YMMV / Batman Beyond


  • And You Thought It Would Fail: On its announcement and launch, many disliked the idea (a future-Batman who wasn't Bruce Wayne or any of the Robins, and one in high school) on basic principle, and even more the notion that it was set in the continuity to Batman: The Animated Series (with many seeing TNBA as a weak follow-up and wanting a true sequel series). It became far and away the most successful legacy adaptation for DC, embraced by audiences of both the classic and new Batman, and seen to sit side-by-side with Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns as a "future Batman" story with Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker in particular considered not only one of the best DCAU films (if not the best) but one of the greatest Batman and Joker stories period, with many parts of it being adapted again in the Batman: Arkham Series. Terry McGinnis also came to be embraced as a worthy successor to Batman in the mode of Wally West and Kyle Rayner.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: The 2015 Batman Beyond comic. It stars an adult Tim Drake (who took over after a time-traveling Terry McGinnis was killed) as a Fish out of Temporal Water in a post-apocalyptic world where Gotham is the only remnant of human civilization. It's not clear who the comic is aimed at, as it has little in common with any previous iteration of Batman Beyond, and the Tim Drake featured is very different from his prior characterizations.
  • Author's Saving Throw/Character Rerailment: In The New Batman Adventures, Mr. Freeze went on a rampage due to losing his body and Nora, and was going to end it by essentially destroying Gotham. Fans complained about this due to undoing the ending of Subzero, where Freeze finally finds closure, as well as seeming out-of-character. Beyond dials him back, showing him trying to own up to his horrific actions in his sole appearance, but becoming a villain again after one more kick in the gut, and then finally dying, trying to keep Terry from saving his life.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The show's opening theme, which is appropriately futuristic and badass.
    • A fan-made extended version of the opening theme is even better.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Max. Fan reactions to her introduction ranged from considering her the best part of the series and thinking she was sold short (and often accompanied by shipping her with Terry) to considering her the worst character yet and hoping that she'd just die and stop taking screentime away from everyone else. Her status also extends to the development team; according to Bruce Timm, some of the writers were unhappy about her inclusion and used Bruce Wayne to voice their own opinions of her, while Alan Burnett at least wanted to promote her to Love Interest.
  • Broken Base: The offscreen relationship between Bruce and Barbara had always been disliked by the fandom (reasons usually including the fact that it was basically Batman entering a relationship with his foster son's ex-girlfriend - who was also the daughter of one of his closest allies, with that ally presumably not even being aware of it). However, the reveal in the Batman Beyond comics that Bruce had impregnated Barbara just weeks before she had re-entered a seemingly happy relationship with Dick was very divisive. Some found it gutwrenching, and thought it appropriately explained why Bruce, Dick, and Barbara were estranged from one another for so long, and that it at least did a good job of showing how toxic the relationship was instead of mentioning it as a Noodle Incident. Others thought it was too much like a bad soap opera, and that the Bruce-Barbara relationship should never have been revisited in the first place, or just retconned out altogether.
  • Complete Monster: Derek Powers, also known as Blight, is a Corrupt Corporate Executive and the Arch-Enemy of Terry. Seizing control of Wayne Enterprises and using it for illegal operations, he developed a chemical weapon for terrorists that an employee named Harry Tully leaked to Terry’s father, Warren. Powers purposefully infected Harry Tully, later showing the Kaznian diplomat who bought the shipment Tully’s gradual death at the hands of said chemical. Powers had his right-hand man murder Warren and frame The Jokerz. Infected by the chemical, he was saved but mutated by the radiation used, driving him insane in the process. Other crimes include committing industrial sabotage; hiring supervillain Shriek to murder Bruce Wayne then try to drive him insane; exiling his own son; polluting the ocean by dumping radioactive waste into it; and experimenting, then later killing, Mr. Freeze. When his illegal dealings and mutations are publicly exposed, he goes into hiding, later attempting to murder his treacherous son and Batman before seemingly getting himself killed. A sociopath motivated by greed, power and wealth, Derek Powers was such a monster before becoming Blight that when Batman used You Killed My Father as a hint to his identity, he snarls at how "little" that narrows it down.
