Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Batman Beyond: The Complete Series

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
8 out of 10
Extras Rating:
8.5 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Will Friedle as Batman
Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne
Cree Summer as Max Gibson
Lauren Tom as Dana Tan

Special Features:
Creator Commentaries
Season Retrospective And More
Plus An Exclusive Bonus 9th Disc - With The Feature-Length Retrospective Secret Of DC Comics, 3 All New Making-Of featurettes With The Series Creative Team And An Exclusive 24-Page Booklet With Art From The DC Comics Archives

Other Info:
Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital Stereo
French Language
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 1097 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

"Rage and revenge for his father's murder first motivated Terry McGinnis to steal Bruce Wayne's high-tech Bat Suit. A greater purpose and a sense of justice keep him wearing it. Across the 3 season and 52 Episodes of this acclaimed series, he patrols streets and skies of Gotham City with Bruce as his guide. Though the power -hungry plans of criminals like The Jokerz, Shriek, Curare, Inque, The Royal Flush Gang and The Kobras grow more villainous with each attempt, Terry takes on all comers to soar as the next-generation hero he's unrepentantly become. Get in on the exciting and explosive partnership between an ex-crime fighter and his apprentice in the animated series that catapulted the Batman legend to new justice-seeking heights!"

"Batman Beyond: The Complete Series" is not rated.

Mini-Review:
"Batman Beyond" was an interesting series for a number of reasons. First of all, the creators completely left behind the familiar Batman mythos to break entirely new ground. It was a new Batman, not based on any established comic, set in a futuristic world and starring a teenage hero using high tech gadgets. It was a bold and risky move, yet it worked. It was also interesting because, despite heading in an entirely new direction, it was still solidly grounded in the Batman universe. The mentor of the young hero was the elderly Bruce Wayne himself (even voiced by Batman alumni Kevin Conroy). It was really interesting seeing the formerly tough and invincible superhero in an elderly and physically weaker state. How does he deal with it? What happened to him in the previous years? How does he react when a young upstart comes along? It opened up an entirely new world of possibilities for a character who, it seems, every conceivable story had been told about. It took a little while to warm up to "Batman Beyond", but overall it ended up being a great addition to the Batman mythology.

The series was also notable for all of the guest cameos that took place. They included Terri Garr, Ice-T, Stockard Channing, Paul Winfield, Stephen Collins, Ethan Embry, Michael Rosenbaum, Kate Jackson, Seth Green, Dan Castellaneta, Tim Curry, John Ritter, Rachael Leigh Cook, Michael McKean, Andy Dick, Ed Begley Jr., and others.

This limited edition set contains all three of the televised seasons. The only thing missing is the "Return of the Joker" movie. But it does offer the meager bonus features from the previously released DVDs along with a few new ones. There are three 'making of' featurettes. One covers the creation of the series and the thoughts behind it. It's a great look at its development and is quite candid. They discuss how later on, in a "Justice League Unlimited" episode, they revealed that Bruce Wayne fathered Terry McGinnis. A number of the creators express their dismay at the decision. Another featurette discusses the design of the world while a third discusses the Bat suit technology. The only thing missing is any interview with voice actor Kevin Conroy. Rounding out the bonus features is a feature length documentary on the beginnings of DC Comics. You learn about the early days of the publication, the creation of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, and more. It's surprisingly candid as they discuss the bondage aspects of early Wonder Woman comics, the shady business dealings of DC's original founders, and other controversial aspects of the company. It's required viewing for any comic fan.

If you're a "Batman Beyond" fan, then this is a set you're going to want to check out. But it would have been nice if the bonus features were a tad more comprehensive and if it were offered on Blu-ray rather than DVD. I hate to spend a lot of money on a set on the format that's on its way out.

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