Watch the New ‘Batman Beyond’ Animated Short by Darwyn Cooke

Published 1 year ago by , Updated April 21st, 2014 at 10:33 am,

With Batman‘s 75th Anniversary upon us, it’s only natural for the spotlight to linger on the DC comic books that have defined the caped crusader and his rogue’s gallery, as well as the cinematic adaptations that have both pushed comic book movies forward (Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman and the Nolan trilogy) and moved them back (Batman and Robin). But while it doesn’t get the same attention, the character’s animated legacy is equally impressive and still growing.

Launched in 1999, Batman Beyond followed the legendary Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures to the small screen, pushing the story out to the year 2039 and a time long after Bruce Wayne’s health had betrayed him, thus making way for Terry McGinnis (Will Friedle) to assume the mantle of the Batman with Wayne (the great Kevin Conroy) as his mentor.

Sadly, Batman Beyond left the airwaves in 2001 (though Friedle reprised the role numerous times, most recently in a 2005 episode of the Justice League animated series), but at WonderCon yesterday afternoon, DC Entertainment released a new animated Batman Beyond short (which follows Bruce Timm’s recent Batman Strange Days short) complete with both Conroy and Friedle’s iconic voices.

batman beyond Watch the New Batman Beyond Animated Short by Darwyn Cooke

Scheduled to air after an episode of Teen Titans on Cartoon Network this Wednesday, Yahoo was able to let web dwellers and Batphiles the world over take a look at the all-too-brief adventure ahead of schedule, and what an adventure it is with both Wayne and McGinnis fighting off a Batman robot that looks a bit like the Batman: The Animated Series version. Also in attendance, Batman-bots that resemble the Batman (1989) version, the Batman TV series (Adam West era) version, Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns Batman, the Bob Kane/Bill Finger original, and the last three animated versions of the character from The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and Beware the Batman.

Created by comic book writer/illustrator Darwyn Cooke, the Batman Beyond animated short accomplishes much in less than two minutes, but while it is a fitting tribute, the main takeaway may be frustration that this is seemingly a one-off project (with a cliffhanger, no less) - that is, unless DC is using this Batman Beyond short to test the waters for a future return.

batman beyond 75th 570x294 Watch the New Batman Beyond Animated Short by Darwyn Cooke

As of now, there are no hints that that is what is going on, but while it may be a long time until fans see Terry McGinnis again (if ever), they can at least draw comfort from DVD features like Batman: Assault on Arkham and Son of Batman, as well as  the news that the long ago shelved Beware the Batman will soon make its return, joining Adult Swim’s Toonami lineup on May 10th.

Whether or not that return will include the remaining un-aired episodes from season 1 remains to be seen (the 3am timeslot doesn’t seem like there is a lot of faith in the show), but at this point, something is better than nothing for Batman animation fans who, based on the vocal and excited response to these shorts across social media and the net, seem eager to embrace more Batman cartoons.

UPDATE: According to Toonami head Jason DeMarco’s Twitter account, the un-aired Beware the Batman eps will air on the channel.


Beware the Batman premiers on Cartoon Network’s Toonami programming block on Saturday May 10th @3AM. Batman: Assault on Arkham premieres in the Fall of 2014. Son of Batman premieres on May 6th.

Source: Yahoo, ToonZone

Follow Jason Tabrys on Twitter @jtabrys
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  1. Lol. Wow. No Love for Bale’s Batman to be animated.

    • You added three words to many “to be animated”…

      • Lol. I guess i did.

      • A correction for your sir,,,,,,Too instead of to… SO shush.

        • The “correction” HE made was humorous.

          You were just being a grammar Nazi.

          So YOU “SHUSH!”

          : )

        • Go away grammar Nazi, no one likes you’re kind. Yes the mistake was intentional, I hope you cannot sleep tonight because i made such a mistake.

    • Yeah they got Keaton and West in there. West was even throwing up the Batusi fingers.

  2. I’ll never understand why networks take awesome shows like Beware the Batman, Batman Beyond, Avengers EMH,etc and put on crap like Teen Titans go, Ultimate Spider-Man and the new Hulk cartoon. It literally baffles me what shows are considered successful. What’s wrong with kids today?

