Pro VS Con: "The Wayne & Terry Show" Part 1
by THE OLD MAID
(Note : as of this writing, "Unmasked" has not been
no developments introduced by this episode have
"Batman Beyond" is at heart the Wayne-and-Terry show.
Even after the
series was compromised by network interference,
it still garnered the
highest ratings. This testifies to the quality of
the premise and the
two characters who try to fulfill it.
We have explored all other aspects of the series.
Now we turn our
attention to the leading men. What is the Wayne-and-Terry
it earned the right to survive? What is its place
in the Bat mythos?
In the tenth anniversary reprint, Frank Miller described
experiences in creating "The Dark Knight Returns"
"And there was Batman himself. He was the real boss.
As he was quick
to assert, Batman has a personality and a purpose
all his own, a
definable core. He's no whiner ; there's not a trace
of self-pity in
his soul. He's smart. He's noble. His passions are
grand. Even his
unhappiness is not depressing, but a brooding, Wagnerian
his triumphs are Olympian.
"Then, paradoxically, all the goofy stuff, the on-the-face-of-it
preposterous stuff, nudges its way back in ...."
Miller's interpretation of the Batman influenced
comics and also the Tim Burton films, which influenced
B:TAS. None of
these Batmen are 100 percent identical. Nevertheless
there is one
mantle and all of them fit. Put simply this is the
If Terry is to become Batman he needn't be Bruce
Wayne's clone, but
he must be qualified for the job.
All official Batman versions have seen their share
of the goofy
stuff. Poor Terry has gotten the worst of it. Because
are also his creators, his character is more easily
entangled in poor
stories. No fan looks at "Batman and Robin" and
says, "This is what
Bruce Wayne is really like." But viewers can and
that "Sentries" or "TFDAR" is what Terry McGinnis
is really like. In
effect this series had the power to lock in, to
episode's weaknesses as TERRY's weaknesses.
As a result fans are confronted with two Terrys.
Original Terry stole
the suit and gave Bruce Wayne something worth living
for. The bitter
ex-con and the bitter ex-vigilante look to each
other to fix what is
broken in their lives. Together the two men are
Batman. They fight
mobsters, shapeshifters, assassins, and other criminals
for anyone else.
Then there's New Terry. New Terry is a good-natured,
slightly dumb guy with the world's coolest afterschool
bland wannabe lives in a teen-scene world that rarely
needs Batman ;
an anonymous tip to the police would have sufficed.
New Terry is a
product of intrusive marketing. A longtime fan summed
brilliantly : why this trend to turn extraordinary
ordinary people? If viewers wanted ordinary, they
watching Batman. We never saw episodes with Bruce
Wayne filling out
his taxes or the Robins loitering at the mall or
in school. Why?
Because it's boring.
Forced to choose between the two Terrys, some viewers
choose. They rejected the whole series. So let us
ask a new
question : is it possible to reject New Terry and
keep the Wayne-and-
Terry show? Such a strategy would gut the series.
Is that so
terrible? Long stories are not necessarily better.
Terry, in company with Old Man Wayne, deserve a
place in the Bat
Let's find out. If Terry is to become Batman he must
earn it. Fans
must see it. Recently fellow poster Jay Allman took
up the question
of whether Terry qualifies :
"'Lost soul,' 'Babel' and ROTJ are clearly important
in Terry's life, designed to advance and develop
Even 'Hidden agenda' is notable for what it shows
about Terry -- his
panic and confusion and frustration when his secret
confused with another's. You could also add 'Sneak
Peek' and 'Big
Time' to the list, as Terry begins to recognize
the personal cost
that comes with being Batman. And though it will
get me egged, I will
say that 'Heroes' belongs up there too, since it
is (as I interpret
it) meant as a lesson in how NOT to become a superhero.
"So Terry has undergone some development, but I still
"Becoming a superhero surely is not like becoming
a waiter or an
accountant, something you train or study for and
then one day you
just are. Nor is it simply a matter of getting bitten
by a spider or
having your parents gunned down : Joker and Two
Face and Mr. Freeze
also had initial tragedies or transformations. Nor
is it simply a
matter of discovering your life will have to be
different : again,
someone like Poison Ivy has had ample opportunity
to realize how and
why she has become different from everyone else
and to adjust in the
face of that realization.
