Batman Beyond is THE Most Metal Cartoon Ever

2003
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Suck it, Metalocalypse. You don’t got shit.

Picture this: it’s 2019. An elderly Bruce Wayne has retired his Batman alter-ego after an almost failed attempt to rescue a hostage in which he was forced to resort to using a gun to save his life when a mild heart attack left him at the mercy of the captors. Fast forward twenty years: Wayne has lost almost the entirety of Wayne Enterprises to Derek Powers, a ruthless businessman and radioactively altered villain, and lives alone in his mansion, the last bastion of his wealth, depressed and jaded.

Enter Terry McGinnis, a hotheaded high school student with a penchant for justice . . . and fighting. McGinnis’ father, who works for Wayne-Powers Enterprises, learns too much about Powers’ experiments with illegal chemical weapons, and is subsequently killed. McGinnis, who has accidently stumbled onto the Batcave at Wayne manor before, breaks in and steals a futuristic batsuit to exact his revenge for the murder of his father. Eventually, Wayne and McGinnis end up working together, with Wayne offering advice and expertise to the inexperienced McGinnis, and McGinnis as the new Batman, returning to the streets of a futuristic Gotham. Such is the premise of Batman Beyond.

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Continuing in the dark, explorative vein of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, Batman Beyond turns its sights on the elderly Bruce Wayne, delving into his character after a lifetime of fighting an unending war against crime and corruption, highlighting a key turning point in his life and its results on his psyche. Angry and reclusive, Wayne wants nothing to do with Batman — allowing relics of his years as the Dark Knight to collect dust in the Batcave — until McGinnis’ tragedy resonates with his own, prompting him to take McGinnis under his wing. However, Wayne isn’t kind to McGinnis; rather, he shows little sympathy to McGinnis’ life, keeping him on a very tight leash, straining his relationship with his family, girlfriend, and friends. Despite this, Wayne trusts McGinnis deeply, disregarding McGinnis’ criminal past.

Batman Beyond envisions a cyberpunk future world of vast, unending cities, massive robots, genetic splicing and Batman_wallpapers_490-1mutation, and rampant crime. Exploring themes as simple as fear and helplessness to more complicated issues such as the future of technological progression and its effects on crime, Batman Beyond is a considerably grittier show than its predecessor, Batman: The Animated Series. While the show was conceived as a children’s program, it is anything but. With a grand array of new villains as well as nods to older, classic antagonists, Batman Beyond doesn’t shy away from violence; it embraces Batman’s new sci-fi abilities and throws everything its future can hold at him, resulting in unpredictable enemies whose limits are unknown.

Have I mentioned the soundtrack? If you weren’t already convinced of this show’s metal cred, you will be. Batman Beyond’s soundtrack is a balls-to-the-wall smorgasbord of groovy industrial thrash metal, setting the dark, aggressive, cyberpunk mood of the show perfectly. In the same way Mad Max: Fury Road used the flame-shooting guitar player to pump up an inevitable badass action scene, Batman Beyond’s soundtrack escalates scenes with massive explosions, violent punch-em-ups, and loads of tension, and serves to energize the viewer. Don’t believe me? Check it:

While Metalocalypse, as enjoyable as it is, is content to merely lampoon metal and its stereotypes, Batman Beyond embraces metal in its entirety, though not in such a ham-fisted way as Metalocalypse. Batman Beyond is metal in its dark themes of fear, violence, aggression, dystopia, genetic warfare and alteration, and, most of all, in its soundtrack. The visuals, the story, the music, all combine to create a vastly underrated cartoon that is more than worth the watching.


(Images via, via, & via)

  • Dubs

    Frank Miller hates women.

    • And Muslims.

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      So, he hates half the planet. What’s wrong with that?

    • Guacamole Jim

      Sin City is so fucking good tho

      • Go watch the 2nd Sin City movie. It’ll make you question whether or not the comics or the first movie were actually any good to begin with.

  • Boss the Ross

    Haven’t even read the article yet, but i came down here to say, hell yes it is!

  • Scrimm

    I hated this show.

    • How are things going Scrimm?

      • Scrimm

        Not too bad all things considered. Working too much and still barely scraping by, but thankful I have what I do. Unfortunately though members schedules hae effectively put the brakes on our recording right now, getting pretty impatient. You?

        • I am glad you are getting by! Hang in there, buddy.

          Things are just fine on my end. Thanks.

          • Scrimm

            Good to know. Things will get easier here if I can just stick with it for a while.

