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Batman Beyond

DC Multiverse
by yo go re

So, going solely by recent marking/branding efforts, I'm led to believe that this is a Batman... made entirely of vegetables?

Genetically engineered Terry McGinnis becomes the Caped Crusader in a techno-advanced Gotham City.

When it debuted, Batman Beyond was set 40 years in the future (the writers eventually gave it a quiet shift to 50, but that was more of a conceptual thing than any actual story directive). Don't worry, we're not going to reveal that the date is today or anything - you're not that old yet - but recall that the series opened with Bruce Wayne's final mission as Batman: he had a heart attack while rescuing an heiress, and had to resort to using a gun to fend off her kidnappers; disgusted with himself, he went home, immediately locked the suit in a display case, then spent two decades in seclusion before Terry showed up at his door. Knowing that, and using the fact Batman Beyond premiered in 1999, we can extrapolate that Bruce retired from Batmannery in the amazing future year of... 2019.

This is an exceedingly odd choice for a figure to release in this line. Not that Batman Beyond is a bad character, or even underserving of a toy, but Mattel already made one! Sure, it was in DCUC4, a full decade before this one was made, but the fact remains that it does physically exist. With all the characters who never got a Mattel figure of any sort, why does Batman Beyond merit a double-dip of this sort?

Terry isn't a straight re-release, by any means - Mattel changed what basic bodies they use for their DC figures right before they lost the license, so this Batman is taller and leaner than the last one. The smaller physique works for someone who was 16 when he first wore the suit, though the height could be better (shorter). The only newly sculpted elements below the neck are the forearms, with their bat spikes, and the belt, which is a molded part of the pelvis, but for some reason still has the raised black sections between the silver pockets. They know his belt wasn't a separate item, right? That it was just the pockets on the suit, arranged around the waist? That putting a "belt" part behind them was just an accommodation the previous toy had to make because it was separate?

The new toy does not get the same high-gloss black paint as the last one, so it doesn't look as futuristic. It'd be much better for blending into the shadows, though! The paint is limited to the big red bat on his chest, the silver and red on his belt, and the white on his eyes (and, on the alternate head, his teeth). There are no errors here, and good solid coverage.

BatBey moves at the head, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, chest, waist, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles. The head has enough motion to look down, but not enough to look up, because we can't have things that are too good. He has fists right out of the tray, but you can swap them for flat hands.

In addition to the extra hands and the extra head, the figure comes with four batarangs and his bright red wings. Did you ever consider how odd it is that they still call Batman Beyond "the caped crusader" when he no longer wears a cape? In the cartoon, the wings appeared to be attached to his triceps, not a separate backpack, but that's not how it's done here. These pieces, in fact, are reused from the Total Heroes line, so they end up look a little cartoonier than the rest of the body. Probably means you don't want to try to swap the Terry McGinnis or Bruce Wayne heads onto this body, either. And as long as they were reusing those accessories, why not give us Micron? Darquimbertus "Micron" McNarington. The wings haven't even been remolded, so the peg is too long to fit all the way into his back.

Terry comes with three pieces of this series' Lobo Build-A-Figure: two heads, and the crotch. Variety!

With Series 7 already having Kingdom Come Superman, Kid Flash, and Kyle Rayner, we're just a little sad that Mattel didn't hold Batman Beyond back, and swap him with Series 8's KGBeast. Or, y'know, just skip him entirely and give us someone new.

-- 04/29/20


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