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Pro VS Con: The Cons of Batman Beyond
by THE OLD MAID


(Note : as of this writing, "Unmasked" has not been aired. Therefore no developments introduced by this episode have been included.)

BATMAN BEYOND first aired in prime time in 1999. Since then it has consistently produced high ratings. Many fans considered it the most intelligent animation on Saturday morning television. It is not a perfect series, of course. BEYOND is a curious mixture of drama and situation comedy, of originality and cliches.

The series mirrored the strengths and weaknesses of its spinoff film : writers protecting their favorite characters even if this undermines plot credibility ; differing visions between the creators ; and exploitation of those differences by marketing experts. Oh, and the story was too short.

In this essay we will explore the weaknesses of the series. They fall under three categories : Weird Premises, Changed Premises, and Loose Ends.

WEIRDNESS FOR WEIRD'S SAKE ALONE

*Animals and manimals.

For some reason the Batman writers have a fetish for giant animals ("Cult of the Cat," "Critters") -- and episodes like "Rats" and "Ace in the Hole" prove that even in the 2040s we will not be spared. The splicing fad was overused as well. What started as "Terry's tribute to Man-Bat" ended as "Dana/Max is stalked by a lovesick freak-of-nature" ... enough already.

*Misuse of the medium.

If it's been said once, it's been said fourteen times. Animation may include cartoons, but animation does not mean cartoons. Cartoons are skits ; animation simply means you don't use live actors. Also, this series was advertized as a science-fiction version of Batman. Science fiction, however, does not mean nonsensical.

In "Mind Games" a Brain Trust operative plummets from a skyscraper window to his "death," only to magically walk away. Why is Terry surprised? Terry does Wile E. Coyote impressions all the time. He is constantly "falling into the gorge" ("DMH," "Bloodsport") ; smashing through walls or ceilings ("Black Out," "Mind Games") ; having construction equipment dropped on him ("Disappearing Inque," "Big Time") ; or all three in one episode ("Inqueling," "Untouchable"). He hauls semitractor-trailers without being drawn and quartered ("Hooked Up"). He survives massive explosions ("DMH," "Ace in the Hole"). He gets shot ("Ascension," "Eyewitness"), and he slams into concrete abutments ("The Eggbaby"). Yet it is the metal/wall/pavement that yields, not human tissue.

The only Batman character for whom the fans will tolerate "cartoon magic" is the Joker. A running gag of his character is that he just won't stay dead. When Harley Quinn does it in ROTJ, her death is too convincing to ignore. When Terry does it -- on a weekly basis -- it makes him look fake.

Back in Season One a fan pinpointed the problem : Batman must not be written like Superman. When Bruce Wayne fell off a ledge it was a life-or-death situation. When Terry falls off the ledge, fans don't worry about him much more than they worry about Superman. Terry is almost impossible to kill. Thus, like Superman, he rarely avoids a beating. He has little incentive to do so. The "suspense" is merely what type of beating it shall be today.

The suit is extremely misused. True, it should protect Batman from extreme temperatures and radiation. However it has no padding, so it shouldn't protect him from impact. In fact the suit is fragile enough that animals tear it easily ("Splicers," "Ace in the Hole"). Which is it, armor or fabric?

This may seem petty, but some of the worst arguments the fans have ever had circle the question of whether Terry would be a Batman without his suit. Misuse of the suit undermines Terry's credibility.

*A family affair.

When women first entered the police force, their supervisors feared that mixing partners would threaten marriages. No doubt it did. Police marriages often fail because the civilian spouse "just doesn't understand what it's like out there." Other marriages disintegrate after the spouse begs the policeman to resign. The officer becomes resentful at not being accepted for who he is. Sometimes the police prefer not to marry civilians at all. They marry co-workers. This creates the new problem of bringing one's work home at night. There is nowhere one can go, physically or mentally, to escape it. These permutations have been explored between Dick and Barbara, Robin and Batgirl, Nightwing and Oracle.

BATMAN BEYOND proposed something radically different : that Bruce Wayne and Barbara Gordon had an affair. Such a relationship would be logical, even inevitable, if there were only two characters involved. Instead there are others : Jim Gordon and Dick Grayson. That tarnishes everything.

