Batman Beyond was a completely original idea created by the classic team of producers and writers that worked on all of our other DC animated favorites. Set in the future of the Batman: Animated Series universe, we get a unique glimpse at Bruce Wayne, roughly 80 years-old, training the determined teenager, Terry McGinnis, into the role of Batman. Along with a new Batman comes a roster of new villains. In an interview with the show’s creators, they stressed that they wanted to stay away from doing “Two-Face Beyond” or “Riddler Beyond” and use new faces that we haven’t seen before. The series was a fantastic idea that wowed audiences of all ages and quickly became an animated icon. I have pulled together my Top 5 episodes from all three seasons of Batman Beyond.
I know I just mentioned that the creators wanted to stay away from villains of the past, but the return of Mr. Freeze gave this episode the number five spot on my list. To see the character of Mr. Freeze revamped into the world of Batman Beyond was very cool, to say the least. His new suit allowed Mr. Freeze to fire his ice beams from his hands instead of forcing him to rely on his freezing gun. This new installment to his suit made Freeze one of the deadliest villains this new Batman faced in the entire series. But he wasn’t the only villain causing trouble for Batman; Blight (Derek Powers, co-owner of Wayne Industries in the future) who originally helped to rebuild Freeze, betrays him and tries to destroy him. While the ultimate struggle between fire and ice was amazing, the controversy over Victor Fries’ reformed sense of life made for some great arguments between Bruce and Terry. While Terry believed Fries had really changed from his evil ways, Bruce still saw him as a danger to those around him. In the end they were both right.
Favorite Moment: Mr. Freeze traps Powers in a large block of ice, but he soon escapes due to his heat-like abilities and confronts the master of ice as the master of fire, Blight.
Ahhh, the long awaited return of… The Man-Bat, sort of. Splicers was a unique story about teenagers of the future using a new procedure to splice their cells with animal cells. They could change and feature to look like that of any animal. When Terry’s girlfriend Dana uses the spicing procedure Terry grows cautious and ends up taking on some enhanced teens who may have used too much splicing. Batman’s battle with the mutated teens accidentally transforms him into a creature that looked and sounded like the Man-Bat from the original animated series, but Bruce was able to give Terry an antidote and return him back to normal.
Favorite Moment: The Man-Bat breaks into the Batcave and attacks Bruce and his dog Ace.
3. The Call
Batman is in pursuit of one of his villains (Inque) when a man in a black, white and red costume interrupt and stops the criminal himself. In the final season of Batman Beyond, Batman is invited to join the Justice League of the future and a much older Superman personally delivers the invitation. After his first mission with the League, Warhawk is apparently killed and after some investigating from Bruce, the murderer is revealed to be the Man of Steel. Between the introduction of the Justice League, the sight of Superman at age 80, meeting a lot of new faces within the League, the murder mystery of Warhawk, the invasion of the Starro aliens and Batman having to fight the League by himself, this episode kept me on the edge of my seat and without a doubt deserves a place among the Top 5.
Favorite Moment: Terry and Bruce watch the footage from the Batmobile as they realize that it was Superman who blew up the missile that killed Warhawk. Bruce then gives Terry a piece of kryptonite and says: “Do whatever it takes, just make sure you stop him.” After all this time, old Bruce has still got that kryptonite… “Just in case.”
This was the two-part introduction episode. This is where the creator’s thoughts were displayed on the little screens for the first time. We see the reason why Bruce Wayne had given up his role of Batman, the introduction of Terry McGinnis and how he becomes Gotham’s newest knight. After the death of his father, Terry investigates Derek Powers, which lead him to Wayne Manor where he meets a very old Bruce Wayne. The two bond (kind of) after Wayne helps Terry fight a gang in the future called The Jokerz. After Bruce requests Terry to take him up to hi s house for medicine, Terry stumbles upon the Batcave (you ‘d think after so many intruders over the years they’d get better security) and eventually ends up stealing the new, high-tech Batsuit to break into Wayne Tech and avenge his father. This episode also introduced the season-long story arc about the corruption within Wayne Tech and the origin of Derek Powers’ horrific transformation into the villain called Blight. Once Bruce and Terry finally come to terms with him stealing the suit, Bruce decides to train Terry to become the new Dark Knight. “Mr. McGinnis, welcome to my world.” –Bruce Wayne.
Favorite Moment: In his last night as Batman, Bruce suffers a heart attack and is forced to threaten a criminal with a gun in order to save his own life, leading to an early retirement from crime fighting.
1. Out Of The Past
One question always asked every time I watched Batman Beyond before this episode: “What would it be like to see a young Bruce Wayne team up with Batman Beyond?” In this episode, I finally got to see it. Talia Al Ghul returns and convinces Bruce to enter the Lazarus Pit and restore his youth, but it turns out that it was Ra’s Al Ghul’s mind inside of Talia’s body, and that his evil plan was to eventually transfer his mind into young Bruce’s body. A young Bruce and Terry fight their way through a large number of guards (with music from the original animated series roaring in the background) as they finally put an end to Ra’s’ evil plan. Unfortunately, the effects of the Lazarus Pit were not permanent and Bruce did eventually return to his proper age. But that what makes this episode one of a kind, a glimpse at the original Batman fighting in the world of the future along side his young apprentice earning this episode the top spot on my list.
Favorite Moment: Pretty much any scene where young Bruce is kicking henchmen a$$!