25 years ago today, Batman Beyond premiered

25 years ago today, Batman Beyond premiered

/ 11:45 AM June 15, 2024

25 years ago today, Batman Beyond premiered

Image: Warner Bros. Family Entertainment and DC

Batman Beyond was the first attempt to create an animated series within the Batman media franchise on television, with Bruce Wayne playing a supporting role rather than being the central character. It was a huge gamble on their part, but it paid off in the reception Batman Beyond received. Terry McGinnis takes on the role of Batman in this futuristic animated series, which was meant to bring Batman into the new millennium, attract new fans, and present a modern version of the superhero. The timing felt right, and “Batman Beyond” became the Batman of the future as we approached the turn of the century.

This came right after the success of the hugely popular BTAS (Batman The Animated Series), which opened eyes to the potential of a Batman cartoon or animation when it had the right people behind it, including animators, writers and producers. From that point on, there was a lot to do for the showrunners of Batman Beyond, and one of the primary questions was: Where were the studio heads going with Batman this time? Many were surprised when Gotham City became Neo-Gotham in the future. On a side note, I can see the influence of “Akira” and subtle references in Batman Beyond because of it. However, decades later, Bruce Wayne is in his advanced age. Can he still wear his cape and cowl and be the “Caped Crusader”? Did they have to give the Batman role to someone other than Bruce Wayne? But would the fans, audience and people in general favor it? Some questions needed answers.


This would either work or fail, but the huge gamble paid off for The WB on their WB Kids block, and the rest, as they say, is history. When I reflect on Batman Beyond, I realize that it was a cartoon ahead of its time in expanding the Batman lore, adding depth to its roster of characters, and exploring the future of the Batman universe. The story takes place many decades after the original Batman has retired, passing the mantle to a younger individual who exhibits some of his noble qualities but lacks the original’s wisdom, experience and detective skills. Terry McGinnis, who ironically shares a similar tragic fate with Bruce Wayne, eventually becomes Batman himself. Truly, the parallels are there, and whether Terry McGinnis wants to or not, he will become the new Batman. His fate was decided, and sooner rather than later “Old Man” Bruce Wayne would make him realize this when their paths cross.


Batman Beyond featured the late, great Kevin Conroy voicing an older Bruce Wayne, and to me, that was the most important aspect of continuity as he is the greatest voice actor to portray Batman. It paid respect to BTAS (Batman The Animated Series) and acknowledged to fans that the new Batman cartoon was connected, a part of, and belonged in the same timeline as the original Batman, who is still alive and serving as a mentor to the new one. It was the right thing to do and one of the reasons why people gave Batman Beyond a chance.

If you were living in the Philippines, “Batman Beyond” was first shown on a now-defunct local channel called Studio 23, which had a good selection of foreign programming. For a clear analogy, consider ‘Studio 23’ as a predecessor to local channels, such as ‘Jack TV’ and ‘ETC’, in previous years.

During my vacation in the United States in the late ’90s, my cousin introduced me to “Batman Beyond” and other awesome shows. That was the first time I became aware of Batman Beyond. I am glad it eventually made its way here, and everyone watching it saw how promising the new Batman cartoon was.

Batman Beyond had a similar aesthetic to “The New Batman Adventures,” which featured a simpler animation style. However, it was still above average compared to anything else shown at the time, both domestically and internationally in terms of animation on television. Batman Beyond aims to present itself as cutting-edge as possible with its opening intro, setting the tone for what viewers can expect from this unique take on the lore of Batman. While technically not Batman, per se, the animated series still embodied the essence of the iconic hero. It took some time to get used to, but Batman Beyond grew on everybody.

We all have our favorite “Batman Beyond” episodes. My favorite episodes were when Bruce Wayne took a more active role in the episode – whether he was advising Terry McGinnis or, in rare instances, getting into battle and fighting alongside him. Either way, the value of having Bruce Wayne still around is invaluable. As much as they may want to advocate for a new Batman, it still would not completely succeed because Bruce Wayne is Batman, and the original can never be surpassed. Terry McGinnis played a significant role in expanding Batman lore. The character helped establish a new connection with a much younger audience, fans and people who wanted to be introduced to the world of Batman. Indeed, in several ways, he was the Batman of their generation.

Now, 25 years later, this day marks the 25th anniversary of the airing of Batman Beyond, and the fact that the animation/cartoon is still remembered proves that it fulfilled its purpose.


Indeed, Batman Beyond was cool and still is.

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