Batman Beyond is a cartoon television series which aired from 1999 to 2001 as part of the DC Animated Universe. Focused on Terry McGinnis, a high-schooler living 20 Minutes into the Future who discovered Bruce Wayne's identity as Batman, he took up the mantle and patrolled the city of New Gotham years after Bruce himself retired the cowl. There have so far been five different comic series based on the animated series: volumes one (1999) and two (1999-2001) are tie-ins to the animated series, while volumes three (2010-2011), four (2011), and five (2012-2013) are continuations. This page mainly deals with volume three onward.
Volume three is subtitled Hush Beyond, and is a six-part miniseries that was launched to gauge interest in a new ongoing comic. This led to volume four, following Terry as Batman in the years after the end of the animated series, and has him re-encounter and join the Justice League. Volume five was launched the following year as an ongoing digital-first series, and was compiled in print along with the concurrent spin-offs Justice League Beyond and Superman Beyond under the title Batman Beyond Unlimited.
In August 2013, Batman Beyond and Justice League Beyond were relaunched as Batman Beyond 2.0 and Justice League Beyond 2.0, and were compiled in print as Batman Beyond Universe. Meanwhile, Superman Beyond was cancelled; while a Batgirl Beyond was announced to replace it at a later date, it hasn't seen the light of day. Eventually, Batman Beyond 2.0 ended with issue #40.
A sixth volume, an ongoing print series, was announced as part of DC's post-Convergence relaunch in 2015, featuring Tim Drake in the suit, hurled 35 years into the future of the main DCU, with familiar faces from the original Batman Beyond making appearances. A seventh volume, also an ongoing print series, was announced as part of DC Rebirth, featuring Terry McGinnis returning to the title as Batman.
For tropes pertaining to those series, please go to Batman Beyond (Rebirth).
Batman Beyond provides examples of:
- Adaptation Dye-Job: In the "Hush Beyond" mini-series the hair colours of three Batman Beyond characters are changed from their original hair colours from their original appearances in Batman Beyond and Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. Barbara Gordon is a redhead in the mini; whilst she was a redhead in her youth, by the time of the series itself, her hair had long since turned white. Tim Drake's wife also seems to have been turned into a short-haired redhead, yet when she was shown in Return of the Joker, she had long pale blonde hair. Mary McGinnis is redheaded in the show and the movie, but black-haired in the mini. The hair colours have been corrected since, and Tim's wife's hair incorrect hair colour stated as a colouring error.
- Aloof Big Brother: Dana has one. The fact that he's a homicidal, psychopathic leader of the Jokerz probably has a lot to do with it.
- Alternate Continuity: Whilst it aims to follow on from events depicted in the animated series, it also does differ from it in several key areas, making it clear that it is not strictly speaking the same universe as that depicted in the DC Animated Universe.
- Alternate Self: Everyone has one while in the Justice Lord world.
- Always Someone Better: As of Batman Beyond 2.0 Terry feels this way about Bruce when he manages to piece together the identity of Rewire and his issues without even leaving his home.
- Artistic License Biology: We get that Blight's body is mutated from the radiation exposure, but not needing to breathe any more is just pushing it.
- Ax-Crazy: Hush Beyond. And that's putting it mildly.
- Back for the Dead/Dropped a Bridge on Him: In the "Hush: Beyond" story arc, many characters from former Batman history and the show are killed off rather unceremoniously by the new Hush, who is targeting former Bat-rogues. Including former rogues of Bruce Wayne; Signalman and Calendar Man, and former rogues of Terry, like Shriek, Stalker, Mad Stan and even non-villainous characters like Armory/Jim Tate and his wife and step-son, Lorraine and Jared. In the case of Terry's rogues, their deaths aren't even shown, and considering both he and Max were friends/schoolmates with Jared, he doesn't even bat an eyelid at the news of his and his family's deaths, but the writers did reveal Terry and Max did mourn Jared's death off-panel.
- Back from the Dead:
- Blight, who survived having an ocean liner on top of him because his mutation evolved to point where he no longer needs to breathe.
- Mad Stan. Reports of His Death Were Greatly Exaggerated. Turns out he was on an extended vacation visiting his sick mother.
- Shriek as well, apparently. They don't even bother to elaborate on how, he just is.
- In the JLU episode "Epilogue", Stalker is shown, alive and well, in a flashback that takes place during Terry's mid-twenties. The episode was produced before the comic where Stalker was killed, but the episode takes place years afterwards. Assuming the comic is sticking to the animated canon, this implies that Stalker likewise survived his encounter with Hush!Grayson. Which begs the question, did he manage to actually kill anyone?
