Batman Animated Movies: The Ultimate Watching Order


Batman Animated Movies: The Ultimate Watching Order

Batman is one of the most enduring comic book characters, being present in the world of comic books since 1939. During the years, he has become one of the pillars of DC Comics, and one of the best know and most popular comic book characters in history. In that aspect, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that his stories have been adapted in other media and that there is a significant amount derivative material based on Batman. Today, we are going to give you a list of the animated movies featuring Batman.

The movies are going to be divided based on the narrative continuity they belong to in order to clear up any confusions about the continuity, as not every animated movie about Batman is part of the same narrative continuity. In addition to that, we are going to focus solely on the movies where Batman is the main character, regardless of the presence of other heroes. This means that movies focused on the Justice League, or movies where Batman is present in a supporting role (e.g. The Lego Movie) won’t be included in this list, but maybe you’ll find them in another of our articles.

So, keep reading to see when Batman appeared in animated movies!

DCAU Continuity

The DC Animated Universe (DCAU) – also known as Timmverse or Diniverse – is a shared narrative universe based on the continuity and style envisioned during the 1990s and first used in the cult classic Batman: The Animated Series. Along with the main narration TV shows, several movies set within the continuity have been released. This is a list of the ones focused on Batman.

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)

Director: Eric Radomski, Bruce Timm
Screenplay: Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Martin Pasko, Michael Reaves
Release Date: December 24, 1993
Running Time: 76 minutes

Voice Cast: Kevin Conroy (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Mark Hamill (The Joker), Dana Delany (Andrea Beaumont / The Phantasm), Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Alfred Pennyworth), Bob Hastings (James Gordon), Robert Costanzo (Harvey Bullock)

Synopsis

A young Bruce Wayne meets Andrea Beaumont while visiting his parents’ grave, and they form a deep mutual attraction. That night, in one of his first crime-fighting attempts, Bruce foils an armoured car robbery, but is discouraged because the criminals did not fear him. Bruce proposes marriage to Andrea, who accepts. However, Andrea mysteriously leaves Gotham with her father, businessman Carl Beaumont, ending her engagement in a Dear John letter. Heartbroken, Bruce becomes Batman over the course of ten years.

Batman confronts a group of Gotham City crime bosses led by Chuckie Sol, who are intending to launder millions of counterfeit dollars in a casino. As Sol escapes to his car, a cloaked figure attacks him; Sol is killed when the figure causes him to drive out the side of a parking garage and crash into a neighbouring building. Batman is seen immediately afterwards, and is blamed for killing Sol. Councilman Arthur Reeves publicly antagonizes Batman, vowing to have him arrested.

The cloaked figure murders another gangster, Buzz Bronski, in the same cemetery Bruce met Andrea. Buzz’s bodyguards see the same mysterious figure flee the scene and presume it is Batman. Batman investigates Bronski’s death and wanders to his parents’ tombstone, encountering Andrea. She is startled by Batman’s appearance and deduces his identity. Batman finds evidence linking Carl Beaumont with Sol, Bronski and a third gangster: Salvatore Valestra. He breaks into Valestra’s home and finds a picture of Bronski, Valestra, Sol and Beaumont seated at a table.

When he visits Andrea to get more answers she rebuffs him. Meanwhile, Valestra, believing Batman killed the others and will come for him, turns to Reeves, who rebuffs him, figuring he is a now an aged, powerless gangster. Valestra then contacts his former assassin, the Joker for help.

The figure arrives at Valestra’s house but finds the gangster dead by Joker’s hands, and through a camera strapped to Valestra’s corpse, Joker sees the murderer is not Batman. The figure escapes as the house explodes. Batman pursues and fights the killer, but is interrupted by the police and rescued from arrest by Andrea. Andrea later explains she and her father had been hiding in Europe from Valestra’s mob, from whom he had embezzled money; her father repaid everything, but they put out a hit for his death anyway. Bruce now believes that her father is the killer.

Bruce ponders resuming his relationship with Andrea and giving up Batman. Looking at the photo of Bronski, Valestra, Sol and Beaumont, he sees Valestra’s chauffeur in the background; Bruce realizes to his horror the chauffeur is actually the man who would become the Joker. Joker visits Reeves to press him for information about the killer; Reeves insists the killer is Batman, but Joker, believing Reeves is the killer, states Reeves needs to protect his reputation and poisons him. Reeves is taken to the hospital where Batman later breaks in and interrogates him. Reeves confesses he helped the Beaumonts escape, but later betrayed their location to Valestra’s mob after Carl declined to help fund his first election campaign. At this point, both Batman and the Joker deduce that the cloaked killer is Andrea.

Andrea tracks Joker to his hideout in order to kill her last target. Joker fights her, but before he can kill Andrea, Batman arrives and begs Andrea to give up her quest. She refuses and disappears. After Batman and the Joker battle to a stalemate, with the amusement park about to be blown up, Andrea returns and seizes Joker, bidding Batman goodbye before vanishing with the maniacally laughing clown, and Batman barely escapes the explosions. Alfred later consoles Bruce, telling him no one could have helped Andrea. Bruce finds her locket, containing a picture of himself and Andrea, in the Batcave. Meanwhile, Andrea departs from Gotham on an ocean liner, feeling completely lost. Heartbroken again, Batman resumes his crimefighting duties.

Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (1998)

Director: Boyd Kirkland
Screenplay: Boyd Kirkland, Randy Rogel
Release Date: March 17, 1998
Running Time: 66 minutes

Voice Cast: Kevin Conroy (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Michael Ansara (Dr. Victor Fries / Mr. Freeze), Loren Lester (Dick Grayson / Robin), Mary Kay Bergman (Barbara Gordon / Batgirl), Rahi Azizi (Koonak), Robert Costanzo (Harvey Bullock), George Dzundza (Dr. Gregory Belson), Bob Hastings (James Gordon), Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Alfred Pennyworth)

Synopsis

Since his last encounter against Batman, Mr. Freeze has found himself a home in the Arctic and started a surrogate family with his still cryogenically-encased wife Nora, his newly-adopted Inuit son Koonak, and a pair of pet polar bears, Hotchka and Shaka. Then one day, a submarine emerges from underwater through the floor of their cave-turned-home, shattering Nora’s containment vessel, after which her condition begins rapidly deteriorating.

After punishing the submarine crew, innocently unaware of their mistake, by freezing them with his trusted freeze gun, Freeze returns to Gotham City with his companions to enlist his old colleague Dr. Gregory Belson to help find a cure. Belson determines that Nora needs an organ transplant, but due to her rare blood type there are no suitable donors available to them. Freeze declares they will use a live donor, even if it means killing an innocent person, and bribes Belson into compliance with a promise of gold that will put an end to Belson’s own financial problems.

Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) turns out to be a perfect match, and Freeze learns from a telephone conversation with her roommate that she is at a restaurant with her boyfriend, Dick Grayson (Robin). Freeze attacks the restaurant and kidnaps Barbara. Dick and the Gotham City Police Department give chase, but fail to stop Freeze, who takes her to an abandoned oil rig where he and Belson are hiding. Freeze and Belson explain the situation to Barbara, who agrees to help Nora with the “blood transfusion”, but not at the oil rig, prompting Freeze to keep Barbara imprisoned.

Back in Gotham, Bruce Wayne (Batman) and Dick investigate Barbara’s kidnapping, leading them to figure out Belson is with Freeze. The search for answers leads Batman and Robin to Belson’s broker, Dean Arbagast, and find out from a phone conversation between Dean and Belson where Freeze has taken both Barbara and Belson. They also figure out Freeze’s plan from a list of equipment used for an organ transplant Belson left behind.

When the time for the operation comes, Barbara realizes Freeze and Belson have been lying to her when they attempt to put her under anaesthesia. She escapes with the help of Koonak. Belson gives pursuit and corners her, just before Batman and Robin arrive in the Batwing. Freeze follows, and in the ensuing confrontation, Belson accidentally starts a rapidly spreading fire as Freeze traps Batman and Robin. Freeze orders Belson to perform the operation, despite the oil rig now completely ablaze, falling apart and on the verge of exploding, but Belson betrays Freeze and attempts to escape, only to be killed by falling wreckage.

Batman and Robin escape just as Freeze’s leg is broken, but he tells Batman to save Nora and Koonak first, along with Barbara. Batman and Barbara get Nora and Koonak to the waiting Batwing with Robin piloting it, and Nora, Koonak and Barbara are all put safely onboard, but despite his efforts, Batman is unable to save Freeze from plummeting into the ocean, to his apparent death. Batman makes it back to the Batwing, and they fly away, just before the oil rig finally explodes, although Freeze is revealed to have survived and escapes with his polar bears.

Sometime later, Freeze returns with his polar bears to the Arctic to resume his life alone, having frozen his leg in an ice cast. He sees on a television in a research station that while the world believes him dead, Nora has been revived after an organ transplant operation funded by Wayne Enterprises, moving him to tears of joy; he then walks away peacefully with his polar bears.

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000)

Director: Curt Geda
Screenplay: Paul Dini
Release Date: October 31, 2000 (edited version) / April 23, 2002 (uncut version)
Running Time: 73 minutes (edited version) / 76 minutes (uncut version)

Voice Cast: Will Friedle (Terry McGinnis / Batman), Kevin Conroy (Bruce Wayne / Original Batman), Mark Hamill (Joker), Angie Harmon (Barbara Gordon), Dean Stockwell (Tim Drake), Arleen Sorkin (Harleen Quinzel / Harley Quinn), Frank Welker (Woof the Hyena-Man / Ace the Bat-Hound)

Synopsis

A new faction of the Jokerz gang steals high-tech parts, but intercepted by Batman (Terry McGinnis). His mentor and predecessor, Bruce Wayne, has recently retaken control of Wayne Enterprises from the Powers family, following Paxton’s arrest. Meanwhile, the Jokerz report to their leader, revealed apparently the Joker himself, the original Batman’s archenemy.

At a press conference commemorating Bruce’s return to the company, the Jokerz attack to steal more equipment and the Joker reveals himself to Bruce, who is visibly shocked and insists that it cannot be him. After fending off the Jokerz, Terry demands information from both Bruce and Commissioner Barbara Gordon, but neither give him answers, and the former orders Terry to return the Batsuit.

Later, the Jokerz attacks Terry while the Joker ambushes Bruce in the Batcave and poisons him. Terry finds Bruce and administers him the antidote, and calls Barbara. Reluctantly, Barbara tells Terry about what happened surrounding the Joker’s disappearance: Four decades ago, after Dick Grayson left to fight crime in the neighbouring city Blüdhaven as Nightwing, the Joker and Harley Quinn kidnapped Tim Drake, Dick’s successor as Robin, while he was working solo, and tortured him for three weeks at the abandoned Arkham Asylum.

During the torture, Tim revealed Batman’s secrets before being dressed as a teenage facsimile of the Joker after being driven insane by his ordeals. Batman and Batgirl found Tim and a battle ensued in which Harley fell into a pit and Tim turned on the Joker and killed him, after which Tim suffered a nervous breakdown. Joker’s body was buried underneath Arkham and the only other people who knew what happened were Barbara’s father, Commissioner James Gordon, and Bruce’s family friend Dr. Leslie Thompkins, who nursed Tim back to health. Bruce then forbade Tim from being Robin; he then severed his ties with Bruce.

Terry visits Tim, now a communications expert, who denies involvement in the Joker’s return and expresses his bitterness of his past as Robin. He next suspects Jordan Pryce. Terry overhears and records a conversation between Pryce and the Jokerz on his yacht that reveals he conspired with them to have Bruce killed. Terry rescues Pryce as a laser beam strikes the yacht before handing him to the police.

In the Batcave, Terry notices that the Joker only destroyed Tim’s Robin costume, and discover that the equipment the Jokerz have been stealing would need someone with the same expertise as Tim’s to work it and access a satellite defence system. Terry goes to face Tim, but triggers a trap set by the Joker. Terry escapes and tracks the Joker to an abandoned candy factory.

At the factory, Terry subdues the Jokerz and finds Tim, who then transforms into the Joker himself. The Joker explains that while he had Tim captive, he encoded his own DNA and consciousness on a genetic microchip and implanted Tim with it, slowly turning him into the Joker’s replica over time. The Joker prepares the satellite and threatens to destroy everything both Bruce and Terry hold dear before attacking Gotham City, but Terry attacks and the Joker’s joy buzzer jams the satellite system, activating it and forcing it to return to the factory.

They fight; while the Joker has the advantage due to Tim’s previous training from Bruce, Terry improvised with his own tactics and taunts. Terry uses the joy buzzer to destroy the microchip, ending the Joker and freeing Tim. In the aftermath, two of the Jokerz, twin sisters, are bailed out by their grandmother, revealed to be an elderly Harley, who survived her apparent death.

With the Joker gone, Bruce, Tim and Barbara finally make amends while Tim recovers in the hospital, and both Bruce and Tim acknowledge Terry’s worth to the Batman mantle.

Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)

Director: Curt Geda
Screenplay: Michael Reaves
Release Date: October 21, 2003
Running Time: 74 minutes

Voice Cast: Kevin Conroy (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Kimberly Brooks (Kathleen “Kathy” Duquesne), Kelly Ripa (Dr. Roxanne “Rocky” Ballantine), Elisa Gabrielli (Detective Sonia Alcana), Kyra Sedgwick (Batwoman), David Ogden Stiers (Penguin), Héctor Elizondo (Bane), Robert Costanzo (Harvey Bullock), Bob Hastings (James Gordon), Eli Marienthal (Tim Drake / Robin), Tara Strong (Barbara Gordon), John Vernon (Rupert Thorne), Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Alfred Pennyworth)

Synopsis

A new heroine has arrived in Gotham, but even Batman doesn’t know who she is. During patrol, the Dynamic Duo spots her trying to stop one of the Penguin’s shipments, using a plasma rifle to send the Penguin’s truck with its driver off the bridge. Batman and Robin save the driver from falling to his death. Batman must figure out who the Batwoman is and stop two familiar enemies, the Penguin and Rupert Thorne, from selling illegal weapons to the fictional nation of Kasnia. The two employ Carlton Duquesne, a gangster, to provide protection.

Batwoman’s main focus is on illegal activity by the Penguin, Thorne, and Duquesne. Despite taking the symbol of the Bat as a sign of justice, the Batwoman sullies the Bat-prefix by taking out criminals with ruthless and dangerous techniques. She seems uninterested in sparing the lives of her adversaries.

Batman, with Robin, sets out to stop the Batwoman from making mistakes as she tries to take out the villains and as he encounters numerous twists, setbacks, and apparent false leads in determining her true identity. The newest gadget on display is a wind glider used by Batwoman that utilizes some of the most advanced technology ever seen in Gotham City. Bruce Wayne, Batman’s alter ego, also becomes involved with a new lady in his life: Kathy Duquesne, the crime boss’s daughter.

In addition to Kathy Duquesne, Bruce is introduced to two other women who, as his investigation into the Batwoman’s true identity continues, seem to fall well into suspicion: Dr. Roxanne “Rocky” Ballantine, a new employee of Wayne Tech whose technology development is used by the Batwoman against the Penguin; and Detective Bullock’s new partner Sonia Alcana, whose knowledge of the weapons being smuggled by the Penguin and Carlton Dunquesne is much greater than the detective should know. With Carlton Duquesne unable to stop Batwoman’s raids on the facilities used to hold the various weapons, the Penguin calls Bane for additional support to ensure that there are no more losses as a result of the Batwoman.

