continued the enormous success of the iconic Batman: The Animated Series
, by projecting Gotham City fifty years into the future. Though fans weren't too hot on the series when it debuted in 1999, they quickly came around and the show remains an important part of the Batman
One of the show's most compelling features is that it's a far-future sequel to B:TAS
, building on the unique vision and world established in the Warner Bros. cartoon. As any comic book fan knows, continuity is everything, so here are ten references Batman Beyond
to the animated series.
10 Trophies In The Batcave
The Batcave is eternally a goldmine for hidden references in any incarnation of Batman, and that's no different in Batman Beyond
. When Terry Mcginnis first enters the hidden Batcave, he discovers it much as it had been fifty years before, with some key additions. In addition to the preserved uniforms of the Bat-Family of years past (including Nightwing and Batgirl), the costume of Harley Quinn
is also there in a glass case, as is the heavily scuffed up dummy once belonging to The Ventriloquist.
9 Commissioner Gordon
A great and natural reference back to the original series is one of its few continuing characters. If it's Gotham, there needs to be a Commissioner Gordon and this time, it's Barbara. Now long retired from her career as Batgirl
, Barbara Gordon now serves in the role her father did fifty years before. Barbara held on the longest of the Bat-Family in her costumed role and also carried on an affair with Bruce Wayne for an unknown period before ultimately breaking it off.
8 Eternal Return
The five-decade gap in continuity between Batman: The Animated Series
and Batman Beyond
put a lot of villains out of commission. One who seemingly will never be completely down for the count is Ra's al Ghul. Thanks to the healing properties of the Lazarus Pit, the villain returns essentially unchanged to harass Bruce Wayne and his young protege in the year 2039. The worst part about his return is the fact that Ra's survived in part by transferring his mind into Talia
, effectively erasing her.
7 Lots of Laughs
While some of Batman's infamous rogues' gallery
survived in body, some did in spirt. By the time of Batman Beyond
, the Joker is presumed dead (well...) and his lunatic legacy lives on in the Jokerz Gang. The misfit gang clearly takes their cues visually and criminally from the Clown Prince of Crime.
The Jokerz, at least at the beginning of the series, are mostly just pranksters. They're kind of annoying and not that dangerous, but as the show continues, they get less and less funny.
6 Hamilton Hill High School
One of the deeper cuts in terms of references on the show involves the high school that Terry McGinnis attends in Neo-Gotham. Hamilton Hill High School takes its name from the mayor of Gotham during Batman: The Animated Series.
This version of Hill was much less corrupt than the one in the comics, so it makes sense he would end up with a high school named after him. Hill initially didn't get along with Batman early in their careers, but later came around.
5 Shadow of the Phantasm
A great reference Batman Beyond
makes back to the unique lore of Batman: The Animated Series
is the character of Phantasm. Andrea Beaumont became a critical part of the series lore - and a fan-favorite element of Batman mythology - in the animated movie Mask of the Phantasm
. She reappears decades later in a crossover with Justice League Unlimited
Amanda Waller hires Phantasm to kill Terry McGinnis' parents, but Beaumont ultimately chooses not to go through with it, abiding Batman's credo of never taking a life.
4 Grey Ghost
Another great addition to Batman: The Animated Series
was the Grey Ghost. A Golden Age-era character, he inspired a young Bruce Wayne with his exploits in old movie serials. The costume of the Grey Ghost resides in the Batcave, a nod to the former series. Bruce Wayne even puts it on in one episode, when he has to rescue Terry. The character was originally voiced by Adam West
, who of course played Batman in the legendary live-action series from the 60s.
3 Return of the Joker
So about the Joker being dead. No one ever really dies in comics (as Ra's al Ghul can attest, or Jean Grey
) and so it is with the Joker, who ultimately makes his bloody return in the direct-to-video full-length feature entitled Return of the Joker
Mark Hamill returns to play the character for the film, as Kevin Conroy had to play Bruce Wayne in the series. The movie depicts a truly awful episode in the history of Batman that resulted in the Tim Drake Robin seemingly killing the Joker.
2 Didn't Land On Her Feet
The final fate of Catwoman
in the continuity of Batman Beyond
is unknown, but it haunts Bruce Wayne. The only indication fans have is the brief and cryptic mention by Bruce at the end of the episode "Dead Man's Hand." Bruce Timm, executive producer of both Batman Beyond
and Batman: The Animated Series
intended to revisit an elderly Selina Kyle in a later episode, but this idea was ultimately abandoned and so it remains a mystery what happened to her.
The motivation for Bruce Wayne bringing up Catwoman to Terry results from Terry's experience with another female villain, Ten. Melanie Walker and Terry have a similar dynamic to Batman and Catwoman, and Melanie is in effect, a grab bag of references.
Her costume echoes the stark black and white dichotomy of Two-Face
; she hails from the Royal Flush Gang, a rival of Batman and eventually the Jokerz; and with her blonde hair and blue eyes, she looks just like Selina Kyle from the animated series.