Batman Beyond

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CHARACTER

Batman Beyond

A protege of Bruce Wayne in the year 2029, Terry McGinnis protects the city of Neo-Gotham as its latest Dark Knight.

Introduction

Aliases: Terrance “Terry” McGinnis, The Tomorrow Knight, Batman of the Future

First Appearance: BATMAN BEYOND #1, 1999

 

 

 

The Batman had long been an urban legend to the people of Gotham City, a fearsome crusader who the average citizen only heard whispers about, or maybe caught a glimpse of fighting a costumed villain. But beneath that legend there was a flesh and blood man, Bruce Wayne, and try as he might, he was mortal. Eventually, old age caught up with him, and he had to hang up the cape and cowl.

 

But the city still needed a Batman, and decades later, in a futuristic neo-noir version of Gotham, the Dark Knight rose again. This time, teenager Terry McGinnis stumbled upon Bruce Wayne’s secret, and after a similar tragedy befell his family akin to the one that befell Wayne’s as a child, he took up the mantle of the Bat. Outfitted in a high tech Batman suit, years beyond anything Bruce Wayne got to wear in his early days of crime fighting, Terry protected Gotham City from an all-new wave of colorful villains. 

 

With the help of an elderly Bruce Wayne, who serves as his mentor and tactical advisor, as well as the help of his good friend Max and Commissioner Barbara Gordon, the former Batgirl, Terry McGinnis makes sure that the Gotham City of the future never has to go without protection from the Batman.

 

Origin

batmanbeyond-origin-BMB_02_02-v1.jpg Terry McGinnis was your average Gotham City teenager, who was the son of a Wayne-Powers research scientist. In his younger days, Terry was a wayward kid, who got caught up in Gotham’s street gangs. At this time, Terry parents were getting a divorce, and due to his age and the extenuating circumstance, a judge went easy on him, and he only got a handful of months in juvenile hall. This incident made sure Terry got “scared straight,” and he stayed on the correct path from there on out.

 

A few years later, when Terry is a senior in high school, he found himself on the run from the Jokerz gang, a group of street thugs who worshiped the long dead villain the Joker. McGinnis found refuge on the grounds of the old Wayne Manor, now home to an octogenarian Bruce Wayne, who lives in the old house alone with his dog Ace. Despite his age, Wayne is able to defend Terry from the Jokerz, although the effort places a great strain on his heart. McGinnis is able to bring Wayne inside his home and gives him his medication, and he falls asleep. Once making sure that Wayne is resting comfortably, McGinnis wanders around the house…and discovers the entrance to the Batcave. Wayne awakens, and furious that his secret past as Batman is exposed, forces Terry to leave the house.

 

Terry comes back home to a horrible scene – his father Warren McGinnis has been murdered, and from the looks of it, it was the Jokerz who committed the crime. Later, Terry discovers that Derek Powers, the CEO of Wayne-Powers (the company that merged with Bruce Wayne’s corporation Wayne Industries), is behind the murder, and only made it appear to be the handiwork of the Jokerz. Powers had ordered the elder McGinnis to create mass produced biological weapons for him, and when he refused, he had him killed. 

 

Once Terry realizes Powers was behind his father’s murder, he goes to Bruce Wayne for help, but the old man doesn’t instantly jump at the chance to help him, citing his feeble age. Terry is despondent, and steals a high tech Batman suit, one of the last ones Bruce ever wore as Batman before retiring some two decades prior. Thanks to the Batsuit, Terry successfully brings an end to Powers' plan, exposing Powers to his own illegal chemicals, and thus transforming him into the villain Blight.

 

Bruce realizes that Terry McGinnis could indeed be the heir to the mantle of Batman that Dick Grayson and his other former Robins were not. McGinnis take on a job working for Bruce Wayne as his personal assistant and driver, but is in fact training with Bruce to hone his abilities as the new Batman. Although nowhere near the fighter Bruce Wayne is, the high tech Batsuit helps make up for his lack of proper fighting skills, and Wayne helps (from the safe distance of the Batcave) on all the forensics work. Eventually, the pair form a powerful bond, and McGinnis proves himself a worthy Batman. He even joins the Justice League of the future, at Superman’s request. 

 

Several years after McGinnis started out as Batman, Terry learns the complicated truth behind his origins. One day, McGinnis has a confrontation with an elderly Amanda Waller, government operative and former leader of the Suicide Squad, who told Terry the whole truth - that she was behind not only his birth, but his becoming the new Batman as well. It was all part of a carefully orchestrated plan to create a new Batman, realizing Gotham still needed a Dark Knight as its defender once Bruce Wayne became too old for the job. 

 

She confesses to McGinnis that Wayne is his biological father, as Waller used nanotechnology to ensure that Bruce Wayne's DNA overwrote the DNA in Warren McGinnis's reproductive cells. She planned to take things to their brutal conclusion and recreate the tragedy that drove Bruce into becoming the Batman, by hiring a killer to murder Terry McGinnis’ parents in front of him. But the hired gun grew a conscience, and refused. Nevertheless, fate stepped in when Terry was a teenager, and he became Batman after all. Even after all these revelations, Terry decides to stay on as Batman, realizing Gotham City needs its defender.

 

Terry McGinnis was a character created for animation, first appearing in the Batman Beyond animated series, which ran from 1999-2001. Eventually, much like Harley Quinn before him, he found a way into regular DC Comics continuity, where he finally appeared in 2014, and he has remained a part of it ever since.

 

Powers and Abilities

batmanbeyond-powers-BMB_20_p28-v1.jpg Although Terry McGinnis did not spend years training like Bruce Wayne did to become an expert martial artist, his years as a street hooligan made it so he was a pretty good brawler. Under Bruce Wayne’s watch however, Terry’s fighting skills multiply tenfold, as Wayne has him under constant fight training. And although the Batsuit he wears is some twenty years old by the time he gets it, once Terry becomes Batman in earnest, many upgrades are made to it to make it the cutting edge of technology. In addition to giving him flight ability with a pair of retractable wings, the Batsuit is made from form fitting materials, so it adjusts to its wearer. The suit also has a cloaking device, and even lets him breathe underwater for brief periods of time.

 

In addition, the suit has a special muscular enhancement tech which enhances the McGinnis’ strength, and it can resist huge concussive forces like bullets, lasers, and electric shocks. The suit has a link to the Batcomputer, allowing for Terry McGinnis and Bruce Wayne to be in constant contact with one another when McGinnis is out in the field. The lenses in the cowl can grant McGinnis night vision, and provide other forms of visual aid. In many ways, the Batsuit is a giant, wearable version of the original utility belt, as it has built in batarangs and smoke bombs, among other things that were not built into the suit back in Wayne’s day. The Batsuit is constantly being upgraded as to be state-of-the-art. 

 

Essential Storylines and History

"Rebirth" (BATMAN BEYOND, 1999)

batmanbeyond-essential1-discoveringhisdestiny-BMB_01_C1-v1.jpg In the very first episode of BATMAN BEYOND, we see how Terry McGinnis meets his mentor Bruce Wayne, and become the heir apparent to the Batman, some twenty years in the future. We are introduced to not only Terry, but his mother Mary McGinnis, his kid brother Matt, his girlfriend Dana Tan, and his father, Warren McGinnis. In the first few acts of the very first episode, his father Warren is killed, and Terry discovers Bruce Wayne’s secret. He then takes over the mantle of the Batman, giving Gotham their first Dark Knight in over two decades. 

