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Headscratchers / Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker

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  • How did The Joker know Terry was the new Batman?
    • Maybe he just connected the dots. Bruce Wayne was Batman back in the day. Since there's a new Batman, it'd have to be Terry because he's Bruce's assistant and Bruce is too old. Or, from a technical standpoint, Joker noticed Terry's size and frame in the suit was too small to still be Bruce.
    • Tim Drake figured it out, either back when the new Batman first appeared in Gotham or during the course of the movie, and then the Joker inherited the knowledge. Either way, once you already know that Bruce Wayne was Batman and you've had the benefit of being Robin yourself, it's not hard to take a look at Terry's role in Bruce's life and connect the dots.
      • No, Tim didn't know that. In the end when Terry introduces himself as the guy he met the "other day", Tim goes "I did?", and then he realises that the young man standing before him is the new Batman.
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    • Or maybe Joker found out that Terry was the new Batman when he invaded the Batcave. When Terry came to the Batcave after the attack, he noticed that the Joker made a mess of the place. Chances are, he might have figured out the new Batman's identity in the process.
      • No, he knew before that: the attack on Terry and Dana by the Jokerz happened concurrently to the Joker's invasion of the Batcave and Chucko even wondered to Terry why the Joker would send them after him, implying that the Joker had figured it out beforehand.
      • That's assuming Joker only trespassed in the Batcave once. He could have sneaked in to gather information on the new Batman, then arranged the attack, then returned to trash the place.
      • It was definitely knowledge the Joker gleaned; Tim doesn't know Terry's identity at the end of the movie, after The Joker is defeated.
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    • Terry is more or less the only person ever seen in the regular company of Bruce Wayne. If you know Bruce Wayne used to be Batman, that Terry is the new Batman is the only possible conclusion.

  • Wasn't the Justice League floating around in space at this time (in continuity)? They didn't notice a death ray shooting at Gotham City?
    • There's a question of timescale here; the death ray firing off only happens a short time before Terry actually confronts Joker, if I'm not mistaken. It might not have been enough time for the members of the League to figure out the source and mobilize to stop it, and Terry didn't think to call it in to them (probably because he felt it was more personal, that he should stop Joker on Bruce's behalf).
      • A problem with that explanation is that the Joker used the killsat twice, earlier in the movie he destroyed a yatch with it. Even if the Justice League somehow missed laser firing, it is odd that the military apparently did nothing to prevent a second hijacking of such a dangerous weapon.
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    • The Kill Sat's existence is a source of Fridge Logic, albeit retroactively. After how uncomfortable the government was with the League's Binary Fusion Generator, even before Luthor hijacked it, they put one up there themselves?
      • It is not at all out of character for a major world government to decry a private organization having something and then making one for themselves. Most governments have the basic mindset of, "It's not bad if we have/do it."

  • If Joker put his DNA inside Tim's body, why did he still have the hair, lips, and pale skin? His disfigurement wasn't genetic. If anything, this new Joker should have looked the way the original did before the acid bath.
    • To answer your question...its not out of the realm of possibility that the accident that created the Joker-strongly changed his genetic structure in this universe. So he could of easily used it to turn Tim into a cloned of himself. Plus he did use "shocks and serums" on Tim once. It could of been dormant.
    • Nobody said it was an exact copy.
    • Here's my Fan Wank for it. The Joker didn't simply imprint his DNA into the chip, he actually hand picked different genetic versions of his physical traits to make Tim look like him. So whereas his skin was bleached by chemicals, he threw albinoism into the chip's instructions to make Tim's skin naturally white. The Joker's hair was turned green by accident, so he added some mutant alleles to make Tim's hair turn green for purely genetic reasons. He went down a laundry list of all the things he wanted Tim to become, and made sure that the chip's programming would make it happen. Add in nanotech to create a Joker-based personality in Tim's mind (though three weeks of torture probably did a lot of the work in that regard) and to switch the changes on and off like a light switch, and there we go. If anything, I liked the JLU revelation/retcon that it was stolen Cadmus tech: the idea of Joker as a genius geneticist always bugged me a little, and the idea of him gleefully using Tim to play around with an identity-swapping chip that Cadmus had already invented really fits him better.
    • It's entirely possible that in this continuity, it wasn't just acid in that chemical-factory vat in the first place, but some sort of mutagen that altered the original Joker's genetic code: alterations he later inflicted upon Tim Drake. After all, if being doused in chemicals had only stained his hair, one would expect the green color to grow out eventually.