In "I am the Night" Batman admits that he looks to Jim Gordon as a father figure. In other storyarcs the emphasis is on brotherhood. Either way Batman watched Gordon's daughter grow up. Gordon watched Batman's son grow up. The possible marriage of Gordon's daughter and Batman's son was a logical (and more palatable) alliance between their two houses.

Bruce/Batman and Dick/Robin have always been father and son in every way but one. They did not have a piece of paper. If Bruce stands in loco parentis, and they look to each other as father and son, then that's what they are. By definition, adoption only makes legal and official a relationship that already exists. For her part, Barbara seemed to have too much integrity to date both father and son. Basing the decision on the absence of papers sounds like looking for loopholes, and Barbara seemed to be too good a person to do that either.

In comic continuity Dick did sign the adoption papers (GOTHAM KNIGHTS #17). He became Wayne's legal son. He also continues to pursue Barbara, to the delight of the fans.

It is true that the animated Barbara once had a crush on Batman ("Batgirl Returns"). So did half the women in Gotham, including several criminals. No harm in that. It is possible for her to have a crush on one man and still love another. All she had to do was keep her fantasies to herself. Instead she allegedly left a real man who loved her -- to chase mirages.

Barbara fantasized about a Batman who did not exist : one who would change to please her. Barbara quickly lost interest in the real one. She is deluding herself to claim she and Wayne had a future together, but then the Batman's obsession got in their way ("ATOC"). Barbara had never shown the slightest interest in Bruce Wayne. She only wanted him when she learned her fantasy man wore Wayne's skin. She created masks for him in her own mind and left when they did not fit him.

Compare this to the original animated timeline with Dick and Barbara. Their romance was realistic and almost led to marriage. They've been flirting since "Shadow of the Bat." They planned a romantic vacation in "Sub-Zero." Dick loved her enough that he almost died trying to help her. In "Old Wounds" we see the results of their courtship. It is graduation day for Dick Grayson and just possibly pop-the-question night. First he takes Barbara to a tony restaurant. Dick lists his qualifications as a good provider. He is seeking a job and his first home. He is financially secure. Then he says, "Whatever my future holds, I hope it includes you." This isn't a true proposal, but Dick is clearly testing the waters, summoning his courage to propose. Barbara seems poised to accept.

Trouble follows, though, and Barbara tries to play peacemaker between Dick and Bruce Wayne. In response Batman says, "You really care for him, don't you?" and reveals his true identity. Astounded, Barbara asks, "Why would you trust me with this?" Batman replies, "For Dick's sake."

This does not sound like a man who would steal his son's fiancee. Batman wants Batgirl to join the family -- but as Robin's beloved. He wants his son to be happy.

Dick, however, is alarmed and horrified by this turn of events. "In today's lesson Batman learns he has poor people skills." A free-for-all ensues. All three parties give a fine song-and-dance of innocence wronged. In truth everybody is at fault. Dick walks out because he feels used, and he views Barbara's behavior as taking Batman's side. Even so, Dick never stopped loving her. He still wanted her to join him when he left Gotham for good ("ATOC"). Barbara's answer? That their romance was "puppy love" and she only went along with it to get closer to his dad.

The Bruce/Barbara affair soils both characters and serves only to distance BATMAN BEYOND from other canon versions. There remains an ugly image of Bruce Wayne stealing his son's fiancee, of Barbara dating both father and son. There remains the image of Batman seducing (or being seduced by) his little sister. Who writes this stuff? This is no better than the relationship between Talia ("Out of the past") and her father. Some things should be reserved for the bad guys alone.

*Frozen timeline.

Season One clearly showed the passage of time. Warren McGinnis was probably murdered in late September, soon after school started. (Terry would never have lasted a whole month on a wrestling team with Nelson Nash.) "Meltdown" heralds the arrival of winter. "Disappearing Inque" states plainly that Terry met Wayne six months ago. In "Earth Mover" Terry also states that he is seventeen. Yet Seasons Two and Three are purported to take place in Terry's senior year. "Splicers" is even set in Halloween week. Either we are to believe that these are prequels -- stories that didn't get told when Blight was still around -- or else Terry has spent three years in the 12th grade.

Freezing Terry in time created most of the Changed Premises and Loose Ends.

CHANGED PREMISES

*From psychological/crime drama to teen angst.

At first the series proposed intelligent, exciting themes. Crime is rampant. The Powers clam has taken Bruce Wayne's company and put him on an allowance. Wayne Enterprises, a corporation once dedicated to humanitarian causes, is now a major source of crime. The new Batman is not welcome. A three-way fight ensues between Batman, the villains, and Barbara Gordon, who would rather do the job herself.