- Big Bad:
- Volume three has "Hush Beyond", who turned out to be an insane clone of Dick Grayson.
- Volume five has the Joker King, Dana's older brother, who rose up to lead a worldwide coalition of Jokerz gangs and uses them to suicide-bomb all of Gotham.
- Big Brother Mentor: Dick Grayson, true to form, takes this role in 2.0, despite being a good fifty years or so older than Terry.
- Broad Strokes: Seems to be applying this to continuity of past events, as whilst it follows on from the DCAU, it also works in elements present in the mainstream comics, such as Hush, the Gotham earthquake, and Batman Inc.
- Broken Pedestal: Terry sees Bruce as this after the Time Skip between volume five and 2.0. Exactly what happened has yet to be revealed.
- It was explained in a flashback arc. Bruce knew about fellow super-hero Vigilante's real identity: Jake Chill, The Atoner and murderer of Terry's father. Then he lied to Terry about it.
- Bekka mistakes Terry for Bruce, a reference to their adventure in 'Superman/Batman''.
- Diana reuniting with an elderly Bruce in the Batcave is reminiscent of the ending to "Savage Time" when she visited an elderly Steve Trevor in a retirement home and "Out of the Past" when Talia Al-Ghul visited Bruce. Both instances emphasized that one of the parties had grown older while the other hadn't changed, and in this one, Diana is surprised to see Bruce so old. And alive.
- Cloning Blues: Turns out to be the truth behind the new Hush. His real identity is a clone of Dick Grayson, created before Terry was born, having escaped Cadmus and gone insane.
- Continuity Nod: Too many to list, both in the mini-series and the ongoing one. This guy has documented most, if not all, the nods in both Batman Beyond and Justice League Beyond.
- Darker and Edgier: Yes... a series that was already dark by the standards of children's television goes even further here.
- Depending on the Writer: A result of Broad Strokes being applied (as noted in the appropriate entry) when the comic series was first picked up. While none of the comics elements have been explicitly retconned out, 2.0 is written by Kyle Higgins, an avowed fan of Batman: The Animated Series and the DCAU, who's talked in interviews about how he tries to hear the voices of Kevin Conroy, Will Friedle, Stockard Channing, and Loren Lester when he writes the characters' dialogue. Since Higgins took over writing, the series is much more upfront about its ties to the animated 'verse specifically, featuring flashbacks to Dick Grayson as Robin drawn to emulate the old BTAS style, and connecting events in the storyline by introducing new plot elements in the past that have severe ramifications in the present. As a result, 2.0 reads and feels much more like a part of the DCAU canon, which contrasts sharply with the preceeding Beyond run that tried to blend both canons together but couldn't do it smoothly.
- Driven to Suicide: Kenny from the animated show's episode "Payback", was mercilessly abused and bullied by the older kids in juvenile hall until he couldn't take it anymore and killed himself.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: In the finale of Batman Beyond 2.0, Dick has made peace with Bruce, after pulling a Heroic Sacrifice and suffering a seemingly fatal electrical shock. After nearly losing his real-world father figure (in Dick), Terry decides to stop going to see T's father in the Justice Lords timeline, but encourages that T should talk to him.
- Expendable Alternate Universe: a Meta example in Justice League Beyond. The authors have Ouroborus destroy New Genesis offscreen, slaughter most of Apokolips, and kill or maim effectively all of the New Gods. There is no possible way they would dare to do this in a single book in the main continuity. Crisis Crossovers have been done with lesser long-term effects on the DC Universe. However, being an alternate future allows a lot more narrative freedom.
- End of the World as We Know It: The plot of Justice League Beyond entails averting Kobra's efforts to bring about a planetary-scale event by reviving a gigantic serpent.
- Expy: Many have commented on Dick Grayson's appearance being undeniably close to Nick Fury's. This has lead to...
- Four Lines, All Waiting: Batman Beyond Unlimited, the 2012 ongoing, has a Batman feature, a Justice League feature, a Superman feature, and a Justice League Origins feature, all published in the same issue. What really sticks out are Justice League Beyond, issues 6 and 7. Issue 6 has the League arrive on New Genesis in the aftermath of Kobra's attack. Issue 7 has an origin story about Warhawk. A reader could be forgiven if he thought the issues were from separate series.
- Generation Xerox: Volume five reveals that the man who killed Terry's father is Jake Chill, the great grand-nephew of Joe Chill.
- Innocently Insensitive: Terry discussing family issues with Bruce.Terry: I'm beginning to think that relatives can be more trouble than they're worth.
