Jimmy and Tom talk more cartoons. This time it's the Batman Beyond episodes "Inqueling," "Big Time," and "Out of the Past".
Jimmy and Tom are back for another round of animated superhero chat. This time around, we’ll be discussing the Batman Beyond episodes “Inqueling,” “Big Time,” and “Out of the Past”.
Inque returns, but she’s badly injured! Will a long lost relative of hers help her out or turn her over to Batman?
jimmy: So, they, uh, couldn’t have aborted the launch when the ship was being torn apart right in front of them? Or because greedy old guy was working with Venom?
tomk: Um, both?
jimmy: It just seemed a little odd. And they had like 5 minutes of destruction prior to launch. I’m sure the slightest issue they would have aborted.
tomk: See, there you go with your general knowledge of the dangers of space launches.
jimmy: It’s a gift and a curse.
tomk: I’m sure you’ll feel differently when you’re older with your own space cargo company.
jimmy: My memory is already headed in that direction.
tomk: Before or after you try the experimental mutigen?
jimmy: Um, both?
tomk: You really are ahead of the curve.
I suppose next you’ll figure out when the best time to approach a long lost offspring.
jimmy: At least a 1000 years. Or, if they need money.
tomk: Careful. If you only give them money, that will be all they value.
jimmy: As long as you have credit, you’re fine.
tomk: Jimmy Junior is going to have so much financial discipline…
jimmy: I couldn’t remember if we saw Inque’s origin when she debuted? As this episode implies she’s been Inque for a long time.
tomk: It’s only seen something Bruce described to Terry.
As far as Inque goes, this is her last full episode appearance. She has a small cameo coming up, but that’s about it. And it looks like Terry never actually beat her without major help from somebody.
jimmy: I was thinking about that. And wondering how Bruce would have beaten her? Because you know he would have. He’s Batman.
tomk: Bruce can do anything with enough prep time. Because he’s Batman.
He was probably in Tibet prepping for Inque’s return this very episode.
jimmy: He should have left and came back earlier.
tomk: He’s not as fast as he used to be.
jimmy: This is true.
tomk: Still, the important thing here is Terry still didn’t actually defeat Inque.
jimmy: That is interesting though. How many other prominent heroes have never defeated their arch enemy?
tomk: Is Inque his arch enemy?
jimmy: Yeah, I thought that might be too strong. But, a major enemy at least.
tomk: It’s not as if Terry has never defeated Inque. He just always needs help to do it. Especially since she always learns from previous encounters.
jimmy: So does he.
tomk: Well, she’s a better student.
Plus, she’s been doing this a lot longer than he has.
jimmy: Apparently, given the age of her daughter. Speaking of whom, did you see the Daughter Double Cross coming?
tomk: She wasn’t exactly a trustworthy individual.
jimmy: I did not. She didn’t seem overly “evil”. Even saying “I don’t do that sort of thing” or something along those lines when she has to break in to get the Inque Juice.
tomk: But we also saw she had huge money problems.
jimmy: Yes. But that’s a big leap from “Mom, lend me some money will ya” to “I think I’ll kill you and take all your money.”
tomk: Well, that’s why you need to actually teach you children well.
Don’t you ever ask them why.
jimmy: Children are the future.
tomk: And this show is set in the future.
jimmy: That’s deep.
tomk: I try.
And did you notice the girl’s last name was “Clay”?
jimmy: I think I did.
tomk: Well, good.
And hey, Dana doesn’t mind broken dates anymore.
jimmy: Because she’s figured out what’s going on.
tomk: Yes. Yes she did.
It’s probably for the best. They didn’t know the show would end with season three, but they maybe finished off some not-quite storylines.
Ok, so, we got some kind of backstory on Inque. Anything else to add, Jimmy?
jimmy: The Dana “I know what’s going on” moment was kinda lame. It had this moment of suspense of “she’s knows he’s Batman and is cool with it?” that is resolved seconds later, off screen for that matter and with the most obvious “realization” that probably occurred to everyone else in Season One.
tomk: At least she says something like that unlike, say, Terry’s mom or kid brother.
jimmy: Maybe that happened off screen too.
tomk: All this stuff off-screen! What’s next? We get Max and Bruce hanging out in the Batcave sipping Mai Tais and laughing over Terry’s still unexplained criminal record?
jimmy: …do we get that?
tomk: That exact scenario? Would you want it?
tomk: Good. You don’t get that.
jimmy: No? Oh…I mean good! No one wants that. cough
tomk: Now, we could instead get an episode where Terry has a former friend from his less reputable days come back from wherever he was.
jimmy: We could get that, but we’d be burning down a part of ourselves.
tomk: Ok then. We could just skip the next one that might give you some answers on Terry’s criminal past.
jimmy: Fine, fine. Yes, I’m interested in that.
tomk: Shall we move on then?
jimmy: Let’s do it.