In Season Two the emphasis shifted to lackluster stories about the children Terry meets in school. It was pointless and boring to develop children that Terry may never see again. He made no progress, learned nothing from them that would make him a better vigilante. Frankly these were cases that could have been left to the police. Call in an anonymous tip and move on.

The fan reactions to The Max Gibson Show have been discussed elsewhere. Suffice it to say that State-bound Terry and Ivy-League-bound Max would not have met if Terry had graduated on time.

It's hard to tell whether the series meant to mock the legend or to gently poke fun at it. "The Eggbaby" is one example. Some fans adored it, others loathed it. It is Bat-related, though, after a fashion. Batman invented "Take our birds to work" Day. He just doesn't get credit for it. Until ROTJ was released, this was the closest the series has come to exploring the ethics of using a boy to do a man's work.

Many of the high school stories were insulting to teenagers. Not merely as viewers -- as people. Who were Gotham's children? Gangs (the Jokerz, the Ts) ; addicts (Mason and friends, Donnie Grasso and friends) ; nerds out of control (Willie Watt, Howard Groote) ; thieves, vandals and assassins (Terminal, the Sentries, Payback, Xander, the Splicer gang, Bullwhip's gang) ; and jerks, especially if they're jocks (Nelson and friends, Mason and friends). The trend-
setting princesses (Chelsea, Blade) aren't immune either. They goad the boys to fight over them, which is where the Golem and Synthia came from. Even Max used her extraordinary gifts to open her own extortion racket ("or I'll blow your secret wide open") and was obviously invading (hacking) other people's business years before she and Terry met.

No wonder Spellbinder got sick and tired of them. The fans know how he feels. These are not attractive kids. They're also not typical.

What this does is to stereotype a whole generation as menaces or losers, with only a few gems to be found among them. Did they think the fans wouldn't notice? There are still more good kids out there than bad ones. One wouldn't know it to watch television, though. Allegedly the series was reset in high school to make Batman more kid-friendly. The relentless abuse, however, illustrates what the suits really think of our children.

*The Nelson Nash Show ; The Max Gibson Show.

Originally Terry was to spend his time apprenticed to the most dangerous man on earth. He only went to high school to see Dana. School was just another hassle to be done with as soon as possible. If crime found Terry (say, if Spellbinder kidnapped him out of class), he dealt with it, but it wasn't Batman's mission in life to play Hall Monitor. Very soon the students made it his mission, two in particular.

Nelson Nash's job was either to be the villain or to introduce the villain, but rarely to develop Batman. It showed. Nelson garnered more scenes than did any single supervillain. What are the odds that this ordinary jerk should meet the villain in six different episodes? Even Wayne only met nine villains himself, and that's cheating because he knew several of them before the series aired.

Fans often mistake Terry's tolerance of other students for friendship. In reality Terry merely supported Willie Watt, Howard Groote, Corey Cavilieri, etc. because Nelson was cruel to them. Terry loathes Nelson. It's a reflex. It's not a sufficient foundation to build a series.

In Season Two Terry became the belle of the ball, friend to all. This new Terry flourished in his school environment. New Terry was a good-natured, carefree, slightly dumb guy with a secret identity. Max became his secretary, the power behind the throne. She intercepted visitors, scheduled meetings, shared watercooler gossip, pulled files, and briefed him on his homework. Terry soon became as obsolete as any middle manager who can't operate his own equipment or research his own reports. He stopped learning. He became too dependent upon her. While Wayne's Batman used Alfred (a retired spy, remember), Earl ("The Mechanic"), Lucius Fox and Oracle at his convenience, he learned to do their jobs first, THEN delegated the tasks. Terry on the other hand seems content to be helpless. It's not just a dangerous strategy for a vigilante. It's also out of character for the fiery, rebellious young man who dragged the hibernating bear (or Bat) out of his lair.

Terry needs to learn to do his own job himself. If he doesn't feel like it, he doesn't deserve the mantle.

*Changing Terry-as-Batman.

Once upon a time, Terry's Batman won even when he lost. Batman failed to bring Derek Powers and Fixx to trial for killing Warren McGinnis but did stop the killers from selling nerve gas. He finished what Warren started. Terry/Batman failed to capture Inque, Curare or Shriek when he first encountered them, but he stopped whatever they were doing. The villain escaped ; lives were saved. Such was life in Bruce Wayne's day also.