"Bruce Wayne differs from the villains because he
choices that made him into a particular kind of
figure : He works at
night ; he does not kill ; he solves crimes in addition
apprehending baddies ; he works toward justice ;
he complements his
nocturnal efforts with Wayne money to help transform
the city. None
of these choices was made carelessly, I am sure,
but only after
deliberation, and probably only after some key event
made him realize
that he had to choose how to live and behave.
"Terry has not undergone the same process. He doesn't
kill, but name
the episode in which he decides not to. He now feels
that Batman is
part of himself, and not something to live up to
; name the episode
in which he had the attitude change. Of course,
he's going to act
that way because he is imitating Bruce -- AND THAT
IS THE FUNDAMENTAL
PROBLEM. Terry is only copying Bruce, instead of
undergoing the tests
and tribulations that would transform him into the
same kind of
person that Bruce is ...."
Let's pause there for now. If Miller has given us
description, what Allman has given us is the job
application. We need
to understand why Wayne read Terry's application
instead of sending
it to the trashcan. Is Wayne a desperate man who
will cling to any
last chance, or does Terry truly have the right
The interview process.
Is Wayne obsessed enough to choose the wrong
person? Possibly. Dick
Grayson had never known tragedy before his parents
were killed. He
might have been happy with a second family. It was
decided that Dick was just like him and dragged
him across the
Rubicon. As for Tim (the animated version), he had
lost his childhood
to crime long before he met the Batman. He welcomed
authority and direction. Nevertheless Tim too might
have adjusted to
a new family. Wayne probably could have found one
if he had tried
Terry's situation is different. Terry has often reminded
viewers of a
big dog dragging small people on his leash. Warren
and Dana were the
two good influences in his life, yet their combined
not always keep Terry out of trouble. All Wayne
has to do is step on
the leash. He rarely does so. Wayne treats Terry
like he does Ace ;
he hopes to control him through loyalty. This relationship
both men's strengths and their weaknesses. Possibly
Terry would be as
menacing, as permanent as Wayne by now if the latter
more control. Instead Wayne is showing the audience
what he has
learned from past failures. Terry will still get
there. He just won't
hate Wayne like the others do. Unfortunately this
Terry vulnerable to network interference. The suits
might as well take Terry's leash because they don't
"Terry has not undergone the same process." Terry's
critics watched the same episodes and yet have come
conclusions. Why? I propose it is because there
are three distinct
1. The process of acquiring skills, both physical
2. The process of assuming authority.
3. The process of psychological/emotional transformation.
Terry has made more progress in some areas than in
logical to conclude that fans rank Terry's effectiveness
which process speaks to them personally.
As we evaluate Terry's journey through the series,
we should ask
certain questions. Is Terry in fact imitating Wayne?
Is there ever a
time when that's a good thing? What must be done
to convince viewers
that Terry has met this requirement?
THE PROCESS OF ACQUIRING SKILLS
Terry is rarely seen acquiring new skills. In "Disappearing
says, "It's taken you six months just to show me
around the cave."
That's shocking, unthinkable.
This prompted viewers to ask a valid question : does
Wayne just send
Terry out at night and hope he won't get killed?
Would Wayne dare do
that to any other apprentice? What is the point
of having all this
experience if no one uses it? Some viewers propose
that Wayne is just
testing Terry. After all he got burned pretty badly
putting his trust
in Dick, Tim and Barbara. On the other hand, maybe
it is Wayne who is
being tested. Terry is downright spoiled compared
to Wayne's other
partner-sons ; but we've seen what happens when
the Batman is too
strict with them. It must be excruciating for such
a control freak to
let Terry fall in his face, even if that's the way
Terry prefers to
The series should never have been frozen in time.
Terry should have
graduated. What then? Would he go to college to
skills? Would he tour the world to acquire physical
skills? How would
such training influence Terry's attitudes? When
the series started,
Terry was too busy to contemplate his choices. He
had to concentrate
on staying alive. Remove him from the battlefield
and he could calmly
consider his intentions.
Terry learns on the job, but he still needs formal
starters, foes like Spellbinder, Shriek and Mad
Stan build their own
equipment. If Terry never studies engineering, electronics
chemistry, he will spend his entire life playing
catch-up. This is as
true of mental skills as it is of physical ones.
Let's examine a few
skills Terry must master.
