Something Bruce Timm and Paul Dini did with their DC Animated Universe, was push the envelope for their shows. While they might be advertised as kids shows, some of them were often the opposite. When Warner Brothers decided to take a different direction from the dark material of Batman The Animated Series, the creators instead gave them a show just as bad if not worse. While Batman Beyond focuses on Terry McGinnis as a teen Batman, it didn’t change the very mature and gothic nature in the situations he was in or the bad guys he faced. Despite already taking a look at the 10 Best Batman Beyond Episodes, we will be looking at some of the creepiest moments from the show that made people ask “Who is this show for?” the moments that might have been the reason for some of our trauma as kids.
Also Read:10 Best Batman Beyond Episodes
Aaron Herbst Fate – Disappearing Inque
The episode Disappearing Inque is a follow up to the previous episode Black Out that first introduced one of Terry’s most deadly enemies, Inque. Incarcerated in ice, Inque must endure every moment listening to Aaron Herbst. Aaron is a bit of a loner who spends every day at work talking about his thoughts and feelings with Inque, to the point he begins to fall in love with her. After helping her escape, she promises him the chance to change him into what she is. By the end of the episode, his wish is granted and Aaron is transformed into a less advanced version of Inque. While is appearance is frightening to say the least, his fate is then left in the same scenario Inque was in at the beginning of the episode.
Spellbinders Illusions – Spellbound
Another villain that has since proved just how deadly he can be in this exciting episode. A bit of a combination of Spider-Man’s Mysterio and Batman’s Scarecrow, Spellbinder has the ability to create illusions of things that aren’t really there. Creating some of the most terrifying illusions with peoples worst fear, including a woman who is seeing massive man eating bugs chasing her and crawling all over her body. Even putting Terry in a situation where he is envisioning zombies attacking him, just adds onto the already scary thought of seeing things that aren’t really there. Adding to the intensity, we already know just how strong willed Bruces mind is and setting up this kind of situation for Terry to challenge him further on his path to being Batman.
The Bat-Man – Splicers
If you thought Batman Beyond was not shy about body horror, you need to watch Splicers. When a scientist discovers a way to genetically animal DNA into a humans, it starts to become all the rage. Even though the snake boy and bull man are shocking in their own right, it’s everything that comes after that makes this episode so scary. Managing to inject some of the splicing serum into Terry, turns him into a real bat. Even though the Man-Bat was already introduced in Batman The Animated Series, it’s this time around that is so shocking. As we see glimpses of Terry begging Bruce to help him, we don’t understand what part of this Kids WB thought would be a great idea to put on Saturday morning.
Vance – Lost Soul
For this episode Terry faces against a foe unlike any other… Batman. When Robert Vance’s artificial mind is reborn and uploaded into the internet, he injects a virus into the batsuit and now Terry has to rely solely on his wits and brains to defeat it. Besides from the zombie like version of Batman Terry has to face, the most disturbing aspect comes from Vance himself. A black screen and just the silhouette of a man’s face, with a monotone voice and no facial expression makes this villain one of the creepiest to be put in a show made for children.
The Entire Episode – Rats
Some people fear spiders, snakes, but others fear rodents in particular… Rats. For this episode if that is your fear, you have been warned. Being followed by a secret admirer, Dana discovers who it is when she is kidnapped by Patrick, a boy with a genetic mutation of a rat. Living in the underground sewers of Gotham, he bring Dana to his lair that is covered in armies of rats including two oversized rodents. So many scenes are terrifying including a scene when Dana attempts to escape but is attacked and swarmed by rats or when Batman is trying to fend off against the giant rats. Just the idea of what Patrick is, can be disturbing in its own right.
Albino – Mind Games
The main plot of this story comes off a bit mature, especially by today’s standards with a plot surround child kidnapping and hallucinations. A young girl with telekinetic abilities is kidnapped by a corporation intending on weaponized her, she attempts to make a psychic connection with Terry to save her. We discover one of the people behind the operation is another telekinetic man known simply as Albino, a large pale white man. Not too scary right? Things turn creepy once Albino starts to unleash his powers, floating in the air with black lifeless eyes as he attacks Batman. Scary pale men, psychic abilities, child kidnapping… Kids will love it.
Charlie Bigelow – Betrayal
The name of the episode says it all for this story. Charlie Bigelow gets involved with the wrong kind of people and ends up paying for it in the end. Similar to how Joker fell into a tank of acid, Bigelow had a chemical called Cerestone dumped on him after a confrontation with Batman that mutated his body into a massive powerhouse. The image of Bigelow as a mutated monster is scary enough for this episode, but creators decided we hadn’t had enough and continued to make a follow up episode called Big Time, the nick name Charlie earned after his accident.
FalseFace – Plague
Plague saw the return of the Stalker, an expert hunter who first appeared in the episode Bloodsport with an interest in hunting the biggest game and made Batman his prey. For his return he is hired by an agency to hunt down somebody named FalseFace, who has the ability to change and morph his face to look like anyone. However, in this episode Batman connects an attack with FalseFace and scrambles his face to look deformed and menacing. The sight of his large eye popping out and sunken teeth is horrifying, once again Batman Beyond knows how to utilize body horror.
Blight – Ascension
Derek Powers AKA Blight comes off as Terrys own version of an archenemies, such he has face dangerous foes with Inque, Spellbinder and The Royal Flush Gang. But no one carries the emotional weight or the purpose for Terrys path to becoming Batman more than Blight. However, in this episode Powers is attempting to retain control of his company while also dealing with a mutation happening with his body. The design of Blight is scary enough, since he is basically a glowing green skeleton with torn clothes. But what adds onto the intense imagery is when his fake skin begins to tear and peel from the radiation of his abilities. Watching this angry man peel apart into a green skeleton has terror written all over it.
Jokerized Tim Drake – Return of the Joker
Although this isn’t an episode, it still is within the realm of Batman Beyond and comes off as one of the most psychologically disturbing parts of the DCAU mythos. During a flash back scene, Barbra Gordon explains to Terry the fate of Tim Drake. She explains how Tim went missing and after days of investigating his location, they finally find their way to an abandoned Arkham Asylum. When they arrive the Joker and Harley Quinn reveal they had Tim, but have surgically and mentally altered him to look like a mini version of the Joker. As a kid I remember seeing this and not fully understanding why I was disturbed by this, it was Batman and until then I had never been scared of Batman or his villains. But this was something different as we already fear who the Joker is, the idea of him kidnapping a child and physically and psychologically torturing them is something that will forever terrify me.
Also Read: Every Connected DCAU Movie from the Series