Two years after the release of Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero (1998), Warner Brothers Animation released a new Batman animated movie. This time they decided to give Batman Beyond its own feature length film. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker saw the return of the mad clown as well as Mark Hamill as the voice. This may arguably be the best Batman animated movie as it pushed to be dark as well as bold for its time. It is also a creative mixture of suspense, mystery, and science fiction.
Joker mysteriously appears years later in Gotham City. He is older and has a gang of young adults who are doing his bidding. Terry McGinnis, Bruce Wayne’s protege, wants to take the fight to the Joker while Bruce Wayne is in shock that the Joker is back. Normally, fans don’t see Bruce in a surprised state, but he is definitely surprised to say the least. Bruce is surprised because he holds a secret that pertains to the Joker.
Bruce and Barbara Gordon try to keep Terry away from this case. They know how dangerous the Joker is. The Joker somehow infiltrates the Batcave to attack Bruce. This part in the film really started to get me intrigued into the mystery because Joker has never infiltrated the Batcave in the cartoons as far as I can remember. Terry finds Bruce lying on the floor on the verge of death. Joker poisoned Bruce with his toxin which Bruce has an antidote for. After Terry cures Bruce with the antidote, Bruce unveils the dark secret about the Joker.
I enjoyed this sequence of the film. A scene such as this probably wouldn’t have been allowed on the Batman Beyond animated series. Years ago, when Bruce was still Batman and Barbara was Batgirl, Joker kidnapped Robin (Tim Drake). Joker tortured the young boy. He tortured Drake psychologically into thinking that Drake could be Joker’s son. The effects on Drake are visible as the animators made Drake look horrifying as a miniature Joker. Although Drake has clearly suffered from the torture, he does something no one in the animated universe has done. He kills the Joker. The death is shocking, but Joker dying would make the world a better place.
I’m going to break this post into two parts so check later for part two!