Bruce Wayne studied martial arts, lifted weights,
and so on. Aside
from his tendency to get too busy for food or sleep,
he tried to
stay in peak physical condition. Does Terry do that?
Hard to say. We only
see Terry train in two episodes ("TFDAR," "COTK
part I"). The scenes
themselves were pleasing to the eye, but viewers
considered them too
little, too late.
Bruce Wayne also studied circus magic, especially
escape artistry. It's not a fighting skill, per
se, but it's as
useful as one. It makes Batman appear magical and
this with Wayne's samurai stealth skills, and Batman
supernatural. He used these skills to terrorize
compliance, thus saving wear-and-tear on his body.
It also saves his
Compare this to Terry's erratic stealth skills. Terry
must have been
a talented shoplifter as he was never caught ("Big
Time"). He even
broke into Wayne Manor and stole the suit while
Wayne was watching
television ("Rebirth"). Not many people get by Samurai
he seems to have got out of practice since then.
He is always
dropping things ("Shriek"), bumping into things
Inque"), tripping alarms ("Last resort") and stomping
("Armory"). Wayne should have addressed this problem
Terry's cycle skills are a valuable tool in the family
Batman ("Second chance") and Robin ("Sub-zero,"
can both do it, but that is because they trained
to do it. Who taught
Terry, and why? If he has a background in Moto X,
this should have
been developed. It's insufficient to say he learned
it in his bad-boy
past. Terry didn't have his own transportation before
Wayne gave him
a cycle. The Jokerz of "Rebirth" have considerable
How could Terry surpass them without a cycle to
practice on? Where
and when did he learn?
Terry's fighting style is erratic. He used more martial
street clothes but more boxing while in costume.
Terry also once
trained as a school wrestler ("Rebirth"). He never
uses this skill
again. True, some villains cannot be dealt with
this way -- but why
didn't Terry use this skill when it would work?
A major weakness is that Terry was written too much
Thanks to the suit, Terry is almost impossible to
kill. Thus, like
Superman, he rarely avoids a beating. He has little
incentive to do
so. Perhaps all this "action" was to show the audience
Terry is, but most fans would rather have seen how
smart he is. A
smart man would have dodged more of those blows.
It may shorten
Terry's career. Wayne/Batman was able to keep working
sixties, but Terry's body endures so much abuse
that he may be unfit
to work when he's thirty.
Several fans proposed that Terry should train in
There's no substitute for total immersion in a language
Wayne should have taken Terry out of the country
on business trips to
get it. That way they needn't wait for Terry to
graduate. It also
solves the problem of putting in face time with
his loved ones.
Finally, it would protect him from inappropriate
stories. If leaving
the country was the only way Terry could get away
from the scene-
stealing kiddies, then that's what he should have
Let us say they did go. Would Gotham fall apart?
That would be worth
exploring. The villains certainly wouldn't be idle
while Batman was
gone. At minimum, such road trips would force Wayne
and Terry to
debate the best way to handle it : a break of several
numerous smaller absences. It would give fans some
insight into how
Bruce did it, and what he would do differently today.
Wayne/Batman studied to become one of the top
scientists in the
world. In public he adopted the facade of the airheaded
Batman examined and approved everything his company
made. This didn't
just keep his company honest. It helped him improve
quality of life
in his city. It helped him turn the family business
into his own
private pharmacy and arsenal. And as with many wars
(a war on crime,
in this case) the inventions of the Batman were
products useful to the civilians, especially medicines.
The Batman studied strategy, criminal psychology,
engineering, chemistry, and so on. He designed his
designed and programmed the Batarangs ("Disappearing
designed and programmed the Batcomputer. He studied
of the crime-lab skills viewers see in the series
learned to do. It will take years of formal study
for Terry to master
these skills. Since Terry had a scientist for a
father, he may have
an advantage over the average student. More on this
Season Two was dominated by high school stories.
Fan reactions were
mixed at best. Some disliked them on sight. Others
enjoyed them at
first but have since outgrown them. Still others
admit that we can't
undo what's been done, so we might as well try to
find some good in
these episodes. These fans say that at least Terry
became a better
detective. I must regretfully disagree. If Terry
acquainted with every teen in school, and then one
of them begins
behaving strangely, that is not detective work.
