Batman Beyond: The Complete Animated Series – Deluxe Limited Edition [Blu-Ray/Digital]

It’s the perfect storm of fandom this year, as Batman is celebrating eighty years in pop culture, while “Batman Beyond” is celebrating its twenty year anniversary. For 2019, Warner finally unleashes their fantastic follow up “Batman Beyond” on Blu-Ray in a stellar Limited Edition box set that is also conveniently in time for Halloween and the impending holiday season. With the Limited Edition featuring an exclusive Batman Beyond Funko Pop, and the inevitably regular set coming down line, Warner will cash in for sure. “Batman Beyond” is still the juggernaut follow up to the classic Bruce Timm “Batman” series that hasn’t aged a bit, despite being conceived during a period where everything had to be futuristic, and darker.

In 2039, Gotham is a futuristic metropolis that is still corrupt, and crime ridden as ever. After troubled student Terry McGinnis is saved by an elderly Bruce Wayne, McGinnis stumbles upon Wayne’s secret as the Batman. When Terry’s father is murdered due to a botched deal with a business executive, Terry dons the weaponized Batman suit engineered by Bruce and seeks revenge. Forming an uneasy alliance, Bruce mentors Terry as the new Batman, and both seek to clean up Gotham of its crime wave once again. The writers know exactly how to deal in fan service, while also creating some dynamic new villains. Ironically most of the villains feel like distant children of Bruce Wayne’s enemies.

They include Inque, Spellbinder, Curaré and the enigmatic Society of Assassins. Timm and the team of writers build compelling and unique characters including Terry McGinnis (Will Friedle is iconic) who is a great successor to Bruce Wayne, as well as Ace the Bathound. Along with the return of Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne, there’s a top notch cast of performers including Stockard Channing, William H. Macy, Teri Garr and Michael McKean, John Ritter, Seth Green, Tim Curry, David Warner, Patton Oswalt, Ice-T, Johnny Galecki, and so many more. “Batman Beyond” is the right balance of sequel that pays homage to the original while also carving its own niche in the DC Animated Universe.

The new Limited Edition release comes packed in a box alongside a boxed Exclusive Chrome Funko Pop of Terry McGinnis’ Batman, as well as a small collection of Batman Beyond hologram pictures, and the Digital Copy for consumers. All fifty two episodes are included, with forty one fully restored on six whole discs. Featured is  Nostalgic Tomorrow – A Batman Gathering, an All-New Featurette, including many of Batman Beyond’s core production team and actors gathering for a great roundtable discussion of the evolution and execution of the animated series. It includes Bruce Timm and Glenn Murakami, casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano, director James Tucker, writers Bob Goodman & Stan Berkowitz, and stars Kevin Conroy & Will Friedle. Knight Immortal  is another All-New Featurette celebrating the excellent legacy of Dark Knight’s 80 years of crime fighting, as narrated by storytellers of the past, present, and future.

“Tomorrow Knight: The Batman Reborn” features storytellers exploring the rise of Terry McGinnis as Batman and Bruce Wayne’s relationship with the young hero as he mentors a new Dark Knight for modern times. There are a slew of entertaining and insightful audio commentaries by filmmakers and voice actors for four crucial episodes: “Rebirth, Part 1”; “Shriek”; “Splicers”; and “The Eggbaby.” There are also a slew of featurettes included, such as brief glimpses behind various episodes, “Music of the Knight,” a segment with producer Bruce Timm who introduces a key scenes from Batman Beyond, accompanied by the compelling score created for the series. There’s also “Inside Batman Beyond – Meet the Creators” with producers Alan Burnett, Bruce Timm, Glen Murakami and Paul Dini, all of whom discuss the creative process behind Batman Beyond and its first season.

Jason Hillhouse moderates. There’s also a trailer for Batman’s 80th Anniversary Collection. “Inside Batman Beyond: The Panel” is an in-depth discussion with producers Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Glen Murakami and Paul Dini, all of whom discuss season two of Batman Beyond in great length with moderator Jason Hillhouse. There’s the six part “Inside Batman Beyond: Season 3” including discussions with producers Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Glen Murakami and Paul Dini, directors Butch Lukic and James Tucker, and voice actor Will Friedle,  all of whom discuss various moments like the Batman musical, the inclusion of the new Justice League, and the finale featuring Kobra. There’s also “Gotham: City of The Future,”a Close-Up Look at Gotham City Circa 2039, the modernization and the inspirations for its high-tech design and massive scale, and “The High-Tech Hero,” exploring the evolution of the new Bat Suit and its futuristic design and capabilities with Batman storytellers.

Finally there are two feature length films including “Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker” the hit 2000 film which features Batman and Bruce confronting Batman’s worst foe. It’s fully remastered and restored. As well, there’s “Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics” the documentary about the creation and influence of DC Comics and its legacy.