What was your initial reaction to Batman Beyond the first time you heard about it/watched it?

Discussion in 'The DC Animation Forum' started by CyberCubed, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed New Member

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    Before Batman Beyond existed, the pitch sounded like it could have gone terribly wrong. A Batman show set in the "future," with a "teen Batman" who goes to "highschool and has a girlfriend," while old man Bruce serves as his mentor. If this pitch went to anyone outside of the hands of Bruce Timm, Paul Dini and Alan Burnett...the series could have been an epic disaster.

    I remember watching the debut of the show way back when it first aired around 15 years ago and liking it instantly from the start. Of course I was only around 13-14 years old back then, so I was in the right target audience for the show.

    I loved Terry right off the bat, I liked how Bruce Wayne was still Kevin Conroy and how the series was in continuity with B:TAS. Loved The Jokers and all the villains we got.

    My only gripe is it did feel too much like "Buffy: The Vampire slayer just with Batman," at times, especially with all the teen related villains at Terry's school and the sheer mass of monsters/freaks that weren't traditional supervillains. I wonder if that was a mandate from the network to have a lot of eps about Terry's school and his classmates? Also it felt like Smallville at times too for the episodic "freak of the week" type of episodes.

    What did you think?
     
  2. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.

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    I loved it from the start. The opening grabbed me. The title sequence. A new Batman in the future, old Bruce, a dog, a new suit. Yeah, the high school thing did seem like a mandate but once the show moved past it, the series never looked back imo. I think they even discussed the high school thing in some part on one of the commentaries.
     
  3. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed New Member

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    The High School aspect was actually pretty heavy all throughout Season 2 as well. Many episodes relate to a problem at Terry's school or something his classmates are going through.

    Spellbinder bringing the kids to virtual reality, slappers, Willie terrorizing the school, the Rats episode kidnapping Dana, Max becoming a main character, the Splicers episode, 10 from the Royal Flush gang, Terry's friend dating a synthoid robot, etc.

    I did feel the show kind of lost something when Blight died at the end of Season 1, as they stopped focusing on the Wayne/Powers company and the majority of episodes shifted focus to Terry's High School. I always wish Blight came back but he never did.
     
  4. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.

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    Yeah, I was glad they brought the Wayne/Powers arc back a little with season 3 then in ROTJ. But yeah, lol, I even remember back then going "when is Blight coming back?"
     
  5. Michael24

    Michael24 Moderator

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    I actually first heard about Batman Beyond from none other than Kevin Conroy, when he appeared at a Warner Bros. Store near where I lived in 1998. As he signed my stuff, we talked about the show and he told me they were working on a spin-off that was set in the future, although he called it by a different title. I want to say it was Batman of Tomorrow or something like that. (I know Batman of the Future is the overseas title, but I don't think it was that.) Anyway, I remember thinking it sounded cool and looked forward to checking it out.



    I remember watching the premiere and liking it, but quickly began losing interest. I get the whole idea, but without Bruce Wayne under the cowl and some young kid instead, I just couldn't keep interested in it. I think I did watch all (or most) of the first season, but after that I began tuning out. It just wasn't doing anything for me, and I've yet to try revisiting it all these years later. When I then saw the "Epilogue" episode of Justice League, I thought the revelations it made about Terry and his family were absolutely ridiculous and felt more like bad fan fiction.
     
  6. BigFatHairyDeal

    BigFatHairyDeal Defender of the Universe

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    My initial reaction was much skepticism. I didn't think I'd care for a Batman show in which Bruce Wayne wasn't Batman. Seeing that it was going to take place many years in the future, I knew it wasn't going to be Batman as I'm familiar with, so I wasn't that interested.

    I eventually started watching it, and quite fortunately, I liked a lot of what I watched. However, I never really fully got into it to the point where I had to watch every episode. That's not a critique on the quality, it's more a reflection of the fact that a Batman show in which Bruce Wayne isn't the primary character isn't going to appeal to me as a show of similar quality in which Bruce Wayne is the main protagonist.
     
  7. reflection

    reflection Active Member

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    I'm with CyberCubed. I think the creators did the best they could given the constraints. They took what seemed like an awful premise and did some fantastic world building. The high school based episodes were clearly the weakest eps but not as bad as they could have been all things considered.

    They avoided the temptation to do "Riddler, Jr." or "son of The Penguin" type stories and did callbacks to BTAS that made sense. Sure, Mr. Freeze would still be around. That makes some sense. Sure, Bane would still be around barely living off Venom. Of course, Ra's would still be around, but the story they choose to do....WOW. They used villains that weren't used in BTAS to give Terry his Catwoman.

    Using the Jokerz gangs was brilliant. First, it gave them the opportunity to play around with the Joker/Harley motifs in multiple ways. Second, it showed the Joker legacy. Third, they created many gangs that were decentralized which made the more diverse and unpredictable. They could just show up anywhere doing anything without being contrived.

    A note about Epilogue. I understand the criticisms. Sure, it seemed like fan fiction. But it was some fantastic stuff. Sure the Cadmus angle was complete fan service. But ignore the controversial parts. Batman-Ace, Terry-Dana, Terry-Bruce. That was the core of that episode and a brilliant end to the Batman story that began in BTAS.
     