Not long after Bane’s arrival in Gotham, it is revealed that there is not one, but three Batwomen, all of whom were the women suspected by Batman; Kathy and Sonia met taking art classes at college and Sonia and Rocky were roommates.

They had taken turns to remove suspicion on any one of the three, while using Roxanne’s technological genius and contempt for the Penguin (who had framed her long-time fiancé Kevin), Kathy’s money and access to several key aspects of her father’s organization (Kathy wants to end her father’s criminal career, as it led to her mother being killed), and Sonia’s physical and police skills to ensure that Thorne’s operation is thwarted (as the crime lord previously left her family in financial ruin after arsonists who worked for him burned down her parents’ shop and were not punished due to the lack of sufficient evidence). Alcana was also saved by Batman nine years prior, the event giving the detective the original inspiration for the costumed identity that she now shares with her friends.

In the final confrontation, a ship taking the weapons into international waters for the exchange is destroyed by a bomb planted by Kathy, but not before she is unmasked by Bane. Kathy and Batman narrowly escape the explosion despite the efforts of Bane, who falls into the Gotham River and vanishes. At the conclusion, the GCPD are left to assume that Sonia is the only Batwoman after she helps rescue Batman from the ship. Sonia resigns from the police, due to the potential problems her presence could cause, and decides to leave the city. Batman gives Sonia evidence that he discovered which helps clear Rocky’s fiancé. Carlton agrees to testify against Thorne and the Penguin after saving Kathy’s life during the ship’s destruction.

After she reconciles with her father, Kathy drives off with Bruce.

Batman and Harley Quinn (2017)

Director: Sam Liu
Screenplay: Bruce Timm
Release Date: July 21, 2017
Running Time: 74 minutes

Voice Cast: Kevin Conroy (Batman / Bruce Wayne), Melissa Rauch (Harley Quinn / Dr. Harleen Quinzel), Loren Lester (Nightwing / Dick Grayson), Paget Brewster (Poison Ivy / Pamela Isley), Kevin Michael Richardson (Floronic Man / Jason Woodrue), John DiMaggio, (Swamp Thing / Alec Holland), Bruce Timm (Booster Gold / Michael J. Carter)

Synopsis

Batman and Nightwing discover that Poison Ivy and Floronic Man (Jason Woodrue) have teamed up. Much to their reluctance, they decide to look for Harley Quinn (Ivy’s best friend and Joker’s usual sidekick) to find out where the duo is hiding; however, Harley has gone off the grid since getting paroled. Batman leaves finding Harley to Nightwing, while he gets information from A.R.G.U.S.

At A.R.G.U.S. HQ, Batman learns that Ivy and Woodrue stole the information on Swamp Thing’s birth and kidnapped a scientist named Dr. Harold Goldbloom, who could help them replicate the process and turn everyone into plant people.

Nightwing finds Harley working as a waitress at a restaurant. Tailing her, Nightwing angers her since she wants to live a normal life, but her past as a super-criminal prevents her from getting rehired as a psychiatrist. Eventually, the two kiss each other and start tickling each other – until Batman walks in on them – with the result being that Harley decides to help.

Harley leads them to a popular hangout for henchmen where she gets the location of Ivy from one of her old minions named Shrubby. The trio head to Blüdhaven, where Ivy is saddened to see her friend helping Batman. Woodrue fatally wounds Dr. Goldbloom to keep him quiet as he and Ivy escape as their lab catches fire. However, the dying Dr. Goldbloom reveals that the duo is heading to Slaughter Swamp in Louisiana where the correct swamp chemicals are.

Contacting A.R.G.U.S., Batman, Nightwing and Harley head after them to convince Ivy to stop her mad plans, realizing that even the slightest miscalculation could result in the extermination of the human race. Harley resorts to crying to convince Ivy, who is finally swayed by their relationship. Swamp Thing appears, informing Woodrue that he would threaten the Green with his concoction; however, he will not interfere. Batman and Nightwing wonder how to stop Woodrue, until Harley points out he is a plant and asks if they have a match. Grateful, they both give her a kiss on the cheek and just set Woodrue on fire.

In a post-credit scene, Harley has gone back to being Dr. Harleen Quinzel while she now has a reality game show where she makes her patients face their fears on an elaborate obstacle course.

Adaptations of comic books

This section includes those animated movies that are based on specific comic books, regardless of whether they were direct or loose adaptations of these stories. Since these adaptations include diverse stories (including an Elseworld story and some not set on Prime Earth), they’re not part of any single continuity, which is why we are listing them separately. Formally, they were all released under the “DC Universe Animated Original Movies” banner.

Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)

Director: Brandon Vietti
Screenplay: Judd Winick
Release Date: July 27, 2010
Running Time: 75 minutes

Voice Cast: Bruce Greenwood (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Jensen Ackles (Jason Todd / Red Hood), John DiMaggio (Joker), Neil Patrick Harris (Dick Grayson / Nightwing), Jason Isaacs (Ra’s al Ghul), Wade Williams (Roman Sionis / Black Mask), Jim Piddock (Alfred Pennyworth), Bruce Timm (Riddler)

Synopsis

Ra’s al Ghul realizes his mistake in hiring the Joker to use him as a distraction while Ra’s destroyed Europe’s financial districts. In Sarajevo, Bosnia, the Joker brutally assaults Jason Todd, the second Robin, in an abandoned warehouse with a crowbar. Jason is locked in the warehouse with a bomb, which explodes and kills him before Batman arrives.

Five years later in Gotham City, a mysterious vigilante called Red Hood assembles a meeting of the city’s most prominent drug dealers. He announces a takeover of their drug trade, taking only 40% of the profit while offering protection from both Black Mask and Batman – under pain of death to anyone caught dealing drugs to children.

Batman stops an attempted theft of a shipment belonging to Black Mask, which is the advanced android Amazo. Batman destroys Amazo with the help of Jason’s predecessor Nightwing and discovers the thieves are working for Red Hood. He chases Red Hood to Ace Chemicals, where an explosion destroys the facility and almost kills Batman.

Batman and Nightwing interrogate the Joker at Arkham Asylum about Red Hood, but he denies involvement. Black Mask puts a hit on Red Hood for Amazo’s destruction. Batman and Nightwing prevent Red Hood from hijacking Black Mask’s next weapon shipment. They chase Red Hood to a train station, where Red Hood escapes after detonating a bomb, which injures Nightwing. Batman and Nightwing realize Red Hood is trained and has knowledge of Batman’s tactics and gadgetry.

A review of audio footage of the chase reveals Red Hood knows Batman’s secret identity. He then recalls Jason performing the same manoeuvres as Robin and that Jason grew more violent and bloodthirsty as he aged, with Batman having to stop him many times from nearly killing criminals.

The Fearsome Hand of Four lure out Red Hood by attacking Tyler Bramford, a drug dealer under his protection. They nearly overpower him until Batman helps incapacitate three of them and Red Hood kills the fourth, horrifying Batman. Red Hood explains he is doing what Batman will not: killing criminals who are not afraid. Batman offers to help Red Hood but he refuses.

Batman analyzes a blood sample of Red Hood drawn from the battle and it matches Jason’s. After discovering Jason’s corpse is fake, Batman confronts Ra’s al Ghul and demands to know the truth. Ra’s explains that he felt responsible for Jason’s death and, as a peace offering, he swapped Jason’s body for a fake and revived him in the Lazarus Pit. Following his resurrection, Jason was driven insane and escaped by leaping off a cliff, which Ra’s and his men believed killed him.

After surviving an assassination attempt by Red Hood, Black Mask sets the Joker free, tasking him with killing Red Hood. However, Joker instead abducts Black Mask and the drug dealers and sets them on fire; Red Hood appears and reveals his real target all along has been the Joker. Batman saves the hostages and Red Hood takes the Joker. Red Hood brutally assaults the Joker in revenge for his own murder and confronts Batman. During the fight, Red Hood removes his helmet, confirming he is Jason. Their fight makes its way to a dilapidated building and ends with Jason holding Batman at gunpoint.

Though he has forgiven Batman for not saving him, Jason is upset that Joker is still alive after killing him. Batman admits he wanted to kill the Joker every day after subjecting him to intense torture but will not, fearing he will not stop if he kills once. Jason tosses Batman a gun and gives him an ultimatum—he will execute the Joker unless Batman shoots him. Batman refuses and drops the gun, causing Jason to shoot at him. Batman throws a Batarang, which jams Jason’s pistol. When Jason pulls the trigger again, the gun is destroyed and Jason’s right hand is mangled. Defeated, Jason sets off a time bomb and Batman subdues the Joker before attempting to save Jason.

The bomb explodes; Batman and the Joker survive but Jason is gone.

The Joker is returned to Arkham and Black Mask is arrested for his involvement in the Joker’s escape. A flashback shows Jason’s first day as Robin, which he declares is the best day of his life.

Batman: Year One (2011)

Director: Sam Liu, Lauren Montgomery
Screenplay: Tab Murphy
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Running Time: 64 minutes

Voice Cast: Bryan Cranston, (James Gordon), Ben McKenzie (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Eliza Dushku (Selina Kyle / Catwoman), Jon Polito (Gillian B. Loeb), Alex Rocco (Carmine Falcone), Katee Sackhoff (Sarah Essen), Jeff Bennett (Alfred Pennyworth), Grey DeLisle, (Barbara Eileen Kean & Vicki Vale), Robin Atkin Downes (Harvey Dent)

Synopsis

Billionaire Bruce Wayne returns home to Gotham City after 12 years abroad. Lieutenant James Gordon moves to Gotham with his pregnant wife, Barbara, after a transfer from Chicago. Both are swiftly acquainted with the corruption and violence of Gotham City, with Gordon witnessing his partner Detective Arnold Flass assaulting a teen for fun.

Bruce goes in disguise on a surveillance mission in the seedy East End, where teenage prostitute Holly Robinson propositions him. He is drawn into a brawl with her pimp and several prostitutes, including dominatrix Selina Kyle. One of the two reporting police officers shoot him and try to subdue him. Wayne flees. He reaches Wayne Manor, barely alive, and sits before his father’s bust, requesting guidance in his war on crime. A bat crashes through a window and settles on the bust, giving him inspiration.

Gordon works to rid corruption from the force, but on orders from Commissioner Gillian Loeb, several masked officers attack him, including Flass, who threatens Gordon’s pregnant wife. Gordon tracks Flass down, beats him up, and leaves him naked and handcuffed in the snow.

As Gordon becomes a minor celebrity for his bravery on the job, Batman strikes for the first time, attacking a group of thieves and gaining experience. Batman soon works up the ladder, even attacking Flass while he was accepting a bribe. He gains a reputation of being a supernatural being and inhuman, due to his use of speed and darkness to conceal himself. Two months after Batman arrived, the crime and corruption has declined. After Batman interrupts a dinner party attended by many of Gotham’s corrupt politicians and crime bosses, including Loeb and Carmine “The Roman” Falcone to threaten their criminal organization, Loeb orders Gordon to bring him in by any means necessary.

As Gordon tries in vain to catch him, Batman attacks Falcone, stripping him naked and tying him up in his bed after dumping his car in the river. Assistant district attorney Harvey Dent becomes Batman’s first ally and he conceals this from Gordon.

Detective Sarah Essen suggests Wayne as a Batman suspect and she and Gordon witness Batman save an old woman from a runaway truck. Essen holds Batman at gunpoint, but Batman disarms her and flees to an abandoned building. Loeb fraudulently orders a bomb dropped on it, forcing Batman into the fortified basement. A SWAT team is sent in, led by trigger-happy Lieutenant Branden, whom Batman attempts to trap in the basement. Branden manages to climb out of the trap through a collapsed chimney, and joins in the gun battle. Enraged as the team’s careless gunfire injures several people outside, Batman beats the team into submission, but is wounded during the fighting. Using a signal device to attract the bats of his cave to distract the police and conceal himself, Batman escapes amid the chaos. Selina Kyle, after witnessing him in action, dons a costume of her own to begin her life as Catwoman.

Gordon has a brief affair with Essen, while Batman intimidates a drug dealer for information. After taking Barbara with him to investigate Wayne’s connection to Batman, Gordon confesses the affair to her. Bruce avoids Gordon’s suspicions.

Gordon tries to rebuild his relationship with his family after Essen leaves Gotham. While leaving home, Gordon spots a motorcyclist enter his garage. Suspicious, Gordon enters to see Falcone’s nephew Johnny Vitti and his thugs holding his family hostage. Gordon realizes if he lets them go, they will most likely kill his wife and son.

Therefore, Gordon shoots the thugs and chases Vitti, who has fled with his baby son, James Gordon Jr. Bruce Wayne, on a motorcycle, also rushes to chase Vitti. Gordon blows out Vitti’s car tire on a bridge and the two fight, with Gordon losing his glasses, before Vitti and James Gordon Jr. fall over the side. Bruce leaps over the railing and saves the baby. Gordon realizes that he is standing before an unmasked Batman, but says that he is “practically blind without [his] glasses” and lets Bruce go.

Gordon and his wife start attending marriage counselling. Loeb is forced into early retirement and that means he is arrested and on trial. Falcone is in the hospital and will be heading to prison pretty soon when he heals, while Flass makes a deal with prosecutors to testify against him and Branden has been arrested and sent to jail. Gordon, meanwhile, is promoted to Captain. When a criminal who “calls himself the Joker” threatens to poison the city’s reservoir, Gordon summons Batman with the Bat-Signal and waits on a rooftop for the Dark Knight to arrive.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (2012-2013)

Director: Jay Oliva
Screenplay: Bob Goodman
Release Date: September 25, 2012 (Part 1) / January 29, 2013 (Part 2)
Running Time: 76 minutes (Part 1) / 76 minutes (Part 2)

Voice Cast: Peter Weller (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Ariel Winter (Carrie Kelley / Robin), David Selby (Commissioner James Gordon), Wade Williams (Harvey Dent / Two-Face), Michael Emerson (The Joker), Maria Canals-Barrera (Commissioner Ellen Yindel), Paget Brewster (Lana Lang, Michael Jackson a(Alfred Pennyworth), Michael McKean (Dr. Bartholomew Wolper), Bruce Timm (Thomas Wayne), Gary Anthony Williams (Mutant Leader), Mark Valley (Clark Kent / Superman), Robin Atkin Downes (Oliver Queen), Tress MacNeille (Selina Kyle / Bruno / Old Lady), Jim Meskimen (President Ronald Reagan)

Synopsis

Part One
After the death of his protégé Jason Todd, Bruce Wayne retired his Batman persona. Ten years later, in mid-1986, Gotham City is overrun with crime and terrorized by a gang known as the Mutants. The 55-year-old Wayne maintains a friendship with 70-year-old retiring Police Commissioner James Gordon (who knows Wayne was Batman), while the Joker (Batman’s archenemy) has been catatonic in Arkham Asylum since Wayne’s retirement. Arkham inmate and former district attorney Harvey Dent undergoes plastic surgery to repair his disfigured face.

Although he is declared sane, he quickly goes into hiding following his release. Dent’s disappearance, news stories of the crime epidemic, and the memory of his parents’ deaths drive Wayne to become Batman once more. He combats serious crimes, rescuing 13-year-old Carrie Kelley, but now struggles with the physical limitations of age.