    • Don’t forget the sudden cancellation of Young Justice after only 2 seasons.

      I’m still hurting on that one. Thank goodness for DVDs.

      • Yup. That was a soul crusher. Such a cool show.

      • Agreed. Oh, how I miss that show! :(

    • Nothing’s wrong with kids today, you would have watched that stuff at that age.

      • I won’t, I know cause I watched B:TAS, S:TAS, Justice League, Xmen of the 90′s, and Samurai Jack. Nowadays, I only watch Adventure Time, and Regular Show. Young Justice is how the Justice League would be if they were younger, Teen titans Go is a poor throwback on a beloved animated series, and the Ultimate Spiderman, Avengers assemble are bad replacements for the Spectacular and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. I could care less about the Superhero shows of today.

      • I wouldn’t have.

        Hell, I stopped watching Batman cartoons after TAS ended because the rest (especially Batman Beyond, or as it was called in the UK, “Batman Of The Future”) were just awful.

        I tried watching today’s cartoons and honestly, none of them are a patch on the cartoons I used to watch as a kid (Batman: TAS, Beetlejuice, Johnny Bravo, The Tick, Dexter’s Laboratory, Victor And Hugo, Count Duckula, Danger Mouse, M.A.S.K., Thundercats, Freakazoid, Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z to name just some I recall off the top of my head).

        I also have to note, Terry McGinnis is being written into The New 52′s continuity this year during the Future’s End arc.

        • Whaaat? Beyond was pretty awesome, especially the first season, and I still remember favorite episodes.

          More current shows that’d I’d suggest are the Avatars (Last Airbender and Legend of Korra) and Young Justice. I also enjoy Adventure Time and The Regular Show from time to time, but I’m not regular watcher so I don’t know how good they are over time or in comparison to other seasons and blah blah blah. But for action/superheroes, Avatar and YJ were the only two that are on my radar. I think Young Justice is coming to Netflix if it’s not already on there.

          • YJ has it’s first season on, same as Boondocks.

    • No, you mean WTF IS WRONG THE CARTOON PRODUCERS? Sure the show is humorous, but we want a freaking super hero show, not some camp-fest thumb sucker show. It’s the makers mind that is screwed up.

  3. first (always anted to do that lol) and this clip was splendid oh the memories :’(

  4. Looks to me like a subtle dig at the new Nolan’s Batman and its arc of history. I liked this series and it was a shame they canceled it. Speaking for myself and a few others, I dislike what Nolan’s universe has done to Batman.

    It’s made him more star studded, but less human. More animated, but less focused. More gritty and real, yet less caring and connected overall. In fact I often got the feeling in Nolan’s recent batman films, that BW isn’t really connected to anyone anymore.

    Besides of course his fame and fortune…which perfectly captures the darker past.

    • I agree 100%. Also Nolan took the ‘comic book’ out of comic book movie. His version of Bane was pretty crap.

      • @ Watchmen83

        I agree & believe that was his intention. Don’t get me started on Bane. The guy not only was a lacky again but a guy with w/ too much drama. Strike 2 on that character.

        • As I have always said, the first movie was okay, the 2nd movie would have been great if it weren’t a Batman movie. and the 3rd movie was utter cr*p.

          • I thought Batman Begins was the best, the latter two focused on the villains more, Joker saved TDK imo, & i agree TDKR was crap. Hopfullly we get better Batman movies now.

            • I was the exact opposite way. I felt the first movie was the best, though nothing like Batman and the third film was Batman. Yet it still isn’t a good film to watch more than once, and even though I liked the first movie when it first came out, I didn’t watch it ever again.

              • Stranger still, I felt the first movie was mediocre at best, the second was amazing beyond reason, and the last was just utter crap.

          • Funny…

            I found BB to be excellent and a wonderful Batman origin film, TDK to be even better and an even more in-depth study of Batman’s world, and TDKR to be the best of the three and a superb way to close out a fantastic trilogy…all three films worthy of multiple viewings.

