|For this 1999 addition to its highly successful Batman animated franchise, Warner Bros. explored the future world of the Dark Knight. An aging Bruce Wayne wasn’t what he used to be, and neither was Gotham City. Street gangs like the Jokerz (inspired by their villainous idol The Joker) ran wild, and police commissioner Barbara Gordon (the former Batgirl) couldn’t stop them. Gotham needed a new hero, and Wayne found it in young Terry McGinnis.
Terry’s father was killed by a flunky of Wayne’s underhanded former business partner, Derek Powers. Wayne became the boy’s mentor, training him to be the new Batman. Meanwhile, radiation from Powers’ corrupt industrial experiments turned Powers into the glowing skeletal madman Blight. McGinnis donned the new Batsuit, complete with jet-powered boots, camouflage capabilities, and an endless supply of Batarangs, and set out to protect the city.
New villains on the series included The Gotham Golem, a seven-ton robot controlled by a picked-on boy named Willie Watt; and Inque, a mutated human who could take on a liquid form. McGinnis balanced his time between fighting crime and attending Gotham High with his girlfriend Dana Tan, who didn’t know his secret identity.
The spin-off became one of the biggest hits on WB's Saturday morning schedule, leading to a direct-to-video animated movie, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, and sparking talk of a feature film adaptation.