When DC announced Dan Jurgens and Bernard Chang were launching a new BATMAN BEYOND series this month, we were a little surprised. Usually the Terry McGinnis stories were seen in miniseries or the Digital First series. This new series was being labeled as "THE definitive future of the DCU." With Terry also appearing in the weekly FUTURES END series, it was nice to see so much attention being given to the former animated favorite. The idea of Jurgens and Chang tweaking and updating the future world of Batman was exciting.
If you read all of FUTURES END, a book Jurgens co-wrote, you might have an idea as to some of the changes we'll see.
Things just may be getting a little freaky for Batman Beyond fans. For those that haven't FUTURES END, here's what you need to know.
Terry McGinnis had traveled back in time to try to prevent a horrific catastrophe. We witnessed how the changes with the creation of Brother EYE five years from now started the ball rolling into what would end up ravaging the world and causing the death of many heroes. Terry had met up with Tim Drake, who had managed to survive a battle in which it was thought he and his teammates were killed. Pulled out of retirement, Tim was caught up in this new battle and was there when Terry met his end.
Terry may have pushed the fight closer to the end but it was far from over. There was still a lot that needed to be done to save the future. Terry asked Tim to take his place and continue the fight. As reluctant as Tim had been to get back into the action, he simply had no choice.
Because he turned his back on the lifestyle, replacing Terry wasn't immediately accepted by everyone.
Because Tim had quit, Batman didn't feel Tim could do the job. His reply wasy, "It takes a lot of nerve putting on a uniform like that." Unfortunately for him, Batman couldn't travel forward in time because of how future Batman had calibrated the jump. Tim's weight and body type was closer to Terry's.
Tim went with the plan and fought Brother EYE. He managed to convince it to destroy itself in order to fulfill it's programming of protecting Earth. Tim was sent on another jump to "whatever replaces that which was." Only he wasn't quite prepared for when he was sent to.
Tim is now in the future and the world doesn't look too great.
What this all means is the new BATMAN BEYOND will not feature Terry and the familiar elements we may have been expecting. This will be Tim Drake, thirty years in the future.
This is where Batman Beyond fans will start to get upset.
This won't be Terry McGinnis working with old man Bruce and fighting crime while trying to keep a date with Dana. The thing is, we've seen those stories already. With Tim being thrusted into his future, it adds a new twist to the idea. We usually dig the "new hero on the block" stories where they have to figure out their place and adjust to their new abilities. Tim is a fan-favorite character. I've often heard many cite him as their favorite Robin. This is, in some ways, also an evolution for Tim. He now gets to be Batman. Only now it's in the future. We've seen him do great things. How will he handle what the future will throw at him?
There will be some familiar elements. Despite what we saw in the Sneak Peek, Neo-Gotham still exists along with Wayne-Powers. There'll be Jokerz running around in the first issue. We'll also see some familiar faces and Tim will have to deal with explaining what happened to Terry.
Like many others, I would absolutely love to see Jurgens and Chang write on ongoing with Terry. The recent BATMAN BEYOND 2.0 by Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel was fantastic. To those that might be outraged now, I wonder were they supporting that series?
This new BATMAN BEYOND series isn't what we first thought it would be. There will be some adjusting on our part, as well as Tim's. This will be a different take. Change isn't necessarily a bad thing. There'll be more of the unknown being thrown at us instead of trying to recreate the glorious vibe from the animated series. I just hope we'll get to see Ace the Bat-Hound at some point. Also, with the events of Convergence and the state of the Multiverse, Terry McGinnis can still exist.