Public reaction to his return is divided. Dent’s psychologist Bartholomew Wolper blames Batman for creating his own rogues gallery. Dent resurfaces, threatening to blow up a building unless he is paid a ransom. Batman defeats Dent’s henchmen, learning that the bombs will explode even if the ransom is paid; he realizes that Dent intends to kill himself. Batman disables one bomb, and the other detonates harmlessly. He defeats Dent, who reveals that he thinks the reconstructive surgery was botched, as he considered his undamaged half as disfigured.

Kelley dresses as Robin and looks for Batman, who attacks a gathering of the Mutants with a tank-like Batmobile (incapacitating most of them). The Mutant leader challenges Batman to a duel. He accepts to prove to himself that he can win. The Mutant leader (who is in his prime) nearly kills Batman, but Kelley distracts him long enough for Batman to subdue him. The leader and many gang members are arrested. Injured, Batman returns to the Batcave with Kelley, and allows her to become his protégée in spite of protests from his butler, Alfred Pennyworth.

Batman has Kelley disguise herself as a Mutant, and she lures the gang to a sewer outlet at the West River. At the Gotham City Police Department, the Mutant leader murders the mayor during negotiations. Commissioner Gordon deliberately releases the leader, providing an escape from the building, which leads to the sewer outlet.

Before the amassed Mutants, Batman fights the leader in a mud pit; the mud slows the leader, removing his physical advantage, and Batman overpowers him. Seeing their leader’s defeat, the Mutants divide into smaller gangs, with one becoming the “Sons of Batman”, a violent vigilante group. Batman’s victory becomes public and the city’s inhabitants are inspired to stand up against crime. Gordon retires after meeting his anti-Batman successor, Ellen Yindel. In Arkham, televised reports about Batman bring the Joker out of his catatonic state.

Part Two
In late 1986, feigning remorse for his past, Joker convinces Wolper to take him on a talk show to tell his story, and makes plans for his escape with Abner, an old henchman who supplies him with mind-controlling lipstick. Meanwhile, Superman, who works as a government operative in exchange for being allowed to covertly help people, is asked by President Ronald Reagan to end Batman’s vigilante activities. Framing these events is a growing hostility between the USA and the Soviet Union over possession of the island of Corto Maltese. As Batman’s continued presence humiliates the national authorities, incoming commissioner Yindel orders Batman’s arrest, and Superman warns Batman that the government will not tolerate him much longer.

Joker makes his talk show appearance on David Endochrine’s show as Batman fights with the GCPD on the studio roof; while they fight, Joker kills Wolper, gasses everyone in the studio to death and escapes. He finds Selina Kyle and uses one of her escorts and his lipstick to take control of a congressional representative, who calls for a nuclear strike on the Soviets before falling to his death. Batman’s investigation leads him to Selina, whom he finds bound and dressed like Wonder Woman. Kelley notices cotton candy on the floor, and Batman deduces that Joker is at the fairgrounds.

There Kelley accidentally kills Abner while Batman pursues the Joker, who indiscriminately guns down dozens of people. As Batman corners a wounded and partially blinded Joker, he admits to feeling responsible for every murder Joker has committed and intends to stop him permanently. In the ensuing fight, Joker stabs Batman repeatedly, and Batman breaks Joker’s neck in front of witnesses. However, Joker is still alive, albeit paralyzed from the neck-down. Content that Batman will be branded a murderer, the Joker finishes twisting his neck, killing himself. The GCPD arrive and Batman, bleeding profusely, fights his way to Kelley and escapes.

Superman deflects a Soviet nuclear missile, but is hit with the blast and badly injured. The detonation creates an electromagnetic pulse that wipes out all electrical equipment in the United States and causes a nuclear winter. As Gotham descends into chaos, Batman, Kelley and Gordon rally the Sons of Batman and the citizens of Gotham to restore order, and Yindel accepts that Batman has become too powerful to take down.

While the rest of America is powerless and overrun with crime, Gotham becomes the safest city in the country, embarrassing the President’s administration. Frustrated they weren’t able to bring stability, Superman and troops are sent to finally stop Batman. Batman and Superman agree to meet in Crime Alley.

Superman can’t help but feel remorse for disregarding Batman throughout the years, and humbly asks him not to go through the fight. Wearing a powerful exoframe and supported by Kelley and former superhero Oliver Queen (Green Arrow), Batman fights Superman, using various tactics to make the fight even. When Superman gains the advantage, Queen hits him with an arrow made with synthetic Kryptonite, severely weakening him. Batman savagely beats Superman, claiming that he intentionally made the Kryptonite weak, and tells Superman never to forget that Batman could have killed him whenever he wanted.

Batman then apparently dies of a heart attack, while Wayne Manor self-destructs, and Alfred dies of a stroke. Superman holds Batman’s body, and orders the soldiers to stand down.

In the aftermath, the world learns that Bruce was Batman; all of his secrets are destroyed with the manor and his finances disappear. As Superman leaves Wayne’s funeral, he gives Kelley a knowing wink after hearing a faint heartbeat coming from Bruce’s coffin. In a cave, Bruce is revealed to have faked his death to make preparations to continue his mission more discreetly, allied with Kelley, Queen, and his followers.

Son of Batman (2014)

Director: Ethan Spaulding
Screenplay: Joe R. Lansdale
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Running Time: 74 minutes

Voice Cast: Jason O’Mara (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Stuart Allan (Damian Wayne / Robin), Thomas Gibson (Slade Wilson / Deathstroke), Morena Baccarin (Talia al-Ghul), Sean Maher (Dick Grayson / Nightwing), Giancarlo Esposito (Ra’s al-Ghul), David McCallum (Alfred Pennyworth), Xander Berkeley (Dr. Kirk Langstrom), Fred Tatasciore (Waylon Jones / Killer Croc)

Synopsis

At the headquarters of the League of Assassins, Ra’s al Ghul grooms Damian Wayne (son of his daughter, Talia, and Batman) to succeed him as head of the league. The league is attacked by a group of assassins led by Slade Wilson, Ra’s al Ghul’s initial choice for successor before meeting Batman. During the battle, Ra’s is defeated and fatally burned, dying before he can reach the Lazarus Pit. Damian stabs Slade’s right eye during the battle, forcing him to flee. Talia takes Damian to Gotham City to meet his father and ask for his protection.

In Gotham City, Batman confronts Killer Croc, who is stealing mutagenic chemicals and steroids to enhance himself. Batman is ambushed by Croc before Talia electrocutes the latter from behind. She tells Batman about her father’s death and leaves their son in his care, though Damian believes that he can take care of himself and does not need Batman. Slade, now calling himself Deathstroke, captures Dr. Kirk Langstrom, who conspired with both Croc and Ra’s, promising the latter a formula for his soldiers.

Slade threatens Langstrom’s wife Francine and his daughter Rebecca to force him to recreate the Man-Bat formula for him. Damian bypasses Wayne Towers security to speak to Bruce, telling him that Deathstroke’s contact Ubu is stationed in Gotham. Although Damian wants to avenge Ra’s al Ghul by killing Deathstroke, Bruce objects to Damian’s willingness to take lives. Talia is captured by Deathstroke when she and her assassins attack his compound.

Against Batman’s orders, Damian leaves the Batcave and, after a chase and a long fight, defeats Ubu, whom he located by accessing the Bat-Computer. Before Damian can kill him, Nightwing arrives, mistakes him for a criminal and subdues him before bringing him back to the Batcave. Batman berates Damian for his recklessness, willingness to kill and exposing their operation. Batman then has Damian don the mantle of Robin to teach him discipline. Searching for a lead on Langstrom’s location, Batman goes to Arkham to interrogate Killer Croc, who supplied the mutagens to Langstrom in exchange for his enhancements and is currently going through agonizing withdrawal symptoms that cause him to shed his scales and tail.

Since others are too afraid of him to medicate him without being harmed, Batman promises Croc help in exchange for information. Batman follows Croc’s lead about the formula’s mutagen to Langstrom’s apartment, where he finds a throwing star that he takes evidence of Deathstroke’s involvement. Before he leaves, he goes throughout the building and finds a storage room filled with caged bats, with one larger cage empty and broken open from inside. Batman then finds a rabid gorilla with bat-like mutations, one of Langstrom’s unstable subjects, and it attacks him until it dies from its mutations.

A drone aircraft sent by Deathstroke flies past and crashes on the building, destroying it, though Batman evades the explosion. Commissioner Gordon warns them about an abandoned stadium believed to house Deathstroke’s men.

At the stadium, Batman and Damian question Langstrom but are attacked when Damian becomes violent. Before they successfully escape, they fight off a swarm of Man-Bats. In the cave, Langstrom reveals Deathstroke’s plan to create superhuman, flight-capable assassins. While Nightwing works with Langstrom on an antidote, Batman and Damian rescue their family. Batman guesses that Talia has been abducted when he finds evidence of torture in an empty cell, which he keeps from Damian to not set him off. They find and rescue Langstrom’s family, but Batman is unaware that Deathstroke challenged Damian to a fight in exchange for Talia’s life through a video device he gave Langstrom’s daughter in exchange for sparing them. Both Langstrom’s daughter and Deathstroke’s video tell him not to involve Batman in their fight.

Nightwing learns that Deathstroke is operating in an oil rig off the Scottish coast, and when Batman is distracted, Damian goes to the rig. He finds Deathstroke and Talia in an underwater base with a swarm of Man-Bats and another Lazarus Pit, whose fluid Deathstroke intends to sell. Damian pulls a gun on Deathstroke, who holds one against Talia’s head until Damian drops his gun. Deathstroke fires at him, but Talia is hit instead after she jumps in the path of Deathstroke’s gunfire. As Deathstroke corners Damian, Batman appears and the Man-Bats attack. Batman wards them off with sonar-emitting Batarangs, while Deathstroke flees with Damian giving chase.

Batman heals Talia in the Lazarus Pit, while Nightwing and Langstrom reach the oil rig and cure the Man-Bats. At the same time, Damian fights and defeats Deathstroke, but refuses to kill him because he is his father’s son. The elevator from the rig to the underwater base is destroyed when the Man-Bats, overwhelmed by the sonar devices, overcrowd the glass elevator shaft, flooding the base. Batman, Talia and Damian escape, but Deathstroke is left behind. Batman believes that Damian should stay with him and remain as Robin while Talia still wishes to recreate the League with Batman, who would rather disband the League, and Damian at her side. She decides to let him care for their son and leaves with the League of Assassins, though she says she will return for him.

As the credits roll, a slideshow of the fight between Damian and Nightwing is played between credits.

Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)

Director: Sam Liu
Screenplay: Brian Azzarello
Release Date: July 22, 2016
Running Time: 77 minutes

Voice Cast: Kevin Conroy (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Mark Hamill (Joker), Tara Strong (Barbara Gordon / Batgirl), Ray Wise (James Gordon), Robin Atkin Downes (Harvey Bullock), John DiMaggio (Carlos Francesco), Brian George (Alfred Pennyworth)

Synopsis

While out on patrol, Barbara Gordon a.k.a Batgirl fails to stop a robbery, but manages to stop one criminal with help from Batman. Paris Franz, the robbers’ leader and the nephew of a powerful mob boss, develops a dangerous obsession with her and starts sending her messages. After Franz tricks her into finding his uncle’s dead body, Batman becomes concerned about her safety and takes her off the case, telling her that she will eventually be tempted to kill the criminals she pursues.

Outraged, Batgirl attacks Batman physically and verbally, which leads to them having sex. A few nights later, Batgirl tries to apologize to Batman, but he is ambushed by Franz and his men, prompting her to come to his aid. When she arrives and overpowers Franz, he makes her lose control and give him a savage beating, stopping just short of killing him. Realizing Batman was right, she retires from crime-fighting.

Later, Batman investigates a murder scene with Detective Harvey Bullock and concludes that the Joker, currently held at Arkham Asylum, might be behind the crime. He goes to Arkham to talk to him, only to discover that he has escaped and put a decoy in his place. Joker then attacks Barbara and her father, Commissioner James Gordon. He shoots her in the stomach, paralyzing her from the waist down, and takes Gordon to an abandoned amusement park. There, Joker strips him naked and subjects him to torture, including showing him photos he took of Barbara, naked and in pain.

The story is intercut with flashbacks of Joker’s origin. It is revealed that he was once a lab technician who quit his job to become a stand-up comedian, only to fail miserably. Desperate to support his pregnant wife Jeannie, he agrees to help two criminals rob his former workplace. The criminals tell him that he has to use the Red Hood’s mask and caped costume, secretly intending to frame him. During the planning, the police inform him that Jeannie and their unborn child have died in a household accident. Grief-stricken, he tries to withdraw from the plan, but the criminals strong-arm him into keeping his commitment to them.

At the plant, the criminals and the costumed comedian run into security personnel, and a shootout occurs. The criminals are gunned down and the comedian is confronted by Batman. Terrified, the comedian trips and falls into the chemical plant’s waste pond, and is swept through a pipe leading to the outside. As he removes his mask, he sees the chemicals have permanently disfigured his face, giving him a clown-like appearance. His disfigurement, combined with the loss of his family, drives him insane and transforms him into the Joker.

In the present, Batman finds and saves Gordon, while the Joker flees. Despite his ordeal, Gordon remains sane and demands that Batman capture the Joker “by the book”. Batman follows the Joker as the latter tries to persuade him that the world is just one big joke, and that “one bad day” is enough to drive an ordinary man insane. Batman subdues Joker, tells him that Gordon has remained sane, and concludes that Joker is alone in his madness. He then attempts to reach out to him, offering rehabilitation. Joker apologetically declines, saying it is too late for him.

He then says that the situation reminds him of a joke about two patients in an insane asylum who try to escape by leaping over to the adjoining building. The first patient makes it across, but the second patient is too afraid. The first patient says, “Hey, I got this flashlight with me. I’ll shine it across the gap between the buildings and you can walk across the beam and join me”. But the second patient says, “What do you think I am, crazy? You’ll just turn it off when I’m halfway across!”. Batman and Joker then have a good laugh at the joke as the police arrive. The Joker’s laugh trails off while Batman continues to laugh, leaving the ending as ambiguous as the comic.

In a mid-credits scene, Barbara is in her wheelchair entering a secret room in her apartment. She says “back to work” as she turns on her computers. The Oracle icon appears on her screen.

Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018)

Director: Sam Liu
Screenplay: Jim Krieg
Release Date: January 12, 2018
Running Time: 78 minutes

Voice Cast: Bruce Greenwood (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Jennifer Carpenter (Selina Kyle), Anthony Head (Alfred Pennyworth), John DiMaggio (Police Chief Bullock), David Forseth (Cyrus Gold), Grey Griffin (Sister Leslie Thompkins), Yuri Lowenthal (Harvey Dent), Lincoln Melcher (Dickie Grayson), Scott Patterson (James Gordon), William Salyers (Hugo Strange), Tara Strong (Timmy Drake), Kari Wuhrer (Barbara Eileen-Gordon, Pamela “Ivy” Isley)

Synopsis

In Victorian-era Gotham City, Bruce Wayne is operating as the bat-garbed vigilante, the Batman, who is feared by the guilty and the innocent alike. One night, Batman saves a wealthy couple from being robbed by three orphans (Dickie, Jason and Timmy) and defeats their abusive handler, Big Bill Dust. At the same time, Ivy, an orphan turned exotic dancer and prostitute, becomes the newest victim of the serial killer called Jack the Ripper, who preys on Gotham’s poor and destitute women.

