It’s been 75 years since the character of Batman was first introduced on the pages of Detective Comics, and the property continues to expand. Since his first appearance, the Dark Knight has spawned films, TV shows, video games, and even different versions of the character – including one set in the near future that was recently honored with a new animated short.
The animated TV show Batman Beyond began in 1999 as a follow-up to the Emmy award-winning Batman: The Animated Series. It failed to reach the same lofty heights as its predecessor, but the futuristic take on Batman and Gotham City did attract enough of an audience to allow the character to live on through guest appearances in other animated DC shows, in comics, and the odd appearance in a video game.
As part of the 75th anniversary of Batman, comic artist and writer Darwyn Cooke (DC: The New Frontier, Catwoman) created a new short film starring the Batman of tomorrow. Before making a name for himself as a writer and artist of comic books, Cooke spent years as a storyboard artist for Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series. He also animated the opening sequence of Batman Beyond. The recent video debuted at WonderCon in Anaheim, Calif., and contains several Easter Eggs that Batman fans will appreciate.
Batman Beyond lasted 52 episodes and starred 17-year old Terry McGinnis, who discovers in the year 2039 that an elderly Bruce Wayne was once Batman. Following the death of his father, McGinnis convinces the hermit-like Wayne to train him and give him access to a high-tech Batman suit. McGinnis and Wayne team up to help bring order back to Gotham, as a new generation of villains plagues the city.
The video joins another recently released short based on Batman’s animated past. Bruce Timm, the producer of Batman: The Animated Series, created a piece of his own to celebrate the 75 years of Batman. The animated Batman Beyond may be a thing of the past, but that character lives on in several ways, including video games. The futuristic suit can be equipped and worn in both Batman: Arkham City and Injustice: Gods Among Us.