Terry McGinnis returns to the role of Batman in the DCU of the future in a new series, launched as part of DC Rebirth, as a follow-up to the previous series.
Batman Beyond follows Terry McGinnis, the Batman of Tomorrow, who had taken up the cowl as a teenager after fate had him cross paths with a retired Bruce Wayne. Eventually, Terry disappeared and Brother EYE caused a robot apocalypse, and a time-displaced Tim Drake became Terry's successor as Batman. Terry was eventually found to have been brainwashed by one of his villains and saved, with Tim vacating the role for his predecessor.
Now, after the world has recovered from the robot apocalypse, Terry returns to the cowl once more — now an adult. However, the world isn't as familiar as what he — and readers — once knew. While Batman Beyond took place in the DC Animated Universe continuity, this series applies Broad Strokes to the DCAU, Futures End (which the previous series was a sequel to) and the main DCU to craft a new world that has elements of all three. Some things are different, and some are the same, but the core idea remains — the world will always need a Batman.
For tropes concerning the Batman Beyond comics that acted as extensions of the animated series, see here.
This series came to an end after fifty issues, wrapping up its four-year run in December of 2020.
Batman Beyond provides examples of:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Being a Cyberpunk series, this was bound to happen.
- Brother EYE caused a robot apocalypse that destroyed the world...kinda. The series paints it as Broad Strokes and the world is now rebuilding from what it did.
- Terry's new suit at the beginning of the Rebirth series is this, with an Alfred A.I. that guides him in Bruce's absence to be more ruthless.
- Alternate Continuity: This series is based on the entry from the DC Animated Universe, but is also one to the previous volumes. While both draw inspiration from the source material, this series takes greater strides to include events and characters from The DCU that were not present at the time of the cartoon's inception.
- Arc Villain: As always, the Joker will always find a way to mess with Batman's life. He has a long arc about wanting to "repeat the past" by killing Batman's new Robin.
- Big Brother Mentor: Though Terry isn't exactly happy about it, he finds himself playing this role to Matt when he dons the Robin costume and takes on crime-fighting in Gotham.
- Broad Strokes: Takes this approach to both the cartoon, the previous comic series, and the current DCU.
- Canon Discontinuity: The war with Brother EYE resulted in him taking over the entire world for at least several years. The wars killed many superheroes and civilians alike, often coupled with Unwilling Roboticisation and death camps for organic life that left Gotham as the only city left in the world that could stand against him. Naturally, an arc later, everything's more or less fine and nobody talks about it ever again unless it makes for convenient backstory.
- Canon Immigrant: In a roundabout way, due to the recursive nature of the series, anyone who didn't appear in the earlier volumes or the animated series is effectively this.
- Luke Fox supplants Barbara's husband Sam from the animated series.
- Damian Wayne especially counts as this, since he was nowhere to be seen in the original series or the ongoing series based off of it aside from a few cameo appearances. Here, he is introduced as one of Bruce's children who runs the League of Assassins as the new Ra's al Ghul.
- Continuity Nod: Being set in the future, it's bound to have a few of these.
- When the batsuit is rendered unusable, Tim uses "Rookie", the Mini-Mecha that Jim Gordon used during his time as Batman to fight Brother EYE.
- Darker and Edgier: To both the cartoon and the previous volumes. The first arc is the worst offender, beginning with a Robot War and The End of the World as We Know It. Most of this is discarded after Terry gets back in the suit.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: In addition to Terry's father Warren dying in the animated series, his mother Mary is also a casualty of the war with Brother EYE.
- Do Not Call Me "Paul": Terminal insists that he not be addressed by his real name Carter Wilson.
- Driven to Suicide: It's established in "The Long Payback" that Kenny Stanton was mercilessly abused and bullied by the older kids in juvenile hall until he couldn't take it anymore and killed himself. This leads to his father Gray attempting to avenge his son by becoming the new Payback and attacking Batman, who he blames for causing his son's death.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Mary McGinnis died off-screen during the Brother EYE attack, leaving both Terry and Matt in Bruce's custody once the dust has settled and society has been rebuilt.