  • Absolutely no mention or acknowledgement of what must have been absurd amounts of collateral damage and death. The Kill Sat must have vaporized thousands, if not tens of thousands of people while it was carving vast swaths through Gotham. At various points we see it destroying freeways and blowing up huge buildings. Of course, in typical Batman fashion, both Terry and Bruce devote more time to saving villains from falling to their death than they do mourning the thousands of lives lost to the Joker.

  • When Bruce does the audio analysis of the new Joker footage to compare it to the old footage, why does the new audio sound nothing like the scene earlier in the movie?
    • Unless the inflection was totally different, it SHOULD sound different, since one was what we heard (that is, what it would have sounded like if you were really there) and one's a recording. When's the last time a recorded sound (or image for that matter) didn't seem conspicuously different from being there in person?
      • The inflection was different. Compare when he says "Joker's back in town!" The live version is a lot more upbeat with emphasis the the "O" in joker, while the recording is not a lot deeper and serious sounding, he also puts a heavy emphasis on the word joker, to the point where it sound like he's constipated during that delivery.

  • How did Joker give Terry such a beating? I give it that he has the skills Tim ("I know each and every trick the original Batman and Robin knew at their peak" might have been exaggeration), who's a better martial artist than Terry, has, but still. He has a suit that amplifies his strength to a superhuman levels and it's still a freaking armor!
    • Original-Batman at his peak regularly managed to beat up villains with armor, and more than a few with superhuman strength. So, yeah, it's quite plausible that a Joker who's swiped Bruce's and Tim's abilities from the height of their careers would smack Terry around like a punching bag, suit or no suit.

  • I get the impression the odd one-piece suit the Joker was wearing in that scene was also a strength-increasing suit on par with Mc Ginnis's. It'd be such an odd choice of clothing for him otherwise, since he usually favors colorful old-style costumes — not to mention he was apparently making Tim Drake wear it under his labcoat, which would be rather pointless otherwise but makes a lot of sense if the Joker is trying to protect his host body.
    • Experience and being a better martial artist. Knowing where to hit can be just as, if not more, important as how hard you hit.
    • I thought that electrical thing the Joker hit him with shorted out most of the suit's abilities?
    • Joker's fighting skills vary greatly Depending on the Writer. This is clearly one of the versions where, because of his unpredictable nature and high pain tolerance, he's a fairly good fighter.
      • This Joker was not at all unpredictable, he was mechanical.
      • of COURSE his fighting technique was mechanical! "he" was an Ai/expert system upload that might not even be sentient without a host!
    • You don't think Joker gave himself a few upgrades while he was implanting himself and his genetics on Tim? Why just bring himself back to life as he was when he can also make himself faster and stronger?
    • He has all the skills of Batman AND Robin back at their peaks. That pretty much sums it up, Batman in nearly all his incarnations routinely goes up against people who are much stronger than he is and often faster in addition to having other super powers. Terry as is mentioned several times on the Batman Beyond page isn't half the martial artist that Bruce was, he's a good case of strong but unskilled and put up against an opponent who was extremely skilled. It's worth noting that the tables turned almost immediately once Terry realized that he might be Batman, but he's NOT Bruce Wayne.
    • Much like the stealth generator, the enhanced strength of Terry's batsuit was something that the writers only used when it was convenient for the plot.
    • Well, Tim's built heavier than the Joker. Maybe that extra mass enhances Joker's muscles?
      • Or the control-chip may be utilizing Tim's muscles to a greater extent than the human body usually allows. It's not normally possible to contract all the fibers in one's muscles at a time, because the body's safety mechanisms won't risk breaking tendons or bones from maximal contraction. But the chip doesn't really give a damn if Tim's muscular system suffers damage, so it could be overriding those limits and ignoring the risks.