That is simply paying
attention. The school gossip could have done the
Attention to detail is part of detective work, but
it is a tool of
the process, not the whole process. A true detective
is often faced
with questions he does not know the answer to. A
spends most of his time tracking strangers. Tracing
a piece of
equipment back to the stranger who built it, and
hired killer to Derek Powers, is detective work
that a Sentry-fanboy is rude today is not.
On the plus side, Terry learned to repair his suit
computer skills progressed from where-do-I-begin
("Shriek") to great-
minds-think-alike ("Disappearing Inque"). He is
operating a stranger's computer ("Payback," "COTK
part I"). In fact
Original Terry became so proficient with the Batcomputer
surprised friend and foe alike ("Out of the past").
Family makes free use of Interpol ("Mind games")
and the WayneTech
Crays ("Knightfall," "NML"). That is why the scenes
in which New
Terry lacks computer skills and/or cannot learn
are so brazenly
parallel-universe. The two Terrys cannot be reconciled.
Terry has the
Batcomputer, the Crays, and the scientist who programmed
them at his
disposal -- and he DOES know how to use them.
Traditionally Batman has learned as many languages
as possible. Greg
Rucka ("No man's land" novelization) credits Batman
French, German, Japanese, Russian, Korean, Vietnamese,
Batman can also read lips ("NML," "Shadow of the
bat"). Yet Wayne and
Terry cannot communicate in "Babel" except by text.
How could this
happen? Any Batman MUST learn lipreading and sign
language. In fact
if Terry hadn't mastered both skills by the time
Shreeve went deaf
("Shriek"), that was the episode they should've
Terry hasn't even learned enough of a second language
sweet nothings to his girlfriend. That has to change.
Terry has to learn as many languages as possible.
would be one of them, since it is the root of several
languages and also the language of scientific classification.
should learn the languages of friendly nations and
He must learn sign language. Scientists claim that
genetic engineering will eventually cure the hearing-impaired.
claim is presumptuous. It won't cure them all, not
as long as money
is an issue. It is possible that Deaf culture will
be gentrified out
of the States only to re-emerge in poorer nations.
Batman will always
need to know sign language. He must always be a
This introduces another issue. How many Gothamites
can read lips?
Even one is too many, if Terry says the wrong thing
In "Zeta" Terry loiters on school grounds saying,
"Has being Batman
given me a more suspicious nature?" That is stupid
of him. The
students, plus Agent Bennett and his men could have
lips, if anyone had looked in his direction. Terry
Work in public in "Mind games," "Armory" and "Out
of the past." He
calls Bruce Wayne by name while in costume ("Spellbound,"
and so on).
Terry ought to keep his mouth shut in public. If
this means a scene
is cut, too bad. Find a Batman way to write this
scene if it's really
Wayne ought to know, and Terry ought to learn, an
obscure language so
that they have a secure way to communicate under
Maybe it's Euskera, maybe Crioulo, maybe the Maasai
Wayne spent time with the Cherokee or Navajo code-talkers
; why not
learn a musical language like El Silbo Gomero while
he's at it?
All these things Terry must learn. More than that,
the audience must
see him learn. True, twenty minutes of Terry chanting
in the Language
Lab or brewing chemicals in the Batcave would be
boring. But let's be
frank : some of the teen scenes weren't much more
engaging. And at
least at the end of a study session Terry would
Let us propose a compromise. Terry should have spent
in school acquiring useful skills. Maybe Terry changes
to those that are more useful to him. Maybe Dana
has to drag Terry
out of Chem Lab for their date. Maybe Terry fixes
her car. Maybe he
fixes Nelson's car, ostensibly to mess with Nelson's
mind but really
to get more experience as a Batmobile mechanic.
Even Mr. Tan notices.
It would have been worthwhile to see Terry invited
to dinner at their
house, only to get grilled all night about what
he intends to do for
a living. Bonus points if Terry leaves suddenly
because Mad Stan is
Such scenes would not have taken over entire episodes
as the teen
scenes did. "Sneak Peek" should have been the model
: a serious
Batman chasing adult villains. The training scene
in "TFDAR" only
took 60 seconds (eighty if we include the post-game
analysis). A few
Skills scenes every other episode ought to do it.
The rest of the
time, Batman would fight adult criminals such as
the Rogues' Gallery.
Other aspects of communication.