Citizens of Gotham believe the Batman and Jack to be the same man. Stage actress Selina Kyle, a protector of the women from “Skinner’s End”, berates Gotham Police Commissioner James Gordon and Chief of Police Harvey “Bulldog” Bullock for their failure to stop the Ripper murders. Later that night, Selina acts as bait for the Ripper. It works, but the Ripper gets the upper hand during their fight until the arrival of Batman. After escaping, Batman asks Gordon to help him bring the Ripper down.

At the Monarch Theatre with his friend Harvey Dent, Bruce meets Selina and the two bond at the Dionysus Club. Bruce realizes that not only were the two of them taken in by Sister Leslie, but that some of the murdered girls were orphans formerly under Leslie’s care. Bruce realizes that the Ripper will target Leslie and rushes to save her, but is too late; the Ripper has already murdered her. At the crime scene, Bruce finds a bloody Dionysus Club pin, meaning the Ripper has to be one of Gotham’s wealthy. At Sister Leslie’s funeral, Bruce is met by Hugo Strange, claiming he knows the killer and wants to meet with Batman. Bruce also is met by Marlene, a drunken old woman who claims she saw him sneaking around when Sister Leslie was killed. Bruce’s butler Alfred stops the three orphans from pick-pocketing him and offers to provide them work.

At Arkham Asylum, the Ripper attacks Strange and throws him to his own patients, who tear him apart. Batman chases the Ripper on top of an airship in a fight that leaves Batman wounded as the airship explodes and the Ripper escapes. Batman is chased by police, only to be saved by Selina when he is nearly cornered. After seeing Batman is Bruce, she takes him to her home, where they spend the night. After the death of Marlene is discovered, Bruce is arrested, and Dent, jealous of Selina’s affection, prosecutes him as the Ripper.

Sentenced to Blackgate Penitentiary following the trial, Bruce is met by Selina, who urges him to reveal he is Batman to clear his name and help save the girls from Jack. When he refuses, she decides to tell Gordon herself, revealing she has one of his Batarangs. Bribing a guard to deliver a coded message (which appears as a series of dancing stick-figures) to his manor, Bruce escapes after staging a prison fight and meets with the orphans, who deliver him his suit and a steampunk motorcycle.

Selina meets with Gordon at the Gotham City World’s Fair and learns to her horror that he is the Ripper. While seeking Selina at Gordon’s home, Batman learns this as well when he finds a secret room revealing Gordon’s gruesome hobbies and past as an army surgeon during the American Civil War. Batman also meets Gordon’s wife and accomplice, Barbara Eileen-Gordon, with scars on the left side of her face that have driven her insane, praising her husband for “curing” her sins as a woman. Gordon injects Selina with a drug, but she manages to use her blood and the Fair’s searchlight to give Batman a signal.

Batman arrives and fights Gordon into a Ferris wheel, where Gordon, driven mentally insane by his time in the Civil War, reveals his “holy work” is to rid Gotham from what he sees as filth – from the poor to the criminals, but also immigrants, the illiterate, prostitutes, and anarchists. The Ferris wheel lights on fire and begins to collapse. Selina escapes the burning wheel, while Batman defeats Gordon by using a handcuff trick taught to him by Houdini, only to watch Gordon allow himself to burn alive. Batman and Selina are saved by Alfred and the orphans, who are now Bruce Wayne’s wards. As they escape, they watch as the World’s Fair burns down, and hope it will be replaced with something better.

Batman: Hush (2019)

Director: Justin Copeland
Screenplay: Ernie Altbacker
Release Date: July 19, 2019
Running Time: 82 minutes

Voice Cast: Jason O’Mara (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Jennifer Morisson (Selina Kyle / Catwoman), Stuart Allan (Damian Wayne), Sachie Alessio (Lady Shiva), Geoffrey Arend (Edward Nygma / Riddler / Hush), Chris Cox (Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow), James Garrett (Alfred Pennyworth), Adam Gifford (Bane), Peyton List (Pamela Isley / Poison Ivy), Peyton R. List (Barbara Gordon / Batgirl), Sean Maher (Dick Grayson / Nightwing), Jerry O’Connell (Clark Kent / Superman), Rebecca Romijin (Lois Lane), Jason Spisak (The Joker), Maury Sterling (Thomas Elliot)

Synopsis

After Batman rescues an abducted child from Bane for a ransom, Lady Shiva approaches Batman to inform him of an unknown Lazarus Pit intruder and requests his help in identifying the intruder. Batman agrees to do so as Catwoman steals the ransom. While pursuing her, a masked vigilante shoots through Batman’s grapple line, causing him to fall to the sidewalk. Catwoman rescues him from a gang of criminals who tried to unmask him, but Batgirl rescues him from Catwoman. Batgirl takes him back to the Batcave where Bruce’s butler Alfred and Nightwing create an alibi for how Bruce Wayne suffered a cracked skull.

Alfred contacts Bruce’s childhood friend Thomas Elliot, who is now a renowned brain surgeon, to aid his skull. When Bruce declares himself ready to be Batman again two weeks earlier than Dr. Elliott advised him to be up and around, Alfred gives him a new bulletproof batsuit with a padded cowl for better skull protection. Meanwhile, Catwoman delivers the ransom to Poison Ivy, who has been controlling her with a hypnotic kiss. The same masked vigilante who shot Batman confronts Ivy about the ransom and gives her Kryptonite.

Batman helps Amanda Waller retrieve Bane from police custody in return for information. She uses the special tranquillizers he supplied her to stop him from escaping his prison transfer from Blackgate Penitentiary and to take custody of him herself, presumably for her Suicide Squad. Batman reluctantly teams up with Catwoman to find Poison Ivy. Her information leads them to Metropolis. While there, Batman confronts Lex Luthor, now a probationary member of the Justice League after helping them defeat Cyborg Superman, about the information on a delivery list of an ethylene compound utilized by Ivy.

Ivy uses Kryptonite lipstick to take control of Superman and orders him to kill Catwoman and Batman. Catwoman threatens to push Lois Lane down a building to free Superman from the mind control. Selina interrogates Ivy, who reveals she was hired by a mysterious vigilante calling himself “Hush”.

Hush later kidnaps the Joker to persuade Harley Quinn into attacking an opera Bruce, Selina, and Thomas are attending, allowing him to murder the latter outside and frame the Joker, which angers Batman. Following the Joker’s arrest and Thomas’ funeral, Bruce deduces that Hush knows he is Batman. While on patrol, Hush grabs Batman’s attention and confronts him, although Hush tricks him by using mirrors. He then threatens to hurt everyone close to him, prompting Batman to reveal his identity to Catwoman. Bruce takes Selina to the Batcave, where she meets Dick Grayson and Alfred, and learns of Bruce’s son Damian. The two become a crime-fighting couple, but Hush later lures Dick and Selina to Thomas’ grave, where they are attacked by Scarecrow. Dick is incapacitated by Scarecrow’s fear toxin, allowing Hush to kidnap her.

Shortly after, Commissioner James Gordon informs Bruce of a break-in at Thomas’ office. While investigating, Batman learns that one of Thomas’ patients was someone using the alias of crossword puzzle inventor Arthur Wynne, leading him to suspect the Riddler was behind the break-in. While interrogating Riddler at Arkham Asylum, Batman realizes that he is actually Clayface in disguise, and learns that Riddler was Hush all along, having used the Lazarus Pit to cure his inoperable brain tumour and learn Batman’s secret identity. He then deduces that Arthur Wynne was just an anagram of the factory where Selina is being held captive.

Batman finds the factory and confronts Hush/Riddler, who is growing weaker as the effects from the Lazarus Pit wear off. Batman frees Selina and they defeat Riddler, who nearly falls to his death. Batman catches him with a grapple line, but when Selina realizes that Batman was going to stay there and try to save the Riddler even though the building was about to explode, she cuts the line and lets Riddler fall to his death. She and Batman argue when they reach safety and decides to call off her relationship with Bruce due to his moral codes.

DC Universe Animated Original Movies

This list includes the true original movies released under the same banner as the films in the preceding section. They are original stories set within a shared narrative universe that includes a lot of Justice League movies.

Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)

Director: Shōjirō Nishimi (#1), Futoshi Higashide (#2), Hiroshi Morioka (#3), Yasuhiro Aoki (#4), Toshiyuki Kubooka (#5), Jong-Sik Nam (#6), Yoshiaki Kawajiri (#6, uncredited)
Screenplay: Josh Olson (#1), Greg Rucka (#2), Jordan Goldberg (#3), David Goyer (#4), Brian Azzarello (#5), Alan Burnett (#6)
Release Date: July 8, 2008
Running Time: 75 minutes

Voice Cast: Kevin Conroy (Bruce Wayne / Batman), various other voice actors

Synopsis

Have I Got a Story for You
A street kid meets with his three friends at a skate park, to which all three of them claim to have seen Batman earlier that day. Batman’s battle with the Man in Black, a high-tech criminal, is told in reverse chronological order with three very different interpretations of Batman’s form and abilities (in the style of the 1950 film Rashomon): one describes him as a living shadow that can melt away and reappear at will (similar to Vampire Batman from Batman & Dracula trilogy); another describes him as a half-human, half-bat creature (similar to Man-Bat); and lastly, one describes him as a combat robot that can leap tall buildings in a single bound. At the end, Batman pursues the Man in Black to the skate park and captures him with the help of the fourth street kid. The fourth kid is able to see what Batman truly is after seeing him sustain injuries from the battle: a human warrior in a costume. He then proceeds to tell his experience about seeing Batman to his friends after Batman disappears.

Crossfire
Crispus Allen and Anna Ramirez are partners and members of the Major Crimes Unit that have been hand-picked by Lieutenant James Gordon. The two are assigned to take the recently captured Man in Black (who was captured previously on Have I Got A Story For You), revealed to be Jacob Feely, an escaped inmate from Arkham Asylum with an expertise in advanced electronics and explosives back to Arkham Asylum (which most of the Narrows has been converted into following the incident in Batman Begins). On their way, they argue over whether Batman can be trusted with Allen saying that they are just running errands for a vigilante while Ramirez replies that Batman has changed Gotham for the better. As they are heading back, Allen declares his intention to leave the MCU and Ramirez pulls into a vacant lot to confront Allen. However, the two get caught in a very large gunfight between gangs, The Russian Mob and Sal Maroni‘s gang. Maroni’s men are gunned down and Maroni takes refuge behind Allen and Ramirez’s patrol car which The Russian subsequently destroys with a rocket launcher. Ramirez and Maroni manage to get clear in time while Allen is rescued by Batman who proceeds to take out The Russian and his men. Sal Maroni then threatens to kill Ramirez, but he is dispatched by Batman. Batman recognizes Allen and Ramirez as Gordon’s hand-picked officers and remarks that Gordon is a good judge of character, and disappears.

Field Test
An accident involving a new WayneCom satellite’s gyroscopic electromagnetic guidance system gives Lucius Fox an idea to create a device with the satellite’s gyro with an advanced sound sensor that will electromagnetically deflect small-arms fire. Bruce Wayne takes the device and attends a charity golf tournament being held by land developer Ronald Marshall, with whom he discusses the mysterious death of a community activist named Teresa Williams, who had opposed some of Marshall’s plans. During the tournament, Wayne secretly takes Marshall’s PDA device. Later that night as Batman, he hijacks a boat owned by Sal Maroni and drives it alongside a boat owned by the Russian Mob’s leader The Russian and proceeds to attack both gangs at once with assistance from his new device. He attempts to force a truce between the two gang leaders until he can get evidence against them and that Sal Maroni and the Russian can then argue who gets the top bunk at Blackgate Penitentiary. The discussion is disrupted when one of Maroni’s men fires at him. The bullet deflects and instead hits one of The Russian’s men. Distressed, Batman takes the injured man to the hospital. Later, he returns the device to Fox, stating: “…It works too well: I’m willing to put my life on the line to do what I have to. But it has to be mine, no one else’s.”

In Darkness
The police respond to a riot in a cathedral where Cardinal O’Fallon was giving a sermon. According to eyewitness testimony, the Cardinal was abducted by a large monster and taken down into the crypts below the cathedral. Lieutenant Gordon, Crispus Allen, and Anna Ramirez investigate. Gordon has a brief conversation with Batman, who agrees with Gordon’s theory that the Scarecrow’s fear toxin is behind the riot as the doctor has been at large since the riot at the Narrows (during the event of Batman Begins). Batman gives Gordon an earpiece that will allow them to stay in contact and descends below ground, trying to find Cardinal O’Fallon and his abductor. A homeless man living in an abandoned subway station identifies the abductor as Killer Croc. Batman and Gordon briefly discuss the villain’s past, but are cut off when Killer Croc ambushes Batman. During the fight, Batman discovers Croc is under the influence of the Scarecrow’s fear toxin. Batman defeats him, but not before sustaining a bite that transfers some of the toxin to him. He then finds Cardinal O’Fallon being put on trial and sentenced to death by the Scarecrow (who is unhappy with O’Fallon’s efforts to help the homeless). Batman leaps in to defend the Cardinal. Using the methane already present in the room, he sparks an explosion that destroys several water pipes, flooding the area and allowing him to escape with the Cardinal. While Scarecrow escapes, Gordon appears in a helicopter to retrieve the Cardinal. Gordon offers to help Batman, but Batman refuses, saying: “Maybe next time.”

Working Through Pain
Taking place after In Darkness Dwells, Batman is shot in the stomach by a man hallucinating in the sewers of Gotham. Severely injured, Batman cauterizes the wound and then desperately searches for a way out, reflecting on his experiences with managing pain as he does so (before the events of Batman Begins). First, he remembers volunteering with a relief effort and assisting a doctor in performing surgery without anesthesia. Next, he reflects on the lessons he learned from a woman named Cassandra who was cast out of her community for disguising herself as a boy in an attempt to become a Fakir. Over several months, she teaches him to minimize his pain to the point where he can control it, sleeping on a bed of needles or standing on hot coals without reacting. One night, several young men appear to harass Cassandra, who takes their blows without seeming to feel them. Bruce steps in to defend her, not only demonstrating his ability to withstand their attacks but defeating them all with his martial arts skills. Cassandra then tells him to leave, saying that he has learned what he came to learn. She then comments on how Bruce’s pain was beyond her or possibly even his ability to handle, but how it also appeared to be leading him down a path he desired. Back in the present, Batman ends up in a gutter where he discovers a cache of guns buried in the garbage. Alfred then arrives to assist him and tells Batman to reach out his hand so he can pull him out of the gutter but Batman, whose arms are full of guns, replies that he cannot.

Deadshot
Bruce Wayne has a flashback to the murder of his parents. In his penthouse, he examines the firearms he took from the underground tunnel’s gutter (during the events of Working Through Pain) which he intends to turn in to the police. Wayne admits to Alfred that even though he vowed never to use them in the memory of his parents, he can still understand the temptation to use one. Meanwhile, in another city, a prodigious assassin known as Deadshot carries out an assassination on Mayor Manning with a spectacularly difficult shot from a moving ferris wheel literally miles away from the man and returns to his tropical base. There, one of his associates hires him to carry out a hit in Gotham. It is revealed that The Russian has put out a hit on Lieutenant Gordon, and Batman is called in to protect him. Batman gives Crispus Allen Ronald Marshall’s handheld PDA device (which he stole as Bruce Wayne in Field Test), containing a link to encrypted e-mails proving that Ronald Marshall hired Deadshot in the past. He then follows Gordon’s motorcade, with Alfred providing satellite-imagery assistance using the new WayneCom satellites.

