|Batman Beyond episode|
|Airdate:||January 10, 1999 (USA)|
|Production Number:||01, 02|
|Airdate Order:||1, 2|
|Animation Services by:||Koko/Dong Yang|
|Written by:|| Part I |
|Directed by:||Curt Geda|
|Episode images (22)|
"Rebirth" is the two-part premiere of Batman Beyond. It depicts Bruce Wayne stepping down as Batman, and the later rebirth of Batman as Terry McGinnis years afterward. Bruce Wayne, becoming aware of his declining health and what being Batman was costing him, lays down the mantle of Batman. For twenty years Gotham City is without its protector. Only then, does a Gotham City teenager, Terry McGinnis, discover the secret of Bruce Wayne. Upon taking the Batsuit to avenge his father's murder, Batman is finally reborn in Gotham City.
In an airplane hangar just outside of Gotham City, a group of kidnappers watch a news report about a failed attempt by Derek Powers to take over Wayne Enterprises. The news also states that the kidnappers have failed to release their hostage, Bunny Vreeland, in spite of being paid five million dollars in ransom. As it turns out, they plan to execute Bunny and make a getaway with the money. Fortunately for her, Batman arrives, wearing a new suit that lacks a cape but grants its wearer increased strength, flexibility, propulsion, agility, and other abilities.
Batman manages to subdue most of the kidnappers with limited effort. However, just as he is about to engage the last thug, he is suddenly struck by crippling chest pain which brings him to the floor. The last kidnapper, wielding an oversized wrench, unleashes a savage attack. As he continues his vicious battering, he smugly comments how Batman had been getting in the way of people like him since he was a kid. Unable to defend himself and in serious danger, Batman snatches up a weapon dropped by one of the other kidnappers in desperation... a handgun. As surprised as Batman is to see what he has done, his attacker runs off fearfully, before being intercepted by the arriving police.
Injured, Batman limps outside the hangar. He removes his mask and reveals a gray-haired, older Bruce Wayne. Upon realizing he was wielding a handgun, something he had sworn he would never do, Batman is enveloped in absolute horror and revulsion; it was that very class of weapon that violently ended the lives of Bruce Wayne's parents, and that drove him to become Batman.
Back at the Batcave, Bruce Wayne puts the batsuit in the costume display gallery alongside the other crime fighter costumes. He then vows, "Never again", shuts off the lights, seals the Batcave, and leaves his past in the darkness.
Part I Edit
Twenty years pass and Gotham has changed much in this time, according to a current newscast. Derek Powers has managed to take control of Wayne Enterprises (now Wayne-Powers), and has been increasing his power and wealth by gobbling up smaller businesses.
Back at Terry's house, his father, Warren, gets a desperate message from Harry Tully, a co-worker. He meets with Tully, who has several dark patches on his skin. Tully gives Warren a disk and is dragged off by a large man who works for Derek Powers.
Powers summons Warren to "clear up" any misunderstanding. He explains that Tully simply had an accident, but he's going to be fine. Powers also asks if Warren has anything Tully gave to him, which Warren denies.
Upon returning home, Warren reviews the data on the disk and becomes distressed. Terry tells him that he's leaving but Warren forbids it. After a brief argument Terry leaves in anger. As he leaves, Powers' hit man watches and grins, seeing that Warren is now alone.
Terry heads out to a nightclub and meets up with his girlfriend, Dana. While he talks to her, his rival, Nelson, arrives but before any trouble can start, a whole gang of clowns calling themselves "the Jokerz" arrive and start wreaking havoc. Terry starts fighting them but more come and he is forced to flee on one of their motorcycles.
The gang chases Terry down a seldom-used road and Terry swerves to avoid hitting an old man, which causes him to fall. The Jokerz catch up with him. Just then, the old man reveals himself as Bruce Wayne, and demands that the Jokerz leave. The Jokerz attack. Together, Wayne and Terry manage to fight off the gang but Bruce suffers from his weak heart. Terry takes him inside and gives him his medicine but the old man falls asleep and his dog, Ace, prevents Terry from leaving. While trying to call his father, Terry notices a bat trapped in Wayne's clock and frees it. However, as he does so, he discovers a secret passage that leads into the Batcave. Upon seeing the costumes, Terry learns Bruce's secret but Bruce attacks him from behind and throws him out. Terry leaves in anger.