- End of the World as We Know It: The Brother EYE War. Subverted in that, after he's gone, the world bounces back relatively quickly.
- Face Stealer: False Face has this power, and winds up being both Bruce Wayne and Terry among others.
- The Future: ...well, yeah.
- Generation Xerox:
- Not only does Terry take up the Batman mantle, but Matt (who also shares Bruce's DNA) takes up being Robin for a time.
- Damian was both Batman and Ra's al Ghul in this continuity, meaning that this applies to both his father and grandfather.
- Identity Amnesia: Terry gets hit with this twice.
- The first was during the aftermath of the Brother EYE war, when Spellbinder disguised himself as an elderly woman and hypnotized Terry into thinking that he was Davis Dusk/Rewire and used him as a bodyguard.
- The second was after False Face stole his identity.
- Legacy Character:
- Damian Wayne, who was Batman for a time before Terry and is currently Ra's al Ghul.
- Robin, better known as Terry's little brother, Matt McGinnis.
- Batwoman is Elainna, Dick Grayson's daughter.
- Mythology Gag: Before the janitor is revealed to be the real Joker, he bashes Terminal's head in with a crowbar, just like how he did with Jason Todd.
- Official Couple: Barbara is married to Luke Fox in this universe.
- Older Than They Look: Barbara Gordon appears exactly like she does in the main DCU titles, except with shorter hair. Whatever skin care products she's using apparently allows her to shave off 35 years and also keep her red hair.
- Outliving One's Offspring: "The Long Payback" has Payback resurface. It turns out he is not Kenny Stanton but his father Gray, who took up the mantle of Payback after his son committed suicide because he holds Batman responsible for his son's death.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: At the end of "The Long Payback", Terry rebukes Dr. Gray Stanton for blaming him for his son's suicide, addressing that the death of his son is actually his own fault.Gray Stanton: This can't end now! Not until you've paid!
Terry: You're the one who's paying, Stanton! You're paying for all the times your own son was begging for attention...even as you ignored him. You're the one who drove him to hopelessness. Forced him into a pit of despair so deep that he took his own life. Now you get to live with that for the rest of your life.
- Ret-Gone: The Futures End version of Tim Drake. He went thirty-five years into the future after the events of The New 52: Futures End, effectively disappearing to the rest of the Bat-Family, and mysteriously disappears when he leaves Neo Gotham, never to be seen or mentioned again.
- Stable Time Loop: Terry is unknowingly part of one, going back in time with Booster Gold not only inspired Bruce to create the Beyond suit, but for him to ensure that there would always be a Batman.
- The Smurfette Principle: Only one woman Terry's age is ever part of the main cast at one time. Sometimes the disappearance of the old Smurfette is explained, sometimes she just vanishes and is all but forgotten.
- Time Skip: The exact amount of time is kept vague, but Terry and his peers are past college at the start of the run, and there was enough time for a robot apocalypse and then life stabilizing during the gap.
- Tron Lines: The interim batsuit sports this aesthetic before Terry ditches it for one more closely resembling his original one.
- Unrelated in the Adaptation: One of the most notable discrepancies with the original cartoon and previous comic adaptations is that in this continuity, Terry and Matt McGinnis aren't secretly Bruce Wayne's biological sons, with issue 20 having Melanie explicitly state that Terry isn't related to Bruce.
- Wham Episode:
- During the epilogue of issue #5, Terminal is assaulted by the janitor for insulting the Joker and misusing his name...then he rephrases, stating no one misuses his name, as he pulls his hat off and reveals that he is the Joker!
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Most of the cast of the previous iterations are nowhere to be seen or quickly disappear if they are featured at some point.
- Your Mom: Matt proves to be flippant even when the Joker threatens his life in "The Last Joke".Joker: Last chance, kiddo. Who are you talking to on that radio of yours?
Matt: Your mom. Said she should've thrown herself off a bridge instead of having you.