  • Damsel Scrappy: Max Gibson is often considered this by her detractors. This tendency is best displayed in the episode "Final Cut", where she ignores Terry's instructions and snoops around for clues, leading to her getting attacked by an assassin. Terry has to leave his post protecting the assassin's target to rescue her, which results in the target getting mindwiped with a hidden bomb ready to explode thanks to his Dead Man Switch.
  • Die for Our Ship: Dana, big time, from Terry/Max and Terry/Melanie fans.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The Joker's personal gang of Jokerz, especially Dee Dee, are inordinately popular for only appearing in The Movie. Fans were naturally thrown a bone when Justice League Unlimited went to that time and they were used as Chronos' flunkies.
    • For someone who only appeared in 3 episodes, Melanie Walker made an exceptionally positive impression on viewers and shippers alike, being one of the most popular romantic alternatives for Terry.
    • Mad Stan was a one-note villain simply there to force Terry to miss his date with Dana. His outright insane Ax-Crazy personality made him popular among fans and he reappeared in several episodes, finally getting to be the main antagonist when The Zeta Project crossed over. The best part: due to Zeta's naive, cheerful nature, he and Stan actually get along well, resulting in this hilarious line:
  • Escapist Character: Terry McGinnis is arguably the member of the Bat-family across all media who is most enviable. He's incredibly handsome, popular in school, is in a relationship with a pretty girl, and of course he gets to be Batman, and follow in the footsteps of what is both In-Universe and out of universe, a legendary superhero, forming an Intergenerational Friendship with one of the greatest men of his time, and secretly being his long-lost son.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Inque. It runs in the family, as her daughter Deanna is pretty good looking also.
    • Also Queen and Ten from the Royal Flush Gang count for this, until Ten defects from the group.
    • Curare also to a certain degree, though the official artwork of her real face makes her a Butter Face.
    • Also Frion from the Terrific Trio.
    • Dee-Dee from the Jokerz in the movie. Probably helps that their Grandma is Harley Quinn
    • Stephanie Lake also qualifies as this.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Terry and Melanie and Terry and Max are in the running for the top spot, if fanfiction is any indication. Alan Burnett even tried to pair Max and Terry in one episode, to the objections of Timm, who had had no such intention when he proposed the episode (Check here).
  • Fandom Rivalry: Many prefer Terry over Damian Wayne as the more interesting and affable of Bruce's children.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • The hint of a Bruce and Barbara relationship is widely panned as unnecessarily creepy and out-of-character.
    • Some of the fans of the series aren't terribly fond of the comics. The fact that it was made without involvement by the original showrunners, contradicts events and moments from the stories and features a questionable reveal about Bruce and Barbara's relationship only adds fuel to the fire. See The Woobie at the bottom of the page for details.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Ten and Batman.
    • Also Inque and Batman. She even kisses him on the mouth to prevent him from relaying a warning to Bruce about her trap for him in one episode.
  • Fourth Wall Myopia: Dana gets a lot of flack from some fans for not always forgiving Terry when he misses dates because of Batman duties and making his life difficult, even though as far as she knows, he's just an old man's part-time assistant who's doing a very bad job of balancing his new responsibilities with his prior relationships.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The Jokerz are a gang of youths inspired by The Joker to commit crimes, including murder. Well, we ended up getting a real life example with the infamous shooting massacre of a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado in 2012 — and the theater was showing The Dark Knight Rises.
    • Henry Rollins playing a quasi-suicidal mad bomber, after he severely hurt his reputation in 2014 with an article where he viciously insulted anyone who commits suicide, in response to Robin Williams doing it (and while he was currently on a show with Williams' daughter Zelda, to boot).
