Batman Beyond – Rebirth

by Alan Rapp on August 24, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Batman Beyond – Rebirth
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“Welcome to my world.”

Batman Beyond - Rebirth

In honor of Batman‘s 75th Anniversary we turn out attention back to the Dark Knight’s more memorable moments on the big and small screen and Batman Beyond. Set in the high-tech future of Batman: The Animated Series, the series introduces Terry McGinnis (Will Friedle) as a Batman for a new generation (with more than a little classic Spider-Man thrown in for good measure). The two-part opener “Rebirth” not only introduces both audiences and the elderly Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy) to Terry but also to the futuristic world which will be home to Batman over the show’s three seasons.

With Batman and Bruce Wayne leaving the public limelight things in Gotham haven’t improved. The introductory episodes offer audiences the first look at Jokerz, gangs dressed up to honor the city’s most notorious villain who would become a staple of the show as the basic street toughs, and the villainous figure of Derek Powers (Sherman Howard) whose temporary control of Wayne Enterprises, dirty dealings, and evil machinations would transform him into a new age super-villain for the series.

Giving Terry a tragic origin and a chance meeting with Bruce Wayne, the show throws the pair together conveniently for Terry to stop Powers from selling nerve toxin to the highest bidder and catch his father’s killer all while proving himself in the stolen Bat-suit. There are rough spots to be sure (Terry gets the hang of the suit pretty damn quickly), but the set-up allows for a hero to assume the role of Batman without the years of training thanks to the slim armored super-suit. And with Batman talking him through the more dangerous and/or difficult situations Terry doesn’t need to have Bruce Wayne’s extensive knowledge or experience.

Batman Beyond may not hold-up as well as Batman: The Animated Series, but the freedom of its time frame and setting provided allowed the show’s writers and producers a large amount of leeway in exploring what a new age Batman might look like in a world not that far removed from our own. Along with introducing Terry’s mother and little brother, the opener brings back the classic character of Ace and introduces the character of Dana (Lauren Tom) offering Terry several loved ones to hide his secret from while trying to survive high school, Bruce Wayne’s incredibly high standards, and super-villains.

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