A friend from Terry’s past returns. Can Terry keep him from making the same mistakes as before?
jimmy: So…Terry makes no effort at all to save Fake Wolverine from almost falling to his death?tomk: Terry secretly hated The Usual Suspects. Especially McManus. As such, Big Time’s voice just threw Terry off his game.
jimmy: Those Baldwins will do that to you.
tomk: But hey, Fake Wolverine was dumb enough to slash the floor of a balcony.
jimmy: Yeah, that was pretty stupid.
tomk: He was voiced by William H Macy. That man specializes in dummies.And Robert Patrick as the corrupt businessman. It was an episode for character actors.
jimmy: Man, whatever happened to Robert Patrick?
tomk: Someone asked him to replace David Duchovny on a popular TV show.
But that was like 20 years ago.
tomk: He also got dropped in a vat of molten metal.
And don’t look up how old this episode is.
jimmy: That happens to me all the time and I’m still here banging out the content!
tomk: That explains why this hasn’t been a weekly feature in a while.
Jimmy, STAY OUT OF THE VATS OF MOLTEN METAL!
jimmy: But they’re so warm, and it gets cold up here in the Great White North.
tomk: Try something that kills fewer Wolverines.
jimmy: Real ones or fake ones?
Ok, so, this is getting silly. At least now you know about Terry’s record.
jimmy: Minor petty crime. At least one B&E.
tomk: Yeah, but the B&E was in the Fortress of Solitude. They left that detail out.
jimmy: What’s the general sentence length for B&E I wonder? The conveniently named Bigelow did 3 years at Blackgate and underage Terry did like 3 months in juvie.
tomk: Sounds like it has to come in threes.
If it were young Matt McGinnis, three days.
Old Bruce? 3 decades.
Well, Old Bruce would never be caught.
tomk: That’s why they’d need a longer sentence.
jimmy: So is Terry gullible, or Bruce just overly paranoid?
tomk: Or is Big Time another Two-Face?
jimmy: I thought he was going to be Clayface 2099 when he first started transforming.
tomk: Isn’t that Inque?
jimmy: She’s Venom.
He’s too grotesque to be Two-Face. He basically just ended up a big ugly monster, that wasn’t too bright to begin with.
tomk: But Jimmy, Batman Beyond does thematic versions of classic Bat villains. Big Time is a friend of Terry’s who is disfigured in a tragic accident that Batman is reluctant to fight. That sounds like Two-Face.
True, he was rotten to begin with and is hardly a criminal genius, but thematically he’s Two-Face.
jimmy: Good point. Two-Face 2099 it is!
tomk: It better be. We only have about ten to twelve episodes left and Big Time actually appears in another one.
jimmy: Really? I thought he was one and done for sure.
jimmy: I didn’t find him that interesting, outside of being the catalyst for Terry’s record to finally be revealed.
tomk: Yeah. He is kinda bland.
Though that may be the worst thing you can say about any of Terry’s regular foes.
jimmy: Do Fake Wolverine or Generic Crooked Businessman return?
tomk: I don’t think so. Fake Wolverine might have stabbed himself through the hand since he put those blades into his palm.
jimmy: Smarter than putting chainsaws in your knees.
You win this round, Impossible.
So, was Big Time a Big Yawn?
jimmy: I wouldn’t say that. I wasn’t bored. Were you?
tomk: Not really. Batman Beyond episodes are rarely if ever bad, but they are also rarely if ever earth-shatteringly good like the other shows.
Though we may have some exceptions coming up soon.
jimmy: You keep teasing that.Though I do agree with your initial statement.
tomk: Did you have anything else to say about Big Time Round One?
jimmy: I feel bad for Dana. It seems like every episode Terry is abandoning her for some reason or another.
tomk: She didn’t want to spend time with Big Time anyway.
jimmy: No, but she did want to spend time with Terry.
tomk: I would have thought Terry seeing Charlie manhandle her should have been a bigger tip.
jimmy: Dana is pretty low on Terry’s priorities.
tomk: Who isn’t?
The father he kinda wants right now.
jimmy: More grandfather given the ages.
tomk: Yeah, that sounds about right.
But say, Jimmy, what if I told you we have an episode coming up that deals with Bruce’s age?
A Bruce-centric episode, written by Paul Dini, and featuring a figure or two from Bruce’s past?
jimmy: Doesn’t sound like my kinda show, but I’ll give it a chance.
tomk: Well, if you insist.