    • Guacamole Jim

      🙁

      • Scrimm

        I don’t hate your post!!

  • Salvador Dalí Lama

    There’s a lot of metal cartoons out there. I forgot where this is from, but I had it saved under “would make badass DsO-black metal lyrics”:

    “Seeping crest of turbidity. Arrogant vessel of lunacy! Boil forth and deny! Grow numb and flicker! Disrupt sleep! Crawling queen of iron! Eternally self-destructing doll of mud! Unite! Repulse! Fill with soil and know your own powerlessness!”

    • Eliza

      Yes! Take my upvote!

  • I liked that film-noir inspired Batman series, but never followed them. I also always wondered why Warner cartoons had those mammoth squared chins.

    I never inmersed into the series mostly because the latin dub. The voices felt so relaxed that I always felt sleepy watching them. Pretty bad dub. But I would like to watch them full again.

    Thanks Guac.

    • Boss the Ross

      Watch it! You will not be disappointed. It is amazing and Kevin Conroy is the best Batman ever.

  • Cool write up!

  • 100% PURE BLACKBEARD
  • Boss the Ross
  • Salvador Dalí Lama

    Musically this is like half-assed Ministry-Naked City-Shining (NOR)-Author & Punisher.

    Not bad for a cartoon soundtrack.

    • Guacamole Jim

      Interesting that you notice the Ministry sound. I was talking to W. about the sountrack, and he made the same comparison.

      • Salvador Dalí Lama

        The mind is a terrible thing to taste.

  • Boss the Ross

    Excelent job Guacamole Jim!

    • Guacamole Jim

      🙂 Thanks!!

      • Boss the Ross

        All the Bruce Timm animated shows and movies are phenomenal.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    Man-Bat or GTFO!

    • Guacamole Jim

      *sees self out*

    • ┼yree
      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        That’s a persistent cunting bat!

    • you ever get Metal Church’s first LP?

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        No, but it’s on my ever-growing list.

  • Paris Hilton

    God-Tier: Batman: The Animated Series

    High-Tier: The Adventures of Batman, Batman Beyond

    Mid-Tier: The New Batman Adventures

    Low-Tier: Batman: The Brave and The Bold

    Shit-Tier: Gotham High

    Period!!!!

    If you disagree, run back to your plot-hole and danger invincible, white-bread, cure for insomnia Superman!!!

    • Boss the Ross

      Sounds about right.

    • Guacamole Jim

      I’d swap Batman Beyond and Batman: The Animated Series, but that’s because I’m a massive sci-fi nerd.

      • Boss the Ross

        I think its more respect for the OG.

        • Guacamole Jim

          I can get behind that. The Animated Series is super fucking good. Time to rewatch, methinks.

          • Boss the Ross

            Ditto. I think i might do that myself.

            I like watching with subtitles and heavy metal playing.

          • Guacamole Jim

            How to Make Every Show Metal 101

          • Lacertilian

            Always. TAS>>>>>>

      • Dubs

        TAS was an untouchable cartoon series.

      • Paris Hilton

        I did enjoy the sci fi aspect of Beyond. I watched a lot of it growing up. The animation was way ahead of it’s time too

    • The Adventures of Batman and Robin was a pretty cool game for SNES and Sega Genesis too.

      http://www.gamesstationretro.com/images/Adventures_of_Batman_and_Robin_SNES_ScreenShot2.jpg

      • Paris Hilton

        That game was badass! Batman Returns for Snes was awesome too but hella hard

        • Both are incredibly difficult. But very enjoyable.

          • Paris Hilton

            Totally. As far as modern games go I think Arkham City was the best of the Arkham series. They’re all good, but surprise surprise the second of the trilogy is the best and the prequel under delivered. Wonder where else we’ve seen that before…

          • I think the last Batman game I played was one of Batman Beyond. It was a beat’em up and sucked hard.

          • Maik Beninton™

            I think the story on the prequel is better than the second one, it wasted its potential when they made that plot-twist of Black Mask is actually the Joker in disguise, but the story was more tight in terms of ‘lets make batman fight multiple villains’.

          • Paris Hilton

            I know right. When it was like Joker in disguise, which was super predictable, I was also like didn’t they do this exact same thing in City??? I do like the combat in Origins though- super slick. Sometimes I put it on just to knock some heads around!

          • Maik Beninton™

            Hugo Strange: biggest waste of character potential.
            That and Two Face. Poor Two Face never had a chance in the whole series.

