements of violence and death, and a second, uncensored release came later.
  • There was also a planned Batman Beyond live action feature, to be written by Paul Dini, however Warner Bros. shelved the project and eventually went with the Batman Begins concept instead. 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. 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, eventually placed the Batman Beyond on hold in August 2001.
  • A Direct-to-DVD sequel to Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker was to feature Selina Kyle/Catwoman. This project never made it off the ground; however, much of the concept of this film eventually made it into the Justice League Unlimited episode "Epilogue."

DVD releases

Season releases

DVD NameRelease DateEpisodesAdditional Information
The Complete First SeasonMarch 21] 200613 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 SeasonOctober 24, 200626 Special Features: Creators' Commentary on 2 Key Episodes; Inside Batman Beyond: The Panel - In-Depth Dialogue with the Show's Creators.
The Complete Third SeasonMarch 20, 200713 Special Features: Inside Batman Beyond; Featurettes on 4 episodes by producers, directors, and Will Friedle.

Individual episodes

DVD NameRelease DateEpisodesAdditional Information
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (edited version)December 12, 20001Commentary 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 & Francais.
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (original uncut version)April 23, 20021Commentary 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 & Francais.
[March 2, 20046
Batman Beyond: Tech Wars and Disappearing InqueMarch 2, 20046
  • Note: The audio commenteries for both the edited and uncut versions of Return of the Joker were provided by the same contributors, however both versions are slightily different from each other.

Comics

After an initial 6-issues 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 Batman Beyond 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.[3]

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.

More recently, 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. It would appear from #23 that this Batman is someone named "Tim" (presumably Tim Drake). However, the writers admitted to the mistake of misnaming the character, and although the name was rumored to be changed to "Terry" in the trade paperback, it still reads "Tim" (see first page of "Smoke and Mirrors" chapter in the trade paperback). Furthermore, the packaging for the action figure created by DC Direct based on this appearance in Superman/Batman also erroneously identifies Batman Beyond as Tim Drake instead of Terry McGinnis. Another oddity is the Batwing pictured is the version from Batman: The Animated Series, not Batman Beyond. Whether this is the regular DC universe or a parallel one is still to be seen. It seems possible that this may be an alternate reality as the same story has Batzarro transported to the world of Superman: Red Son, an Elseworlds communist version of Superman.

On March 3, 2007 Dan DiDio announced that Terry McGinnis may be showing up in the DCU sometime this year.[http://www.comicscontinuum.com/stories/0703/03/dcnationpanel.htm Comics Continuum by Rob Allstetter: Saturday, March 3, 2007 This turned out to be true, as Terry McGinnis will be appearing in Countdown to Final Crisis #21. He will be an inhabitant of Earth-12. It's unknown at the moment whether Earth-12 will be the home Earth of the entire DC Animated Universe, or just the home Earth of the Batman Beyond TV series.

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.

One canon contribution of Batman Beyond to the DC Universe is establishing that Barbara Gordon eventually becomes Commissioner of Gotham Police following in her father's footsteps.

Spin-offs

Batman Beyond had a spin-off called The Zeta Project, featuring the android 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 didn't make it. 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 Timm and company were working on Justice League.

Soundtrack

  1. Batman Beyond (Main Title) - Kristopher Carter
  2. Cold VS Hot - Lolita Ritmanis
  3. Terrific Trio VS Rocketeers - Michael McCuistion
  4. Bat-Slapped InStore - Kristopher Carter
  5. Farewells - Lolita Ritmanis
  6. Batman Defeats Chappell - Kristopher Carter
  7. Batman Chases Inque - Kristopher Carter
  8. Yachting With The Card Gang - Michael McCuistion
  9. Batmans's First Fight - Michael McCuistion
  10. The Legacy Continues - Michael McCuistion
  11. Hotel Scuffle - Shirley Walker
  12. Trouble In The Museum - Shirley Walker
  13. Inque Escapes! - Kristopher Carter
  14. Nuclear Lab Destruction - Michael McCuistion
  15. Golem Chases Shoppers - Shirley Walker
  16. Willie Defeated - Shirley Walker
  17. Genetic Theft - Michael McCuistion
  18. Joker Chase - Lolita Ritmanis
  19. Move To The Groove - Lolita Ritmanis
  20. Batman Beyond (End Credits) - Shirley Walker

See also

Footnotes

References

External links

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