TODAY IN COMIC BOOK HISTORY: JAN. 10, 1999
If there was anybody who could create a whole new Batman Universe as beloved as the Batman TAS Universe, it was Bruce Timm. That’s right, it’s been 15 years since Batman Beyond first aired on The WB. All thanks in large part to DC Animation’s MVP, Bruce Timm.
Batman Beyond was a continuation of BTAS, set in the distant future where Bruce Wayne has retired the Batman and now spends his time as a aging shut-in. Until one day he crosses paths with Terry McGuinness, a high school student with an attitude problem, but mostly a good kid. Shortly after his father’s death, Terry asks Bruce for help to find the killer and eventually carries on the mantle of the Batman in a futuristic, high-tech suit. Throughout the series’ run many of the BTAS friends and foes alike made an appearance, but there were a lot of new characters as well..
Timm had another hit on and hands, but this time there was an added bonus. With the main antagonist, Terry, a high school student meant more stories could revolve around teenage angst, and therefore pull in an even more diverse viewership.
Eventually the series was put on hold after 52 episodes and 1 movie so Timm could work on the Justice League series, but Batman Beyond never came back.
The popularity of the show wasn’t lost on DC. Much like Harley Quinn was incorparated into it’s continuity, so was Terry McGuiness and the BB Universe along with the Future Justice League wich featured an aging Superman.
Now for some personal reflection: I loved this series. I remember catching some of it’s original run on the WB, but the show didn’t have as much an impact as it did when i was a little older and caught it on Cartoon Network. It blew me away.
By all accounts it shouldn’t have been as good as it was. But because it had fresh and creative ideas, while having a respectful link to the original Batman series, Batman Beyond became another high point in DC Animation. One they haven’t’ truly replicated creatively since. If you’ve never seen this show, you really should check it out. Wow, 15 years. Now I feel old.