Batman Beyond, or Batman of the Future, is one of the most underrated, yet exceptionally well-presented, animated versions of the dark knight. 1999 introduced the world to the future crime-fighting detective when the titular cartoon started airing on Kids’ WB in the United States. The cartoon then went on for a 52 episode run over 3 seasons, with a tie-in animated movie. It also spawned a once-off comic book series, and a new and sort-off refreshed series with upwards of eight volumes.
The Batman of the Future is one of my all-time favourite versions of the caped crusader. It tells the tale of a retired, grizzled and old Bruce Wayne who takes in a troubled youth by the name of Terry McGinnis. Bruce then teaches him how to be the best Batman that he can be. It is a dark story, where technology rules and crime is at an all-time high. This is
Since the comic books have deviated a tiny bit from the direction the animated series originally presented, this Vamers Playlist will focus solely on the Batman Beyond animated series. In particular, it will be the playlist for Batman himself, Terry McGinnis. The world of Batman Beyond is based in dark science fiction and cyberpunk elements – think RoboCop (1987) – and as such features heavily stylised rock, metal and electronic music themes. The music in this playlist is based on the main theme of the show, as well as the soundtrack featured throughout the series. Without further ado, here is the definite Batman Beyond’s Terry McGinnis Playlist.
1. Every Day Is Exactly the Same – Nine Inch Nails
When you think dark undertones with progressive rock and downtempo beats, Nine Inch Nails immediately come to mind. In particular, their With Teeth (2005) album. The song, Every Day is Exactly the Same is one of the headlining songs. I believe the song references everyday life. Days tend to become a blur when you do the same thing every day, over and over and over, for years.
Before Batman Beyond’s Terry McGinnis, there was Bruce Wayne. At the start of the show, Terry steals the suit from Bruce’s Batcave and goes on a crime-fighting tirade. Obviously, the suit would not be configured for Terry. Rather, Every Day is Exactly the Same would be the first song to play as Terry dons the suit. As such, it perfectly encapsulates an ageing Bruce as he tirelessly fights crime with the suit, night after night. To Bruce, every day is pretty much the same thing, over and over again.
2. The Day is My Enemy – The Prodigy
The song is totally on point when you think about it. The Day is My Enemy is the headlining song on The Prodigy’s sixth studio album of the same name. Both the album name and the song name are a reference to the Cole Porter song, All Through the Night, and features simple lyrics pertaining to how the day is no good, and how the night is the singer’s friend.
Batman Beyond’s Terry McGinnis loves the nightlife. He might be a sixteen-year-old teen, but he is constantly out with friends and on-again-off-again girlfriend, Dana. It is also at night that Terry exercises his strong obsession with justice. It is on one such night that he comes across a gang of Jokerz, and stumbles upon the Wayne Manor as he attempts to get away from the seemingly superpowered gang.
3. Shapeshifter (Klayton Remix) – Celldweller
Shapeshifter is a song about illegal street racing, depicting how racers are tearing up the roads, leaving behind smoke and the smell of burnt rubber. It is very much a racing anthem, which is why it featured on the Need for Speed: Most Wanted soundtrack. The Klayton remix, however, is the quintessential version of the song: it is short and to the point, with a lot of the noise edited out. The result is a pretty sweet electronic/heavy rock and hip-hop track that screams speed.
In the future, everyone loves speed, right? I like to think so. I also like to think that this is the song Batman Beyond’s Terry McGinnis chooses whenever he wants to block everything out and kick bad guy ass. The song therefore perfectly encapsulates high-octane and adrenaline-fueled nights, especially those that result in a bunch of beat-up Jokerz and a very happy Commissioner Gordon.
4. Metamorphosis – Blue Stahli
This Blue Stahli song pertains to change at a molecular level. The lyrics portray a narrator who is desperately trying to fight a “defining” change that is happening to him. In the end, however, he confides in the change, acknowledging that he will cut away at anything and embrace the change to “escape himself”.
Change is a prevalent theme throughout Batman Beyond. Transhumanism is a common part of media depictions of the future. People get mechanical limbs, and even neural transplants and body modifications that make them “transcend beyond human limitations”. Metamorphosis adeptly describes the changes that all of these people go through, including the enemies of Batman. Inque, for example, is a female villain who has the ability to modify her body at the molecular level, changing into a formless being. Through this form, she can shapeshift and morph into anything she wills. Schway!
5. A Thousand Years (Robots with Rayguns Remix) – Scandroid
A Thousand Years is a love song through and through. It features incredible lyrics written and performed by Klayton for the Scandroid album, Dreams in Monochrome (2018). The lyrics concern a narrator who would go to the ends of the earth for their lover – over a thousand years if they have to. “I would wait a thousand years for you” the narrator sings, as he stares at his lover. This is quite a promise to keep.
Terry and Dana’s on-again-off-again relationship is rocky to say the least. However, at the end of the day, she is the woman who he will always go back to, regardless of what has happened in the past. Their love truly goes beyond everything that Batman Beyond’s Terry McGinnis has to fight through during his tenure as Batman, which only strengthens their bond. Sometime in the future, fifteen years after the events of Batman Beyond, a Justice League Unlimited crossover episode titled Epilogue, depicts how Dana and Terry are finally engaged.