Deadshot attempts to shoot Gordon from a moving train, but Batman deflects the bullet. Deadshot then gleefully reveals that Batman was his real target the entire time and that the threat against Gordon was merely a ruse to draw him out. He opens fire as the train enters a tunnel and as Batman attempts to charge at Deadshot, he gets shot and falls off the train. Deadshot advances to where he saw Batman fall while gloating about shooting Batman, but is suddenly ambushed and disarmed from behind by Batman. Now terrified, Deadshot confesses that he was hired by the Russians to kill Batman and tries to talk Batman out of killing him since he was “only doing his job.” Infuriated with Deadshot’s cowardice, Batman knocks him out and Deadshot and Ronald Marshall are later arrested afterwards. Later, Wayne confides to Alfred about how similar the fight in the tunnel seemed to the night his parents were murdered and comments that “I’ve been trying to stop those two bullets all my life.” He expresses discouragement and Alfred agrees, but then adds that he thinks Bruce has a higher purpose. The film ends with Bruce looking up at the sky and seeing the Bat-Signal.

Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)

Director: Jay Oliva, Ethan Spaulding
Screenplay: Heath Corson
Release Date: July 25, 2014
Running Time: 76 minutes

Voice Cast: Kevin Conroy (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Neacl McDonough (Floyd Lawton / Deadshot), Hynden Walch (Harley Quinn), Matthew Gray Gubler (Riddler), Troy Baker (Joker), CCH Pounder (Amanda Waller)

Synopsis

Batman rescues Riddler from a black ops assassination ordered by A.R.G.U.S.’ director Amanda Waller, returning him to Arkham Asylum. Invoking Priority Ultraviolet, Waller captures wanted criminals Black Spider, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, KGBeast, Killer Frost, and King Shark for the Suicide Squad. Their mission is to break into Arkham and recover a thumbdrive in the Riddler’s cane containing sensitive knowledge about the squad.

She forces compliance by threatening to detonate nano-bombs implanted in their necks, and KGBeast is killed when he attempts to walk out on Waller. The remaining six are sent to Gotham to get equipment from Penguin, and while staying the night Harley and Deadshot sleep together. The next day Harley trashes a doll store to lure Batman out, who demands to know where The Joker had hidden a dirty bomb in the city, but Harley doesn’t know and she is taken back to Arkham.

At Arkham, Joker is incarcerated and taunts Harley over their broken partnership – which causes her to grab a gun and fire at him in a rage. While this is happening, the other members of the squad infiltrate the Asylum. Black Spider causes an explosion, putting the area on Yellow Alert, and they loop the previous day’s footage to keep both Batman and Waller from noticing them. The team finds a storage room with Riddler’s cane and Harley’s mallet, but the cane contains nothing. Killer Frost also founds Mr. Freeze’s ice gun. Batman arrives after capturing Victor Zsasz, having noticed the security camera ruse, and fights the squad.

He defeats them one by one before getting tackled by Black Spider, who seems to emerge with Batman’s belt as a trophy. The group notices Killer Frost is missing and find her at Riddler’s cell; Waller secretly ordered her to carry out the real mission of the squad, to kill Riddler. It is then Riddler reveals that Waller can’t detonate his neck explosive because he knows how to disarm them, and the squad agrees to help him escape if he can disarm theirs. Meanwhile, in the chaos, Joker notices a weakness in his cell walls from Harley’s attempt to shoot him and short-circuits the cell door to escape.

Riddler hooks the squad up to the electro shock machine, minus Black Spider as he wishes to stand guard. Riddler turns on the machine as Waller calls for an update; seeing the bombs’ signals fading and learning of the squad’s betrayal, she activates them. Harley, Deadshot, Boomerang and Frost survive, but King Shark’s head explodes due to his thick skin blocking the electricity. The group questions how the Black Spider’s bomb didn’t detonate, and Riddler realizes that the “Black Spider” is actually Batman in disguise; Black Spider had just been killed by the bomb detonation on his neck by Waller moments ago.

After revealing himself, Batman knocks out Riddler and demands the squad to explain why they’re in Arkham. Joker then arrives and shoots at Batman, providing a distraction for the squad to escape. They encounter the Joker and Harley sweet-talks him into forgiving her. Joker then tries to shoot Deadshot, but he disarms him and Joker proceeds to flee with Harley. As the remaining squad try to flee on their own, Batman encounters them and deduces from Deadshot that Joker has hidden the dirty bomb in Harley’s mallet, which he then activates. Joker suddenly broadcasts to Arkham, telling Batman and the squad that soon Gotham will be destroyed; he releases the inmates (including Two-Face, Bane, Scarecrow and Poison Ivy) as a distraction to allow him to escape.

Frost is seemingly killed in the chaos by Bane, and Deadshot subdues Captain Boomerang to board a helicopter and escape. Batman notices three heartbeats coming from the helicopter and realizes Joker and Harley have stowed away in the helicopter Deadshot is in. He follows them in the Batwing and punches Joker before he could shoot Deadshot. Instead, Joker’s gunshot causes the helicopter to collide into the side of a building; Batman knocks out Harley, but finds a note she left on how to disarm the bomb. At the same time, Joker and Deadshot engage in a fight that ends with Deadshot manages to trap Joker inside the helicopter – which then falls to the ground along with Joker and explodes.

In the aftermath, Batman confronts Waller over the incident and clarifies that her actions have allowed Riddler to escape once again. Waller vows that her units will catch him next time, but Batman states otherwise and warns her to discontinue the Task Force X program. Waller dismisses his warning and taunts that Joker’s body was never found, thus meaning that Joker survived the helicopter crash. Once Batman leaves, Waller notices a gun’s laser trained on her chest and then on her forehead. Deadshot is shown to be the source, reunited with his daughter, and the movie ends with him saying “bang” before he pulls the trigger – leaving Waller’s fate uncertain.

Batman vs. Robin (2015)

Director: Jay Oliva
Screenplay: J. M. DeMatteis
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Running Time: 80 minutes

Voice Cast: Jason O’Mara (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Stuart Allan (Damian Wayne / Robin), Jeremy Sisto (Talon), Sean Maher (Dick Grayson / Nightwing), David McCallum (Alfred Pennyworth), Kevin Conroy (Thomas Wayne), “Weird Al” Yankovic (Anton Schott / The Dollmaker)

Synopsis

In the past, a young Bruce Wayne learns of a secret organisation called the Court of Owls from his father Thomas, that are lurking in the shadows. After witnessing the death of his parents, Bruce suspects that the Court were behind the murder, but finds no evidence leaving him to believe the Court were just in fact a story. In the present-day, Bruce’s son Damian goes out as Robin to rescue a group of missing children abducted by Anton Schott, who has been turning them into dolls. After, a mysterious figure in an owl costume suddenly appears and kills Anton, leaving with a feather behind. However, due to his past violent actions, Bruce blames Damian for his murder prompting him to place security measures around Wayne Manor to prevent Damian from going out as Robin.

The following night, Bruce goes out as Batman to track down the feather leading him to a museum where he is confronted by a group of owl costumed assassins. They eventually capture him and take him to the Court of Owls headquarters where he meets their leader the “Grandmaster”. The Grandmaster offer Bruce to join them but kindly declines with the Court returning him home safely. Meanwhile, Damian manages to escape Wayne Manor and while out, he meets the same assassin who killed Anton, introducing himself as Talon. Talon takes Damian under his wing, training him to become a Court assassin.

Bruce infiltrates a Court headquarters and is taken out by a hallucination gas, but is rescued by Nightwing and Alfred Pennyworth. When Damian is revealed to be Bruce’s son, the Grandmaster rejects him under the decision to emotionally cripple Bruce with Damian’s death, prompting Talon to attack the Court. Talon then kills the Grandmaster, who is revealed to be socialite Samantha Vanaver, Bruce’s girlfriend, while also insisting that she would have done the same to him. Now having control of the Court, Talon leads an attack on Wayne Manor but Batman, Nightwing and Alfred fend them off.

Damian escapes the Court headquarters and defeats Talon, telling him he can never be a better father than Bruce. In his defeat, Talon commits suicide by forcing Damian to stab him through the neck with his own sai. This greatly traumatises Damian, who rejects Bruce’s offer to return home on the grounds that he doesn’t know who he is. Ultimately, Damian decides to leave Bruce, who suggests he should go to a monastery in the Himalayas in order to find himself.

Batman: Bad Blood (2016)

Director: Jay Oliva
Screenplay: J. M. DeMatteis
Release Date: January 20, 2016
Running Time: 72 minutes

Voice Cast: Jason O’Mara (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Yvonne Strahovski (Kate Kane / Batwoman), Stuart Allan (Damian Wayne / Robin), Sean Maher (Dick Grayson / Nightwing), Morena Baccarin (Talia al-Ghul)

Synopsis

Two years after the defeat of the Court of Owls, Batwoman intercepts a crowd of criminals in Gotham City that includes Electrocutioner, Tusk, Firefly, Killer Moth, and others. When a fight ensues, Batman arrives. They are confronted by the apparent leader of the criminals, a masked man calling himself “the Heretic,” who detonates explosives planted within the facility. Batman flings Batwoman to safety and apparently perishes in the explosion.

Two weeks later, a concerned Alfred Pennyworth sends a distress signal to Nightwing. Meanwhile, at a monastery in the Himalayas, Bruce’s twelve-year-old son Damian Wayne watches a news report of Batman’s disappearance and sets out to return to Gotham. Batwoman’s civilian alter-ego Katherine Kane meets with her father Jacob Kane explaining she feels responsible for Batman’s apparent death. In the past, Katherine was traumatized by an incident in which her sister Elizabeth and mother Gabrielle were abducted, held for ransom, and eventually killed by their captors when her father attempted to rescue them, while she was the sole survivor. After her time in the military, she became a promiscuous drunkard who was saved by Batman from street thugs, which motivated her to never need to be saved again, resulting in her becoming Batwoman.

Batman apparently resurfaces and is quickly noticed by Robin and Katherine. Both of them intercept Batman and deduce that it is Nightwing wearing an older version of the Batsuit. They begin their own investigations into the Heretic, unconvinced that Bruce is truly dead. The Heretic and his henchmen attack Wayne Enterprises, forcing Lucius Fox to open the way into the vault by threatening his son Luke. Though Nightwing and Damian arrive, they are unable to prevent the Heretic from escaping with Wayne technology, and Lucius is injured. Before they leave, the Heretic kills Electrocutioner when the latter is about to kill Robin.

The Heretic returns to his headquarters, where it is revealed that he is working for Damian’s mother, Talia al Ghul. They are holding Bruce prisoner and the Mad Hatter is slowly trying to brainwash him. The Heretic breaks into the Batcave and kidnaps Damian. He explains that he is a clone of Damian, created by a genetics program run by Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Shadows. They used Damian’s DNA to genetically engineer a perfect soldier with accelerated growth and development, but he was the only subject of the program to survive. He wishes to have Damian’s memories and personality implanted within his own brain so that he can feel like a real person, but Talia arrives and kills the Heretic for defying her orders. Nightwing and Batwoman then arrive, having located Damian through a tracker in his costume. They are joined by Luke, clad in an advanced combat exosuit designed by his father and styling himself as Batwing. The three rescue Bruce and Damian, but Talia and her henchmen escape.

A week passes and Bruce seems to have recovered, though he remains adamant that Katherine and Luke should not be involved. After Katherine is forced to fight her father after he suddenly attacks her for no reason and having no memory of attacking her after she hit him in the head, Dick realizes that Bruce is still under the effects of the Mad Hatter’s mind control. Luke realizes that the League of Shadows are planning to brainwash a number of world leaders at a tech summit held by Bruce. As the brainwashing takes place, Nightwing, Robin, Batwoman, Alfred, and Batwing arrive and fight Talia and her henchmen. During the fight, the Mad Hatter is killed, interrupting the mind control.

Bruce, still brainwashed, defeats Nightwing. Talia orders him to kill Nightwing and Damian, but Bruce resists the brainwashing. Incensed, Talia escapes in a vessel, only for Onyx, a subordinate of the Heretic, to confront and attack her to avenge Heretic’s death. The vessel crashes and explodes, implying their deaths. Bruce is later seen comforting Damian over Talia’s supposed death. Alfred remarks to Dick that despite Talia’s madness, she was still Damian’s mother.

As the Bat-Signal shines in Gotham City, Batwoman, Batwing, and Nightwing meet Batman and Robin on top of the police station for their nightly patrol, the former two now officially part of the team. When everyone arrives, they notice a robbery in progress down the street being committed by the Penguin. One by one, they all swing, glide, or fly off to stop him. On a nearby building, Batgirl observes the group and prepares to join the pursuit.

Unlimited

These movies have been inspired by the Batman Unlimited toyline and the only movies not inspired by comic books or previously released animated material.

Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts (2015)

Director: Butch Lukic
Screenplay: Heath Corson
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Running Time: 77 minutes

Voice Cast: Roger Craig Smith (Batman / Bruce Wayne), Dana Snyder (Penguin / Oswald Cobblepot), Chris Diamantopoulos (Green Arrow / Oliver Queen), Laura Bailey (Cheetah / Barbara Minerva), John DiMaggio (Killer Croc / Waylon Jones), Will Friedle (Nightwing / Dick Grayson), Yuri Lowenthal (Red Robin / Tim Drake), Phil LaMarr (Man-Bat / Kirk Langstrom), Charlie Schlatter (Flash / Barry Allen), Richard Epcar (James Gordon), Alastair Duncan (Alfred Pennyworth)

Synopsis

The film starts with an announcement of Gotham City’s “newest and tallest building,” the Aviary, built by the Penguin, as well as an asteroid called the Midas Heart passing by earth once every 77 years and Batman on patrol. However, a robotic wolf overtakes the guards and breaks into S.T.A.R. Labs to steal a power generator until Batman show up to stop it, but the wolf gets away. Over at the Gotham Jewelry Store, Nightwing (Dick Grayson) sees Cheetah steal some jewelry they start to fight until Killer Croc joins in. Right when they’re about to leave, the Flash (Barry Allen) shows up to help even if Nightwing rejects him. Flash throws a flurry of punches on Croc, but Croc thinks they tickle and KO Flash. Once the 2 villains leave, Flash states he’s been tracking Croc after he robbed a copper quarry.

Meanwhile, a gorilla named Silverback robs the Gotham Bank, but Green Arrow rips his bag with an arrow to make the silver bars fall out. Nightwing reports Croc and Cheetah’s crime to Batman who finds it strange, and Alfred alerts him of Silverback’s crime happening. After fighting for a while, Man-Bat appears, and Silverback refers to themselves as the “Animalitia” until Batman shows up to help, but then Silverback calls in a robotic tiger and bat for backup. The animals take off, and so does Batman.

