If you’re reading this, I’m quite sure that you are well versed with the premise of the BATMAN BEYOND
animated TV series. But just in case you are not…
In the future, Bruce Wayne has grown too old to continue on as The Batman. Old Man Wayne becomes a virtual recluse -- he lives alone in Wayne Manor with his dog Ace as his only companion. Most of Bruce’s “Batman Family” are either dead (Alfred and Commissioner Gordon) or are now estranged (Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson) from him.
And of course, without Batman as its protector, crime and corruption has yet again infiltrated Gotham City.
Enter one Terry McGinnis…
McGinnis is an angry and somewhat of a streetwise high school kid whose father has been murdered after stumbling upon his employer’s illegal activities. By pure chance, Terry and Bruce Wayne cross paths. While checking out Wayne Manor, McGinnis accidentally discovers The Batcave, puts 2 and 2 together, and…
Determines that Bruce Wayne is -- or once was -- the legendary Batman.
To make a long story short, the elderly Bruce Wayne takes Terry under his wing and passes on the Mantle of the Bat to McGinnis. While it’s Terry in the suit, it’s still quite evident who’s calling all the shots.
Thus a partnership, as well as a uncomfortable father/son relationship, is formed between the two and Gotham again has a Batman.
While I’m one of those Batman fans who believes it’s only “Batman” if it’s Bruce Wayne in the suit, I’ll admit that I was a fan of BATMAN BEYOND. I found it to be a well-produced animated series and one that was quite respectful to the Batman character and the Batman mythos. Plus, it was a sequel of sorts to the great BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, so it was sort of nice to get a little more of that particular incarnation of Batman -- even though Bruce was 80-something years old.
So who is BATMAN BEYOND: THE COMPLETE SERIES for? Quite frankly, I’d say it’s for either the diehard Batman fan or collector. Since all seasons of the series are already available for purchase, I can’t recommend this set to anyone who already has them on DVD unless they are one of the two aforementioned types of Bat-Fans.
What would have made this a no-brainer must-buy is the inclusion of BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER animated film, as well as the JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMTED episode “Epilogue.” The former is one of the best animated Batman films to date and the latter actually gave BATMAN BEYOND the series an nice and neat little ending.
* For the most part, the discs included are pretty much just like the ones that you would find in the individual season releases. Not all, but a few of the episodes include audio commentaries -- though I don’t think they really add anything to the mix.
* “Inside BATMAN BEYOND: Meet Series Creators” - the title is self-explanatory.
* “Music of the Knight” - Music from the series’ score is set to various scenes without any dialogue.
* “Inside BATMAN BEYOND: The Panel” - Behind the scenes members of the show’s crew talk about the show and adding to the history/mythology of the Animated DCU’s Batman.
* “Inside BATMAN BEYOND: Season 3” - Folks behind the series talk about its final season.
* “Close-Up On…” - Various members of the BATMAN BEYOND team look back on their favorite moments from the series.
* “Disc 9” - This may not actually be an “extra” per se, but I’ll include it as one. On this disc you will find the previously released SECRET ORIGIN: THE HISTORY OF DC COMICS as well as three featureettes which I believe are new. “Tomorrow Knight: The Batman Reborn” discusses how and why Terry McGinnis became the new Batman. “Gotham: City of the Future" foucuses on the continuity between BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES and BATMAN BEYOND. And “The High Tech Hero” discusses how Terry’s “wonderful toys” were inspired by and based on real technology