Beyond Batman Beyond
The Hidden Last Episode
I’m obsessed with Batman Beyond, an animated series that ran for three seasons starting back in 1999. In the future, Bruce Wayne is a crusty old man in ailing health who has hung up his cape for 20 years. Enter Terry McGinnis, a spunky teenager looking to avenge his father’s murder. Under the guise of an after-school job, Terry dons Bruce’s high-tech Batsuit, replete with super-strength, armor, flight, invisiblity and a little speaker in his ear so Bruce Wayne can bitch at him every step of the way, looking through Terry’s eyes from the safety of the Bat Cave. The writing is top notch and there are lots of innovative twists on the Batman mythos: a gang of Jokers, Barbara Gordon as police commissioner and Bruce Wayne as a complete asshole, to name a few.
As with all good things, its run was over too soon and left me wanting more. There are really only a handful of episodes that are outright stupid - far more of them are inspired.
Just recently, I learned that there was a secret final episode that brought some degree of closure to the series. Terry and Bruce make their final appearance in season four of Justice League Unlimited. You can watch the entire episode on Youtube here, here and here.
Just for fun, here’s the opening sequence and theme song.