6. Venger (feat. Greta Link) – Perturbator
Venger is an electronic track with haunting lyrics that speak of loss and revenge. In the song, Greta sings of how “they” took someone she had loved away, and how they will now face her vengeance. I am not entirely certain, but I have a strong feeling that this song portrays the overall theme of this Perturbator album. Regardless, it is a pretty neat track that speaks of loss, one which perfectly fits the Batman of the Future.
During his tenure as the crusader, sans old-school cape and cowl, Batman Beyond’s Terry McGinnis loses a few people. The most impactful loss being that of his father, during one night early on in his crime-fighting career, and that of his mother further down the line. As the song suggests, Terry used those losses to strengthen his will and wreak vengeance on all of those involved in their deaths.
Sleep Now in the Fire – Rage Against the Machine
What is a playlist about a futuristic Neo-Gotham, where corruption reigns and crime prevails, if it does not include a Rage Against the Machine song? They are one of the most iconic industrial metal and rap groups from the late 90s, and made an excellent name for themselves due to their exceptional lyrics. Sleep Now in the Fire, in particular, pertains to American greed and how politics and big companies end up destroying the nation they claim to stand up for. It also laments the fact that if you do not go along with the trend, your business is as good as dead.
Neo-Gotham is rife with corruption. Bruce Wayne’s company, for instance, Wayne Enterprises, is depicted within the Batman Beyond animated show as a weak enterprise that has undergone a hostile takeover. The new owner and CEO, Derek Powers, renames the company Wayne-Powers, and begins an evil tirade to take over the city using unsavoury methods. Batman Beyond’s Terry McGinnis makes it his mission to bring Powers’ corruption to light while Bruce “sleeps in the fire” at the Wayne mansion.
8. Machines of Our Disgrace – Circle of Dust
In a world where technology literally rules our lives, some people think that humans are surrendering their liberties and human dignity by taking advantage of said technology. Machines of Our Disgrace is a song that criticizes the obsession modern society seems to have on menial technologies. It also concerns itself with the exceptional speed at which the human race is wreaking havoc on their only planet, like parasites.
Machines of our Disgrace not only fits perfectly into today’s society, but also that of Neo-Gotham. The song features quotes from various famous books and movies. One such quote perfectly sums up the Gotham that Batman Beyond’s Terry McGinnis must keep safe at night. After all, at the end of the day, Batman is not the be-all-and-end-all – a truth which Terry and Bruce are often taught throughout their struggles.
“I heard you’re rather famous on Earth.”
– “Well, I’d say, my fame has reached the stars!”
– “Then let me give you a bit of advice.
Here among the stars it is better not to be quite so cocky.”
9. Free – Raizer
There is no better feeling than being free of all of the stresses and worries that chain you down to the ground and keep you miserable. Free, by Raizer, celebrates freedom in the best way possible: via song. It particularly pertains to a narrator who is finally free for the first time. There is no more “deja vu”, or people and stresses that keep him from being the best man that he can be.
I like to think that Batman Beyond’s Terry McGinnis will often just sit on top of one of the many gargoyle statues around the city, and listen to this song in celebration of being free — as free as you can get, anyway. It is easy to imagine him standing up and jumping off a rooftop; catching the wind and gliding through the city as his retractable wings catch the current. With all of the worries he often has to deal with, it must be nice to spend a few quiet moments in the air, where not even gravity can weigh him down.
10. So Long Sentiment (Raizer Remix) – Celldweller
While the true meaning of the song remains a mystery, many speculate that it pertains to drug abuse or a lost loved one. I, however, think that the song laments the loss of identity. It is easy to get lost in the here-and-now when the greater scheme of things is continuously unfolding. It is even easier when you are just a boy, who still needs to find his place in the world.
During his tenure as Batman, Terry finds out many things about himself and his identity. For the longest time, he assumed that the family he grew up with were his biological family. He soon finds out that is not true and spends a long time wondering who he really is. He also wonders what else is a lie in his life.
At the end of the day (or night), Batman Beyond’s Terry McGinnis is just a boy. While the animated show covers around three to four years in the teen’s life, he is also depicted in a crossover episode of Justice League Unlimited as an older, 31-year-old adult. This grown-up version of Terry tracks down an ageing Amanda Waller, who tells him how she managed to change his father’s reproductive DNA into that of Bruce Wayne’s. She also tells him what the plan was all along, and how much Terry really means to everyone. This is the last time Terry McGinnis is depicted on-screen. A right shame, since his character ended up being far more nuanced and intriguing than any other version of Batman yet seen.
That is it, you have reached the end of our playlist. All songs listed above are in a Spotify Playlist up top for your convenience. Many of the songs feature themes of loss or some other darkness, but at the end of the day, they are all meant to be enjoyed. It is the essential Batman Beyond’s Terry McGinnis playlist, after all!
Do you agree with our song selection? Have you heard something you dig yourself, or something that you think should not be on this list? Whatever the case may be, remember to check back for a new Playlist every second week.