Creator(s) – Bob Kane (Gotham, Batman Ninja) and Bill Finger (Joker, Justice League)
Starring – Will Friedle (Boy Meets World, Green Arrow), Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Killing Joke, The Venture Bros.), and Lauren Tom (Friends, Futurama)
Release Date – 1999
Rating – 4/5
Blu Release – 4/5
Tagline – “A new hero for a new era”
When the late 90s was rolling around I was hitting middle school and finding horror. My VHS collecting was slowly turning to DVD and I was truly discovering horror. Not to sound like one of those guys but I didn’t really care about cartoons or animated movies by that point. I had moved on to Night of the Living Dead, Evil Dead, Truck Turner, Escape from New York, and so on.
A friend of mine was obsessed with DC Comics and he would always recommend stuff for me to check out but I would always disregard his recommendations. That changed when he pitched Batman Beyond to me. I watched a couple episodes and absolutely loved it. Fast forward and a few weeks ago I received a press release for the complete series of Batman Beyond hitting blu. I reached out and was lucky enough to get a copy of this awesome box set for review. Thanks guys!
**Spoiler Alert** The series follows self-righteous Terry McGinnis (Friedle) who uncovers the Batcave below an elderly Bruce Wayne’s (Conroy) mansion after Bruce falls asleep. He doesn’t try to black mail Bruce but insists he train Terry to be the new mantle for Batman. Bruce reluctantly agrees and the pair take out crime all over the city ranging from corrupts officials and corporations to gangs and various supervillains both new and old. **Spoiler Alert**
I remember really liking how dark the show was when I was middle school. Sure, there is a lot more darker animated shows than this but for a Batman show this is pretty dark and fun. I don’t remember a lot about the show until now but revisiting it was a very entertaining experience.
The voice acting in this is fucking perfect. In Batman fandom many would argue that Kevin Conroy is Batman and after watching these animated movies and shows I have to agree. Sure, Keaton, Bale, and Affleck all deliver memorable moments as the caped crusader but Conroy is the voice that I think of when I hear Batman. He will always be the voice of Bruce Wayne and Batman to me. His is great and I love seeing him as an aged and weathered Bruce Wayne. His voice does have a little more life to it than his on screen counterpart but I can live with that. I enjoyed Will Friedle as the new Batman but he doesn’t stand out to me. I know the new Batman is intended to be a teenager in the series but Friedle’s voice is not recognizable. Anyone that sounds like a teenage boy could have did the same.
The stories for these three series really held my attention. As an adult I often watch shows that range from 45 minutes to an hour so it was refreshing watching a series with 20 minute episodes. Most of the episodes work but there is a few that dud out. These are just a handful and not enough to prevent the viewer from enjoying the rest of the set.
Finally, the animation is right in tone with Batman: The Animated Series. It works for an animated show aimed at teenagers and better than some of the animated DC films that would be released a few years later. Overall, Batman Beyond is a fun take on the Batman legend. It gives the very some of the same but with a more modern (at the time) take. The blu looks great for what it is but there is room for improvement over the mastering. I highly recommend grabbing this amazing set for your collection.
Exclusive Metallic Batman Beyond Funko POP
4 collectible lenticular art cards
Bonus blu-ray disc of animated film, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
Commentary on 4 episodes by producer, Bruce Timm, and various members of the creative team
15 Featurettes including all-new “Nostalgic Tomorrow– A Batman Gathering” and “Knight Immortal”