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Batman Beyond – Rebirth (Parts I & II) (Review)

This September marks the twentieth anniversary of Batman: The Animated Series, and the birth of the shared DC animated universe that would eventually expand to present one of the most comprehensive and thorough explorations of a comic book mythology in any medium. To celebrate, we’re going back into the past and looking at some classic episodes.

Batman is one of the very few of DC’s major superheroes who faces his own mortality. Superman knows that he inspires the Legion of Superheroes, and his alien physiology could allow him to live forever. Wonder Woman is an immortal. Green Lantern comes from an entire deep space police force. Even Hawkman and Hawkgirl live through a perpetual cycle of reincarnation. Bruce Wayne is just a man, and – as such – he will eventually die. Due to this simple fact, a lot of people have wondered what might happen if Bruce Wayne were confronted with his own mortality.

Batman Beyond explores that potential future.

A flying start?

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Batman Beyond – Ascension (Review)

This September marks the twentieth anniversary of Batman: The Animated Series, and the birth of the shared DC animated universe that would eventually expand to present one of the most comprehensive and thorough explorations of a comic book mythology in any medium. To celebrate, we’re going back into the past and looking at some classic episodes.

Batman Beyond worked quite hard to establish its own identity, as distinct from Batman: The Animated Series. Sure, occasionally familiar villains and characters would make an appearance, and Terry had a fair share of his bed guys who were at least partially inspired by Z-list Batman baddies, but Batman Beyond managed to firmly establish itself as its own thing over its first season. Ascension is a finale that wraps up narrative threads that have been building since Rebirth, giving Terry some measure of emotional closure and also tying up some loose ends that have been dangling since the show began.

Not quite the healthiest form of green energy…

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Batman Beyond – Meltdown (Review)

This September marks the twentieth anniversary of Batman: The Animated Series, and the birth of the shared DC animated universe that would eventually expand to present one of the most comprehensive and thorough explorations of a comic book mythology in any medium. To celebrate, we’re going back into the past and looking at some classic episodes.

I was less than impressed with Victor Fries’ last appearance on Batman: The Animated Series in Cold Comfort, written by Hilary J. Bader. So I’ll admit to being quite surprised when she produced the story for Meltdown, a fairly effective conclusion to Mister Freeze’s character arc. Perhaps it’s a result of the bold new setting, or perhaps Alan Burnett’s work on the teleplay, but Meltdown does a rather excellent job wrapping up all sorts of loose ends and fairly effectively using Freeze as an unlikely, yet effective, counterpart to Bruce Wayne.

He never lost his head, and he always kept his cool…

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Batman Beyond: Out of the Past (Review)

This post is part of the DCAU fortnight, a series of articles looking at the Warner Brothers animations featuring DC’s iconic selection of characters. I’ll be looking at movies and episodes and even some of the related comic books. This is the last post of the week, and so I thought I should focus on where it all started, with the animated Bruce Wayne.

I don’t think Batman Beyond gets the credit that it so sorely deserves. It was really the first time that it was explicitly acknowledged that Bruce Wayne couldn’t be Batman forever – that, unlike so many other members of the DC pantheon, the character was a mere mortal who would pass away and that he couldn’t wear the cowl forever. The animated television show was the first to wonder what would happen to the concept of Batman, if Bruce couldn’t do it anymore. Would the hero die out and fade from memory? Or would he live on, somehow, enduring forever?

Batman always was a showman…

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