When you consider how the producers behind Batman: The Animated Series were once instructed by execs at WB to develop a show about a “teenage Batman,” you can only imagine how things could’ve turned out horribly in less capable hands. But since we had the likes of Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Alan Burnett and Glen Murakami at the helm, we got the gem that was Batman Beyond.
Long story short, this bold series took place fifty years after the events of the aforementioned Batman: TAS, and saw the young Terry McGinnis inherit the mantle of the Dark Knight – with an aged Bruce Wayne as his mentor, no less. Featuring the voice talents of Will Friedle and Kevin Conroy, a mostly all-new rogues gallery and a kick-ass heavy metal/electronica soundtrack, it’s no wonder this bad boy has lived on in the hearts of fans the world over.
Just as we predicted, an exciting announcement was made today at San Diego Comic-Con, that being confirmation on Batman Beyond coming to Blu-ray as a complete series set. To get into specifics, all 52 episodes will be spread out across four discs, with two bonus discs thrown in for good measure. On those, you’ll find a remastered edition of the Return of the Joker animated flick and fifteen featurettes. Let it also be known the physical release will come with a Batman Beyond Funko Pop with chrome paint and four lenticular art cards.
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When it comes to the enhanced visuals, it should be noted that only 41 of the 52 episodes were fully granted the HD upgrade. Eleven of the others were “Smart Rezzed,” meaning they look better than the original broadcast versions but not as sharp as those which are fully HD. Basically, they were too time-worn to completely fix.
Getting back to those bonus features, here’s the full rundown, courtesy of WB:
- Nostalgic Tomorrow – A Batman Gathering (All-New Featurette) – Many of Batman Beyond’s core production team and actors gather for an enthralling roundtable discussion of the evolution and execution of the animate series. Join producers Bruce Timm and Glenn Murakami, casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano, director James Tucker, writers Bob Goodman & Stan Berkowitz, and stars Kevin Conroy & Will Friedle as they take a wildly entertaining trip down memory lane.
- Knight Immortal (All-New Featurette) – A visual and visceral celebration of the Dark Knight’s 80 years of crime fighting, narrated by storytellers of the past, present, and future.
- “Tomorrow Knight: The Batman Reborn” (Featurette) – Storytellers explore the rise of Terry McGinnis as Batman and Bruce Wayne’s relationship with the young hero as he mentors a new Dark Knight for modern times.
- Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (Feature-Length Film) – The beloved hit animated film from 2000 is included in the box set – fully remastered for your enjoyment.
- Audio Commentaries – Enlightening audio commentaries by filmmakers and voice actors for four key episodes: “Rebirth, Part 1”; “Shriek”; “Splicers”; and “The Eggbaby.”
- Featurettes – A dozen inside looks at the genesis, production and effects of Batman Beyond.
Batman Beyond: The Complete Animated Series Limited Edition will arrive digitally on October 15th and on Blu-Ray on October 29th. But if you’d like to get a nice preview, then check out season 1 on the DC Universe streaming service beginning on August 23rd.