The degradation of Terry's Batman is painful to witness. In Season Two Terry fought six teenage gangs, not counting the lone operators. Several times he was knocked out cold. Blight, Curare and Paxton Powers never managed to do that. Why can children do it? This is not the Terry who earned Blight's respect. In fact Blight harnessed his whole stable of hitmen in his yearlong campaign to murder Batman. Considering the source, that's a compliment.

Blight, Inque, Curare, Spellbinder, the RFG and Shriek all abandoned their original plans or assignments just to go kill Batman. They took him seriously. Where did that respect go? The Terry of Season Two rarely impressed anybody. This is not the Terry who fought Freeze and Blight at the same time. Or the Terry who defied Curare and Barbara Gordon at the same time. It's not the Terry who outsmarted the Joker in Terry's first feature film. No, this is just some kid with the world's coolest afterschool job. How is that any different from the other 200 heroes in the comics or on television? Batman's been called a lot of names in his day, but "generic" must never be one of them.

*Missing persons report : the hero.

Several "Year One" series have been proposed over the years : a Nightwing series, a Bruce Wayne live series. It's likely that none of these will ever be produced. Having Terry begin at the beginning was one way around the suits and their bias. Bruce Wayne would pass on what he has learned. That's difficult to do when he is missing from entire episodes.

Bruce Wayne's absence crippled Season Two. In time ("Revenant") he got thoroughly fed up and delivered a grand and glorious temper tantrum :

"Terry, enough. You should be down at the piers looking for smugglers, not staking out your old high school. You've already invested too much time in this. I've seen it all ... but this thing, I don't know, it just feels so, so HIGH SCHOOL."

Thank you, Bruce, for saying everything we were thinking.

Wayne got his banishment and his revenge for it altogether : he is such a strong character that he resists manipulation. No doubt if he had been more docile we would have seen more of him -- but we wouldn't have liked what we'd see. What does that mean? Only that if Bruce didn't belong in an episode, maybe Batman didn't either. Now forcing Wayne into a ditzy episode would not, by itself, help him or us. (For example, it didn't help "Rats.") Rather, Terry should have been made tamper-proof so that he did not appear in ditzy episodes either. Many episodes weren't worthy of any Batman's time, regardless of which Bats it was.

*Missing persons report : the villain.

The "death" of Blight was written to be ambiguous so that Blight could return if the series survived its first thirteen episodes. It did survive. So where was he?

LOOSE ENDS

*Terry's fighting skills.

No new character ought to be perfect right out of the box. Where did Terry learn the martial arts? He couldn't have learned from his criminal mentor Charlie Bigelow as Big Time demonstrated no such abilities. Also, these skills might Terry more independent ; Bigelow wouldn't want that.

One fan proposed that Warren taught him. ("We could have fought them off, me and Dad" -- Rebirth.) This is reasonable since we never got another explanation for it. (Although my opinion is that Warren paid for lessons.) There is precedent in the series. Kairi Tanaga taught Xander the way of bushido even though she knew it might make him more dangerous. ("I thought I could set him on the right path" -- COTK part II.) It would also explain the inconsistencies in Terry's fighting style. Unlike Kairi, Warren probably realized he was wasting his time and stopped the lessons. This creates bizarre juxtapositions : Terry can dance with Curare but not with Payback, a 12-year-old child.

A related question is why Terry uses more martial arts in his street clothes and more boxing (or just plain brawling) while in costume. So far no fan has found an answer for that one.

Then there is the problem of 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 Bruce. However Terry seems to have gotten out of practice since then. He is always dropping things ("Shriek"), colliding with things ("Disappearing Inque"), tripping alarms ("Last Resort"), or stomping on rooftops ("Armory"). Wayne should have addressed this problem immediately.

One final note : Terry 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?

*Image, poverty and crime in Gotham.

In superior Batman stories Gotham City itself is a character. It's the place where even criminals don't dare walk the streets alone. In this environment Wayne/Batman used fear as a weapon. Fear of the city and fear of its protector were both downplayed in this series.