    • King completely forsaking Melanie/Ten (as well as hitting Jack for even mentioning her name) and cheating on his wife in "King's Ransom," unfortunately reflects on his voice actor George Lazenby's marriage problems with tennis player Pam Shriver in August 2008 that led to a bitter divorce and custody battle that involves Lazenby's alcoholism and violence towards his young children according to the court evidence brought on by his eldest daughter Melanie.
    • The episode, "Last Resort", became much more relevant and frightful in current times since the ongoing controversy over teenage rehabilitation camps with series of mistreatment and question methods on its clients.
    • During the earlier Batman series, Dick, Barbara and Tim were all excited and eager to join the "Bat Family". Even going as far as to continue to fight crime despite Bruce pointing out several times that the life of a crime fighter is both dangerous and taxing. Forty years down the road, all three blame him for all their suffering, even claiming Bruce "manipulated" them into joining the fight on crime. Harsh...
    • The hints of a past relationship between Bruce and Barbara were enough for viewers to react with Squick and No Yay. The film adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke takes their relationship Up to Eleven with a Narm sex scene, which earned the film a great deal of negative criticism for prioritizing Fanservice over characterization.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: The times where Bruce shows concern for Terry or warns him when he's engaging in risky behavior become more endearing when the Justice League Unlimited reveals in the episode "Epilogue" that Bruce is Terry's real biological father.
  • He Really Can Act: At the time of the series, Will Friedle was best known for his comedic role on Boy Meets World. While Terry never had any shortage of snarky one-liners, Friedle gave some pretty memorable dramatic performances (such as Terry mourning the loss of his father).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Being set in the future tends to attract this from time to time, whether it is Terry quipping "Who reads newspapers anymore?" (in "The Winning Edge") or reviewing the Presidents with "Clinton was the fun one, then came the boring one." (in "Mind Games"). By the time of the series a perfect score is 2400 (see the example in Second Place Is for Losers), which as of 2005 it has been.
    • "My father's name was pronounced "Raysh", not "Razz"."
    • In the pilot episode, a Jokerz member says "Let's put a smile on his face," while brandishing a knife. Ever since TDK came out, one may now consider it retroactive fanon that that particular Jokerz member was intentionally quoting one of the signature lines of his "hero."
    • In "Countdown," Zeta disguises himself as Terry in costume to escape the NSA. Diedrich Bader would later voice a different Batman years later.
    • During "Disappearing Inque" while interrogating a captured Terry about who Bruce is, Inque asks "Is he your father? Grandfather?" Come an episode of Justice League Unlimited a few years later, we find out Bruce is Terry's father.
    • The episode "Zeta" starts off with a lecture about the theory that one's genetic makeup makes a person inclined to act a certain way and brings up the question of free will. Terry wonders if being Batman makes him naturally suspicious. As Terry would find out later, he does have Batman's genes that might make him naturally suspicious.
    • Melanie Walker (aka Ten) is the daughter of King (voiced by George Lazenby), in real life, George has a daughter named Melanie, who became one of the most successful real estate brokers in New York.
    • A Batman musical? Thrown in as a joke in the episode Out of the Past, as one was being considered at the time. Fast-forward several years to a new Batman series...
    • While Terry and Max are going over Presidents for school, Max describes Clinton as "the fun one, then came the boring one." (the episode aired during the 2000 president elections) George W. Bush's stint as president was a lot of things, but it's probably safe to say that boring wasn't one of them. This would have been even more hilarious if Al Gore, who actually has a reputation for being boring, had won the 2000 election.
    • Terry, at one point, calls Ace "Scooby". Ace was voiced by Frank Welker, who would provide the voice of Scooby-Doo just a couple of years later, although he was no stranger to the franchise as he is also the voice of Fred.
    • Spellbinder's mask bears a resemblance to the first two worn by Tobi/Obito in Naruto.
    • This isn't the last time that Henry Rollins (voice of Mad Stan) would play an anarchist terrorist in an action cartoon. In The Legend of Korra Season 3, he voiced Zaheer; who basically follows the same political ideology (though is very different personality-wise, being much more stoic than Stan). Not to mention having different abilities (Zaheer has wind superpowers rather than throwing bombs).
