In the retrospective piece “Batman Beyond” IGNseries creator Bruce Timm recalled that fans disliked the show’s premise:
“From the moment we announced the show would be coming, many of our fans… have already written. ‘Oh my God, that sounds awful. It’s going to be horrible. They were like, ‘A young Batman’? It’s going to be a stinking heist. It’s going to be for kids.'”
Interestingly, when Bruce Timm was first asked to do the show, he was also turned off by the idea. However, the core concept of a younger Batman would take shape, and Timm and his team would create a story that is not only as engaging as the original animated series, but just as dark if not darker than its predecessor:
“And actually, that first two parter, everything… it’s much more grown-up, darker, and uglier than pretty much anything we’ve done in any of our shows up until that point. We knew that when we took that shot. Batman’s pointing a gun at a criminal, slaps them. It was the best way to throw it away. [critics] turn your head and say, ‘No, it’s a good show and you’re going to love it. I love the pilot. I love both sides. It’s just a mission statement.”
The transitions from one Batman to the next in “Batman Beyond” are clever and intense. What’s more, it’s a change of guard that Kevin Conroy believes is organic and essential to the story.