            • I agree with you about everything except TDKR, it just didn’t sit right with me. Much of the film felt very un-Batman-ny, still well made, though. And despite the hate I’ve seen on Bane, I actually enjoyed his protrayal very much (and don’t think he was just a henchman). I’d rate them TDK, TDKR then BB.

    • I’ve always looked at TDK trilogy as a film school project with a much bigger budget. It’s an exercise. What if Batman were a real dude? WHat would that look like? BAM.
      Nolan did it, and for what it was, it was awesome, but it’s not the REAL Batman. As film’s, all three have their issues, but they were all well made and I love them but I’m looking forward to having the legit, true to the spirit of the comic BATMAN.
      So… hopefully they don’t mess this up
      Snyder, Affleck… I’m looking at you two.

      • If it was some kind of experiment, it failed in that respect.

        • No, they didn’t. It succeeded in portraying a Batman that could exist in the real world. Most people would agree. The evidence is there.

  5. Thing that made me cringe in TDKR was the statue in memory of Batman. Not something the real Batman would look from the people. Id expect that sort thing in Adam West’s Batman tv series but not Nolan’s film especially if Bruce hands over the mantle to someone else.

  6. It’s too bad this is only a animated short. Would be nice if it was animated feature of Batman Beyond with Kevin Conroy & Will Friedle reprising their roles.

  7. Batman Beyond was was a great successor to the legendary Animated Series. Absolutely fantastic in any regard and far better than any other Batman series released after it went off air.

    It is really saddening to see that this level of perfection can never be reached again with today’s standards.

    • Here here. All of the Batman’s after it were horrible.

      • I disagree. The Batman was pretty good. It had an anime feel to it which is why some (or many) people don’t like it, but it made the action more fluid and exciting. Rino Romano did a great job as the voice of Batman. Plus, as a whole, the writers of the show re-envisioned many characters of the Bat-Mythos to present it as something fresh and not a straight up copy of the comics or the previous animated version of Batman.

      • Unless you count Justice League.

  8. We need to just rehire the crew from BTAS and release new eps. It was the best. People love it. And there is absolutely no reason not to do it.

  9. Id love more BTAS & STAS episodes Not to mention JLU episodes. They got plenty of comics to go off on based on their animated series.

    • The unfortunate thing is that Bruce Timm doesn’t really feel like he has anything left to contribute. He developed all those great DC shows.

      • I’ve been saying this for a long time, Bruce Timm should be a main writer for the DC live action Cinematic Universe.

  10. Batman Beyond! of my all-time favorite shows. I really hope they bring it back, and eventually make a live-action movie about it.

    • *One of

    • I’d be down for a live action version of Batman Beyond.

    • Bringing it back as an animated show or movie would be shway! Maybe the twips at Warner Bros. will revive it. ;)

  11. Wow, I guess all of TDK trilogy haters came here. Those movies are not for everyone, but the praise they get is absolutely deserved. Yeah, they’re different, but there is no such thing as a “definitive” version of Batman. Part of what makes the character so iconic is how many different directions you can take the story and the character (as can be seen in both of these shorts. Both extremely different, but both have the essence of Batman).

    Anyway, this short was fantastic. The animated series was my favorite adaptation of Batman, and shows like justice league and Batman Beyond were great successors to it. I miss this show so much, my childhood! :)

    • “but the praise they get is absolutely deserved.”

      Not more than say, Pearl Harbor.

      Compared to other Batman films of old they all lack…soul.

      • Except Pearl Harbor didn’t get the praise TDK trilogy got.

        • That’s because Pearl Harbor won several Oscar nominations, instead. Dark Knight didn’t pull that acclaim.

          They glorified it even though it was a very pathetically thin movie.

          • You have no clue what your talking about.

            Pearl Harbor:
            4 nominations, 1 win

            The Dark Knight:
            8 nominations, 2 wins.

            • Pearl Harbor won more acclaim at the box office is what he refers to. It was remembered a lot longer, apparently by the fooled audience that Harbor caters to.