For example, what excuse do Gothamites use nowadays to commit crime? Poverty? Poverty has always been blamed for the real problems : greed, a sense of entitlement, despair. The Powers clan encourages these qualities in their city. Wayne-Powers employs much of Gotham but layoffs are constant ("Rebirth," "Armory"). The military's cutbacks crushes its own people ("Joyride") and civilian suppliers alike ("Armory"). Such factors affect the wealthy and middle class only. One has to have a job to lose it. None of them clarify the plight of the poor. Traditionally Gotham's poor suffer most from violent crime because they comprise the majority of the population. Where are these people hiding?

Many fans think Max is poor because of her home. With its lack of decoration, its high small windows and crumbling concrete walls she seems to live in a bunker. She's not destitute, though, or she wouldn't let Howard Groote ("Speak no evil") hoover up all her food. Donnie Grasso and Tamara Caulder lived in worse neighborhoods ("Hooked Up," "Mind Games"). "April Moon" is one of the few episodes in which all the sets were as rundown as Gotham ought to be. It isn't a competition ; rather, the question is why one could, if one chose, easily list all scenes set in the bad parts of town.

Aside from the Historic District, the WP Tower, Shriek's Towers, the new police station, and our old favorite the Stacked Deck ("Ace in the Hole"), the buildings are interchangeable. The new city has no personality. It is merely walls with lights. An updated Dark Deco look would have made so much difference!

The new Gotham is a sterile, cookie-cutter city with an undercurrent of steady-state poverty. In contrast most of old Gotham City was one vast brownfield. Despair was contagious and the slums ever expanding. Batman only met the glitterati when Bruce Wayne was compelled by a plot point to do so.

A contributing factor is that Terry merely flies over his turf. He rarely walks it like Bruce did. This might actually encourage crime. Batman's enemies once expected to see him patrolling streets where the police were afraid to go. Gothamites rooted for Batman in Wayne's day. They might like Superman as a person, but they looked at Superman and knew here was a man who never went to bed hungry in his life. But somehow, they felt, Batman knew. He was down in the trenches with them. He "earned" the right to be judge in their town. In contrast Terry's flyover habits give the appearance he doesn't want to get his hands dirty. Yes, this is unfair. Terry works very hard. Also, Gotham has 12 million people ("Plague") and it really is too far to walk. Nevertheless Batman is as much an image as a person, and Terry has not learned how to harness the terror or the moral authority integral to the image. Gothamites see Terry as a busybody rather than their protector.

On the other hand, there is no reason they should see the police as their protectors either.

*Law and order in Gotham.

From the moment fans saw Batman without his gold medallion, it was plain the Batman/Gordon alliance is done. True, Batman didn't always have the medallion ; it was created in the New Look in 1964. It echoed the Bat-Signal and was meant to represent the symbiotic relationship between the Batman and Jim Gordon. A blood-red bat does not remind one of Jim. This emblem reinforces the fact that Batman is completely alone.

Barbara resents this backseat vigilante, and it shows. Twice the police shoot at Batman ("ATOC," "Disappearing Inque"), and Barbara neither reprimands them nor disapproves. Apparently it's permissible to take potshots at Batman whenever they wish. (If Batman is not a legal entity then he has no rights to lose.) The hunt in "Eyewitness" is decidedly bloodthirsty. The GCPD itself, though, is a faceless mob. Terry never meets one policeman. Even a foe like Nightwing's Soames would have been a valuable addition.

In "Rebirth" Terry states something that should have changed the series. He insists he won't present his evidence to the police because "you know how cozy they are with Powers." This is a serious charge. It puts either Terry's credibility or Barbara's at risk.It is hard to imagine Barbara Gordon tolerating even the appearance of wrongdoing in her troops. Nevertheless Terry's claim is strengthened by the fact that neither Warren McGinnis nor Harry Tully called the police when they had the chance. What do they know that we don't?

Terry may have made such an allegation because :

1. He is lying ; he hates all police for arresting him.
2. He is repeating something he heard Warren say.
3. He is repeating something he heard from Big Time or in Juvie Hall.

The latter two suggestions have especial merit. If Terry does hate the GCPD he loved his father more. It does not serve Terry to shun anyone who could help him. The second proposal would be predicated on whether Warren talked too much. The third scenario seems most probable. Inmates meet many policemen, and like the police they do compare notes. Now criminals almost always protest their innocence ; police will sarcastically remark that prison is full of innocent men. However if there really were corrupt officers, the inmates would know about it.

