In January, the futuristic world of Batman Beyond becomes an ongoing part of the DC Universe as the publisher gives the series a new comic.
The new ongoing series comes after the success of the current six-issue mini-series by Adam Beechen and Ryan Benjamin. The mini's fifth issue hits stores this week and further explores the recent revelation that Dick Grayson of the future is allegedly that generation's villainous "Hush."
Announced last year here on Newsarama by then-Executive Editor Dan DiDio, the Batman Beyond mini-series resulted from fan requests for DC to bring the TV show characters to comics. "We’ve heard the fans, we’ve heard everyone’s interest," DiDio said of the mini-series.
Now fans have apparently let their voices be heard again, as the series gets a permanent place on DC's publishing roster, keeping the same creative team from the mini.
Set 50 years in the future in a Gotham City now called "Neo-Gotham," the Batman Beyond TV series began airing in 1999, uniting an old, disabled Bruce Wayne with a sassy juvenile delinquent named Terry McGinnis. With Bruce's constant training and help, Terry became a futuristic, high-tech version of the "Batman."
In the Batman Beyond mini, Beechen set up a future that was tied directly to the comic book past, as Terry's foe in the series appears to be Dick Grayson of the future, who is now wearing the moniker of Hush.
Newsarama talked with the writer to find out more about the future of Dick Grayson and his new Batman Beyond ongoing series.
Newsarama: Adam, was the possibility of an ongoing Batman Beyond series always communicated to you as a possibility? Was it mostly hinged on sales, or were there other factors?
Adam Beechen: It didn't come up as a possibility until the first issue had come out and done well in terms of sales. When it was clear there was demand, the chance for an ongoing became a real discussion.
Nrama: Once you were told you'd have more room to tell your story, did that change the way you approached the rest of the mini's story?Beechen: Not really...The mini-series was pretty much written before I received word that we'd be an ongoing, and what was written was set up to open possibilities for an ongoing anyway.
Nrama: The Batman Beyond universe has now addressed what happened to Dick Grayson... although there appears to be some mystery behind it. How will his story continue into the future of your ongoing series?
Beechen: I don't want to say too much to avoid giving away how the final two issues will play out, except that the ongoing will continue to explore characters from the comic continuity who were either hinted at or never appeared in the animated series.
Nrama: Will the ongoing series tie into what's going on now with Batman in comic continuity?
Beechen: There aren't any immediate plans for tie-ins with the current continuity of the Batman books.
Nrama: Then what other stories or characters might we see show up in Batman Beyond?
Beechen: The first arc we have planned brings in a new villain and some heroes we've seen before in the animated series; the second takes us to a location outside of Gotham comics readers will be familiar with and introduces a long-standing hero into the Batman Beyond continuity; and the third sees a return of one of BB's first villains, as well as introducing some new ones.
Nrama: How important has the rest of the creative team been to the success of the Batman Beyond comic?Beechen: Incredibly. Ryan Benjamin, John Stanisci and David Baron have all contributed enormously with their talents and enthusiasm. They make the settings futuristic but accessible, the characters unique but relatable, and the action kinetic but easy to follow. I'm lucky to be working with them.
Nrama: Is there anything else you want to tell fans about Batman Beyond?
Beechen: The fifth issue hits stands this week. I hope readers are looking forward to the whole truth about Dick Grayson and the Hush killer!