A group of street thugs scare a couple to steal their groceries when the Penguin walks by, and they make fun of the way he walks and talks. He knocks some loose bricks on a thug’s head starting a fight which he wins. In the Batcave, Red Robin (Tim Drake) fights 2 robots for training, and Batman discovers that all the animal crimes form a perfect circle around the Aviary where Bruce Wayne’s expected that night. Bruce attends and meets Commissioner James Gordon who’s tired of old women asking him to fix potholes in their roads; Gladys Windsmere showing up is no help. She shows her dislike towards Oswald Cobblepot by calling him odd, but fetches him anyway. The Penguin eavesdrops on everyone’s rude comments about him much to his chagrin.

When he leaves, Bruce runs into Oliver Queen who asks him if he found any info on the animals when Oswald starts a ceremony on “Bumbershoot Mechanics” who makes the robots committing crimes around town. He then introduces Dr. Kirk Langstrom who gave the designs for them. Batman pulls out a minuscule tracking device that Oliver flicks onto Langstrom’s pants with no one noticing. Penguin concludes the ceremony with fireworks but chases everyone out with the robots while taking off backstage.

Red Robin watches the whole thing with Batman’s gadget. Back at the Batcave, Batman finds a gap at Gotham Zoo where they have rare california condors on display meaning that’s where they’ll strike next. The Animalitia take the sewers to break into the zoo where Man-Bat hears Batman, Red Robin, Nightwing, Green Arrow, and Flash come for them. Batman goes after Cheetah in the lion’s den and outsmarts her with explosives. Green Arrow follows Croc into the crocodile swamp where none of his arrows work until he uses sleeping gas on him. Flash goes after Silverback in the gorilla exhibit where he gets tripped up in rope and toyed with by the gorillas until he cuts it with his foot. He then uses his speed to confuse Silverback and KO him with applause from the gorillas.

Nightwing and Red Robin follow Man-Bat into a cave filled with bats. Red Robin wakes him, and he carries Red Robin into the sky until Nightwing shocks him making him fall into a lagoon filled with flamingoes. Man-Bat spits goo Flash making him tumble into the Python Pit and frees the other villains and they all take off. The robots show up again and the heroes attempt to take them down. Green Arrow takes out the bat by firing a surprise arrow out of a tunnel, Nightwing uses a crane to crush the wolf with girders, and Flash, after getting unstuck, tricks the tiger into skidding into a building and breaking.

They take the robots to the Batcave for analysis where they discover that they have copper wires explaining why Croc was at the copper quarry, but they need Langstrom to hack them. They also find out that the animals left something at their last 3 crime scenes instead of taking something. They use the tracking device to find Langstrom at Bumbershoot Mechanics. Batman has Red Robin stay behind and analyze the robots and Flash discover what they left behind at their crime scenes. Penguin appears at the Animalitia’s hideout and notifies them of the arrival of the Midas Heart. As a distraction, Green Arrow fires an arrow at Penguin’s top hat.

Penguin fires back, but Arrow ensnares him with a net arrow making him order the animals to attack. Cheetah and Silverback go after Arrow, and Batman and Nightwing break in to face Croc and Man-Bat. Batman hangs onto Man-Bat but sees the tracker on him meaning that Langstrom is Man-Bat. Batman stuns him with a sonic device. Nightwing fights Croc, but Penguin breaks out of the net and shocks Nightwing. Croc throws Nightwing out the window, but Flash runs up the building and saves him. Green Arrow uses an explosion on Silverback revealing that he’s actually a robot. Flash joins in the fight, but Penguin orders the animals to follow him. Batman shows that he captured Man-Bat, and they analyze his DNA in the Batcave showing that he is Langstrom. They give him a serum to revert him to human form for 3 hours. Langstrom reveals that Penguin assigned him to build the robots for a retrieval mission.

Meanwhile, the Anilmalitia build a tractor beam and red force field to protect them while they make the Midas Heart fall into Gotham and get the gold at the center. The heroes see the force field erect and tractor beam shoot letting Batman discover their plan. They end up locking up Langstrom who reverts back to Man-Bat after the serum wears off. Batman and Flash use a transmitter Langstrom gave him to match the frequency of force field. Batman walks through it, while Flash runs through. Penguin has Silverback send out an army of animal robots to take him out.

Batman has Red Robin upload a bug to revert the robots, but Man-Bat breaks out of his containment capsule. Flash runs to a beam to take out a power generator and stop the force field, but some robo-tigers tangle him up with their tails. One takes the others out, and Flash throws it the power generator for it to take out. The other robots turn to the heroes’ side after the bug is uploaded. Penguin takes off in an escape pod leaving the animals behind. Red Robin rides Man-Bat trying to reach him, but is unsuccessful until he sees Red Robin falling showing that he came to senses by rescuing him. The heroes take out the villains with the robots, and Red Robin and Man-Bat show up to help revert the Midas Heart. Flash and Nightwing collect robot parts, and they use Silverback as a power source.

Unable to reverse the Midas Heart, Batman has Flash move the generators outside of Gotham and Man-Bat take the robot parts above the city to make a green force field to keep Gotham safe. The Midas Heart smashes into the force field with Gotham unharmed, and Man-Bat permanently returns to Langstrom. The villains are taken to prison, and the heroes go their separate ways. Penguin’ pod got an arrow in it making him crash into Antarctica where he’s hounded by a waddle of penguins as the film ends.

Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem (2015)

Director: Butch Lukic
Screenplay: Heath Corson
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Running Time: 81 minutes

Voice Cast: Roger Craig Smith (Batman / Bruce Wayne), Troy Baker (The Joker), Chris Diamantopoulos (Green Arrow / Oliver Queen), Fred Tatasciore (Cyrus Gold / Solomon Grundy), Brian T. Delaney (Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow), Dave B. Mitchell (Basil Karlo / Clayface), Will Friedle (Nightwing / Dick Grayson), Yuri Lowenthal (Red Robin / Tim Drake), Richard Epcar (James Gordon), Alastair Duncan (Alfred Pennyworth)

Synopsis

The film opens with Solomon Grundy and Silver Banshee escaping from Arkham Asylum on Halloween Night. They hijack a civilian’s car and get chased by cops. They lose them, but Nightwing (Dick Grayson) sees them when Green Arrow appears. Silver Banshee sees them and attacks with her sonic screams while they dodge. Batman and Red Robin drive up behind them in the Batmobile, but Silver Banshee screams in the tunnel to make rubble fall and block their path while Nightwing and Green Arrow follow them on their motorcycles. 

Scarecrow throws fear gas balls in Nightwing’s and Green Arrow’s faces to stop them. Chagrined by Banshee and Grundy’s joyride, he takes the wheel and takes them to their set meeting spot. After the intro and title, a reporter congratulates Cyborg for finding a gem called the “Rose Stone” that will be displayed in the museum’s Inca exhibit. Then a video game designer named Gogo Shoto is shown developing a game where you can be Batman. His assistant, Ana, notifies him that she’s leaving for the day. She appears to come back to attack him, and Gogo tries to hide only to find the real Ana on the floor knocked out. He runs to a room where he puts up a Batman billboard to call him. The fake Ana breaks in saying that she’s kidnapping him, but Batman arrives on the scene. The fake Ana shapes her arm into a hammer to knock Batman away, and then reveals herself to be Clayface and takes Gogo away.

Batman tries to follow him, but Clayface shoots mud onto a semi-trailer truck to run him over and escapes through a manhole. Silas Stone experiments with Cyborg’s new parts when Commissioner James Gordon arrives and asks Cyborg to help identify the culprits behind the theft of an AI belonging to Professor Ivo. Cyborg reveals them to be Scarecrow and Silver Banshee and reports the info to Batman. Later, Solomon Grundy disguises himself as a pizza man to steal a battery at the atomic power plant.

He loads is into an ice cream van driven by the Joker when Nightwing catches them, but Grundy takes him out. Batman catches up to the Joker with the same robot wolf from Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts, but he throws Batman off the highway. At the abandoned fairgrounds on Gotham City pier, Gogo Shoto is shown hostage by the Joker who has him help pull a prank on Gotham. At the Batcave, Red Robin is playing a zombie game Gogo made while Batman is attempting to discover the monsters’ motives. Alfred reminds him that the Inca exhibition is happening that night, and Batman asks for Oliver Queen and Dick to be there as well. At the party, Bruce Wayne runs into Cyborg who explains that the Rose Stone conducts energy.

Bruce sees Dick and Oliver and meets up with them. They were talking about what they were doing for Halloween and ask if he found any info on the monster villains. The ceremony starts and is interrupted by Joker who has Clayface posing as a Tyrannosaurus attack all the people. Even with the intervention of the heroes, he escapes. The heroes follow the villains around town with Batman on the robot wolf, Red Robin on the robot bat, Cyborg flying, and Nightwing and Green Arrow in the Batmobile; but the Joker unleashes a virus that makes all technology shut down. The virus also makes all technology laugh and brainwashes Cyborg into fighting for Joker.

The Joker declares himself king of Gotham City, and appoints Grundy sheriff, Clayface baron of ice cream and candy, Banshee weather forecaster, and Scarecrow head of the economy—the latter issues info as the new currency where whoever notifies them of a hero gets to use technology for a short time. The heroes return to the Batcave where they try to find the crooks by reading when the Joker announces a parade on himself. They pinpoint their location to the abandoned amusement park on the pier. The crooks start arguing on why their commercials are failing when Green Arrow fires a toxic gas arrow as a distraction while the other heroes free Gogo.

Batman goes into the Love Ride where Grundy pursues him, but Batman shocks him by electrifying the water. Green Arrow sneaks around the booths after Banshee breaks his bow and fires softballs at her instead to knock her out. Nightwing enters the House of Mirrors where Scarecrow uses fear gas to torment him with his legacy, but Nightwing smashes several mirrors to reveal him. When the Scarecrow’s about to slash him, Nightwing fights back and uses his own fear on him before knocking him out. Red Robin goes into the villains’ studio where Clayface turns into Batman to try to trick him but finds it pointless.

Red Robin finds Gogo, but Clayface finds them. He shapes into Gogo to try to fool him, but Red Robin asks a question about a video game to expose him and throws smoke balls in his mouth to knock him out. After the villains are defeated, Joker shows up with the brainwashed Cyborg, Batmobile, Batplane, and robot wolf; and he releases the villains while they’re distracted. Batman handles the Batmobile by hiding in a manhole and making it leak gasoline, and he lights a fire with a Batarang to make it crash.

Green Arrow handles the robot wolf by making a model plane fall on it with his fixed bow. Nightwing handles the Batplane by damaging its power source and making it fall in the water. Red Robin handles Cyborg with assistance from the other heroes by shocking him in water making him pass out. They take Gogo to the Batcave where he gives Batman a device that allows him to enter the AI world. The Joker then decides to send the virus worldwide once the parade’s over. Once the parade starts Batman gets close to Joker and enters the AI world where he sees many Jokers but gets rid of them with an upload that turns them into him.

Red Robin uses fast-hardening powdered cement on Clayface to petrify him. Commissioner Gordon tricks Grundy into using all his ammo and make him fall into a holding seat. Green Arrow boos Silver Banshee’s singing and fires an arrow at her, and Nightwing whacks Scarecrow to make him pass out. Cyborg escapes from the Batcave and attacks the heroes, but returns to normal once the virus is taken out. Unfortunately, Joker plans to launch another virus and distracts the heroes with a giant mecha suit. They use vehicles from the history museum to take it out. Batman uses a plane, Red Robin and Nightwing use motorcycles, and Green Arrow uses a tank.

The Joker takes off in a rocket powered suit to keep them busy. Batman deduces that Cyborg’s the transmitter Joker’s using to launch the virus, and Cyborg finds the Rose Stone in his left arm Gogo tells him to place it on the Joker’s suits central core to shut down the virus. He places it on the Joker’s back, the Joker falls into the sea, and all the technology reboots. The spooky villains are taken back to Arkham and the heroes prepare for when Joker returns. The Joker walk far away from Gotham upset that his plan failed, and he walks off into the sunrise thinking of a new plan as the film ends.

Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants (2016)

Director: Curt Geda
Screenplay: Kevin Burke, Chris Wyatt
Release Date: July 24, 2016
Running Time: 72 minutes

Voice Cast: Roger Craig Smith (Batman / Bruce Wayne), Troy Baker (The Joker / Two-Face / Mad Hatter), Chris Diamantopoulos (Green Arrow / Oliver Queen), Oded Fehr (Mr. Freeze), Lucien Dodge (Damian Wayne / Robin), Dana Snyder (Oswald Cobblepot / Penguin), Phil LaMarr (Kirk Langstrom), Dave B. Mitchell (Basil Karlo / Clayface), Will Friedle (Nightwing / Dick Grayson), Charlie Schlatter (Barry Allen / Flash), Richard Epcar (James Gordon), Carlos Alazraqui (Bane), John DiMaggio (Waylon Jones / Killer Croc)

Synopsis

Damian, the new Robin, is upset by his failure at trying to stop the Joker the previous evening, making his humiliation of falling off a building and having to be saved by Batman worse because it was caught by a video blogger and posted on the World Wide Web. Alfred Pennyworth tries to assure him that he’s still learning, though Damian wishes he could talk to someone else who has been through the Robin training as Red Robin is away with his team. Batman arrives as Damian is studying Batman’s enemies, and comes across the Penguin, who he has never met.

In the Arctic, Penguin, who has been in exile following the events of Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts, is depressed at having lost everything. His only companion is Buzz, a penguin who seems to understand Oswald’s predicament. His roommate, the isolationist-scientist Mr. Freeze, tries to repel a group of oil drillers near his ice cave, using one of his inventions to mutate an isopod into a gigantic monster to attack them. The Drillers use a new laser-drilling sled to attack the monster, and in the process, damages Freeze’s invention, turning the monster back into an isopod, which causes Mr. Freeze to depart in anger. Penguin sees a way to capitalize on this, and encourages Mr. Freeze to take him back to Gotham City where he assures Mr. Freeze the means to achieve his goals.

Back in Gotham, Bruce and Damian are attending the new Technology Showcase at Wayne Tower where Dr. Kirk Langstrom is unveiling a new single-operator drilling mech which can melt rock in order to mine more easily. Bruce receives a call from Alfred that someone is attempting to break into Arkham Asylum. Oliver Queen, who is present at the showcase, sees them leave and follows them.

At Arkham, Penguin and Mr. Freeze drill into the asylum and freeze the guards, then bypass several inmates such as Cheetah, Hush, Mad Hatter, and Two-Face, before freeing Bane, Chemo, Killer Croc and Clayface. They also pass Joker on their way out who is upset that Penguin refuses to free him as well. Batman, Robin, and Green Arrow arrive and battle the villains, only to have Mr. Freeze and Bane successfully pull an escape with their allies.

At the Batcave, Batman tries to figure out what they’re up to, but comes up empty while comparing MO’s and criminal histories. Robin figures out that there is a pattern based on Bane, Clayface, and Chemo’s chemically altered DNA. And Killer Croc’s strong constitution would make him an ideal test subject. Batman uses this info to track down the forced chemical mixture through a croma-spectral scanner. Meanwhile, in their undersea cave hideout, Mr. Freeze uses Bane’s super-steroid Venom, Clayface’s shape-shifting protoplasm, and Chemo’s toxic waste to create a serum to transform Killer Croc into a gigantic, ice-spewing monster. He injects the same serum into Chemo. Killer Croc emerges from the sea, on the East side of the city, sucking up water and blasts Gotham with his ice breath, while Chemo freezes Gotham from the West, with an ice blaster, turning the city into a frozen wasteland.

