Beyond the Hero

Beyond the Hero

Why the '90s animated series "Batman Beyond" is more relevant than ever

Beyond the Hero

In this day and age, every year is marked by the release of another super hero blockbuster or tv series, as Marvel and DC continue to duke it out over who can deliver the next greatest story. But before this intense rivalry on the silver screen, before the greatness of the "The Dark Knight" series that spawned this fixation with live-action superheros, this intense rivalry between comic book universes was secluded only to animated cartoon series that aired on Nickelodeon, Warner Bros Channel, and even Toonami. And while all sides brought their A-game with terrific, high quality shows, the one that truly captured my heart as a kid was Batman Beyond.

Released at the turn of the millennium by Warner Bros. Animation, this grungy, cyberpunk thriller took place in a futuristic Gotham City where an aging Bruce Wayne is struggling to hang up his mask and Batarangs for good. In a twist, his path crosses with that of Terry McGinnis, a brash, trouble-making high school student with an inherent sense of justice. When Terry's father is murdered in cold blood, the two form a rocky alliance in order to take down the men responsible. Soon after they succeed in this endeavor, the alliance transforms into a fortified bond when Bruce, recognizing Terry's unique talents and strong resemblance to himself, offers Terry the chance to become the new Batman of Gotham, while working as Bruce's personal assistant and chauffeur as a cover.

Sadly the series only lasted three seasons, with it's finale airing on December 18th, 2001. However, the show garnered a reputation for being considerably darker than most other kid's programs at the time, exploring themes such as fear of the unknown, psychological trauma, the duality between innovation and technological manipulation of society, drug trafficking, class inequality, isolation in urban living, and invasive surveillance. And despite it's short run, it captivated and resonated with children growing up in the time when the internet was on the verge of exploding across the globe. But, as is tradition with other great shows, the executive producers found that this "pet project" of revamping the look of Batman wasn't a right fit.

Yet given the world in which we live today, it seems that this new edgy, cybernetic Batman may be more relevant than ever. One the more memorable episodes from this story-line, "Hooked Up", focused on the new Batman's fight against Spellbinder, a villain who warped the minds of young adults through a highly addictive VR technology. With the rise of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and new VR systems headlined by both Facebook and Samsung - we're experiencing the temptation of how much more satisfying and vibrant our "tech lives" may seem versus our real ones.

There's also another episode that dives deep into the psychological scars of Bruce Wayne, and how his inner demons nearly propel him to suicide. This episode I remember vividly, having recently witnessed someone close to my family suffering from PTSD after serving in the Persian Gulf War. Watching that suddenly opened my eyes for the first time to how violence and warfare can impact the human psyche. It was also the first time I had ever watched an animated series where the hero was truly broken, and all his vulnerabilities exposed.

But why this animated series in particular? What really resonates so strongly with me, with our generation? It's the theme, the idea of taking a legacy - a truly iconic one at that - and molding it into your own until it is something both new and recognizable. It reveals how aging isn't simply incapacitating and debilitating, but actually empowering in ways that youth fails to grasp - a lesson we hardly ever hear about in our youth-dominated pop culture and media - that no matter how advanced technology may come to duplicating the human element, it will only remain a hollow shell compared to the authentic spirit, and that at the bottom of it all, we and we alone have a choice on how we live our lives and want to be remembered. The question is, do we have the confidence and strength to make those choices?

Oh, and did I mention Bruce ends up getting a guard dog named Ace that works with Terry on missions? Enough said.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Being a pharmacy technician never held as many risks as it does now. Exposure too hazardous conditions were little to none, and garbing up was only conducted in IV compounding. But, now, in order to give nurses the medications they need to help their patients, they need us, pharmacy technicians.

Keep Reading... Show less

Epic Activewear Deals Every Leggings-Lover Needs To Know About From Nordstrom's Biggest Sale

Wearing my pleather Alo leggings till someone physically removes them from my body.

I'll be the first to admit I'm not an athletic person, at all. Since junior high school, I've been happily cheering my friends on at their football games and soccer matches from the sidelines as long as I could go home to my yoga mat and spend Sunday mornings at Pilates with my mom's friends.

