Batman Beyond: The Complete Series
review by Bobby Blakey
Throughout the years there have been numerous iterations of Batman in animated form with easily the most popular being Batman: The Animated Series which got a special edition Blu-ray release in 2018. Now the fresh new take on the character Batman Beyond is getting the same treatment with the all-new Batman Beyond: The Complete Series Limited Edition Blu-ray.
Batman Beyond follows 40 years after the "current" adventures of Batman and 20 years after Bruce Wayne retired from the role, his secret is discovered by troubled teen Terry McGinnis. After McGinnis' father is murdered by the man who took over Bruce Wayne's company, McGinnis dons a high-tech Bat suit that Wayne last used, creating a new hero for a future Gotham. I was on the fence with this series when it debuted thinking that there was no way it was going to live up to the hype of Batman: The Animated Series. While it still isn't on par with that series for me it did surprise me on how great it really was and still holds up today. It serves as a great companion piece to the original series while still being its own thing and loads of fun.
Of the 52 original Batman Beyond episodes, 41 have been fully-remastered from either their original 35mm film source or the uncommon format “OCND,” the original camera negative digital (a digital scan of original negative). This has created a beautiful transfer to make this series look better than ever. The animation is still as great as ever and fully showcases the power of this show and how it has not only held up, but added more to the Batman mythos over the years than I ever would have thought. Due to time-worn irreparable damage, the remaining 11 episodes were “Smart Rezzed” from standard definition Digibeta video. The process provides for significant enhanced resolution and improvement of the original source material in converting from standard to high definition, though it does sacrifice horizontal lines for clearer image and color representation. This is one of those things that will likely only matter to those overly picky as I thought all of it looked amazing despite some minor differences.
While the transfer and updates are all great its the series itself that stands out. There was no reason this should have ever worked, but did to perfection. The character designs brought in that futuristic vibe while still reminding you of the Batman universe. The smart directions they went to use elements of the classic villains as well as introducing its own stable kept it fresh and new. This is one of the few times that I loved the redesign of a Batman uniform and still think this one stands out as one of the best.
This exclusive set also features approximately 1,500 minutes of entertainment spread over four Blu-ray™ discs, plus the two bonus discs of enhanced content. In addition to a newly-remastered Blu-ray presentation of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, there are 15 featurettes on the bonus discs, highlighted by two new inside looks at the beloved television series, led by Nostalgic Tomorrow, a gathering of Batman Beyond production talent and cast led by executive producer Bruce Timm and actors Kevin Conroy and Will Friedle, the voices of Batman and Terry McGinnis, respectively. The bonus discs also spotlight four episodes with audio commentary from Timm and select members of the production team.
Collectibles within the stunning packaging include an exclusive chrome Batman Beyond Funko POP, and four beautifully-designed lenticular art cards produced especially for Batman Beyond: The Complete Animated Series Limited Edition. This ultimate collectors Blu-ray box set will be individually numbered for a Limited Edition release of 50,000.
Don’t miss out on this collection with Batman Beyond: The Complete Series Limited Edition available now on digital, Blu-ray box set from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.