It’s time for another trip down Cartoon Blvd., with another review. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve listed 5-8 potential cartoons to review, numbered them randomly, then had a friend pick a number corresponding to one of the episodes. This post’s number pick comes from very good friend, Jenny:
So, Saturday will take me to Future Gotham and ‘Batman Beyond’. Stay tuned!
“Rebirth”, Part 1
We start off the episode, not with an opening theme, but in medias res: a group of crooks are in a warehouse, putting money into barrels; the news (on a small TV that a few baddies are watching) is reporting on the attempted hostile takeover of Wayne Enterprises by Powers, Inc. leader, Darren (or Derrick?) Powers; kidnapped debutante, Bunny Reedman, is still missing – might be the woman that was bound and gagged in the corner – and The Batman working his way towards the warehouse where all of this is going down.
Except this Batman looks leaner around the waist. He has a Black and Red suit. And he can fly, with Rocket Boots.
Color me intrigued!
The bad guys finish loading the money; one is dispatched to dispatch Bunny.
Enter the Batman. Punch, punch… kick, kick, throw, throw… and Batman cleans house. Suddenly, Batman grabs his chest in pain. he staggers over to Bunny, only to get ambushed by one more bad guy and a VERY large wrench. He tries to fight but doubles over in pain again. The bad guy takes a couple of swings at Batman before Batman… pulls a fallen gun on him! The bad guy runs out of the building, gets captured by cops.
Wait a flatersplatten second!! Batman had a heart attack? AND he threatened someone with a gun?!?
Meanwhile, a bleeding, wounded Batman pulls off his mask to show a very much older Bruce Wayne, horrified that he pulled a gun; he drops said gun.
Back at the Bat Cave, Wayne puts the Black and Red costume into one of his glass displays. “Never again”, he says, turning out the lights. He seemingly has retired the mantle of the Bat.
We NOW get the Intro. I like the theme music!
After the Intro, we return to Gotham… 20 years later. Everything has a ‘futuristic’ vibe to it, including the subway/light rail car that people are traveling in. The news shows that Powers has become the ‘kingpin’ of Gotham business, taking over his 3rd Wayne Enterprises business. A guy, dressed as a Jester, walks in. He tags the video screen in the front of the car, then harasses/threatens a passenger for money. He tries to steal her purse before another guy takes the woman’s purse back and shoves the Jester-guy. One of the “Jokers”, according to the passenger, after he got a few good punches in on Jester-guy.
At Hamilton Hill High School, the guy on the train – “Terry” – is sparring with another wrestler named Nelson in a wrestling pit (?); on the balcony are 2 girls from the Swim Team, watching. Terry insults Nelson, Nelson spits in Terry’s face, Terry punches Nelson, Nelson spears Terry… and now they are being separated by the Coach. “McGinnis” is thrown out of practice.
In some kind of research tower, a guy named Harry is in a panic. He calls Warren McGinnis and wants him to meet him on the landing. Harry hands Warren a disk, inadvertently reveals that something is “wrong” with his hand”, and tries to run away, before getting stopped by this group, sent by Darren/Derrick Powers:
Harry, with all kinds of diseased spots on his back, is tranq’ed and dragged away.
Warren is then summoned to Powers’ office. Powers explains Harry’s spots as “an allergic reaction to a chemical compound in his lab” and can be seen first thing on Monday morning.
Gotham and its in-the-open chemicals…!
Warren, back in his office, inserts the disk that Harry gave him into his computer. Warren is shocked at what he’s seeing but before he can interpret it, Terry (his son) interrupts. Terry wants to go out; Warren reminds him that he’s grounded. Terry protests that he didn’t start the fight (he’s right), Warren isn’t hearing his excuses (he’s partially right), Terry explodes in anger about “Mom hearing him out” (he’s probably wrong), Warren tells him to control his anger if he wants to get anywhere in life (he’s right), and Terry mocks Warren’s ‘life’ before storming out (he’s definitely wrong). As Terry runs out, the guy that had Harry dragged off – let’s him “Burgundy”, for the color of his jacket – stops in front of Warren’s Research building.
At ‘Club 54 Level’, the two girls from the Swim Team are joined in line by Terry. Out front, a red card flashily squeals to a halt in front of the club.
Out pop the wrestlers, led by Nelson. Terry is restrained by one of the girls.
Approaching the club are figures on motorcycles. “Jokers”.
This can’t end well.
… aaaand I was right.
The Jokers start causing mayhem for everyone, including the wrestlers and Terry’s group. Terry throws one Joker, dressed like THE Joker, into a car. Big Fight!
Terry holds his own, to the chagrin of Nelson. Suddenly, another group of Jokers barrel towards the club. Terry escapes on one of the Jokers’ bike, pursued by at least a dozen Jokers.
This was a pretty good “car chase”, but on bikes!
In, around, and sometimes over Gotham, the chase took place. The chase went well for Terry… until Bruce MF’n Wayne appeared in the middle of the road… at night… dressed in black.
The Jokers, sensing a victory close in, until Bruce steps out of the shadows. The Jokers thought he was easy prey and chose to fight. They chose… POORLY. Between Bruce and Terry, the Jokers were easily dispatched. Unfortunately, Bruce suffered what appeared to be another heart attack. He told Terry that his medicine was “at the house”; Terry helped him back home.
After helping him back home, Bruce fell asleep. Terry, trapped inside by Bruce’s guard dog, starts exploring around, until he sees a bat behind the face of a grandfather clock. He frees the bat… and opens the path to the Bat Cave!
And now I know how Terry McGinnis started his path to becoming the Batman!
Down the “Rabbit Hole” – or ‘Bat Hole’, if you will – goes Terry McGinnis. He turns on the lights and sees everything: Batmobile, Costume Display Cases, Bat Computer, etc. While admiring the cave, he gets whacked in the back of the head by Bruce Wayne and figuratively thrown out of Wayne Manor.
On his way back to his home/research Lab, Terry spots an awful lot of police in front of the building. Inside, the walls are spray-painted in the stylings of The Jokers. Terry’s Mom is also there and relays the news: Warren McGinnis was dead, a victim of a robbery. The music in this scene was pretty amazing.
The news, some time later, reported the death of Warren; Derrick Powers (finally understood what his first name was) vowed to use all resources to find his killers, while Mary McGinnis and her youngest son watched, and Terry remained in his room, still shocked. Finally, Mary gets Terry to talk; Terry is feeling partly to blame (wrongly) for his Dad’s death, plus feeling guilty (partly rightly) for his outburst against him, earlier in the episode.
Later, Terry moves back in with his Mom and little brother. He finds the disk that Harry gave Warren, hidden in a picture frame. On that disk, Terry finds… something. He rushes off, with some strange man in the McGinnis’s living room watching him go. Terry and one of the girls drive to Wayne Manor, dropping him off. Terry, outside the front gate, pleads with Bruce to look at the disk. After a long delay, Bruce lets him in. With Bruce looking on from a window, Terry enters the Wayne Manor ground, escorted by Bruce’s guard dog.
That’s how Part One ends.
This, so far, has lived up to the hype! The animation still holds up, the music was amazing, and the characters are somewhat likeable/relatable. I’m looking forward to Part 2.
Speaking of that, Part 2 will be my next SMC post. After that, I’ll start with an entire new list of potential cartoons to watch, recap, and review. See you in 2 weeks!