Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker is a 2000 animated superhero movie that features the futuristic version of Batman, known as Terry McGinnis. The movie was directed by Curt Geda and written by Paul Dini.
It is considered to be one of the most popular animated movies in the Batman franchise. However, there have been debates among fans about whether this movie is a sequel or not.
The movie revolves around the return of Joker, who was believed to be dead for a long time. The story also introduces Tim Drake, the former Robin, who is now leading his own team of vigilantes known as “The Jokerz.” Terry McGinnis takes up the mantle of Batman after Bruce Wayne retires due to his age.
Many fans consider Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker to be a sequel to Batman: The Animated Series and its spin-off, The New Batman Adventures. They argue that the movie continues the storyline that was left unfinished in those shows. In those series, Tim Drake was shown to be kidnapped and brainwashed by Joker and turned into his new sidekick known as “Joker Jr.” However, this plotline was never resolved in those shows.
On the other hand, some fans argue that this movie is not a sequel but rather a standalone story. They believe that even though it features characters from previous shows, it has its own unique plot and can be watched without any prior knowledge of those shows.
Those who consider Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker to be a sequel point out several pieces of evidence to support their claim. Firstly, they note that Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprised their roles as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Joker respectively. These actors were also associated with previous shows like Batman: The Animated Series and its spin-offs.
Secondly, the movie features flashbacks to the past where we see the original Batman and Robin fighting Joker. These flashbacks are directly connected to the plotline from previous shows where Tim Drake was kidnapped by Joker.
Finally, some fans argue that this movie provides closure to the plotline that was left unfinished in previous shows. The revelation of what happened to Tim Drake and how he was rescued from Joker’s control provides a satisfying conclusion to his storyline.
In conclusion, whether Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker is a sequel or not is ultimately up to interpretation. While some fans consider it a continuation of the previous shows, others see it as a standalone story.
However, it cannot be denied that the movie features characters and plotlines from previous shows and provides closure to some unresolved storylines. Regardless of whether you consider it a sequel or not, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker is undoubtedly an excellent addition to the Batman franchise and a must-watch for any fan.