Mark Halpern observed, " A well-timed silence
is the most commanding
statement." Emily Dickinson put it another way :
"Silence is all we
dread / There's Ransom in a voice / But Silence
Wayne/Batman used silence effectively. All he had
to do was look at
people and they'd crack. Rucka describes Batman
as so intimidating
that the character has to remind himself to tone
it down. ("Batman
looked at the boy, thinking, and then realized the
look was easily
mistaken for an imposing one, and so looked away
down the street,
Terry/Batman uses silence quite well -- when he tries
it. The best
scene was in "Earth mover," when Batman drives Bill
Wallace into a
frenzy of confessions. Other effective scenes are
and "Ascension," when Batman refuses the fireman's
hand or Paxton's
welcome. Batman terrorizes Winchell in "Inqueling"
gestures and four lines. Terry can be just as threatening
costume. The most notable scene was in "Golem" when
Nelson in the parking lot. However this is not Terry's
Terry's Batman talks too much. It undermines his
image. For one
thing, Terry uses the same slang in costume and
out. That slang
betrays how very young he is. This, combined with
stature, makes the average villain treat him with
Secondly, Terry/Batman often alerts foes to his presence
first and attacking afterwards. This only gives
the villains time to
prepare for the attack. They draw their weapons
; they assume a more
defensible position ; they escape. Terry ends up
working much harder
than he needed to. In contrast Wayne/Batman preferred
to pick off the
villains in silence. By the time they realized he
was there, most of
the muscle would be incapacitated. It created confusion,
Wayne/Batman exploited it to perfection. Terry must
learn that his
words won't generate fear ; fear must be present
first. Then he can
decide if the villain is worth talking to.
Third, Terry/Batman talks too much to people who
have met Terry-the-
civilian. The list includes Dana, Matt, Blight,
the RFG Princess, and over a dozen high school students.
the-civilian even know that many people?) Since
Terry talks the same
way most of the time, and his voice hasn't got the
range of Wayne's,
it's harder for him to disguise his voice. Really,
the best way for
him to disguise it would be not to use it.
Terry did use his voice and attitude to defeat the
Joker. This is the
one time that taunting a foe truly accomplished
something. It was a
valuable tool and Terry was clever to recognize
it. But if it doesn't
work any other time, why doesn't Terry recognize
Viewers want to make sense of why Terry prattles
on all the time.
Some see him as the last Robin and leave it at that.
Other fans go
deeper. They trace it to the suit. In their theory
Original Terry was
a man who hid everything inside himself, and that
made him violent
and out-of-control. The mask freed him to be more
open. He expresses
his negative emotions instead of suppressing them.
His smart retorts
are therefore not part of his job, the way a Robin's
attitude is part of the job. They represent a part
of himself that
Terry has trouble controlling.
There is one more form of communication that is perfect
for Terry :
ventriloquism. Wayne learned it from Zatara ("Read
my lips"). This
technique saved the Batman's life when he turned
Wesker and Scarface
against each other. If Terry mastered this skill,
it would rapidly
become his favorite form of communication. He could
taunt his foes ;
others would get blamed for it ; and Batman would
keep his reputation
as a silent menace. It suits his personality. If
probably hasn't taught him yet because he'd never
get the kid to
stop. Maybe when he's a little older.
Wayne wants to teach Terry to harness that energy
instead. Thus as
Terry becomes more focused, his smart remarks might
be replaced with
action. Not sure what that means? Well, consider
the time Batman used
a coin to flip Two-Face ("Shadow of the bat"), or
the endgame scene
in "King's ransom." That's the way a mature Batman
remarks : through action.
One thing Terry must learn to protect his identity
is to become his
own field medic. (As he pointed out in "ROTJ," injuries
attention.) Wayne can dress his wounds ("Payback,"
"COTK"), but only
if they can locate each other. Batman has had to
do it on-scene
in "Robin's reckoning" and "Year One." Terry's never
such skills. In addition it wouldn't hurt to teach
him acupuncture to
control the pain. These scenes could have been quite
especially if Terry's a timid or slow learner.
As mentioned, fans think Terry should train in Japan
as Bruce did.
This introduces a new problem : what cover story
should there be? If
Terry had graduated on time this wouldn't be a problem.
grant credit for life experience. Pulling Terry
out of high school,
even for two weeks, demands an explanation. How
about this one : that
Wayne wants Terry to tour Wayne Enterprises facilities
instead of simply carrying Wayne's luggage around
Here is a surprise. A certain something is missing
about Terry -- but
the fact that it is missing is exactly what works.