  8. the greenman

    the greenman Active Member

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    I have to admit, to this day I am just not a fan of the series. I actually wished they had done another hero or Legion of Superheroes. I just could never really get into this show, and as a floating viewer of the series after the revelation of Ra's, that was IT for me. I did watch The Call on cable years later, but. . .
     
  9. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed New Member

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    I'm surprised so many of you never watched the series by now. Given this forum I thought most people watched through all the DCAU shows by now.

    Funny thing is Batman Beyond makes you realize that all of Batman's enemies just became old and either retired or died. In a way it makes you realize the only closure Riddler, Penguin, Catwoman, Mad Hatter, etc. got was, "they all got old." LOL.
     
  10. TheVileOne

    TheVileOne Peace Loving Shinobi

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    I always liked the idea and thought it sounded interesting. I also remember at the time a lot of fans on net forums (yup they were around back then) hated the idea and tore it to shreds. I liked that it was an older Batman training a younger Batman, and we would see Gotham in the future. Not only that, Gotham was completely different and not actually the slum-ridden city it used to be. So on some level, it felt gratifying that the work Batman did pay off to a degree.

    I also liked that they used a mix of old and new villains. So early on we got Mr. Freeze which is still one of my favorite episodes of the show.
     
  11. Wonderwall

    Wonderwall Moderator

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    I caught the end of the first episode when Terry goes back to Wayne Manor. At first I didn't know what it was but I think I might have been waiting for another show on the same channel so I just decided to wait it out. The he said the word "Batman" and I instantly perked up and to my shock I see an old Bruce Wayne looking through his window. It always stuck with me that image.

    Watching the DCAU on Canadian TV back then was like the wild west as there were like 3 different channels that showed it so it was kind of hard to keep track of it since only one of them ever promoted it( YTV before when they showed stuff beside Nickolodean shows ). Of course at that the time it was also hard to keep up since Pokemon and other imports that tried to cash in on the craze also pushed it around a bit. But I did come across it easily enough regardless. I caught most of them at least once but there were a few that either I didn't see or only saw once so it was cool revisiting it all on DVD years later.

    Anyway I was pretty hooked early on and the hooks only sunk deeper when they introduced Mr Freeze early on.

    Listening to an old Kevin Smith podcast from last year with Bruce Timm, it's funny that as bad as the concept sounded to the fans back in the day, the concept with Batman/ Power Rangers inspired show sounded much worse and I'm glad we never got that. Although this is a sick part of me that would like to see that too :D
     
  12. Hordesman

    Hordesman slashor

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    I think it was in Wizard magazine or something where I heard about Flash and Wonder Woman shows that were pitched around the same time as batman beyond. In terms of Epilogue, I think of it as more metaphorical- that it was more about the emotional reality of Bruce and Terry's relationship by that point. It had Shakespearean movements, and I greatly admired the revelations about Terry's past and now they tied into rotj. I don't think I saw every episode, gargoyles was the only show I did in the days before TiVo, but I enjoyed it.
     
  13. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.

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    You make me want to hunt down this issue of Wizard. :D

    I remember Beyond coming on around 10 or 11 am at the time, and often convincing my parents it mattered I stay home to watch it or they find a blank VHS tape and start recording.
     
  14. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones Trickin' N Treatin'

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    I remember being interested in the show but eventually not caring after I watched the primetime premiere at a friend's house. I'm not sure if I'd even warmed up to TNBA by that time. The city I went to school in at the time didn't have a WB affiliate so it would be years before I'd watch the series on a regular basis. I'd just catch a random ep when I was home for the weekend or on a break but I still didn't feel wowed. Return of the Joker must have hit at the right time because that was really the point where I accepted the show and my fandom grew.
     
  15. Hordesman

    Hordesman slashor

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    It was just a sentence of text, if memory serves. I still remember watching the premiere of batman beyond- it was a Sunday night when I was in high school :)
     
  16. Michael24

    Michael24 Moderator

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    The only DCAU shows I watched in their entirety were Batman: The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures and Justice League/Justice League Unlimited. Only watched scattered episodes of Superman and, as mentioned, not much after the first season of Batman Beyond.
     
  17. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed New Member

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    Any reason you didn't go back and watch them later? It's been literally over a decade since the shows ended, and with the DVDs readily available as well as the shows rerun on cable throughout the years there was plenty of time to catch up.

    Especially since the shows only have 54 episodes for superman and 52 for Batman beyond...there isn't even much time consuming aspects to them.

    Also for some reason I always think this forum is filled with hardcore DCAU fans, so it's easy to wrongly assume people watched everything.
     
  18. BigFatHairyDeal

    BigFatHairyDeal Defender of the Universe

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    Do you always willingly commit 20+ hours to something you're not gung ho about? :p
     
  19. JTMarsh

    JTMarsh Wing Commander

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    I watched the pilot for BEYOND and it didn't really grab me. I saw bits and pieces of later episodes and they still didn't grab me. I've never been entirely sure why BB never engendered my interest, but it just... doesn't.
     
  20. reflection

    reflection Active Member

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    I did a Batman Beyond rewatch about 4 or 5 years ago and it held up better than I thought.

    I guess "how much DCAU have you watched?" would be a good premise for a thread. I assumed everybody had watched everything. Of course, I was 16 when BTAS came out, so that was a great time to be able to watch everything.
     

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