While on their way to Freeze’s hideout, Batman and Robin see the mutated supervillains, and attempt to stop Croc and Chemo with the Batmobile and Batplane, but proves to have little success. The Flash, Nightwing and Green Arrow are saving citizens as best they can while Croc attacks the GCPD headquarters. Despite their best efforts, the police can’t stop the gigantic Killer Croc. Meanwhile, Mr. Freeze and Penguin turn on each other, both wanting to eliminate their rivals for control of Gotham. However, Penguin’s henchbird Buzz has stolen samples Mr. Freeze’s formula, which Bane and Clayface inject themselves with to turn themselves into monsters.

Despite his warning about the effects of the serum on the other two, Mr. Freeze is easily dispatched and Penguin sends Bane and Clayface after Batman. Bane, however, has a score to settle with Croc, who sold him out to the Gotham Police, and attacks the gigantic Croc. Clayface locates Batman and Robin and attacks them, only to have Freeze’s formula alter his body, turning him into a giant lava monster.

Batman gives the key to the Batmobile to Robin and tells him to distract Lava-Clayface, while he goes to Wayne Enterprises to get a special project Langstrom has been working on: a Bat-Mech the same size as Croc and the others. Green Arrows arrives and reveals that he had Langstrom build an Arrow-Mech for him, which Langstrom states that he received a contract from Queen Industries for research and development. Batman goes to deal with Croc and Bane, while Green Arrow goes to deal with Chemo. Batman then sends Langstrom to go help Robin, who was unable to stop Lava-Clayface, who then, with Flash and Nightwing, build a special laser cannon to stop Lava-Clayface.

The two heroes engage the trio of monsters, Batman quickly defeats Killer Croc, who with the serum’s mutational effects wear off, shrinking Croc back to his normal size and state, and while Green Arrow manages to destroy Chemo’s ice blaster (stopping the freezing process), he barely holds his own against Chemo’s elastic arms and chemical spit. Meanwhile, Mr. Freeze, racked by guilt over his manipulation and betrayal by Penguin, aids the heroes in perfecting their cannon to use against Lava-Clayface. After Batman defeats Bane(who, like Croc, returns to his normal size and state), he goes to help Green Arrow battle the more powerful Chemo, who causes a Queen Industries build to collapse on him, damaging the Arrow-Mech.

Working together, the pair manage to crack open Chemo’s shell open, giving Batman the chance to drain the chemicals (which also contains the serum) out of the monster with a vacuum containment device, defeating Chemo and shrinking him back to his normal size. Mr. Freeze, though injured by Lava-Clayface, is able to get the freeze ray to work and freezes Lava-Clayface solid. With Croc and Chemo defeated and back to normal, Gotham’s climate slowly starts return to normal. Noticing this, Penguin and Buzz try to escape, but they are captured by the Bat-Mech.

Penguin and his cohorts are arrested, along with Mr. Freeze who admitted that he was responsible for Gotham’s icy conditions, but will get a trial for his involvement. Penguin and the others are sent back to Arkham, while Buzz the penguin is sent to a zoo, where he meets a female penguin who falls in love with him. In Arkham Aslyum, Joker gets even with Penguin for leaving him in Arkham instead of freeing him. Langstrom starts to repair the Mechs and upgrade them, just in case of another giant monster attack.

The other heroes leave the Batcave and Batman congratulates Robin on doing a good job. Damian feels better in his role as Robin than he did before, the two then head to the training room, with Alfred on watch duty.

The movie ends with a regular-sized, normal Clayface escaping his icy-prison after being accidentally freed by some kids and slinking into the sewers.

1966 TV series continuity

Fifty years after the debut of the classic TV series starring Adam West and Burt Wart, Warner Animation decided to bring back West and Ward to voice the Caped Crusaders in a series of animated movies set in the same continuity as the series. Due to West’s death in 2017, the series includes just two movies.

Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016)

Director: Rick Morales
Screenplay: Michael Jelenic, James Tucker
Release Date: October 6, 2016
Running Time: 78 minutes

Voice Cast: Adam West (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Burt Ward (Dick Grayson / Robin), Julie Newmar (Catwoman), Jeff Bergman (Joker), William Salyers (Penguin), Wally Wingert (Riddler), Jim Ward (Commissioner James Gordon), Steven Weber (Alfred Pennyworth), Thomas Lennon (Chief Miles O’Hara), Lynne Marie Stewart (Aunt Harriet Cooper)

Synopsis

At stately Wayne Manor, Bruce Wayne and his youthful ward Dick Grayson watch their favorite show, Gotham Palace. During the programming, a band that was supposed to play on the show is revealed to be hidden and replaced by four of the Dynamic Duo’s greatest villains; the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, and Catwoman. Bruce and Dick suit up as Batman and Robin and head towards the Gotham City Police Department, where they receive a riddle from Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara.

They discover that the crooks are robbing the Acme Atomic Energy Laboratory of the Replication Ray that was invented by Dr. Nichols. The Replication Ray has the power to make a perfect duplicate out of anything. After a brief fight, the criminals manage to escape Batman, but leave behind a clue that leads the Caped Crusaders to their lair in an abandoned TV dinner factory. While discussing what to do with the Replication Ray, Catwoman reveals her plan to make Batman join their side with a scratch from a substance called “Batnip”. After Batman and Robin break in, they are defeated by the criminals and trapped on a frozen food tray heading towards a large oven. Catwoman uses her Batnip on Batman, but he is supposedly unaffected by it. The two escape the trap after the villains leave the factory.

Back at stately Wayne Manor, Bruce starts showing signs of aggression after Aunt Harriet nearly discovers the Batcave. He blames Alfred Pennyworth for the incident and fires him, leaving the butler to wander on the streets homeless. After days of not finding Joker, Penguin, Riddler and Catwoman, Batman figures out that the four crooks are no longer on Earth and have hijacked a space station. The two heroes go into space with the help of their Bat-Rocket.

At the space station, Joker, Penguin and Riddler betray Catwoman as they do not trust her to be on their side due to her feelings for Batman. They try to throw her out into space. She is rescued by the Dynamic Duo and aids them in defeating her former allies for revenge. Batman savagely beats the three men and recovers the Replication Ray, but Catwoman escapes in an escape pod in the process.

After the mission, Dick expresses concern towards Bruce for his behavior in the space station and at the Gotham City Police Department (where he left when Gordon was not looking without a word). Bruce kicks Dick out of the house and takes a break from being Batman, resulting in a crime spree in Gotham City.

A few weeks later, Batman returns to the Gotham City Police Department and blames the police for the increase in crime. He uses the Replication Ray on himself to replace Gordon and O’Hara as police commissioner and police chief respectively.

Batman soon replaces most of the government, jobs and citizens in Gotham with his replicas and plans to take over the world. Dick realizes that the Batnip had a delayed effect on Batman and was slowly making him eviler over time. He then suits up as Robin and goes to Catwoman’s lair to request her help in curing Batman which she agrees to do as she thinks the effects of the Batnip were more severe than she had planned.

The two take the Catmobile to the Batcave, where Catwoman attempts to give Batman the antidote, but Batman anticipated it and took the Bat Anti-Antidote. Batman defeats the two in a fight and leaves them to die in the Atomic Pile, but they survive thanks to Robin’s Bat Anti Isotope Spray. Knowing they cannot take on an army of Batmen by themselves, Robin and Catwoman disguise themselves as prison inspectors and break most of Batman’s rogues gallery from Gotham State Penitentiary; Archer, Black Widow, Bookworm, Clock King, Egghead, False Face, King Tut, Louie the Lilac, Mad Hatter, Minstrel, Mr. Freeze, Sandman, Shame and Siren by claiming to Warden Crichton that the ball and chains and pickaxes are not in good shape. This resulted in the replaced versions carrying the villains out of the prison. While a prison guard tells Warden Crichton that Joker, Penguin and Riddler did not escape, the three of them mysteriously turn into a pile of dust.

The two confront Batman and his army on the Gotham Palace set, but they still lose even with the help of the criminals. Before Batman kills Robin and Catwoman, a disguised Alfred arrives and gives Batman a strong enough antidote to counter the Bat Anti-Antidote. Batman returns to normal, and the rest of his clones turn to dust as the Replication Ray was not strong enough to make perfect clones.

Batman realized that his behavior change was used as a distraction by Joker, Penguin and Riddler, and that the ones they arrested were fake copies. Joker had spiked the Batnip Catwoman was using. The real ones were using the opportunity to rob the Gotham Art Museum. Joker, Penguin and Riddler just wanted to get Batman out of the way first. Batman, Robin and Catwoman (who came as vengeance for what they did at the space station) chase them to Penguin’s blimp, where the villainous trio is defeated after they are knocked off the blimp to a safe location to be arrested. Catwoman tries to escape with the stolen paintings, but Batman recovers them. Unwilling to be put in a cage again, Catwoman allows herself to fall into a smokestack.

Bruce and Dick then throw Aunt Harriet a surprise birthday party acting as if that is the secret they have been hiding from her. During the party, Bruce and Dick are called away by the Bat-Signal.

Batman vs. Two-Face (2017)

Director: Rick Morales
Screenplay: Michael Jelenic, James Tucker
Release Date: October 8, 2017
Running Time: 72 minutes

Voice Cast: Adam West (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Burt Ward (Dick Grayson / Robin), William Shatner (Harvey Dent / Two-Face), Julie Newmar (Catwoman), Steven Weber (Alfred Pennyworth), Jim Ward (Commissioner Gordon / Hugo Strange), Thomas Lennon (Chief Miles O’Hara), Lynne Marie Stewart (Aunt Harriet Cooper), Jeff Bergman (Joker), Wally Wingert (Riddler / King Tut), William Salyers (Penguin), Sirena Irwin (Dr. Harleen Quinzel)

Synopsis

Batman and Robin meet Gotham District Attorney Harvey Dent at a top-secret demonstration hosted by Professor Hugo Strange. With his assistant Dr. Harleen Quinzel, Strange operates a machine called the “Evil Extractor” designed to siphon evil from criminals and store it in a vat. Batman scoffs, noting there is no easy path to righteousness, but the machine does work—too well, as the Joker and other volunteers laugh manically in an attempt to overload the machine. The containment vat explodes, drenching Dent with liquified evil, which scars half his face and changes his personality.

Harvey, now re-christened Two-Face, embarks on a criminal career as seen in the opening credits, all of which his attempts are foiled by the Dynamic Duo. He is eventually whisked to a hospital where his face has been given reconstructive surgery. His sanity has apparently been restored as well, and he is allowed to resume crimefighting as the assistant to the Assistant District Attorney.

Six months later, the Dynamic Duo engage King Tut and his henchmen, who have stolen a biplane and attacked an Egyptian-themed event that Aunt Harriet and Alfred Pennyworth are attending. While the civilians escape, the heroes are subdued by Tut’s goons. They escape a deathtrap using Batjets in their shoes and capture Tut and his men, but their loot is taken by Two-Face’s henchmen, unknown to Batman and Robin.

Batman, Robin, Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara interrogate McElroy as Harvey waits in the shadows, with O’Hara constantly hitting the professor on the head with his truncheon to switch his personality, with Tut’s stubborn attitude causing himself to bring back McElroy. McElroy’s lawyer Lucilee Diamond intervenes and ushers them out of the room so that she can speak to him. At Professor McElroy’s trial, she implicates that the concussion is nothing more than a threat to a mild-mannered man.

Chief O’Hara tearfully confesses to hitting McElroy and Harvey calls Batman as his next witness, but Professor McElroy himself admits his guilt, ready to suffer the minimum penalty of being rehabilitated in prison. After the sentencing, Harvey shares a highball with Bruce Wayne much to Dick’s annoyance at bearing the hardships of a third wheel.

Harvey is then due to an attend a charity for underprivileged twins at the Winning Pair casino just as Bruce and Dick resume their identities as Batman and Robin once more. A package has arrived at Commissioner Gordon’s office, a World Atlas book marked for Batman, with its pages eaten away in three holes. Robin surmises the culprit to be Bookworm and the duo race off in the Batmobile to find him at the Gotham City Library where a fight ensues and the three priceless books that Bookworm had his eyes on have disappeared.

Batman and Robin deduce that the stolen books were all about duality, but Two-Face has already been reformed and so they try to find another way behind it. Regardless, they head to an abandoned sign factory with Two-Face and his henchmen waiting for them. After defeating the goons, Two-Face pins them with a large number two and the flip of his coin landing on the right side spares their lives. Once they have left, Batman believes that Harvey has made a lot of enemies in his career and they are all out to destroy it. Meanwhile, Harvey is having some problems of his own after he makes a phone call to none other than Two-Face, who kidnaps Professor Strange as part of their scheme.

Robin is punished to his room by Batman after nearly getting into a row about Harvey’s involvement in Two-Face’s plans and Catwoman, who by now has been stood up, escapes her cell by switching places with Lucilee Diamond. Following Harvey to the laboratory, Robin is ambushed by Two-Face and Professor Strange corrupts him with some of the gas from the extractor that mutates the left side of his body.

Batman is forced to fight his beloved sidekick who cures him back at the Batcave, following Two-Face to the casino where he is in fact revealed to be Dent, having suppressed his bad side (á la Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde). Once the Dynamic Duo are strapped to a large silver dollar, he unmasks Batman and deduces Robin’s true identity. Then Two-Face invites Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Egghead, Shame, Clock King and Catwoman to an auction for the highest bidder of Batman’s true identity.

With Catwoman’s help, Batman and Robin defeat the villains, but Two-Face gets away on the biplane stolen by King Tut, intending to use the evil gas to remake Gotham City in his image. The Dynamic Duo manage to shoot him down towards a flaming factory where Batman goes one on one with Two-Face, who completely takes over Harvey’s body. In a battle of wits, Batman urges Harvey to regain self-control and he does, defeating Two-Face for good as they escape the factory.

The next morning, Batman and Robin use the Batwing to cure the infected Gothamites. Months later, Harvey still appears to have repressed Two-Face and forgotten Batman’s secret identity. He holds a bachelor auction at Wayne Manor with the Caped Crusader himself as the first bachelor. Batman appears before everyone, and to his delight, ends up having the first person to bid for him being none other than Catwoman.

Other movies

This section contains the remaining Batman movies that we could not organise and sort into any group. Here are the movies:

The Batman vs. Dracula (2005)

Director: Michael Goguen
Screenplay: Duane Capizzi
Release Date: October 18, 2005
Running Time: 83 minutes

Voice Cast: Rino Romano (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Peter Stormare (Count Dracula), Tara Strong (Vicki Vale), Tom Kenny (Oswald Cobblepot / Pengui), Kevinn Michael Richardson (The Joker), Alastair Duncan (Alfred Pennyworth)

Synopsis

The Joker and the Penguin break out of Arkham, racing to find a stash of stolen money hidden in a crypt at Gotham Cemetery. Joker is quickly intercepted by the Batman and is electrocuted when he falls into a river by his super-charged joy buzzers. Penguin enters the cemetery. While searching through a crypt, Penguin accidentally cuts his hand while using his umbrella-sword to open a coffin he hopes contains the money, finding a body instead.

Blood from his hand drips on the corpse’s heart, which brings it to life; it is none other than the vampire king Dracula, his body having been moved from Transylvania to Gotham City after his “death”. Penguin is spared from being bitten thanks to a watchman, whom Dracula bites instead; once the watchman revives as a vampire, Dracula hypnotizes Penguin into serving him as his daytime sentinel.

