Batman Beyond (known as Batman of the Future in Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia) is an American superhero animated television series developed by Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and Alan Burnett. It was produced by Warner Bros. Animation in collaboration with DC Comics and is the fourth series in the DC Animated Universe. The series began airing on January 10, 1999, and ended its run on December 18, 2001. In the United Kingdom, it began airing on September 4, 2000. After 52 episodes spanning three seasons and one direct-to-video feature film, the series was put on hold for the Justice League animated series, despite the network having announced plans for a fourth season.Depicting a teenaged Batman in a futuristic Gotham City under the tutelage of an elderly Bruce Wayne, Batman Beyond is chronologically the final series of the DC Animated Universe (despite being released before Static Shock, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited), and serves as a continuation of both Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures.
Though the initial announcement of the series drew mixed reactions, Batman Beyond went on to receive critical acclaim and a cult following. The show is said to explore the darker side of many Batman projects, playing on key elements such as emotions, personal relations, fear of the unknown, as well as cyberpunk and sci-fi themes such as the issues and dilemmas of innovation and technological and scientific progress affecting society, and the psychology of the character of Bruce Wayne. As such, it was considerably darker than most other children's programs at the time, although producer Bruce Timm recalls it was conceived as a kid-friendly Batman cartoon. It is also the first Batman series to portray the hero as a teenager. IGN named the show 40th on their list of "Top 100 Animated TV Series." The premise of Batman Beyond has been used in various comic book stories published by DC Comics, including an ongoing series beginning in 2011.