DC Comics fans across the Internet were recently impressed when Arrow costume designer Andy Poon shared a Batman Beyond costume that he was designing for fun. Poon's image of the Batman Beyond costume concept got fans buzzing with speculation, about how the futuristic Batman character could possibly make an appearance in the "Arrowverse."
Well, there's one clear pathway to making that happen, and every DC TV fans should clearly be able that it's a storyline perfectly suited for a Legend of Tomorrow arc. Let's discuss why.
First and foremost, Legends is the perfect venue for a "Batman Beyond" arc because it's the current Arrowverse series that's best suited for a trip into the future era. The Batman Beyond animated and comic book series are set about three decades ahead of current time, which is an era (the near-future) that Legends hasn't exactly played in all that much.
Arrow has already established that the character of Bruce Wayne / Batman actually exists somewhere in the Arrowverse, so a future in which Bruce trained Batman Beyond (aka Terry McGinnis) is equally possible under the current canon rules. It would be the sort of "event" story arc that could definitely pull viewers in for dedicated viewing for a few weeks - and given how Legends has been teetering on the bubble of cancellation throughout its run, a guaranteed ratings booster would be a major boon.
Future Spinoff Plans
While this article is focused on Legends serving as a launchpad for the Batman Begins franchise in live action, it isn't the only scope of our plans. Batman Begins is actually a concept that's big enough to span across several Arrowverse series - possibly as a major crossover event with a few or all of the series. It's easily a story that could begin in the future and then bring Batman Beyond into the past - or vice versa. It works equall well for the Arrowverse heroes to investigate a strange new player who is able to take them down, only to discover eventually that Terry McGinnis is on a mission through time to stop some kind of anachronism threat in his own time. That would then require some or all of the Arrowverse heroes to travel to the future and help win the day. It's pretty standard Arrowverse storytelling, actually.
More to the point: if the Batman Beyond event worked out well with viewers, the event would serve as your typical Arrowverse "back door pilot" to a full Batman Beyond live-action series. However, that's where we run into certain legal snafus...
In the often-confusing world of TV rights and distribution, the fact is that it's not Time Warner (Warner Bros.) but 20th Century Fox that actually owns the live-action Batman TV Rights. That shuffle happened back in the '60s, when National Periodical Publications (DC's forerunner) sold the live-action Batman TV rights to ABC, who then passed them onto Fox. Fox produced the Adam West Batman TV series, and held the rights until along came a modern day Batman TV series concept: Gotham. If you've ever wondered why Gotham is a major DC TV Universe outlier by being on Fox instead of the CW, that's why.
Where things get tricky is in the exact legality and negotiation of the Batman Beyond character. We don't know for sure if Fox's Batman TV ownership extends to that property, or if it's considered a separate entity; there's also no way to know if Fox were to allow, say, Batman Beyond onto Arrowverse shows, would a full spinoff series of the character then have to air solely on Fox. Complicating all of this is the recent Disney-Fox deal, which would then place the Batman live-action TV rights in the hands of the Disney, even further away from its Arrowverse cousins. Of course all this legal mumbo-jumbo is for the lawyers: us fans just want what we want!
Do want to see Batman Beyond in the Arrowverse? Would Legends of Tomorrow be the way to do it? Or do you have a better idea? Let us know in the comments!
Catch the Arrowverse series Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow on Mondays; The Flash and Black Lightning on Tuesdays; and Arrow on Thursdays.