As many DC Comics readers know, fan-favourite Batman of the Future Terry McGinnis was killed off during Futures End, but [SPOILER ALERT], readers of the 2015-present Batman Beyond series written by Dan Jurgens know that he was revived by Spellbinder and is now living as the brainwashed supervillain Rewire, pictured below, and in the upcoming Batman Beyond: REBIRTH, he's scheduled to return to the mantle of the Bat...
...But that's not all!
DC Comics has released the official synopsis and title of the post-Rebirth Batman Beyond #1, and it is surprising:
Title: The Return, Part One
Synopsis: Terry McGinnis is back as Batman, much to the delight of his family and friends. But is the original Joker really back as well? Inspired by the possible return of their role model, the Jokerz have taken over an entire section of Gotham City and are determined to wreak havoc in the still-rebuilding city. While Batman battles chaos on the streets, his friend Dana is at the mercy of the new leader of the now-unified gang.
That's right, not only is this title and plot a direct allusion to the massively popular (among DCAU fans) animated movie Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, but it will also reignite the Jokerz gang as a significant threat (they've taken a back seat to Brother Eye and the Evil Factory in the 2015 series) and reintroduce Terry to his DCAU love interest Dana Tan, which could have some very interesting developments...
So, as many fanboys and fangirls are probably wondering if these old lovebirds will get back together, I'm left a little unsure of how the source material (the RotJ movie) will be adapted. After all, in the original movie, the Joker who returned was in fact [SPOILERS] the original Joker's consciousness implanted via microchip into Tim Drake's body via some cruel experiments after which Tim (as a child) in a mentally screwed up state had flat-up murdered the original Joker by shooting him in the chest with his own flag gun.
This... did not happen in the mainstream DC continuity. In fact, this Joker can't be in Tim Drake's body at all, since Tim Drake never killed the Joker in the comics, and he was sent into the future at the end of the "Futures End" series, during which he took over as Batman from the presumed dead Terry McGinnis.
As such, Dan Jurgens is going to have to create an entirely new explanation for the crown prince of crime's return. Could this relate to the apparent "He is three" explanation for the Joker's identity given in DC Universe: REBIRTH #1, or could this connect with last year's Batman: Endgame event, explaining the Joker's longevity via his use of the mysterious compound "Dionesium", which during Endgame was very heavily implied to have already kept the Joker alive for several centuries before the setting of the majority of main DC universe stories.
Then again, I wouldn't put it past Dan Jurgens to give us something completely different, and we're still waiting on him explaining what happened to Bruce Wayne, but the good news is that he appears on the cover of September's Batman Beyond #1, possibly suggesting his return, but his somewhat holographic appearance might indicate that he's still only a flashback character. Otherwise we'll be seeing the return of Nora Boxer to the series, as she's been missing for several issues now, and it'll be interesting to see if Max ever recovers from the Brother Eye technology she was subjected to (I expect this'll be resolved now, since Max was so close to Terry in the DCAU series).
So, as much as this will have to be a loose adaptation of the movie into mainstream canon, I'm sure as hell interested to see Dan Jurgens's take on it, as well as to see my all-time favourite DC Comics movie finally get the attention it deserves on the pages of the medium that spawned it. Maybe the comic series will even improve upon the masterpiece that was the movie, but we'll have to wait til September to find out.
Remember that you can check out the original Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker movie for free on the official Warner Bros. YouTube Channel Beyond The Lot, and the first part of the movie can be accessed below:
Anyway. are you excited? Log in via Facebook or Google+ and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
[Anime reviews will resume within the week]