One night, the Batman witnesses a vampire attack, but decides to put the incident at the back of his mind and, as Bruce Wayne, proceeds to host a corporate party at his manor. Dracula arrives, disguised as cultural anthropologist Dr. “Alucard”, claiming to be visiting to study the Batman (believing his legacy had an influence on Batman’s existence), and takes an interest in Vicki Vale, a reporter who is interviewing and dating Bruce. After failing to bite Bruce to quench his thirst, Dracula bites a waiter instead; the new vampire scares Bruce’s butler Alfred.

Bruce immediately deduces “Alucard” is Dracula, and the disappearances of Gotham citizens, who have been dubbed “Lost Ones” by the media, is because they are being turned into vampires. Due to eyewitnesses claiming to see a bat-like figure during the attacks, it’s mistakenly reported Batman is the culprit. When Batman goes to Gotham Cemetery to look for Dracula, he is chased down by a SWAT unit, all of whose members are taken by Dracula as they chase him back into the city. During a fight with the Batman, Dracula offers to let him join his conquest of Gotham; Batman refuses. Just as Dracula has the Batman at his mercy, the sun rises and Dracula is forced to retreat, vowing to kill Batman for rejecting his offer.

At the cemetery, Joker reappears alive and well and confronts Penguin. He asks where the treasure is, thinking Penguin has already found it, chasing him into Dracula’s tomb. However, despite Penguin’s warning to not open Dracula’s coffin, Joker ends up “breakfast in bed, freshly-squeezed” for Dracula, much to Penguin’s horror. Joker attacks a blood bank, leading to his capture by Batman. While the Batman attempts to concoct an antidote from the Joker’s infected cellular structure, Alfred discovers that Dracula once had a vampire bride, Carmilla Karnstein, who was killed by sunlight. During his research, however, Bruce stands up an understanding Vicki, who is soon kidnapped by Dracula. Finally, the Batman is able to cure the Joker of his vampirism and ascertain the location of Dracula’s lair in Gotham Cemetery before returning him to Arkham. He then proceeds to mass-produce the vaccine.

Dracula attempts to sacrifice Vicki’s soul to reanimate Carmilla. Upon learning Vicki has been kidnapped, Batman rushes to Dracula’s lair with his anti-vampirism vaccine and arsenal of weapons, defeating and curing all the “Lost Ones” that attack him in the catacombs beneath Gotham Cemetery. The Batman then frees Vicki, disrupting the reanimation ritual. Dracula sends the Penguin to recapture Vicki while he fights the Batman, who lures Dracula into the Batcave where Batman would have the advantages over the vampire. In an attempt to aid his master, Alfred injects Dracula with the anti-vampirisim vaccine, but it cannot cure a natural vampire.

When Dracula resumes his pursuit, Batman incinerates him with his prototype solar energy storing machine by striking him with the sunlight that was stored within, reducing Dracula to a pile of ashes and bones with his remains secured by Alfred. This also frees the Penguin from his control, who, while chasing Vicki, finally finds the hidden treasure that caused all the trouble in the first place. Sadly, for the Penguin, he is arrested and blamed for Dracula’s kidnappings, causing the media to think he was forcing people to find the treasure. The Batman is cleared of all charges and he resumes protecting Gotham.

The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

Director: Chris McKay
Screenplay: Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern, John Whittington
Release Date: January 29, 2017
Running Time: 104 minutes

Voice Cast: Will Arnett (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Zach Galifianakis (The Joker), Michael Cera (Dick Grayson / Robin), Rosario Dawson (Barbara Gordon), Ralph Fiennes (Alfred Pennyworth)

Synopsis

Within the DC superhero dimension in the Lego universe, Batman continues to protect Gotham City and fight crime. During his latest mission to stop the Joker and Gotham’s other supervillains from destroying the city, Batman hurts Joker’s feelings by telling him he is not as important in his life as he thinks he is, leading Joker to seek the ultimate revenge on him.

The following day, Batman’s alter ego Bruce Wayne attends the city’s winter gala, which is celebrating both the retirement of Commissioner Gordon and the ascension of his daughter Barbara as the city’s new police commissioner, only to be infuriated by Barbara’s plans to restructure the police to function without the need of Batman. Joker crashes the party with the city’s other villains, all of whom surrender except Harley Quinn, who disappears during the confusion.

Knowing that Joker is up to no good, Batman plans to steal Superman’s Phantom Zone projector , a device that can banish anyone to the Phantom Zone, which houses some of the most dangerous villains in the Lego multiverse, only for Alfred to intervene and advise him to take care of Dick Grayson, whom Batman inadvertently adopted as his son during the gala earlier. Reluctantly agreeing to do so, Batman fosters Dick as Robin, whereupon the pair successfully recovers the projector from the Fortress of Solitude and breaks into Arkham Asylum to send Joker to the Phantom Zone. Suspecting that Joker wanted to be sent there, Barbara locks up Batman and Robin.

While the projector is being seized as evidence, Harley steals it back as part of Joker’s plan, and frees him, allowing him to return to Gotham with all the villains he had recruited in the Phantom Zone, including General Zod, King Kong, the Gremlins, the Wicked Witch of the West and her Flying Monkeys, the skeletons from Jason and the Argonauts, the Tyrannosaurus rex and a velociraptor from Jurassic Park, Lord Voldemort, Sauron, the shark from Jaws, the Daleks, Lord Vampyre, the Mummy and the Swamp Creature from Lego Monster Fighters, the kraken from Clash of the Titans, Medusa, and Agent Smith and his clones. Realizing that the city does need him after all, Barbara releases Batman and Robin and teams up with Alfred and them to stop the new threat.

Although Batman finds himself able to trust and rely on his new team upon reaching Wayne Island, he chooses to send them away, fearing that he might lose them just like his parents. Upon facing him alone, Joker believes that Batman is incapable of changing his ways and zaps him to the Phantom Zone before stealing the Batcave’s stash of confiscated bombs. Arriving in the Phantom Zone, Batman witnesses the harm his arrogance has caused everyone and slowly accepts his greatest fear: being part of a family. Making a deal with the Zone’s gatekeeper Phyllis, a sentient Lego brick, to be allowed back to Gotham to retrieve the Zone’s escaped prisoners, Batman arrives in time to save his teammates, apologizing to them for leaving them and requesting their help to stop Joker.

Realizing Joker’s plans to use the explosives he took to destroy the city’s energy facility that causes the city to come apart and be destroyed, Batman turns Barbara into Batgirl, before his team, Gotham’s other villains, who felt neglected by Joker, and he manage to successfully send the escaped villains back to the Phantom Zone. However, the group fails to stop Joker’s bombs going off, as the explosion begins to tear the city apart at the plates beneath it. Knowing this was his fault, Batman reluctantly convinces Joker that he is the true reason for being the hero he is before they, their friends and allies, and the city’s inhabitants, chain-link themselves together and pull the plates back together, saving the city.

With the city saved, Batman prepares to be taken back into the Phantom Zone to face the consequences of his behavior, only to be rejected by Phyllis, who chooses to let him remain after realizing he is a hero and seeing how much he had changed to save everyone. Afterwards, Batman allows Joker and his goons to temporarily escape with the confidence that whenever they return, they will be no match for the Bat-family.

The film ends with Batman spending a new life with his new family.

Batman Ninja (2018)

Director: Junpei Mizusaki
Screenplay: Kazuki Nakashima
Release Date: April 24, 2018
Running Time: 85 minutes

Voice Cast: Kōichi Yamadera (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Wataru Takagi (The Joker), Ai Kakuma (Selina Kyle / Catwoman), Rie Kugimiya (Harley Quinn), Hōchū Ōtsuka (Alfred Pennyworth)

Synopsis

While battling Gorilla Grodd at Arkham Asylum, Batman is caught in Grodd’s Quake Engine time displacement machine and sent to Feudal Japan. There, he is chased by samurai working for the Joker. During his escape, Batman meets up with Catwoman, who reveals everyone else arrived two years earlier (due to Batman being in the outermost area affected by the Quake Engine). He learns from her that all of Gotham City’s top criminals have become feudal lords after deceiving the Sengoku daimyō, battling each other until only one state remains. In order to stop the villains from altering history, Batman and Catwoman must get to the Quake Engine in Arkham Castle (formerly the asylum). Batman discovers that Alfred Pennyworth is also in the past and has built a Batcave outside Edo.

When the Joker’s troops ambush the hideout, Batman storms his way in his Batmobile towards Arkham Castle, which transforms into a giant robot fortress. Just as Batman confronts the Joker, he is forced to leave and save a mother and child below from being crushed by the robot’s hand. He transforms his Batcycle into an armored suit to defeat a sumo Bane and stop the robot hand, only to learn the mother is Harley Quinn in disguise.

As Batman is surrounded by the Joker’s minions, he is suddenly whisked away by ninja led by Eian of the Bat Clan of Hida. He learns the Bat Clan helped Nightwing, Red Hood, Robin, and Red Robin upon their arrival, and the clan has followed a prophecy of a foreign bat ninja restoring order to the land. Robin gives Batman an invitation from Grodd to a nearby hot spring. There, Grodd explains he intended to send the villains far away so he could take Gotham for himself, but Batman’s interference sent them all to Feudal Japan instead. Batman and Grodd agree to work together to return to Gotham.

Batman, Grodd, Catwoman, the Bat Family, and the Bat Clan battle the Joker and his forces by the river. They defeat the Joker and Harley, but Grodd turns on Batman, revealing his alliance with Two-Face before the Joker and Harley escape and blow up their own ship, taking Batman down with it. Having captured a power converter from Harley, Catwoman attempts to bargain with Grodd in bringing her back to Gotham; however, they need to obtain other power converters from Penguin, Poison Ivy, and Deathstroke to complete the Quake Engine. Two days later, Batman recovers from his wounds and encourages the Bat Family to learn the ways of the ninja in order to defeat Grodd. Red Hood locates the Joker and Harley, but Batman discovers they lost their memories from the explosion and are living as farmers.

A month later, the villains mobilize their castle robots for battle at the “Field of Hell”. Batman leads the Bat Family and the Bat Clan into the battlefield. After defeating the other villains, Grodd puts them under his mind control, with the intent of ruling the country himself. The Joker and Harley, however, crash his party from above, reclaiming their castle from Grodd. The Bat Family saves Catwoman and Grodd before the Joker merges all of the castles into the super robot Lord Joker.

An injured Grodd gives Batman control of his army of monkeys; Robin enables them to merge into one giant samurai monkey to battle the Joker’s robot. The samurai monkey then combines with a swarm of bats to form the Batgod to defeat Lord Joker before the Bat Family storm into the castle to battle the villains. The Joker reveals to Batman that as farmers, he and Harley planted special flowers that triggered their memories back once they bloomed. As the castle falls, Batman and the Joker engage in a sword fight. Using his ninjutsu skills, Batman defeats the Joker. With the Joker and the Gotham villains defeated, Feudal Japan is restored to its original state and the Bat Family takes the villains back to the present day.

In a mid-credits sequence, Catwoman sells weapons and furniture from the castle robots to an antique shop while Bruce rides a horse-driven Batmobile to a party hosted by the mayor.

Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2019)

Director: Jake Castorena
Screenplay: Marly Halpern-Graser
Release Date: March 31, 2019
Running Time: 84 minutes

Voice Cast: Troy Baker (Batman and Joker), Eric Bauza (Leonardo), Darren Criss (Raphael), Baron Vaughn (Donatello), Kyle Mooney (Michelangelo), Ben Giroux (Damian Wayne / Robin), Rachel Bloom (Barbara Gordon / Batgirl), Brian George (Alfred Pennyworth), Jim Meskimen (Commissioner Gordon and Dr. Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow), Andrew Kishino (Oroku Saki / Shredder), Cas Anvar (Ra’s al Ghul), Keith Ferguson (Dr. Baxter Stockman and Harvey Dent / Two-Face), Tom Kenny (Oswald Cobblepot / Penguin), Tara Strong (Dr. Harleen Quinzel / Harley Quinn, Dr. Pamela Isley / Poison Ivy), John DiMaggio (Dr. Victor Fries / Mr. Freeze), Carlos Alazraqui (Bane)

Synopsis

While touring Powers Industrial, Barbara Gordon witnesses a power generator being stolen by the Foot Clan and also spots four mysterious and elusive creatures during the robbery that she believes are metahumans. She informs Batman, who fights the Foot Clan at Wayne Enterprises before he is defeated by their leader, Shredder.

The four “metahumans” Batgirl sighted are actually the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who has arrived in Gotham to stop the evil Shredder and find out who his new, mysterious ally is. After defending Wayne Enterprises from the Penguin, the Turtles encounter and fight Batman, as each side believes the other is working with the Shredder. The Turtles are forced to retreat when Batman proves to be more experienced in combat.

After researching Batman and his reported locations, Donatello manages to lead the Turtles into the Batcave, where they have a brief scuffle with Robin. After Batman and Batgirl arrive, the Turtles introduce themselves and offer their assistance to the Bat-Family when they realize they have the same goal. Robin reveals that Shredder and the Foot Clan are working with Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Assassins. In exchange for the use of the Lazarus Pit, Shredder and the Foot Clan aid al Ghul in building a machine that will transform everyone in Gotham into insane mutants using a mixture of mutagen and the Joker’s venom. Al Ghul and Shredder break into Arkham Asylum, giving Joker a canister of mutagen in exchange for the formula for his venom.

The Bat-Family and the Turtles are alerted of an incident in Arkham by Commissioner Gordon, where they discover that Joker has used the mutagen to transform himself and all of the inmates into mutated animals, including him as a cobra, Mr. Freeze as a polar bear, Scarecrow as a raven, Two-Face as a two-faced cat, Poison Ivy as a venus flytrap, Bane as a jaguar and Harley Quinn as a hyena.

The heroes face off against the mutated rogues, but Joker injects Batman with the mutagen/venom combination to transform him into an unhinged mutated vampire bat. After defeating Joker, the heroes use Batgirl and Donatello’s retro-mutagen to cure Batman and later the inmates, but realize this was a distraction for Shredder and al Ghul to acquire a Wayne Enterprises cloud seeder they need to complete their machine.

As Batman recovers in the Batcave, the two teams find out that their enemies are launching their machine at the Ace Chemicals plant. Batman initially orders the Turtles to leave Gotham due to their impulsiveness, but Raphael convinces him that they are better off working together. As the combined team advances towards Ace Chemicals, they defeat most of the Foot Clan and the League of Assassins’ forces before confronting Shredder and al Ghul. Leonardo defeats al Ghul, Batman defeats Shredder, and Donatello and Michelangelo destroy the machine before it activates. The debris from the ensuing explosion knocks Shredder into a vat of Joker venom and detonates the plant. Before the Turtles depart Gotham to return to their master, Batman treats them and the Bat-Family to pizza.

In a post-credits scene, Shredder is revealed to have survived the explosion but was transformed into a monstrous Joker look-alike by the Joker venom.

***

Thank you for sticking with us until the end. This is our ultimate guide to watching the Batman animated movies. We have given you a detailed insight into the series and you will now know the exact chronological and narrative structure of the series. We sincerely hope you’ll find this article helpful and that you’ll enjoy it as much as you’re going to enjoy the movies! Have fun watching!

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