Upon returning home, Terry finds his house in shambles and the words "ha, ha, ha" written in graffiti all over the house. The police are there as is his mother. They inform Terry that Warren has been killed, and the Jokerz are apparently responsible.
After the funeral, a grief-stricken Terry moves into his mother's house and tearfully expresses his regret for not being there to help his father, especially since he had grounded Terry in the first place. However, Terry discovers the disk among his stuff, and after reviewing the data, he begins to suspect that the Jokerz may not have been responsible, and runs off, but Powers' people are watching and see that they have found the disk they're looking for. Terry goes to Wayne Manor and tells Wayne what's happening over the gate intercom. Wayne pretends to ignore him, but eventually lets Terry in to investigate.
Part II Edit
Bruce reviews the data on the disk and discovers that Wayne-Powers is making a nerve gas that can completely destroy healthy cells. As he fumes over this information Terry assesses Bruce's last Batsuit: "synaptic controls, flight capability, and neural muscular strength amplification". Bruce insists that Terry leave the suit alone and tells him to take the disk to Commissioner Barbara Gordon. Terry wants Bruce to do something about it but he refuses, saying that Batman is no more, and Terry angrily leaves.
As Terry walks away, Powers and his henchman nearly run him down with their limo and demand the disk back. Terry gives back the disk and manages to escape with his life, knowing now that Powers will be looking for him.
Later that day, Kaznian Minister of Commerce Vilmos Egans arrives in Gotham and is greeted by Powers. At Wayne Manor, Bruce is watching this on TV, when he hears Ace barking and finds that he's been tied up. Bruce releases Ace, then follows him to the Batcave, revealing that the power suit has been stolen.
Terry clumsily flies towards the Wayne-Powers tower and eavesdrops on a conversation between Powers and Egans. As evidence of the gas's lethality, Powers shows Egans footage of the gas being tested on plants, then on a calf, and then photographs of Tully after his accident. Egans is impressed, and Powers assures him that the gas will be shipped out that very night; his assistant, Mr. Fixx, will personally see to it. After Egans leaves, however, Derek is concerned that Terry is still alive. Mr. Fixx tells him not to worry, revealing that he is the one who killed Warren.
Security guards discover Terry and attack. With the power of the suit Terry is able to evade them with ease but he receives a call from Bruce. Bruce demands the suit to be returned but Terry refuses. Angered, Bruce activates a kill switch on the suit, paralyzing Terry. The guards now find that he can no longer fight back and pummel him. One of them then aims a gun. Bruce shows mercy on Terry and reactivates the suit. With his power back, Terry manages to fight off and evade the guards again.Bruce tells Terry of an escape route he had built into the building, allowing him to evade the guards. But Bruce still demands the return of his suit, while Terry wants to go to the transport pad to stop the shipment. Bruce threatens to shut off the suit again. Terry pleads, reminding Bruce of his parents' death, and saying that this is his one chance to catch his father's killer. Bruce gives in.
Terry makes his way to the hover docks and discovers Powers and Fixx supervising the loading of the gas. He is attacked by more security guards. On Powers's orders, Fixx gets into the hovercraft and takes off, while Powers stays behind to deal with Batman. Terry throws a Batarang, and Powers shoots it out of the air with ease. Terry throws a gas canister, which Powers shoots without thinking, exposing himself to the gas. Terry flies after the hovercraft.Boarding the hovercraft, Terry confronts the pilot, only to find the vehicle is on autopilot, and is ambushed by Mr. Fixx, armed with electrified knuckle dusters. Terry manages to fight him off and knocks him into the ships controls. The hovercraft falls into the ocean, burying its cargo and Mr. Fixx together.
That morning, Terry's mother wakes him and tells him that Bruce is there to see him. Bruce offers Terry a job as a part-time assistant, which Terry accepts, knowing that the offer is really to become the new Batman.
Back at Wayne-Powers, Powers is exposed to intense radiation to eliminate the gas. The radiation did succeed in saving his life. However, the radiation therapy, combined with the gas's mutagenic properties, radically altered Powers's body. He is now emitting radiation so powerful that his skin is now translucent, and he appears as a glowing green skeleton. Seeing himself in the mirror, Powers begins laughing maniacally.
- The abducted girl in the teaser, Bunny Vreeland, is the daughter of Veronica Vreeland, from the Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures series. Though this is not made clear in the episode itself, it is mentioned in the commentary.
