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So, I picked these up from Barnes & Noble last week, and read through them. They really seem like a continuation of a lot of stories told in the DC Animated Universe (DCAU), pulling from both the Batman: The Animated Series and the Justice League Series as well as two DCAU Movies (Mask of the Phantasm and Return of the Joker) with what seemed like a significant amount of effort to retain canonical accuracy with all reference sources. Finally, for the most part the comics attempt to reproduce Bruce Timm's animation style.

Given all of this, I have to ask, did DC try and extend the DCAU with this? It's certainly part of my head-canon now, but I'm curious what the original intention was.

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DC started the Batman Beyond project in response to fan requests. It is considered part of the DCU.

First, here's an excerpt from a Comics Alliance interview with the creative team behind Batman Beyond 2.0 on their efforts to maintain the continuity:

KYLE HIGGINS: We’re huge fans. The reason I took the job was because I was such a huge fan of the show. The DC Animated continuity was my introduction to DC Comics growing up. So I know that stuff inside and out, and I actually know it better than the books. So the opportunity to come in and continue Terry McGinnis’ story, taking him into the next stage of his superhero career (hence the “2.0”), was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

COMICS ALLIANCE: Given that this is continuing on from the cartoon continuity, how much room are you given to explore and push the story to somewhere new? Are you concerned about readers getting lost, if they come straight from watching the series to reading the new comic?

ADAM SIEGEL: We did a certain amount of homework to make sure we knew where everybody ended up, the last time they were seen [on the cartoon], where their story was at that point, and then jump off from there.

KYLE HIGGINS: And there are certain elements in our series that are informed by Adam Beechen’s run on Batman Beyond [1.0], that happened before ours. And there are other things that Adam did that are more directly influenced by DC-proper continuity, and that’s where it gets a little more...what’s continuity and what’s not? So we always go back to the show.

As for the intentions of DC itself, it's worth noting that the entire Batman Beyond comic project was commissioned as a response by former DC Executive Editor Dan DiDio to fan requests:

...the [Batman Beyond] mini-series resulted from fan requests for DC to bring the TV show characters to comics. "We’ve heard the fans, we’ve heard everyone’s interest," DiDio said of the mini-series.

(Source)

Finally, while the 2.0 project respects DCAU chronology (as attested to by Higgins and Siegel), the Beyond series is seen as sitting squarely inside the comic book universe, i.e. the DCU — see this description at the DC web site, for example.

Batman Beyond 1.0 mixed in some non-DCAU DCU elements into the storyline while 2.0 has tried to stay more in the confines of DCAU's continuity. That being said, the intention of the project, from DC's point of view, was to graft Beyond into the DCU, not necessarily to create more canon for DCAU.

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