First up, let's discuss Batman Beyond's past history in TV and how it led to a comic book series. The TV series began airing in January, 1999 and lasted three seasons, ending in 2001. Despite announcing a 4th season, the series was put on hold indefinitely in favour of a new JLA animated series.
Shortly after launching as a TV show, DC released a 6 issue limited series to test the waters for a comic book version of the popular show. Based on its success, they quickly followed up with an ongoing, which lasted 24 issues and ended alongside the TV show.
It would be six more years before people saw Terry McGinnis again when he was featured in Countdown to Final Crisis #21 as the Batman of Earth-12 in the new Multiverse. There was another appearance earlier of someone dressed in the Batman Beyond costume in Superman/Batman #22, but that character was named "Tim" and toys based on that arc labelled the character as Tim Drake as well, despite claims by the creators that they goofed on the name of the animated series character.
This all brings us to the present, where Dan DiDio just announced we'd be seeing Terry McGinnis, the Batman of the Future, in comics again.
New TV Series?
As DC has been unwilling to give Batman Beyond its own comic without the aid of a TV series to promote it (or possibly speculating it would dilute the Batman franchise or draw readers away from the main titles), the first thing that springs to mind with this announcement of seeing him in comics again is that we will see a new TV series to go along with it. This also lines up with what the new Teen Titans writer, Felicia Henderson, who has a lot of television work under her belt, particularly with the animated DCU, had to say in a recent interview at CBR:
On the television/movie front, I’m developing a couple of new television series ideas and one of them is based on a DC book. That’s all I can say about it for now. - Felicia D. HendersonNew TV series based on a DC property that she can't speak about? Terry McGinnis returning to comics? Is this a hint at another possible new television series and comic book adaptation for Batman Beyond or...
A New Multiverse Book?
The Batman Beyond universe has been designated as Earth-12 in DC's new Multiverse. With the news of The Multiversity by Grant Morrison in the pipeline, is DC finally getting around to doing something with the new Multiverse, possibly starting with a new Batman Beyond Earth-12 comic? Another option is a return to Superman/Batman with a time travel or a Multiverse spanning story that would see various incarnations of each character show up.
It's difficult to say what DC's plans are for the Batman Beyond franchise other than what DiDio told us - we'll see "Terry McGinnis" (he never actually states Batman Beyond, just Terry by name) in comics again. There's no official timeframe, but it was a definitive yes to the question posed by a fan, so I'm operating under the idea that he isn't outright lying or trying to pull a fast one on us.
When I mentioned this news on Twitter yesterday, a few people responded with the idea that maybe Damian or Tim Drake would adopt the identity of Terry McGinnis - Damian for a public/non-League of Assassins identity and Tim to lay low while searching for Bruce Wayne as Red Robin - which would line up with the "Terry McGinnis" wording of DiDio's reply.
Personally, I would love to see Batman Beyond return as an animated series with another comic book adaptation, but would also be first in line to lay down my money for a Multiverse book if they decided to do an Earth-12 version of Batman Beyond.
What about you? Any fans of Batman Beyond out there pumped for news of a new comic and/or possible animated series in the works? Would you buy a Batman Beyond comic? Do you think it will be a simple guest spot or an actual comic for him? Let me know in the comments below.