  • How did Terry know that the Joker was hiding at the Jolly Jack?
    • It was supposed to be a visual cue that somehow didn't get animated. The original screenplay (which this troper once owned because it was actually published for the public) specifically writes that when Joker is teasing Batman over the video intercom when he went to Tim's lab he's eating a jar of jellybeans with Jolly Jack written on it. This visual not getting put in the final product creates the plot hole.
    • After the Joker's first public reappearance at the business party, they make their escape in a vehicle with Jolly Jack labeled on the side. With other things going on, Terry didn't think to look it up until after the killsat sequence. Although, it makes sense that the jellybean jar in the video-conference would have tipped Terry to the connection instead of it being a long-delayed realization.

  • Watching the movie, I wonder why Max wasn't seen at all. She was considered Terry's techno-savvy ally in most of the episodes, but she doesn't even get a cameo here?
    • If they couldn't find a particularly relevant reason for her to be there they may not have wanted to pay the voice actress. Or she was unavailable.
    • If I recall, Max was introduced in the second season. This movie was released around the time the first season was ending. Since the Joker was one of the major characters not seen in the first season (and of course... the rest of the series) and was the character most wanted to see return in some way, shape or form, this movie felt more like the true season finale of season 1.

  • So the Joker steals technology from (according to The Other Wiki) Cadmus and implants his brain and DNA into Tim Drake through a zit-sized chip on the back of his neck. How does the chip go on about changing Tim's skin color, hair color, facial features, and pupils into those of the Joker's? That's some funky LEGO Genetics for late 20th century technology.
    • Er. Nanomachines. Yeah, I'm going with nanaomachines.
      • The Justice League Unlimited episode "Epilogue", a tie-in to Batman Beyond, stated directly that it WAS nanotechnology that the Joker used.

  • Which brings up another question: how the hell did Bruce, Barbara, and Dr. Thompkins not notice the microchip that Joker planted on Tim? It was on his neck in plain sight, for Pete's sake!
    • The chip was no bigger than a mole, and looked exactly like one. I'd go so far to say it probably felt like skin. Without knowing what to look for, any doctor would just pass it over.
      • Problem is, it wasn't just one doctor. You honestly think that Bruce & Barbara wouldn't have looked over Tim as well? I highly doubt that they wouldn't have found just what had turned Tim into a mini-Joker.
      • First, Joker had made it pretty clear beforehand that he tortured Tim extensively and did who knows what with a bunch of chemicals, so there's already all that crap to more than explain why Tim went mini-Joker. Even if they were to disregard all that, think about how this chip was designed. Joker put it there so no one would find it, and did it with Cadmus technology so you know it's high end stuff. Tim lived for thirty years and one would assume had annual medical checks. No one, across all that time, ever found anything wrong. It must have been a very good chip. Let's put it into a generalized context. Three (or two, not sure if Barbara ever had such training beyond basics) doctors are delivered a mentally unstable patient. They are told that something was done to this patient, but don't know what. They run their tests and find signs of physical abuse, chemical abuse, etc. Surely this would more than explain the odd behavior of the patient. Thus, this is determined as the cause of his instability. I'm getting carried away here, so I'll sum it up: Occam's razor. What's more likely? The Joker tortured Tim until he broke and reshaped the boy's psyche, or used a mole-sized microchip to modify his entire genetic structure? They didn't find it because they didn't know to look for it. You aren't likely to find something that you don't know how to look for or expect to be there.
      • I'm pretty sure the chip didn't turn Tim into mini-Joker at all; that was the torture and the chemicals. It never did anything until it swiched on later in his life, so it would have been very easy to miss during normal exams. It's also interesting to note the timing of the chip's activation. It switched on around the same time that the real Joker would have died of old age. That was probably deliberate on the Joker's part, given how he and Harley talk about how they're getting older as their motive for abducting Tim. The chip was the Joker's twisted way of making sure that Tim carries on his "legacy" once he's no longer around to do it himself, with the new Joker picking up right where the real one left off. The only flaw in his plan was dying a few decades earlier than he'd expected.
    • Maybe until the events of the movie, the chip was hiding under his skin or something.
      • Or it's still hiding under the skin, and when Joker points it out on the back of his neck, we the audience are given a temporary X-ray view of the chip so we'll know exactly what he's blathering about. Which would make Terry's finishing move with the joy buzzer more of an act of faith: he only saw bare skin there, so he had to trust that Joker's ego had outweighed his paranoia in pointing out the chip's location correctly.

