Batman Beyond was an animated look at the future of the Batman. This was a reinvention of Batman and it abandoned the staples of the old Batman. It was a dark and macabre look into Batman, even before Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. In the future an elderly Bruce Wayne finds a rebellious lost youth, Terry, dealing with depression, bullying, financial woe, the loss of his father, and the corruption and greed that have enveloped Gotham City. He recruits this high schooler to become the next Batman; throughout the series he would train him and aid him in every manner. The series explored the characteristics necessary to become Batman, technology, the relationship between Terry and Bruce, and most intriguingly the future of Gotham City.
Batman Beyond was insatiable in his portrayals of youth angst in the midst of a city gripped by hopelessness, individualism, and official indifference. This Gotham City defined Batman more than previous Gotham did to Bruce Wayne’s Batman. The city was not the victim of crime nor the cause of crime, but the arena that drew criminals with promise. The same promise that drew innocent bystanders who would find no refuge. The new Batman was insolent, rebellious, and even battled government officials and the riot police. The series ended in what can only be described as a mind-blowingly shocking ending that questioned the very notions of free will and destiny. Yet, Batman and his Neo-Gotham City carried on as an ode to the silent and unseen yet all too real effect a city has on its people and their choices.