Bruce: I wouldn't know.
- Informed Ability: The Ouroboros in JL Beyond is touted as having already destroyed several alternate realities by the time Kobra turns it on Earth, but it's unclear how it's actually supposed to destroy universes when it simply seems to be an enormous physical threat that is only shown having abilities that can take down individual planets.
- Lampshade Hanging: Terry becomes upset that the new Catwoman doesn't want to flirt with him like the original Batman and Catwoman did and insists that they should do so just to hold up the tradition. Qualifies for Funny Moments as well.
- Legacy Character:
- Hush, actually a clone of Dick Grayson.
- Volume three also introduces a new Catwoman. She has no relation to Selina Kyle, and as Terry points out, her costume isn't particularly catlike, but she is still a cat burglar and she can split into nine duplicates.
- Volume five introduces a new Vigilante, actually Jake Chill, the great grand-nephew of the infamous Joe Chill, although he doesn't really have any relation to the cowboy superheronote —his costume is a modified version of the futuristic security guard armor he already owned, and the name is an Appropriated Appellation taken from when Batman angrily calls him... well, a vigilante.
- A new Batgirl, a black high school student, debuts in volume 5, #27.
- Justice League Beyond introduces a new Zod, the young son of Jax-Ur, whom Brainiac rescued from the black hole we last saw him enter in Superman: The Animated Series. He's a hero, however, and Superman argues that the name is common on Krypton, but it's obvious what the writer's intentions with the character are. Note that the comic clarifies that the original General Zod did exist in this continuity (making this an example of Legacy Character and not just Mythology Gag), despite his characteristics being subsumed by a Composite Character in STAS. Taken even further when, in Justice League Beyond 2.0, it's revealed that Zod is actually the (artificially created) son of Lord Superman and Wonder Woman, who was kidnapped as an infant by Brainiac and given to Jax-Ur. It's a long story.
- Loophole Abuse: Kai-Ro isn't allowed to use his green lantern ring (or any other unnatural power inside the temple walls). Once he steps outside...
- Mythology Gag: Dana alludes to the cartoon's intro with a comment.Dana: Apathy. Greed. Corruption. Seems like they don't exist in Gotham these days.
- Never Found the Body: Blight. Makes sense since he's not dead.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: By all accounts, the League and assorted allies appear to be doing fairly well against the Ouroboros in JL Beyond... until Superman accidentally hits the Batmobile with his heat vision, causing Terry to crash and take out a Green Lantern barrier.
- Noodle Incident: Terry has apparently fought Killer Croc, judging from offhand mentions in volumes three and five.
- Off on a Technicality: Ma Mayhem's sons were reported to have been "freed on technicalities from a 10-year sentence".
- Official Couple: Warhawk/Aquagirl, as revealed in Aquagirl's backstory issue.
- Series Continuity Error: In this comic, Dick Grayson explains that he left the crimefighting business due to being shot by the Joker, at a point in Batman's career where he hadn't worked with a partner for a long time. However, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker establishes that the Joker was killed by Robin, and Batman was clearly working with both Robin and Batgirl at that point, while Barbara Gordon claimed that Nightwing had simply moved to another city by then. Furthermore, given the context of Barbara telling Terry all about the Joker's death, it would have been extraordinarily remiss of her not to talk about Dick getting shot by the long-dead villain they were trying to identify. The writer himself admit he mess up and acknowledged it as a plot hole.
- Acknolwedged in Issue #34, in which Terry asks Dick how he really lost his eye.
- Another point is Wonder Woman. When the JLU first appeared in the animated series episode The Call she was not among the members featured. Thus, as part of the Justice League Beyond storyline, they answer that "why" is "because she chose to stay in the Alternate Universe of the Justice Lords over 40 years ago". The problem with this angle is, that Wonder Woman was name checked as an active superhero during the Beyond era at least twice. Thus the real answer for why she wasn't seen? The much more mundane, "she was offscreen". This is moreso notable in that Static is also confirmed to be a JLU member in the Beyond era, and he also wasn't in The Call, and another instance even seems to confirm Martian Manhunter, making three JLU members who didn't appear in The Call but only one whose apparent absence was made into a huge plot point.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Bruce calls Max Terry's girlfriend in Issue #4 of the ongoing comic book series, which prompts Terry to use this trope almost verbatim.◊
- Ship Sinking:
- Aquagirl was vaguely hinted to have had a crush on Terry during her appearance in the series, as well as the earlier parts of the comic. However, eventually in the comic, she's revealed to be in a relationship with Warhawk, and apparently from the start of her life on the surface.