  • What was with the fight at the end? Terry's Batsuit tends to be a bit inconsistent, but it's always clearly him at superhuman strength. Yet Joker, not boosted at all past having the (formidable, but hardly superhuman and likely out of shape) physical prowess of Tim Drake, is able to trade blows with him about evenly. This has actually gotten me thinking about what a twist it would have been for Terry to have to face the Joker without the suit, but it's treated as if they're on even footing. How's that work?
    • Strength Born Of Madness, of course.
      • Cadmus created Doomsday, the Ultimen, a Supergirl clone, etc. Their level of tech was pretty crazy. I wouldn't put that past them.
      • Not just the Joker really. Just about any normal human could duke it out with him throughout the series. The superhuman strength apparently doesn't kick in except when he's lifting heavy stuff, like the rubble and debris that he routinely gets buried under. Plus Terry's more of a street fighter than the trained martial artist Bruce was.
      • Well, there were a few indications that the normal humans he fought weren't; I'm thinking especially of the bad guys in the Eggbaby episode, where they seemed like normal people, but when they missed Terry their blows were shattering the floor or whatever. Lots of random metahumans running around in the future.
      • Plus, this Joker did have access to futuretech, and it's not he's the type of person to avoid human enhancement because it made him nervous, especially since he knew his rival was using the same sort of stuff. Thematically, I agree that Terry's Hannibal Lecture might have been even more impressive without the Batsuit, but the current setup wasn't too hard to handwave.
      • I had always assumed it was a safety thing that Bruce had installed in the suit to prevent Terry from accidentally caving someone's skull in. The suit will only supply strength sufficient to match the needs of the moment. So, when fighting giant gene-spliced abominations: super strength, and when fighting a gang of street thugs with a clown fetish: not so much.
      • I'd go with safety devices too. However, in "Rebirth", Terry explain that the suit could multiply strength by a factor of ten. For such a sleek and form fitting device, that, well, impressive to say at last, and at the same time, that's fairly low in the superstrength scale in the DCAU. I'd say the suit would make Terry able to barely lift a ton. Punching, however, is very different from lifting. You'd need momentum, precision and to move in a very specific way for all the energy of your punch to be transmitted in the jaw of your opponent, so maybe Terry comment on the strength enhancement wasn't supposed to be taken literally. Either way, the DCAU is not consistent with the way it depicts Super Strength. Superman can go from "lift a tank with difficulty" to "lift a building without too much problem" over the course of the same episode.
      • That and people break their hands punching people without supersuits. If the whole "ton lifting strength" was put behind a punch, Terry'd break his arm up to his elbow. Considering I don't see and boxing gloves on the suit's hands anyway.
      • Another point is that the original Batman regularly went up against super-powered adversaries, both on his own and as part of the JLU. He even managed to throw around Darksied once. Someone who knew all his fighting techniques should be able to handle the suit's level of strength through redirection, evasion, and blocking. Basically, keep Terry from being able to use it effectively in the fight. (Also, in conjunction with a statement above: To use ten times normal strength in a punch, you'd need better leverage and footing. In most cases, he's operating with normal fighting stances. When he uses the strength enhancement, he tends to brace himself, which would mean the suit could pass the load through.)
      • By the time of the fight, Terry was aware that the Joker was inhabiting Tim Drake's body. It's likely he purposely pulled his punches since he didn't want to hurt Tim. That coupled with the idea that Joker could have possibly enhanced his body with technolgy earlier on.
    • I thought that the shock the batsuit took shortly before the beginning of the fight knocked off the strength enhancement function for a while. That, and since the Joker has never cared about fighting fare, he might have pumped up his body with something.
    • Putting the strength issue aside, what exactly stopped Terry from using his other abilities? His suit can cloak, has taser functions, and an enhanced version of Bruce's arsenal of batarangs, bolas, smokebombs, etc. Compared to what Terry's fought in his show, Joker's not much of a threat. And given the giant laser beam heading for them, I don't think Bruce or Barbara would give Terry too much flak for roughing Tim up a little.
      • It would have been nice if Terry had tried those things but Joker likely would have countered most of that since it was classic Batman attacks, and he knew every move in the game at this point. The which plays into the fact that Terry was trying to tackle the situation like Bruce would and even had Bruce in his ear effectively coaching him on how to be Bruce Batman. The fight changes course the exact second Terry realizes that he's his own man and he shouldn't try to be Bruce Wayne because he'll never be as effective at being Bruce as he is at being Terry. It's all but the moral of the story.
    • It's a Batman story and as we learn from fights with guys like Bane, Killer Croc and the Creeper, strength alone does not win fights. Skills do. Joker's body was apparently at peak physical form and with all the skills of Batman AND Robin, which is why he was so effortlessly countering everything Terry threw. When you take away the suit and gadgets Terry is a street fighter with very little formal training.
    • The exact strength level of Terry's Batsuit is really inconsistent.