 

 

"Splicers" (BATMAN BEYOND, 1999)

In the season 2 premiere of TV's BATMAN BEYOND, Terry lets his good friend from school, a genius computer nerd named Maxine “Max” Gibson, in on his and Bruce Wayne’s secret. Although at first Bruce Wayne is totally against Max being involved in their late night crime fighting endeavors, she insists on helping, albeit from a distance, and even the grumpy old man that is Bruce Wayne has to admit that she pulls her own weight on the team. After insisting on helping Terry as Batman during several cases, she eventually becomes a valuable part of “team Bat,” and Bruce Wayne grudgingly accepts her presence. 

 

 

BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER

batmanbeyond-essential2-themanwholaughs-BMBRJ-Cv1.R3-v1.jpg In the 2000 animated movie BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER, one of Terry McGinnis’ most harrowing adventures as Batman, he has to defeat Bruce Wayne’s worst enemy, the original Joker. Although long thought to be dead, the Clown Prince of Crime turns up in future Gotham, leading the gang of hoodlums who took his name, the Jokerz. Terry and Bruce eventually find out the horrible truth – the Joker is in fact Tim Drake, one of Bruce’s former Robins. 

 

Decades prior, when he was just a boy and still Robin, the Joker and Harley Quinn kidnapped Drake and tortured him. As part of that torture, The Joker secretly implanted a microchip, made with advanced genetics technology, into Drake’s brain. The microchip carries the Joker's consciousness and genetic material, allowing the long dead Joker to transform Tim into a virtual duplicate of himself, eventually taking total control Tim's body. Batman is able to free Tim Drake from the Joker persona, but he learns why Bruce Wayne waited so many years to take on another young partner, having learned the horrible history of what once happened to Tim Drake.

 

 

"Epilogue" (JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED, 2005)

The original BATMAN BEYOND TV series only lasted three seasons, and ended without any real resolution for its characters. Instead, a proper finale was given to the series in the JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED episode “Epilogue,” which flashed forward several years after BATMAN BEYOND's final episode, and showed us Terry McGinnis still defending Gotham as the Batman, while still aiding a very old Bruce Wayne. In this episode, we learn that Terry is actually Bruce’s biological son, something that was engineered by Amanda Waller, so that Gotham would always have a Batman defending it. She reveals to Terry that Bruce knew nothing of this plan. This episode also shows us that Terry ultimately proposes marriage to his longtime girlfriend Dana Tan, who he has let in on the secret that he is Batman.

 

 

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NEW 52: FUTURE'S END

Although originally only a part of the DC animated universe and its extended continuity (as well as comic books based on its shows), with the advent of the post-Flashpoint/New 52 timeline, the world of Terry McGinnis had officially become a part of the DC Universe and its future. Most of Terry’s backstory and adventures are identical to those of his animated counterpart, but it is in the series NEW 52: FUTURE'S END that it all becomes an official part of the DC timeline. 

 

 

In this event series, Bruce Wayne’s AI creation known as Brother Eye becomes sentient, and attempts to take over the world. FUTURE'S END told the story of how Terry McGinnis travelled back in time, in order to stop Brother Eye from taking over the world and wiping out humanity. He succeeds, but Terry seemingly dies soon after, an older Tim Drake takes over as Batman. Eventually, McGinnis is revealed to be alive, and takes the mantle of the Bat again.

 

 

 

 

Rebirth

batmanbeyond-essential4-rebirth-BMBREB_Cv1_ds-1-v1.jpg Following the events of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1, Terry McGinnis is once again the future Batman, under the guidance of an elderly Bruce Wayne. His younger brother Matt McGinnis has become the new Robin and joined him in crime fighting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team Affiliations

• Justice League

Appearances in Other Media

Television

Animation:

  • • Batman Beyond
  • • Justice League
  • • Justice League Unlimited

 

Guest Appearances/Cameos

 

Animation:

  • • Static Shock
  • • The Zeta Project
  • • DC Nation Shorts

 

Film

Main Character Appearances

 

Animation:

  • • Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker

 

Video Games

  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker 
  • Batman: Arkham City
  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us