- Though it is not stated in the show, Batman's final fight takes place twenty years after The New Batman Adventures.
- It appears that Kaznia remains a source of considerable political unrest.
- The combined effects of the nerve gas pathogens and the radiation therapy did considerably more than just alter Powers's appearance. It transformed him into the villainous metahuman, Blight, whom Batman would confront in subsequent episodes.
Background information Edit
Home video releases Edit
- Batman Super Villains: The Joker's Last Laugh (DVD)
- Batman Beyond - Season One (DVD)
- Batman Beyond - The Complete Series (DVD)
- Batman Beyond The Movie (DVD)
Production notes Edit
- In the commentary, Bruce Timm stated he voiced the Jokerz' leader because the actor originally casted for the part just didn't have it, and Timm showed him how he imagined the character. Though Timm never stated who was originally cast, Rino Romano's (outdated) official site still has him credited as the Jokerz Leader. Romano is credited on the episode as "Kidnapper", and only has a couple of lines ("Hey kid, you're on TV"), suggesting it was a bit part at first.
- Unlike all later appearances, Ace's barks and growls are that of an actual dog and not of Frank Welker who is known for voicing Scooby-Doo on several occasions. Ironically, Terry calls Ace "Scooby" at the end of Part I.
Production inconsistencies Edit
- Harry Tully gives Warren a mini-disc containing incriminating evidence. However, in the end of Part I, when Terry is at Wayne Manor's gate, the disc is a full size one. In Part II the disc changes back to its original size.
- Terry indirectly turning Derek Powers into his archenemy, Blight, with a chemical accident mirrors The Joker's origin in that he was turned into his disfigured self by falling into a vat of chemicals during a confrontation with Batman. Also, the disfigurement in both cases leads to the villain mirroring Batman; black and white and light and dark.
- Also, Terry turning Derek Powers into his archenemy, Blight, shortly after Derek Powers turned Terry into Batman mirrored Batman and The Joker's connection to each other in the 1989 film Batman (where Jack Napier, the man who became the Joker, murdered Bruce Wayne's parents in cold blood and was later dropped into a vat of chemicals by Batman).
- Part I was nominated for a Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Television Production.
- The Prologue preceding Part I features a rare glimpse of Bruce Wayne in the Batsuit.
- Bruce Wayne making the vow "Never again" comes from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns
- The club that Terry and Dana are waiting in line for is called "Club 54 Level". This is possibly an allusion to Studio 54, Manhattan's famous '70s nightclub.
- The motorcycle chase in Part I is reminiscent of that featured in the anime film Akira.
- The uniforms worn by Powers's security guards are similar to the battlesuits worn by Kryptonian soldiers in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Blasts From the Past, Part I".
- The electrified knuckle dusters used by Mr. Fixx against Batman II (Terry McGinnis) are similar to those used by Batman (Bruce Wayne) in the Justice League episodes, "Secret Origins" and "Starcrossed" and the Justice League Unlimited episodes, "Clash" and "Destroyer".
- As the hovercraft sinks, the front window can be seen shattering. Whether this was to leave an opening for Mr. Fixx to return if the writers decided to bring him back or not, is unknown.
- Michael Gross, who voiced Warren McGinnis, previously voiced Lloyd Ventrix in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "See No Evil".
- Smirk's threat to Terry, "Let's put a smile on his face", is later used by the Joker in The Dark Knight.
|Will Friedle|| Terry McGinnis / Batman|
|Kevin Conroy||Bruce Wayne|
|Lauren Tom|| Dana Tan|
|Sherman Howard||Derek Powers|
|Ryan O'Donohue||Matt McGinnis|
|Michael Gross||Warren McGinnis|
|Teri Garr||Mary McGinnis|
|Seth Green||Nelson Nash|
|Bruce Timm||Jokerz Leader|
|George Takei||Mr. Fixx|
|Yvette Lowenthal||Chelsea Cunningham|
|Sam McMurray||Harry Tully|
|Jack Roth||Virtual Newsman|
|CCH Pounder||Anchor Woman|
|Marc Worden||Joker on Monorail|
|Corey Burton||Vilmos Egans|
Uncredited appearances Edit
Bruce Wayne: Never again.
Terry: You have to do something! You're Batman!
Terry: Something happened to you, didn't it? And wasn't just that you got old.
Bruce: I should warn you, I can be a difficult taskmaster. I accept nothing short of excellence in all who work for me.
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