Originally Posted by Mister Meddle
I prefer Batman Beyond. To me it's more believable and it's really what I would expect from Batman and his future. I like TDK Returns but it's difficult to believe he could go out there and kick ass at an old age. Bruce was about the same age in the beginning of Batman Beyond when he retired as Batman but the only reason he was able to last so long was because he had a new suit that was able to provide better protection and allow other abilities that would make crime fighting easier for him.
It's also difficult for me to believe he would recruit a teenage girl as his new sidekick just because she helped him to the tank when he was severely injured. In Beyond Bruce was sick of putting young sidekicks in dangerous situations and he wasn't willing to give Terry the chance however he winded up giving him the chance in a way that was more believable. Terry was the body, Bruce was the eyes, ears and spirit of Batman. And it's not like he just said "okay kid, go out and kick ass I'll see you later". Bruce literally monitored and guided him the entire way which I thought was neat because it's definitely something an old Bruce Wayne would do if decides to give the job to somebody else.
I really like TDK Returns. I own it and read the comics and I really enjoyed the new animated films. But to me Batman Beyond is the better story.
I really agree with this.
I've lately been a bit torn on TDKR. When I first got into Batman, it was obviously one of the first GN's I bought along with TLH, Y1, and TMWL. I loved it when I first read it, because it was so different and so dark. I also fully understand and appreciate all the good it did for Batman comics.
However, as I get older, I also have a lot of issues with it. The first half of the story, or more precisely, right up to when Batman beats the mutant leader, is amazing. I love the way the story is set up, I love how Frank slowly builds to batman coming back, and how you only see Batman from the shadows until we finally see him diving from the sky on the robbers in the car.
However, after the mutant leader is defeated, I begin to see touches of influences from what I like to call "crazy Frank." Or the Frank Miller that exists today, who's become a parody of his former self. Batman allowing the SOB to exist, allowing an untrained girl Robin to occompany him, Selina being a prostitute, actually taking the SOB under his wing and forming some kind of underground group with them etc. etc. It just seemed a bit extreme, even for Batman. I'm really not a huge fan of the second half of TDKR.
Batman Beyond has always been more to my liking. Bruce is a man ruled by demons, and his reluctance to take another ward always seemed truer to form to me, wheras TDKR Bruce was so willing to put a girl with no training in danger. Also, BB has by far my favorite final Joker moment ever. What he does to Robin was wonderfully twisted, and still brings chills to me when I watch it.