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Willie Watt.
    • Carter Wilson/Terminal
    • Jim Tate/Armory
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The Jokerz who steal the prototype plane in Joyrides and brutally attack their rival gang with it, leaving property damage and alot of critically injured gang members. They end up laughing the whole time and don't feel any remorse for it and the guy in charge is more then happy to let the reactor of the ship overload because he wants the power the ship gives.
    • Ra's al Ghul. Murdering your daughter to save yourself via Brain Uploading and then parading around in her body, living her life. Geez.
    • And then Robert Vance, or at least the computer program with his memories depending on how you look at it, tries to do the exact same thing to his own grandson.
    • Deanna Clay attempting to murder Inque, her own mother, solely to gain full access to her bank accounts. Sure, Inque was a career criminal and gave Deanna up for adoption, but she clearly loved Deanna a lot, and obviously the feeling isn't mutual.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • In "Rebirth Part II", Blight designs a virus that rapidly causes damage to cells in organisms. He shows the effects to one of his allies, first showing a plant utterly disintegrating in seconds due to the effects, and later on a cow and human. We never see the end result but judging by what happened to the plant and how the guy viewing looking ready to vomit, it's safe to assume it was a little messy.
    • See Squick below.
    • In-universe, just being around Blight long enough is this for anyone not wearing a protective suit.
  • No Yay:
    • "Out of the Past". Bruce and Talia Ra's. Terry and Bruce are as Squicked as you would expect. Bruce even lampshades it.
    • A lot of fans felt this way about the idea that Bruce Wayne dated Barbara Gordon after she and Dick Grayson broke up. Dick certainly thought so, and it's apparently the reason they never got back together after his return.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Most viewers would have no idea that Bruce Wayne's loyal guard dog Ace was a retooling of the '50s era Ace the Bat-Hound. Most viewers would not even know Ace the Bat-Hound existed (at least before the Krypto the Superdog show where he was a recurring character or his appearance in Batman: The Brave and the Bold).
  • Shipping: Terry/Dana, Terry/Max, and Terry/Melanie Walker all have their respective fans. Inevitably for better or worse, so does Terry/Bruce.
  • Shipping Goggles: Terry/Max shippers sometimes claim that the two are pining for each other or in denial about their romantic feelings, ignoring the time the two were on a date (as part of a case) and Terry even noticed how good-looking Max was, only for Max to completely ignore his notice and nothing else coming of it. When Terry gives Max a chaste peck on the cheek in the comic, shippers cried Ship Tease, ignoring how neither character treated it as at all romantic.
  • Spiritual Adaptation:
    • Batman Beyond is a Spider-Man cartoon, it has the Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World premise, Terry is a wisecracking teenage superhero driven by his desire to atone for his past misdeeds and the death of a father figure, he also lives with a maternal figure (Aunt May/ Terry's Mom) and he spends most of his time in an on-again off-again relationship with his girlfriend Dana Tan who's a party animal who he later marries (much like MJ). He's effectively Peter Parker in the Batsuit. Even the Rogues Gallery is pretty similar to Spidey's. (Inque = Sandman, Spellbinder = Mysterio, Stalker = Kraven, Shriek = Shocker, Blight = Green Goblin, etc.) Likewise, the Batman Beyond batsuit is aesthetically similar to Spider-Man's outfit, in that it's a full body suit with a face-covering cowl, unlike Batman who likes to show off his chin. It resembles Spider-Man's Symbiote outfit while the red bat logo fits the dominant colour in Spider-Man's outfit.