          • Paris Hilton

            Though I did love what they did with Raj Al Ghul

          • COAL ROLL

            You’re not from North America are you “Paris Hilton?”

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          I agree. Batman Forever for Genesis sucked though.

    • Dubs

      You forgot to put the various iterations of the Super Friends on there.

    • RJA

      Batman: The Animated Series = as good as it gets!
      I kind of liked Brave and the Bold though, of course I watched most of it with my 5-6 year old son.

      • Paris Hilton

        Though it’s not as good as TAS I actually don’t mind TBTB. I liked the return of campy, fun Batman that doesn’t take itself way too seriously. The world needs that Batman back. Guess you could say it’s the hero we need, not the one we deserve…

        • Batman writers started to listen too much Mayhem and they went full edgy “no core, no mosh, no fun”.

    • RJA

      Also, How did you feel about “The Batman”, if you watched that is.

      • Paris Hilton

        It was aight

        • RJA

          Indeed, it was just alright. I did enjoy The Batman vs. Dracula.

          • Paris Hilton

            I did too! My god was Gotham High shit though. I’ll never get over how bad that was.

          • Did that ever actually air? All I ever read about it was that it was cancelled.

          • Paris Hilton

            It had a rightfully so short-lived air time. In Canada at least, I’m not sure about Burgerland

          • “Burgerland”.

            “B.U.R.G.E.R.L.A.N.D.”

            I’m still laughing, jajajajaja!

          • Huh. Well, I need to see it, especially if it’s awful.

          • Huh. Doesn’t look like it ever made it out of development.

            http://www.slashfilm.com/gotham-high-animated-teen-batman-show/

          • RJA

            I don’t know – I’ve never watched it. A description I saw of it had “unknown” under number of episodes. Classic, they don’t know how many episodes and never cared to find out.

          • Go figure.

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      What the hell is Gotham High?

    • COAL ROLL

      I like this comment format

  • 100% PURE BLACKBEARD

    Bunch of fuckin nerds

  • Everyone knows the joker is the best at music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mzeRDYHagE

  • ┼yree
  • Somehow I knew this was a Guac J article the moment I clicked on it.

    But yeah, Batman Beyond >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Also, Samurai Jack is coming back.

  • KJM, Shake Zula

    It’s good, but Batman: The Animated Series(i.e. best Batman ever) still kicks it’s ass.

    • BobLoblaw

      Oh the golden era of afternoon cartoons. Ill throw Mutant League in as much more metal than this. Full on saturday morning dismemberment with badass characters.

      • ProfoundHatred

        Holy fuck yes. I’ve been trying to find a legit torrent for that for quite a while.

        • Abe Vigoda’s Ghost Farts

          Might be able to find it on Youtube, and use a Youtube downloader to DL it.

          BTW, Welcome to the Toilet!

          • Lacertilian

            Profound has been here for a fair while.

  • KJM, Shake Zula

    Heath Ledger SUCKED as The Joker. Come at me.

    • dude you can’t say that. he died.

      • more beer

        That was his own fault.

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      Shake plz! Heath Ledger is a good Joker! He’s not Mark Hamill level but he’s good!

    • ┼yree

      Mark Hamill was the best Joker in my idiot opinion.

      http://nerdist.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/joker_tas_by_lorddaroth.jpg

    • more beer

      That is what happens when a shitty actor plays The Joker. He also wasn’t good at being a drug addict either.

      • Boss the Ross

        Daaaaaaaaayuuummmmm!

        Nice.

        I did enjoy how much Tom Waits he put in his performance though. Because Tom Waits is the man.

        • more beer

          HA!!!!!! I l!!! You know the deal.

          • Abe Vigoda’s Ghost Farts

            Loved him as the Joker, and he was good in Brokeback Mountain. Outside of that, his films were straight up shit on a stick. At least his Joker was better than the one in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie. The trailers so far indicate that it’s gonna be one throbbing, steaming pile of doggy doo.

          • more beer

            The guy was a shitty actor. I’ve never seen Brokeback Mountain. Cowboys fucking each other really doesn’t interest me.

          • Lacertilian

            Two Hands is a great film.

          • Boss the Ross

            I may not be as old as the wisened more beer, but i know a thing or two.

