Batman / Batman Joker

Does Return of the Joker Take Place After Batman Beyond?

The Return of the Joker is an animated superhero film that features the iconic character of Batman. The movie was released in 2000 and has since become a fan favorite. However, one key question that has been debated among fans is whether the events of the movie take place after Batman Beyond.

What is Batman Beyond?

Batman Beyond is an animated television series that aired from 1999 to 2001. It takes place in the future, where an elderly Bruce Wayne mentors a teenager named Terry McGinnis to become the new Batman. The show received critical acclaim for its unique take on the Batman mythos and its futuristic setting.

The Plot of The Return of the Joker

The plot of The Return of the Joker revolves around the Joker’s return to Gotham City after a long absence. However, this version of the Joker is different from previous iterations as he appears to know intimate details about Batman’s past and secrets that only Bruce Wayne would know. This leads Terry and Bruce to investigate how this could be possible.

Clues in The Return of the Joker

There are several clues in The Return of the Joker that suggest it takes place after Batman Beyond. Firstly, Terry McGinnis is shown as already established as Batman, while Bruce Wayne has retired from active crime-fighting duties. Additionally, Dick Grayson (the original Robin) has taken up the mantle of Nightwing.

Another clue comes towards the end of the movie when it’s revealed that Tim Drake (the third Robin) had been kidnapped by the Joker years earlier and brainwashed into becoming his successor. This revelation would not make sense if it happened during Bruce Wayne’s time as Batman but fits perfectly with events that would have taken place during Terry McGinnis’ tenure.


In conclusion, most fans believe that The Return of the Joker takes place after Batman Beyond. While it’s not explicitly stated in the movie, the clues and references suggest that it’s the most logical timeline. Regardless of its placement in the Batman timeline, The Return of the Joker remains a beloved addition to the franchise with its thrilling plot and stunning animation.