It's difficult to imagine the people of Gotham City walking the streets without their Dark Knight to protect them. But in this animated Batman tale set in the not-too-distant future, Bruce Wayne (a.k.a. Batman) decides to call it quits and retire the Bat-suit. After Wayne retreats to his mansion to live the life of a hermit, Gotham is soon overrun by criminals and gangs with such catchy names as the Jokerz. In this hive of villainy lives a young man by the name of Terry McGinnis. Like Wayne, his father had been killed, leaving him traumatized and seeking revenge (all comparisons though, should end there). As luck would have it, he stumbles across the Wayne mansion and eventually the Batcave. Now an old dusty relic, the once proud Batcave lies dormant like a wax museum, displaying trophies of Batman's career. Among these artifacts is the latest-model augmented Bat-suit, boasting flying capabilities and enough power to make Superman look like a wimp. Naturally the exuberant Terry takes the suit and embarks upon a mission of revenge against the duplicitous antagonists responsible for his father's death.
This is by no means a run-of-the-mill take on the Dark Knight. Like Warner's Emmy Award-winning cartoon of Batman in the present day, the story and action is tight and well thought out. From the opening credits (which are eerily reminiscent of David Fincher's unsettling opening shots in Seven), you enter a world in need of a hero. Unlike the later live-action movies, Batman Beyond will strike a chord with fans of the DC comic. This world of Gotham is darker, edgier, and filled with detestable bad guys. No more puns, no more chumming up to the police, and no more letting up on the violence. This is a Batman for the future and one that will have you rooting every time he inflicts his dark sense of justice upon a wrongdoer. (Ages 11 and older) --Jeremy Storey