Batman Beyond may have been around since the late 90s, but the upcoming miniseries finally sees Terry McGinnis “go beyond.”
Batman Beyond – What Has Happened to The Original Dark Knight?
As teased in Batman: Urban Legends #7, Bruce Wayne is dead, and successor McGinnis sets about tracking down his killer and learn new secrets about Neo-Gotham in Batman Beyond: Neo Year. Co-written by Green Arrow scribes Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing with art by Max Dunbar, the story taps into the veins of The Long Halloween and Batman: Year One.
Dunbar explains, “We’re hoping to forge a new path forward into Neo Gotham in a way that fans of the show will love and be excited [to see.] There are familiar faces, but it is a time of great change in Neo Gotham. There will be plenty of new threats for Terry to face, as well as some old ones. Sebastian has managed to fuse the dark and brooding look of the animated series with his own take on cyberpunck tech noir that is nothing short of stunning. I feel so lucky to be working with him on this project.”
The largest game-changing element is Terry is, for the first time, on his own. For the bulk of his history, from celluloid to comic print, Bruce has been the guy in the bat-chair and in Terry’s ear. Fans of the cartoon have fond memories of voice actor Kevin Conroy playing the now-grisly billionaire hermit directing Terry (Will Friedel) in countless fights and investigations. Further, his DC comics run has seen additional supports from Dick Grayson, Commissioner Barbara Gordon, his girlfriend Dana, and even younger brother Matt. This creative team, however, strips Terry of those supports. “Terry is finding out what it means to truly be Batman, ” Dunbar elaborates. “He’ll feel for the first time what it means to be alone in a city that wants him dead. [Colorist Sebastian Cheng] has managed to fuse the dark and brooding look of the animated series with his own take on cyberpunk tech noir that is nothing short of stunning. I feel so lucky to be working with him on this project.”
As established in Urban Legends, the main antagonist is Neo Gotham itself. Not the people of Neo Gotham, but the actual city. The city, in all of its next generation technology and interconnectedness, is alive and has no room in town for a certain vigilante. For a hero whose greatest weapon is use of the shadows, where is there for Batman to hide when those shadows are alive? This bapstism of fire for Terry will test his mettle as never before.
But if Neo Gotham itself is the villain, what flesh-and-blood opponents are there for Terry to hit? Over the course of the character’s history, Terry has amassed memorable villains of his own. Fans can feel at ease as Max promises that rogues gallery will be respected, but also expanded. “Our number one priority with Neo-Year is to introduce new villains, new allies, and a new paradigm for Neo Gotham. Fans can expect the return of certain fan favorites like the Jokerz and Commissioner Barbara [Gordon,] but we’re taking this opportunity to forge a new era quite seriously. Bruce’s villains reflected his journing through mental health, obsession, and [tragedy. It’s] time Terry had a rogues gallery who reflected his path through legacy, lineliness, and hope.”
Catch the six-issue epic Batman Beyond: Neo-Year when it debuts April 5, 2022.