- Dana and Terry break up during volume four. However, Dana still has feelings for Terry and is open to getting back together if Terry can stop running off to assist Bruce, and the comic is set before Justice League Unlimited's "Epilogue", where the pair are older and Terry is planning on proposing to Dana.
- Terry and Melanie reconnect in 2.0 and start dating for a while. But Terry's mistrust of her criminal past and accusing her without evidence of a theft makes her break up with him.
- Ship Tease:
- In Issue #4 of the ongoing comic book, Terry gives Max an affectionate peck on the cheek◊. Shippers rejoice.
- The relationship between Terry and Aquagirl also shows signs of this trope. During volume four, Bruce has Terry take out the Justice League to keep them from interfering in a hostage situation involving his family. Bruce points out that Terry will probably have trouble attacking Aquagirl, "the one you like", and he indeed hesitates, botching the operation.
- Melanie returns in 2.0 and ends up dating Terry as of Issue #32. Even Mel and T hooked up in the Justice Lords version of the universe!
- Terry busts out of a burning building with Paxton Powers riding an exact replica of the Batpod.
- Batman tells the Royal Flush Gang "Go directly to jail! Do not pass go. Do not collect 200 creds."
- In "Terry's Mom Dates a Splicer", Terry says he'll have Bruce's car back before it turns into a pumpkin.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: News of a firefight appears on television, and Terry manages to vanish before Bruce can tell him to check it out. Even Bruce has to be impressed.Bruce: Hm. Nice.
- Time Skip: Batman Beyond 2.0. Taking place one year after Joker Night, with Terry now a freshman in college.
- True Love Is Boring: Terry and Dana were broken up specifically so that the writer could introduce tension and drama prior to their engagement in Justice League Unlimited's epilogue "Epilogue".
- Wham Episode:
- Batman Beyond 2.0 #1. Comes with it being a set-up into the one-year Time Skip, but the winner has to be the final page: Dick Grayson has replaced Bruce as Terry's Mission Control. Bruce and Terry have apparently had some kind of falling-out due to Bruce withholding information from Terry, but the specifics are still unrevealed as of #16.
- #25 sees the beginning of the storyline that led to Terry's and Bruce's estrangement, but the wham really kicks in in issue #26 when the Phantasm targets Jake for killing Warren McGinnis. Batman shows up to stop the Phantasm, whom is implied to know Terry is Batman, and in the ensuing fallout of the attack Terry finds a picture of his father in Jake's apartment. Jake then proceeds to confess his crime when pressed, not realizing that he's confessing it to Terry, and it ends with Terry delivering a silent beat down on Jake. But what's very worrying about the issue is the small, almost missable detail: just as Terry happens upon his father's photo and begins to ask questions, Bruce calmly and slowly tells Terry to back off of the case and get back to the cave before getting cut off, strongly implying that Bruce knows.
- #28: Following the events of Return of the Joker, Barbara follows through with her promise to quit (as revealed in the "Batgirl Beyond" special). Dick returns from Bludhaven and their romance is rekindled. In three weeks, Dick is ready to propose, except Barbara finds out that she is seven weeks pregnant. She makes it clear to Bruce he's the father, and on her way to meet with Dick she comes across a mugging and jumps into action. Meanwhile, Bruce tells Dick that he had been in a relationship with Barbara after Dick had originally left for Bludhaven and that she is pregnant with his child. As Dick proceeds to beat up an unresistant Bruce, Barbara gets kicked in the stomach in her fight with the mugger. #29 confirms that she miscarried. Turns out this is what really drove Dick to never speak with Bruce again.
- #30: Not only does Jake Chill die from Ghoul's Joker Toxin, but it's shown that Terry's antidote doesn't work on the new strain.
- Wham Line: Batman Beyond 2.0 #28:Barbara: I'm seven weeks pregnant.
Bruce: I should congratulate Dick.
Barbara: He's only been here for three.
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- Static was established as a future member of the League in the Justice League Unlimited episode Future Shock. By the end of Justice League Beyond however, he did not make a single appearance.
- Writing for the Trade: Especially in the Batman Beyond Unlimited volumes, with story arcs lasting ten issues or more.
- You Killed My Father: Terry says this to Blight until Bruce interrupts him.Batman: You killed my...
Batman: You killed a good man.
Blight: Who are you?!
- This was also done in the Batman Beyond episode Ascension:
Batman: You really want to know?
Batman: You killed my father.
Blight: Do you have the slightest idea how little that narrows it down?
Batman: Too bad. That's all you get.