              It won lots of awards and TV appearances later, and made a much higher impact. And that’s true even if it wasn’t a good story.

              • @Batman-isGone, Pearl_Harbor_Mistake, Harboring-Retcons
                I was a bit younger when Pearl Harbor came out but I thought that it was always hated by critics. I specifically remember not going to see it because I used to watch Ebert on TV (I think Siskel was still with him then) and Ebert was all, “This movie is pretty wack” and he was one of many. I just looked it up on Rotten Tomatoes and it has a 25% rating while The Dark Knight has 94%. Dark Knight grossed over a billion dollars (remember, it was big deal because it overtook Titanic or something like that) while Pearl Harbor didn’t reach 500 million (still a major success, it like, tripled its budget or something).

                And I thought that the Dark Knight had a huge pop culture impact, especially considering Ledger’s untimely death. I was under the impression that Pearl Harbor was only remembered for it’s sucky aspects and was referenced and parodied, it wasn’t like… remembered for it’s greatness, historical accuracy, cultural impact or anything like that.

    • Yeah, I agree with you except, in my opinion, what makes Batman so iconic is that he’s a regular man who can tangle with the “big boys” based on his ingenuity, passion, and paranoia when it comes to working with others. He’s a total badass considering the company he keeps, even locally there are some powerful foes that he always takes down… cuz he’s a BOSS.
      You can take any character in different directions. See Marvel Noir and MAX, see Superman: Red Son, See Dark Knight Returns for a very Frank Miller version of Supes, Bats, and GA. I think GA had a LongBow series that inspired Arrow Season 1, so you could apply that statement to every character.
      If you were regarding my comment about how Nolan’s Batman wasn’t necessarily true to the spirit of the comics, what I mean is that, again, Nolan was limited to general laws of reality and couldn’t use some of more “Batman” elements people expect.
      His martial arts was slow and looked like a bunch of arm swinging to be frank (limited by a realistic costume and a fight style that could work more effectively in it)
      His detective skills was mostly just him finding the fingerprints on the bullet, or him just knowing things, he very rarely seemed to actually brainstorm and uncover a plot on his own or figuring out a puzzle.
      Part of that is also seeing things coming like being led into a trap (okay, he’s been out of the game and Catwoman’s hot. Got it, blind trust too soon, learned his lesson I bet). BOOM Talia shanks him. Comic Bats would’ve seen one of those coming.
      I won’t complain about the villains, the villains used were more or less used correctly but they couldn’t use Killer Croc or Mr. Freeze and such.
      What Nolan achieved was pretty awesome but it didn’t, and couldn’t, catch the true essence of Bats. In my opinion, at least.

  12. I’m still waiting for a faithful adaptation of the dark Knight to make it to the big screen, but seeing how badly Superman was bastardized in Man Of Steel, I’m sure they’ll carry that overpriced (and waaaay overhyped) trend into the sequel. Seeing who they cast as the new Batman with their choice of Ben Affleck of all people, it’s pretty much guaranteed. Wont be wasting good money on $hit that’s for sure.

  13. Batman Beyond should definately make a return and also would be a perfect avenue for a future non DCMU Live action film.

  14. God, I miss this show.

  15. Kevin Conroy is the definitive Batman. There isn’t even a distant second. All these years later, IMO, the DCAU is still the gold standard by which I judge most superhero movies. Love Cooke’s work on this, it’s fantastic. As ever, wish it was longer ;). Long live Bruce Timm. If Batman vs. Superman is half as good as “World’s Finest,” it’ll be a miracle.

  16. OMG i want MORE …..MORE Batman Beyond i freacking love the tv show and everything else


  17. Bruce Timm. Man. Myth. God in DC world.

  18. I hope more short films are released like this, and last one by Bruce Timm. I miss this kind of animation, reminds me of my youth. The NEW DC movies are lame! Horrible animation, and no character development just loud and not very memorable. Darwyn Cooke and Bruce Timm made Batman ‘Awesome,’ plus bringing back the Great Voice talent of Kevin Conroy and Will Friedle made this a ‘Classic!’