Written by: Paul Dini, Glen Murakami, & Bruce Timm
Starring: Will Friedle, Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Dean Stockwell, Teri Garr, Arleen Sorkin, Tara Strong, Melissa Joan Hart, Frank Welker, Henry Rollins
In the span of Bruce Timm and Paul Dini’s world of Batman you forget how despicable the Joker is. I mean he’s the ultimate bad guy for Batman and yet he has to be a bit more playful in regards to not scaring the kids. But he has done a good amount of killing and maiming in the DCAU history while WB was adamant to censor it as much as possible. Well for a DVD-feature in Return of the Joker you get a slightly more bloody Joker and it is very unnerving. The way Joker (and Harley Quinn) torture Tim Drake is disturbing and I think it goes a little bit too far. Now the comic version of Joker has done his own share of hurting children but not to the lengths in this movie. (Okay maybe Jason Todd was just as bad.)
In general this is a very solid outing for Batman Beyond which, I gotta be honest, I’m not a huge fan of. It felt like it was trying too hard to be a different beast despite having close ties to the regular Batman universe. Taking any characters in a futuristic setting is always a lame prospect in my opinion anyways. Yet this direct to DVD feature is good enough to keep my interest. If you are a fan of Tim Drake though be prepared for some ugliness.