That something is
Terry's civilian career. Terry has developed the
same reputation as
Bruce Wayne, more so than any other protege. Terry's
he has no direction or purpose ("Sentries"). His
enemies insult him
with labels like Gofer ("Big Time") and Houseboy
("ROTJ"). Hmm. Isn't
that how people regarded Bubblehead Bruce? A charmer
with no real
goals or skills? A corporate figurehead, a joke?
Wayne "needed" Lucius Fox. He did, but not for that
had other priorities.
Dick Grayson had his own plans and pursued them.
Tim Drake founded
his own company. Aside from the time Terry tried
to take the college
placement exam (and missed it ; "Hidden agenda"),
we've seen no
indication Terry is planning for his future. Just
like Wayne, Terry
has expressed no interest in any civilian occupation.
He has no known
hobbies. (New Terry played vidgames, but Original
Terry was too bad-
tempered to lose the way this guy does. That's probably
why he never
played, neither at this nor anything else. He danced
That's it.) Aside from Dana, and possibly Jared,
Terry had no friends
before "Rebirth." Neither did he care. He lived
in the eternal Now.
The teen stories distorted this attitude. Serious
episodes used it to
The Terry of "Rebirth" was a nihilist. He started
three fights in one
day. He led a motorcycle chase that could have killed
him -- should
have -- yet his skill indicates he's gambled with
his life before. He
also expressed contempt for Warren McGinnis. His
Taking a chance on marriage. Raising a family. Having
a real job.
These are all things that require structure, patience,
things Terry once dismissed as a waste of time.
That Terry saw high school as a chore to finish,
not a stepping-stone
to anything more. Bigelow was right to say that
Tiny Terry lacked
vision. Now that Terry is becoming Batman, he's
too exhausted to make
plans. His civilian life just happens to him.
Now Bubblehead Bruce could get away with this because
his company was
his by birthright. Terry won't have that advantage.
He's got to have
a believable job. He might as well keep working
for Wayne, even run
his company, since there's nothing else he wants
to do. This does not
mean that Terry is entitled to the company. Wayne's
fight it any way they can. They would try to discredit
Terry as a
companion preying on a lonely old man. Also, Terry
unqualified to lead Wayne Enterprises on his own,
even with Wayne's
blessing. Yes, Terry could hire a Lucius Fox Beyond,
but he would
have to gain control of the company to do it. Inheritance
easiest way to do that.
The truth is Terry is the best choice to inherit
the company. In the
comics Wayne adopted Dick Grayson (GOTHAM KNIGHTS
#17) and Jason
Todd. In animated continuity Wayne never adopted
anyone. There are
multiple proofs of this. One, if Bruce Wayne adopted
anyone, it would
be the top story in the business world and the society
said, "I read up on you, Mr. Wayne." Yet Terry didn't
reference to Dick Grayson in "Spellbound."
Secondly, the Powers clan and Jordan Pryce never
made an attempt on
Dick's life or Tim's life. If Wayne had a son, that
son would inherit
Wayne's stake in the company. Killing Wayne alone
their problem. Killing his heir would be required
too. Yet no WP
villain is interested in harming the Robins.
Third, Derek Powers states plainly ("Shriek") that
Wayne has "no
wife, no children." No one to attend to his business
affairs. No one
to serve as his health-care advocate. Powers never
thinks of the
Robins as Wayne's family, because in the eyes of
the law they aren't
There is another matter to consider. None of Wayne's
care about matters inside Wayne's company. Derek
Powers didn't begin
his life of crime in "Rebirth." He was at it long
before Terry came
along. Powers has conducted experiments on prisoners
and on his
employees (Victor Fries, Harry Tolley). He kills
(Warren McGinnis). He uses hitmen and mercenaries
Shriek) to reach his business goals. He manufactures
and sells nerve
gas ; therefore he must be involved in money laundering
Also, this sale may constitute treason. Powers cripples
competition with sabotage. He wants to purchase
the Historic District
and will kill to do so. He poisons the oceans ("Meltdown").
Paxton is also a polluter ("Ascension") and a would-be
("Ascension," "King's ransom"). Jordan Pryce ("ROTJ")
wastes no time
taking the same road to prison. Now it's pretty
Wayne's partners could be unaware of so much evil
in one place. Yet
none of them do anything.