      • Abe Vigoda’s Ghost Farts
    • Abe Vigoda’s Ghost Farts
      • KJM, Shake Zula

        Sucked harder than a Death Star sized Oreck. His version of The Joker consisted of looking at the ground, mumbling a lot, and waving his hands. Even Jack freakin’ Nicholson did a better job. One of the most overrated performances of all time and the only reason he got that Oscar was out of pity.

        • Abe Vigoda’s Ghost Farts

          Woah, Jack Nicholson did a better job?!?! Even George Clooney (who is an excellent actor, even though he’s a major league douche) said those films were the death of the franchise!

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            ‘Batman Begins’ is the only worthwhile live action Batman film. Even Caesar Romero was a better Joker than Ledger.

          • Abe Vigoda’s Ghost Farts

            Hedger was a better Joker than the guy who played Bane!

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            I never even bothered to see Dark Knight Rises so I have no opinion on that. I’m fairly confident that there will never be a really good Batman movie in my lifetime, not live action anyway.

          • Abe Vigoda’s Ghost Farts
          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Dark Knight Rises wasn’t good, but it was still better than any Marvel movie ever.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Nope. Even the worst outtakes from Winter Soldier are better than any DC movie made.

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Marvel is on the same level of terrible with anime. Really fucking terrible.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            My mother, the person who told me that comics were a waste of time and I should throw them all away, watched all of Jessica Jones and daredevil in less than a week and wants more. That alone tells me how well made they are. Besides, you probably think Kubrick and Scorsese are hacks too.
            (DISCLAIMER: This does not apply to any present X-Men, Spider-Man, or Fantastic Four movies because they are non MCU and therefore unclean.)

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Kubrick has guuds. Haven’t seen any Scoersese

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Mean Streets? Taxi Driver? Not even GoodFellas?

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Nope, nope and nope

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Those and Raging Bull are classic. I should see Raging Bull again soon. It’s been long enough.

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            What aabout Batman and Robin????

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Any non-animated Batman not starring Adam West is flaming dogshit.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            In fact, pretty much anything DC related sucks bouncy buffalo balls. Perhaps that is what you were thinking of rather than Marvel, understandable mixup.

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            By no means do I like DC. I think comics are all terrible, but Marvel is the worst

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Nah, Marvel has always been the superior brand. Superman = lamest superhero ever.

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Superman is lame, as is every super hero. Marvel movies are terrible and there’s way too many of them

  • KJM, Shake Zula

    Frank Miller can bite my weenie(not that I would want him to).

    • ┼yree
      • KJM, Shake Zula

        “3 out of 5 customers will get their dicks ripped off…”

        “SEE!!! I TOLD YOU!!”

        • ┼yree

          20 cents off my next Wasabi fries, all right! You see, they fill the fries with wasabi sauce through hot tubs of meat…

          • COAL ROLL

            That sounds like what KJU’s name will be tomorrow

          • Abe Vigoda’s Ghost Farts

            Tempting, but not oddball and/or poop and dick-related enough.

    • Abe Vigoda’s Ghost Farts

      I’m guessing you didn’t even like The Watchman?

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        That’s Alan Moore, dude.

        • Abe Vigoda’s Ghost Farts

          Gah, I always get the two confused, actually. Their styles are almost identical.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Alan Moore is a crazy leftie and Frank Miller’s a wingnut.

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        I won’t even see the movie because I love the book so much. I always make sure I own a copy.

        • Abe Vigoda’s Ghost Farts

          Trust me, the movie is identical to the book, outside of that confusing alien squid bomb part.

  • Boss the Ross

    We have a guy visiting at work, just saw his phone background… BATMAN BEYOND. how’s that for timing?

  • NO ANIME.

  • BobLoblaw

    Anybody else remember Pirates of Darkwater? Sonic ended up being pretty damn dark as well (abducting and cyborging well liked characters, very dystopian).

    • Phoenix of the House Tendies

      They need to finish the series. They only found eight treasures. EIGHT TREASURES DAMNIT.

      • Dubs

        Don’t you remember, Cartoon Network accidentally taped over the lost episodes with film of a cat lapping milk.

  • Waynecro

    Great article, Mr. Jim! The only Batman cartoon I ever watched was Batman: The Animated Series, and I thought that was pretty swell.

  • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

    I used to watch this show every day after school. I forgot how cool it really was. Good article Guacamole Jim.

  • Boss the Ross

    The amount of discussion this post caused makes me very happy. Congratulations again Jim!

  • Abe Vigoda’s Ghost Farts

    Pfffffffffffffffft, Turkish Batman for the win!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE7m1bw1rgg

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