It is convenient how incompetent the police can be when it benefits Batman's enemies. Warren's murder should have been solved. At minimum it should have been reclassified. Why did Warren open the door? How did no one hear a gang of Jokerz rampaging through an apartment building? They have no mime faction. In fact Jokerz prefer to make noise because it paralyzes the victims and witnesses. There is also the fact that another Wayne-Powers employee disappeared the day Warren died. Phone records would indicate they spoke just before Tully vanished.

One cannot argue that Fixx picked the lock and erased the phone records. Barbara would have uncovered such tampering since as Batgirl she solved similar cases. One cannot argue that Barbara suppressed the case to protect Terry. Terry did not don the uniform until the week after the funeral ; the case could have been reclassified by then. In any event Barbara could not protect "the new errand boy" without knowing which case to suppress. She never met Terry until episode nine. Whoever did handle this case was either unqualified or uncooperative.

Or consider the breathtaking incompetence in "Disappearing Inque." Inque attempts to escape by wrapping herself around a policeman's body. Did he not notice she was there? Was he helping her escape? Perhaps he only agreed to go along with it to put some distance
between her and the hostages, but this was never stated. In fact the policeman expresses surprise when Inque disengages from him. His colleagues also shout "what is [Batman] doing?!" when Batman tries to pry Inque off her prey. If this was a ploy to save the hostages, none of the key officers knew about it.

Later on the news it is announced that still no one knows why Inque's cell melted. Did no one check the circuit breakers to see if the room had lost power? How could anyone miss something so basic?

Why does no one know where Inque went? A disgruntled worker has had a crush on Inque for some time. Security cameras show that Aaron visits
her regularly. He was the last person to be seen near her. Shortly after he is fired, she escapes. Not a hard case to solve. Even if Inque erased the surveillance footage, it wouldn't change the fact that Supervisor Chandler already saw it. The police should have interviewed both men. Instead Inque and Aaron spend a whole day together. No one ever comes looking for her.

Even in "Shriek" the police fail to follow up on the obvious. They see Shreeve destroy his own lab ; then he attacks them. Shreeve owed money to Derek Powers, Powers having bailed out his company. Surely Powers could tell them how to contact his own employee. No one pursues this investigation either.

It is possible the police really are incompetent, but every one of these incidents could be explained if crooked cops were protecting Blight's operatives.

What is truly blatant is how promptly the police clean up their act when Blight leaves the series. (Maybe Paxton informed on them all?) Therefore this could also qualify as a Changed Premise.

One has to wonder how the former Batgirl, a daughter of Jim Gordon, could miss such problems. If her troops could not solve these cases, she certainly could. What would explain all this?

1. Barbara is so short-handed that she would rather hire substandard policemen than have none at all.
2. Barbara is unaware of any problems because she hands off cases to trusted underlings, corrupt underlings.
3. Barbara is aware but is too proud to ask for help.

The mass confusion gives the impression that Barbara Gordon was only included in the series out of a sense of obligation, but that no one had specific plans for her.

None of the problems with the police are, by themselves, a Con against the series. Batman has a long tradition of fighting crooked cops. The Con is that the fans have the right to know what is going on. If the police are good guys, show the audience. If the police are bad guys, show the audience. Follow up on it.

Finally, no one knows what D.A. Sam Young thinks of all this. Does Batman's presence make his job easier or harder? Did voters re-elect Young based on his association with Batman? Batman saved Young's life four times ("Splicers," "Eyewitness," twice in "ATOC") and always in a very public way. Also, does Young have any idea what kind of woman he married? None of these questions are answered. All the fans know is that Gordon wishes Batman would go away -- but we already knew that.

CONCLUSION

It is true that Bruce Wayne's Batman had sixty years of development and Terry has had only three. However no amount of time is a substitute for a clear, consistent vision. Most of the problems in this series were simply caused by lack of thought. They shorten its shelf life and limit its appeal.

Some of these problems will always resurface as long as outsiders interfere with the Bat mythos. Other problems are easily corrected. One of the nice things about BATMAN BEYOND is that all its Cons easily fit into one editorial. Its Pros would take a lot more than one. Understand that none of the Loose Ends had to be Cons against the series. The Con is that they were ignored, undeveloped, in a series craving more texture and depth. That is unfortunate. The Wayne-and-Terry show had the potential for a long and celebrated run.

 

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