“Out of the Past”
Bruce is feeling his age when someone from his past returns with an offer! Can it be too good to be true?
jimmy: Ah how I miss original recipe Batman adventures.
tomk: I thought you might like this one. Call it a hunch.jimmy:I’m actually surprised Bruce went as far with the treatments as he did.
tomk: He really hated that musical.
jimmy: That was pretty funny.
tomk: It was correct when it stated that criminals are a superstitious cowardly lot who plan and plot and always get caught.
Plus, that was Kevin Conroy singing.
jimmy: Yes, I figured that.
tomk: True, but our reader might not have.
jimmy: We have a reader?!??
tomk: The articles get hits once in a while.
jimmy: I better put on a dress shirt.
tomk: Pants are optional.
Well, were you glad to learn more about Ra’s and Talia in the year 2099?
jimmy: Yes…but Talia with Ra’s voice was disturbing.
tomk: You think they were going to do a Ra’s episode without the voice of David Warner?
jimmy: No…but still.
tomk: Probably a good thing he didn’t try to kiss Bruce then.
Some people have enough in-law problems as it is.
Oh wait. He did kiss Bruce.
jimmy: Even Bruce makes reference to that. Eww…
tomk: If we ask Watson, he’d tell us there’s a fetish for whatever that is.
jimmy: I’m sure he’ll read this and chime in.
tomk: But hey, was this the best episode of Batman Beyond you’ve seen in a while?
jimmy: That makes us sound like I didn’t enjoy the others, which I did. But you know I have a soft spot for the Bruce heavy episodes. Especially this one with very strong ties to the original series.
tomk: I know you’ve been enjoying the show, but this one was a step up in quality from the last few.
It’s not a bad show by any stretch of the imagination, but this one is something of a step up.
jimmy: I think it spotlights the difficulty in creating new and interesting characters, particularly villains.
tomk: Especially when the most interesting old man in the world spends most episodes sitting in a cave, looking at photos of all his old girlfriends.
jimmy: He did linger on the picture of Babs longer than the others.
tomk: He still works with her. It’s extra awkward.
jimmy: Those work romances never, uh, work.
tomk: He’s also still got a photo of Lois Lane. It may get awkward whenever Superman comes to visit.
jimmy: Hmm…are Supes or Lois even around?
tomk: Wait and see.
jimmy: You’re such a tease, Mr. Tom Kelly.
tomk: It keeps you coming back to this show for more.
Not unlike Bruce Wayne thinking youth would help fight street crime.
jimmy: Ironic since youth is probably the majority of street crime.
tomk: Well, Bruce did try to stop a mugging.
…that Ra’s had set up to make Bruce feel old…
jimmy: It worked.
tomk: Too well. Good thing Bruce hates cheating. Especially death.
jimmy: Because Batman has NEVER cheated death…
tomk: Not with a Lazarus Pit.
jimmy: He saves that for resurrecting his children.
tomk: He didn’t do that!
jimmy: Didn’t he, Tom? Didn’t he?
tomk: I dunno.
I thought it was Superboy Prime punching reality.
jimmy: I was thinking of Damian. But now that you mention it, the New 52 did make Jason Todd’s origin a Lazarus Pit as Superboy Prime never existed.
tomk: Or the reality punch was too stupid.
He tried to resurrect Damien? That kid sucks.
jimmy: Tried and succeeded.
tomk: I am so disillusioned.
You may have won this round…Detective.
jimmy: So how about you, Tom…we know I liked the episode with it’s BTAS call backs and younger but distinguished with some grey (like myself) Bruce Wayne…did you like it?
tomk: It’s one of my Batman Beyond favorites.
I mean, they did Bruce’s theme on an electric guitar to mix both Batman themes into one. What’s not to like?
jimmy: That we won’t hear it again?
tomk: Probably not.
But you saw Bruce and Terry kick ass together. Plus, a character voiced by Mark Hamill.
jimmy: I never noticed that in the show, but saw it swing by in the credits.
tomk: It was during the team up escape attempt. Great rendition.
jimmy: I meant Hamill.
But want to go back and check that theme out again now too.
tomk: It’s worth it. Good action scene.
In all seriousness, this episode maybe best represents what Batman Beyond could have been. It shows the bond between Bruce and Terry, builds off what came before, allows Terry to save the day, and ends on a character-based philosophical note.
jimmy: Too bad it shows up at almost the end of the run.
tomk: They didn’t know that at the time.
jimmy: Or did they?
tomk: No, they did not.
They anticipated a fourth season, but Justice League started up. A lot of the writers shifted to that show, and it was on a different network so BB was eventually just canceled.
Weekend Trek “Ship In A Bottle”
Vikings: Valhalla “Pieces Of The Gods”
Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #52 (September, 1967)