    • Interestingly, when Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming came out many noted more than a few similarities between the MCU version and Batman Beyond. The hero is an apprentice to an Old Superhero (Iron Man/Old Bruce) who designs his suit that provides him several upgrades and inner gadgets. He also recruits him by personally visiting his apartment where he lives with his maternal figure (and brings him into his world) and the Hero passes his superhero activities as work for Mr. Wayne/Mr. Stark. He has a Sidekick who serves as confidant (Ned Leeds/Max) and his mentor sends him mixed messages about how they want him to be a superhero but also feel they aren't entirely ready and will ask for the suit back and respond with Anger Born of Worry, and at the end the hero is offered a spot in the Super Team (Avengers/JLU) but turns it down to remain solo).
  • Squick:
    • Shriek's creepy little mutant henchman, who likes nothing more than to sit on the floor with a tuning fork that directly stimulates a body's pleasure center. Complete with eyes rolling back and moaning. Who else needs a shower after that?
    • One of Inque's darker attempts at killing Batman. She puts the squeeze on Terry in order to force his mouth open before shoving herself down his throat in order to suffocate him. After Bruce uses a fire hose to get rid of her, we get a Gory Discretion Shot that saves us from the view of Terry actually puking, but we hear every agonizing heave and see Inque's leftovers spilling onto the ground.
    • The idea that Bruce dated Barbara (see above).
  • Strangled by the Red String: Terry and Melanie. They met seconds after he got conveniently dumped by Dana, talked a little, kissed under the rain then they're a couple and Mel is unwilling to leave Gotham because of him. Maybe justified by the length of the episode.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • An issue that fans took with the series was that several interesting villains were never used for more than three episodes at most before getting dropped for no apparent reason.
    • Blight was the biggest offender. He was the Big Bad of the first season and set up as the Big Bad of the series period... But nope, he never returned after the first season's finale. The character did reappear in the comics, however — his body survived, but he doesn't seem to remember anything about his past life outside of hatred and a desire for vengeance for Batman and Paxton Powers, and was eventually made into a target for the Stalker, and was eventually killed by being caught in a blast furnace.
    • Given the number of shippers rooting for her, Melanie may also count as this. For one of the most popular romantic pairings in the show, you'd think she'd appear in more than three episodes. She does appear again in the comics though.
    • Most of Terry's supporting cast were sorely underused, most prominently his mother Mary, followed by his brother Matt and his girlfriend Dana. For all that they tried to make Terry different from Bruce, they neglected the characters in Terry's life that Bruce could never have had. Regarding Matt specifically, there are those who lament the missed opportunity of evolving Matt's character into a Robin Beyond to match Terry's Batman Beyond. It doesn't help that any recent comic that does/did feature Terry never bothers/ed to explore that avenue, either (assuming Matt shows up or is referenced at all), nor does some other fans' general ambivalence toward Matt, at the best of times, help either.
    • The writers admitted in retrospective that they didn't do much with Dana outside of making her a "nagging girlfriend."
    • Zander. Great Shadow Archetype, interesting version of a Sheltered Aristocrat, then, well... he's turned into a dinosaur and killed off. The writers lament this one in the DVD audio commentary track, in nearly those exact words.
    • Victor Fries is one of the few members of Batman's original rogues gallery to be given a comeback, able to maintain a conversation with Terry (unlike, say, Bane), given new motivations (either revenge on Powers or atoning for his past), and given a new, enhanced suit. Then he commits suicide. His perspective on the new Gotham and the new Batman are never explored.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Violence? Check. People dying horribly? Check. Lots of sexual undertones? Check. Drugs? Check. Yeah, definitely a kid-friendly show.
  • The Woobie: Dick Grayson hasn't had a good life since The New Batman Adventures ended. He gets back together with Barbara and is ready to propose, only to find out from Bruce that she was pregnant with Bruce's child from a relationship that Barbara kept hidden from Dick. After a period of estrangement, he works with Bruce one final time, only to be shot and critically injured due to a tactical error on Bruce's part, and then left behind for the paramedics. In the future, he reaches out to Terry to mentor him. When Terry travels to the Justice Lords timeline to visit his alternate universe father, he neglects to answer a distress call sent by Dick, resulting in Dick's capture by Davis Dusk.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/BatmanBeyond