Batman’s 75th Anniversary celebrations have already brought us an all-new short from Bruce Timm (Strange Days, viewable online), but the party’s not over yet – comic creator Darwyn Cooke has weighed in with his own short film, starring the Batman of the Future, Terry McGinnis!
Cooke’s Batman Beyond reunites definitive cartoon Batman Kevin Conroy with Batman Beyond’s McGinnis, as voiced by Will Friedle. Scheduled to air after Teen Titans this Wednesday, Yahoo has released the two-minute short a little early. Watch it now, then come back, as some things are better left unspoiled.
As with Strange Days, it’s light on plot, but heavy on nostalgia. In it, Terry McGinnis and his aged Bruce Wayne battle a Batman-bot that looks suspiciously like the Batman of Batman Adventures. One all-too brief fight sequence later, and we get the real goods: a line-up of robo-Batmen featuring the Batman(s) of Beware the Batman (streaming now on Amazon Prime, and surprisingly excellent), The Batman, The Brave and The Bold, The Dark Knight Returns, Michael Keaton and Adam West. No love for Nolan’s Batman? Apparently not, but then, the emphasis is on fun here, and Bat-Bale never really had time for that.
The short finishes on something of a cliffhanger, with the presence of the Bat-bots and their creation never explained. It doesn’t really need it, but it does leave us salivating for more. Batman Beyond still has a large following today, being a more than worthy spin-off/successor to The Animated Series. McGinnis lives on still in comic book form (he has a whole Justice League these days) but it’s lovely to see him and old man Wayne again in animated form. Will the success of these shorts lead to a proper comeback for our retro heroes? It’s impossible to tell, but at least we’ll have this and Strange Days in the meanwhile.