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- Batman beyond
The pilot episode begins in 2019, where an aging Batman, equipped with a high-tech Batsuit, takes on the kidnappers of Bunny Vreeland (the daughter of Veronica Vreeland, one of Bruce Wayne's girlfriends). During the battle, Batman suffers a heart attack which leaves him unable to fight, forcing him to betray a life-long principle by threatening a criminal with a gun. By this point, Bruce Wayne's assistants, Alfred Pennyworth and Lucius Fox, had both passed away. It is implied by virtue of his lengthy career as Batman, and his retaining the Robin, Nightwing and Batgirl costumes, that a tragic occurrence had transpired that caused Bruce to sever his ties with the Justice League and forbid his allies to assume their alter-egos (the events which caused all of this are revealed in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker). Afterward, Bruce then decides that his time as Batman is over and vows "never again" as he shutters the Batcave.
The story fast-forwards to 2039 in Neo-Gotham, a futuristic megalopolis equipped with staggering high rises and flying vehicles. Bruce Wayne is a recluse living in bitter isolation with no companion but his guard dog, Ace. Terry McGinnis is an athletic 16-year-old high school student and reformed troublemaker with a deeply ingrained sense of personal justice. His first act in the series is to defend a fellow passenger on a commuter rail from a member of the Jokerz gang. After trying to defend his girlfriend from a gang of Jokerz, Terry engages in a high-speed chase which ends on the grounds of Wayne Manor, where he runs into the elderly Bruce Wayne. Bruce and Terry fend off the Jokerz side-by-side, but the exertion aggravates Bruce's heart condition. Terry helps Bruce back to the manor, and, after Bruce nods off for a bit, stumbles upon the entrance to the Batcave. He is chased out by a recovered and angered Bruce.
Terry returns home to discover that his father had been murdered, apparently by the vengeful Jokerz. Soon after, he finds out that the man actually responsible for the murder was Mr. Fixx, the bodyguard of Derek Powers—CEO of a merged Wayne-Powers and his father's employer—because he possessed knowledge of illegal chemical weapons being produced by Powers. Terry "borrows" the Batsuit, intending to bring Powers to justice. Bruce initially opposes his efforts and vehemently demands Terry return the suit (at one point paralyzing the suit while Terry is wearing it), but Terry convinces Bruce to let him take on the Batman mantle, and he subsequently defeats Mr. Fixx. Realizing that crime and corruption are running rampant in Gotham without Batman's presence, Bruce offers Terry the chance to assume the role of Batman.
Terry's first foe is Derek Powers, now mutated through a combination of deadly chemical gas and radiation into the radioactive monstrosity Blight. Terry soon comes to have his own rogues gallery: the seductive shape-shifter Inque; the hypnotist Spellbinder; the bitter, deaf sound expert Shriek; the deadly assassin Curare; the insane terrorist Mad Stan; the cybernetically-enhanced African big game hunter Stalker; the nerdy psychokinetic Willy Watt; a new version of the Royal Flush Gang; and the Jokerz, a gang idolizing the notorious Clown Prince of Crime. On occasion, Terry is also forced to face his mentor's old foes, such as the rejuvenated Mr. Freeze; common criminals using Bane's strength-enhancing Venom substance in the form of slap-on patches; the immortal Ra's al Ghul; and, almost inevitably, the Joker himself.
Bruce also reveals to Terry some details behind the death of Alfred Pennyworth. He explains that shortly before the incident in the first episode of Batman Beyond (where Bruce retires as Batman), Alfred had left Gotham City for England to attend his son's graduation at Oxford University. Despite Alfred's promise to return, he never did, and Bruce never hired another manservant. When asked by Terry as to why Alfred failed to return, Bruce typically refused to answer.
Terry also makes allies in Neo-Gotham: Maxine "Max" Gibson is a 17-year-old computer genius who discovers Batman's secret identity and helps Terry with everything from computer hacking to babysitting. Max plays an integral part in Batman's war on crime, essentially as Terry's ersatz Alfred. Terry also forms a begrudging partnership with Police Commissioner Barbara Gordon, the former Batgirl. She is unhappy with the idea of a new Batman, especially a teenager, as she is still haunted by the same subsequent events that led Bruce to retire. However, she knows that she and the police under her command need Batman, whether she likes it or not. Furthermore, she understands from personal experience that she can not deter Terry any more than she could have been deterred from being Batgirl. Passing conversation between Barbara and Bruce suggests that, at the time of Batgirl's retirement, the suit had bullet holes in it that have since been repaired.
- Mary McGinnis
- Maxine "Max" Gibson
- Dana Tan
- Bobbi Summer
- Chelsea Cunningham
- Inque Clay
- Melanie Walker
- Deedee & Deedee
- Barbara Gordon
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