Nightwing's sense of ethics should have compelled
him to act. Even if
he hates Wayne, he would protect innocent people
from WP predators.
Barbara and her husband D.A. Young ought to be doing
their jobs too.
The taxpayers paid them to do this. Barbara pays
more attention to
Terry's high school ("Spellbound," "Revenant," "Zeta")
than she does
to Wayne's company. Barbara admits that Jordan Pryce
("ROTJ") is "a
creep" with a motive for murder, but she doesn't
investigate him. The
only time in the series that Barbara raises a hand
against a WP
criminal is after the Batman capture Paxton in "King's
else has she done? Nothing.
NO ONE tried to stop these monsters. No one but Terry.
So if no one cared enough to fight corruption, treason
and murder in
the company before, why should Wayne give them a
share in it now? Of
course Wayne still loves his birds. He will probably
leave them cash
or gifts. But Terry is the only one who genuinely
cleaning up the company. He even insisted on doing
it himself because
he didn't trust Barbara's cops ("you know how cozy
they are with
Powers" --Rebirth). Who else would Wayne leave it
Miss Carr ("ROTJ") seems to have come to the same
treats Terry as someone who has a right to be there,
not as some
lackey. Indeed, the owner of Wayne Enterprises has
an easier time of
it in some respects. Contacts want to come to him.
will be honest men. They would know that Derek Powers
Pryce disliked Terry. It wouldn't take long for
news to spread that
all the right people hated him. "The enemy of my
enemy is my friend."
Other times these contacts will be criminals trying
themselves to a rich man ("Batman : war on crime")
or the man who has
his ear ("Big time"). For Batman it is quite a timesaver.
abreast of current developments even during time
"wasted" on his
alternate identity. And of course he can chase a
suspect all over the
world and call it a business trip.
It's logical, perhaps inevitable, that Bruce Wayne
will adopt Terry.
It's legal in the States for one adult to adopt
merely makes official a relationship that already
doesn't mean that Wayne owes him. No parent owes
a healthy adult
child an inheritance. Rather, Wayne wouldn't want
to leave the
company to his enemies. (He said in "ROTJ" that
he would not hand it
over to them again. That means he must have some
plan in place to
stop them.) Plus being Batman is very expensive.
Wayne's only other
choice would be to liquidate the company while he's
still in command -
- and given the number of innocent employees, stockholders
pensioners who'd be ruined that's clearly not an
Wayne does joke in one episode that he's taking it
with him. But he
knows how the people of Gotham have suffered. They
need Batman, but
they need Wayne Enterprises too. If Batman was the
father of the city
(instilling discipline, defending his home), then
Bruce was its
mother : clothing the poor, housing them, supporting
providing food for both body and mind. Gotham City
Enterprises to survive.
Anyhow, what others see as a liability -- painting
Terry into a
career corner -- I see as something the series actually
Terry wants to follow in Wayne's footsteps. No other
job, no other
path, matters to him. That's the way it should be.
In the meantime, Terry should go anywhere, do anything
that will make
him more believable as Wayne's heir -- in both of
In a way, "Batman Beyond" wasn't just a Year
One story for Terry. It
was supposed to be Year One for Bruce too. We would
learn how Bruce
became Batman by watching him train another. This
is what the fans
thought the series would be about.
In this category, the acquisition of skills, Terry
is NOT imitating
Bruce most of the time. If he had, it might have
been a better
series. This is not to detract from Terry. Rather,
it would have kept
him away from high school and the teens in it. Batman
would be so
ridiculously overqualified to handle their problems
that the idea
would be rejected out of hand. As cartoonist Jim
Davis once said, it
would be like swatting a fly with a Buick.
It's easy to argue that training scenes were never
shown because they
were boring. I believe I have demonstrated a way
in which they would
not be boring. Therefore the fans have the right
to say, "we should
have seen them."
Terry is far ahead of Wayne in some respects and
in others. We know Wayne had superior skill in languages,
work and fighting styles -- because "Year One :
Who I am" reveals
that Wayne began touring the globe to train at age
had theory ; Terry has combat experience. In fact
"Who I am" states
that Wayne didn't hit the streets until he turned
So if Terry is less qualified for his age, but he
is fighting more
deadly villains, he deserves to get credit for that.
Read Part 2