  • And when we learn The Joker abducted Tim Drake, torturing and brainwashing him into divulging secrets about Batman, including the true identities of himself and his allies, before making him think he's the Joker and Harley Quinn's son, why would Bruce/Batman still take stuff that would directly remind him of that? Things like the big Joker card and even Harley's suit?
    • Because, Bruce is all about reminding himself about his past failures. To this day in comic book land, he beats himself up about the death of Jason Todd. And Tim Drake pretty much is the Jason Todd of the DCAU (a kinda hybrid Jason/Tim) so it actually sort of makes sense for him to keep those reminders around.

  • The one shot of Tim Drake's wife (here) shows she has blond hair and wears black and purple. You guys don't think...
    • ...Good lord, I don't know how I didn't see that before. That would be pretty cool.
    • In the new Batman Beyond comics, it seems like they are also hinting that it could be her...
    • Check the trivia page. It all but confirms it.

  • The question is about the Dee Dees. Did the Dee Dees know that Joker was their grandmother's ex-boyfriend? Let's assume Harley kept her criminal life a secret from her family...what are the odds the granddaughters will adopt a clown gimmick and run into her ex boyfriend?
    • The Jokerz are a fairly powerful street gang, so it makes sense that a pair of teenage rebels would join. As for why these particular twins, out of the whole Jokerz gang... maybe the Joker chose them specifically? Possibly for their skills, but maybe because he recognized their grandmother?

  • Admittedly neither the Justice League series nor Static Shock existed when this movie came out. But why didn't Bruce and Barbara call in Dick and Superman to help search for Tim? If it was just pride, doesn't that make them horribly stupid and neglectful?
    • Because neither Justice League nor Static Shock existed when the movie came out.
    • Yeah, but there still was Nightwing and Superman.
    • It's quite possible they were looking, but just had the bad luck of looking in the wrong spots. Or, alternatively, they wanted to help look, but they were caught up with league duties. After all, if you take Justice League Unlimited into consideration, there's more than a few days where the league's stretched across the galaxy helping others, so bringing in other league members to help can be a little hard sometimes.
    • Possibly the Joker left a hint that if anyone else got involved in the search for Tim but Batman and Batgirl, he'd kill the boy then and there.
    • Superman Stays Out of Gotham. Even 50 years later, Bruce still holds to it.

  • Did the original Joker know he was going to die that day? He had a "backup copy" already set up. It's like he knew he was going to die. What if he had survived? There would have been 2 Jokers in the future. Most likely the young Joker would have killed the old one.
    • The entire plot was kicked off by Joker realising he was getting older and wouldn't be around to continue things much longer. If messing over Tim works then he's scored a victory against Batman and has a body all set to be overridden by the original when the time comes, if it didn't work he's still ensured he's got a back up.
    • He clearly went into that fight understanding there was a 50/50 chance he didn't come out alive. All of his actions there were clearly designed to push Batman to finally kill him. This was Suicide by Cop with the alternative being he'd kill Batman. Had things gone the other way he would have had plenty of time to decide if the world was a big enough place for two Jokers.
  • Why did the Joker go after Tim Drake instead of Dick Grayson? After all, Bruce did have better times and memories with Grayson.
    • Dick was on his own as a fully-established adult hero in his 20s by the time the movie takes place. He's experienced and in his physical prime, someone who would probably kick Joker's and Harley's ass as well as Batman could if they tried attacking him. Besides that, the whole idea of the plot was to take a child, not an adult.


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