Weekends are often spent in my casual wear, from the second I throw them on for morning meditation through running errands and evening walks. No, I won't be running a marathon or joining my friend's volleyball league anytime soon.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

TikTok was banned by the president, but Instagram is here with its newest feature called Reel. Many of us are still wondering why TikTok was being banned in the first place. Was it all the dangerous TikTok trends? It was because of a security concern, but not in the way you might think.

TikTok is owned by Dancebyte, which is a China-owned company. Basically, just like any other app, TikTok collects the user's data. The main question to ask yourself when investing in any app or marketing tools who will be owning my data? So yes, China currently owns all the TikTok user's data worldwide.

Keep Reading... Show less

I've always been a huge Disney villain fan — whether it was for their cryptic one-liners, enviable outfits, or sidekick banter. Some of the most iconic lines from cinematic history have been said by the characters we love to hate and occasionally dress up as once a year.

The fear-mongering Gaston I now find hilariously cringe-worthy is now charming and oftentimes considered by fans as rightfully justified in his actions. Die-hard fans of the Disney villain fan club claim alternate egos in their favorite evil characters, adopting their hilarious witticisms into everyday life.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Reasons To Put The Damn Mask On, And Stop Fussing With It

COVID-19 is real people, do your part to protect yourself and others.

Ilana Stein

With the ever-changing reality of our world due to COVID-19, there has been one constant throughout these past unforeseen months, masks. Ever since coronavirus hit the ground running in the US, the CDC has been recommending social distancing and mask-wearing to stop the rapid spread.

Many people have been great about adhering to these policies, mandates, and suggested uses, but others, not so much.

Keep Reading... Show less

Anyone who goes to Panera Bread will tell you that their mac and cheese is to die for. If you're a huge fan of their mac and cheese, you won't believe the new recipe they're coming out with!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been an athlete my entire life. I love movement and I've been jumping, kicking, swimming, dancing, throwing, you name it since I was in diapers. I'm also pretty competitive and probably went through a few sore loser phases. What can I say? I like to win, and losing can sometimes feel like I've failed. Especially, when your competitor is your best friend or someone that you worked all year long to defeat.

Keep Reading... Show less

I Asked My Boyfriend His Opinion On Liking Other Girls’ Pictures, And, Spoiler Alert, It's Cheating

"When you get into a relationship and you're in love, you have to realize that liking photos is for the single lifestyle."

Ladies, listen up. If you are in a relationship with a guy and he is liking other girls' pictures on social media, then it's a red flag. A man who can look at someone else and show interest by liking it means he doesn't care about your feelings AT ALL.

Keep Reading... Show less

Picture this, we're settling into our date, the conversation is flowing, we're ordering drinks, laughing, and then it happens... the job convo.

Him: "So what do you do?"
Me: "I'm a dating and relationships editor."

Keep Reading... Show less

- I have extremely sensitive skin, which is why I have always resorted to a plant-based organic beauty line such as Radha Beauty.

- Radha Beauty won me over years ago when I was looking for organic skincare brands.

- I was so excited to see they launched a new line incorporating USDA organic rosehip oil, so when their PR team sent me some, I could not have been more thrilled.

- After a week of using the products, my face felt as smooth as a baby's, looked more glowy than ever, and even cured some of my summer sunburn.

Radha Beauty isn't just a best-selling beauty brand on Amazon — it's a USDA-certified organic beauty brand I live by, and anyone who knows me knows I am all about holistic wellness.

Typically, it only takes three days for me to tell if a skin product is working or not because I have extremely sensitive skin. It's also why I have always stuck by plant-based organic beauty lines such as Radha Beauty.

Keep Reading... Show less

I have definitely had my fair share of breakups. I broke up with my high school sweetheart my second semester of college (he was cheating on me), I had a breakup with another guy I thought I was going to marry, and others in between. Regardless of whether you're the one doing the dumping or being dumped, breakups can HURT.

Keep Reading... Show less

Social media is something many of us have been addicted to (whether we want to believe it or not) since the moment we got it. I remember getting Facebook at 10. Instantly I was hooked. I loved being able to share my life with people, a little too much in my opinion, and I loved being able to see how/what other people were doing all the time.

Keep Reading... Show less

I am not in any way any sort of medical expert. These are just some tricks that work for me and have worked for others who also suffer from anxiety. These may not work for everyone, but I do hope these help some people in their fight against anxiety.

Keep Reading... Show less

-Having struggled with acne prone skin for years, I was cautious to try a new serum on top of the other products I've come to trust.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments