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Western Animation / Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman

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The third DC Animated Universe movies based on Batman: The Animated Series, concerning Batman's investigation of the titular new Bat in town. While Batman deals with this distraction, three new women appear in Bruce Wayne's life - Rocky, a young scientist working with Wayne Enterprises; Sonia, a new police officer assigned to the force; and Kathy, the spoiled daughter of crime boss Carlton Duquesne. Soon, all three become prime suspects in the case of the Batwoman.

Mystery of the Batwoman provides examples of following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Batwoman. All three of her. Also, the Penguin's Bodyguard Babes.
  • Actor Allusion: Like her voice actress Elisa Gabrielli, Sonia has a beauty spot on her left cheek.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Arguably, a minor one, but Kathy Duquesne for the original Kathy Kane.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Batwoman is much more of an anti-heroine here, which is why DC insisted that the filmmakers not actually use Kathy Kane. That didn't stop the writers from homaging her via Kathy Duquesne... nor did it stop them from making this Kathy one of the Batwomen.
  • Age-Gap Romance: Bruce dates Kathy Duquesne, who's likely young enough to be his daughter and he and Barbara have something going on in the background.
  • Animation Bump: Some of the animation in Penguin's club is animated on ones.
  • Apologises a Lot: Rocky (voiced by Kelly Ripa) is a klutzy scientist working for Wayne Enterprises who apologizes frequently, even if there is no reason. And it's mostly a put-on.
  • Art Evolution: This film was made after the "revamp," which was an artistic redesign between the original animated series and The New Batman Adventures, and was drawn in the style of the latter. Rupert Thorne had never appeared after the original revamp, so a new design had to be created to match his character with the art style of the rest of the film. Though more "streamlined," it is nigh-identical to his previous design.
  • Bald of Authority: Carlton is an African American gang leader and is bald.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: The three Batwoman suspects i.e. the three Batwomen. Socialite Mafia Princess Kathy Duquesne is the Beauty, scientist Rocky Ballantine is the Brains, and Fair Cop Sonia Alcana is the Brawn.
  • Betrayal by Inaction: Subverted as Kathy is hanging from a broken ledge by her cape. Carlton goes away, Kathy's head drops... and then the lifesaver on a rope he'd gone to grab drops down.
  • Big Bad: The Penguin is the unofficial leader of the triumvirate of mob bosses, with Bane eventually being hired as the Dragon-in-Chief.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Predominantly more sweet than bitter, but it is not without its sadness. Rocky gets her fiance out of jail and Kathy gets her family out of the mob business, but Sonia is forced off the police force.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead:
  • Bodyguard Babes: The Penguin's club staff, Jay, Lark, and Raven.
  • Bringing in the Expert: After his goons fail to stop Batwoman from blowing up his weapons factory, Penguin realizes he can't continue to rely on his men and opts to hire Bane to deal with her.
  • The Bus Came Back: Rupert Thorne never made the transition into The New Batman Adventures despite being the most prominent villain to Batman who wasn't an Arkham rogue in B:TAS. In this movie, he makes his return and teams up with Penguin and Bane.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Kathy is less than pleased that her father's mob activities led to her mother's death, and she lets him know when she gets unmasked.
  • Call-Forward:
    • The photo of Bruce and Barbara on a boat that appears in Batman Beyond episode "Out of the Past" appears in this film.
    • Watch carefully in the scene in which Bruce Wayne stops the escalator, causing Kathy Duquesne's two bodyguards to trip and tumble down the steps and slide into a glass case at the bottom. A somewhat disreputable young woman scampers out of the way just before they hit the case: none other than "Freckles" who was one of Batgirl's tipsters in "The Ultimate Thrill" and would also reappear later in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker in the flashback sequence.
    • Several of Bane's thugs crewing the S.S. Naiad also appear in the Batman Beyond pilot episode "Rebirth" among the kidnappers holding Bunny Vreeland for ransom in its opening act.
    • Also, the reference to Kaznia (see below), which also received a few mentions in Beyond.
    • Several features on Batwoman's costume (the chest symbol and the full face mask) would influence the design of the Beyond batsuit. The jet she uses might also have inspired that jet boots.
  • Captain Ersatz: They weren't allowed to use an existing iteration of Kathy Kane. Kathy Duquesne's name comes directly from this.
  • Canon Immigrant: Kathy Duquesne was later incorporated into the DC Comics Bombshells series as a member of the Batgirls.
  • Cast as a Mask: Kyra Sedgwick plays Batwoman, but none of her potential secret identities. There's a voice-changer built into the mask.
  • Catchphrase: Kathy's "Twa-la!" for goodbyes.
  • The Chanteuse: The unnamed singer who performs "Betcha Neva" in the Iceberg Lounge.
  • Character Tic: Thorne is given a penchant for idly playing with cards, which he never had in the original series.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Rocky Ballantine's new alloy which she shows in her first scene and Batman considers using as a gadget, is being used by Batwoman.
  • Clear Their Name: Rocky is trying to do this for her fiance, Kevin.
  • Collective Identity: Batwoman is all three of the suspected women, working together to pose as a single multi-skilled crime-fighter.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Kathy Duquesne's character design seems intended to resemble actress Halle Berry (which becomes Hilarious in Hindsight).
  • Continuity Nod: At one point, it's mentioned that a faction of the Kaznian military is attempting to purchase weaponry from the Penguin and Bane. Kaznia was first mentioned in Superman: The Animated Series and later played a crucial role in several episodes of Justice League.
  • Conveniently Placed Sharp Thing: After the Penguin is entangled by the Batwoman, he is able to cut himself free on one of the shuriken his Bodyguard Babes put into the wall when they came to his rescue. An interesting case, as the sharp thing was not present when he got tied up.
  • Corrupted Character Copy: Kathy DuQuesne, who is named in reference to Kathy Kane, the Batwoman of the comics. The makers of the movie intended to straight-up name her "Kathy Kane", but were asked by DC to change it because the movie's Kathy is more of a ruthless Anti-Hero than the comic book version.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Rocky, who knocks over a bunch of charts in her first scene and sends a sushi roll flying during her dinner with Bruce. It's shown to be an act, or she just gets flustered on public occasions.
  • Dating Catwoman:
    • Bruce goes out with Kathy, daughter of notorious crime boss Carlton Duquesne, a few times. Given that he is the Trope Namer, this is not surprising.
    • This of course happens between Batman and Catwoman in the "Chase Me" short. Batman chases Catwoman across Gotham after Bruce sees her robbing his safe. After Batman finally has her cornered the two share a deep kiss together, as if the whole experience was one elaborate date. However when Batman just takes the cash she stole and leaves, Catwoman smiles and goes to flee from the approaching police cars...only to find Batman has cuffed her to the fence.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Alfred, as per usual, and Tim Drake gets in a few good ones as well.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The three women's scheme in hindsight, to get their revenge: they used the Bat moniker while disobeying the Thou Shalt Not Kill addendum that all Bats must follow and dressed in a shimmery outfit which is noticeable. This leads to the real Batman getting on the case, something that they lampshade in the novelization. In the film itself, its mentioned that Rocky suggested that they come up with a non-Bat alias, something she reminds the others of as Batman gets closer to them.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Roxanne in this bit:
    Bruce: Working late again?
    Roxanne: Yeah. Fortunately my boyfriend is very understanding. What about yours? [pause] Girlfriend, I mean! Of course, girlfriend! I mean, considering your reputation and- NOT that it's bad or anything or even any of my business, because it's not, I was just curious! [stops suddenly] How red is my face?
    Bruce: (cheerfully) Crimson.
  • Disney Villain Death: Bane falls into the fires on the ship below him, seemingly killing him. Anyone who has watched Batman Beyond will know that this did not kill him, though he might wish it had.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Batwoman is a female version of Batman.
  • Ditch the Bodyguards: Helping her do this was how Bruce Wayne met Rebellious Mafia Princess Kathleen Duquesne.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Sort of. The remaining two Batwomen pull a Big Damn Heroes against the bad guys.
  • Driving Question: Who is Batwoman? A. Mafia Princess Kathy Duquesne, B. Wayne Tech scientist Roxanne "Rocky" Ballantine, or C. Detective Sonia Alcana? The correct answer is D. All of the above.
  • Dynamic Entry: How Bane introduces himself to Batwoman as Kathy. By smashing out of the crate on which she was about to plant the bomb.
  • Easily Forgiven: Both Bane and Rupert Thorne seem to hold this unspoken attitude towards each other. The last time they were on-screen together, Batman brought a defeated Bane before Thorne and revealed how he and Candice were plotting to take Thorne's life. And in the comic book tie-in, Rupert Thorne had Bane beaten and left for dead and later on, Bane kidnapped Thorne in retaliation and tried to kill him before Batman foiled him again. By the time of this movie, enough time has apparently gone by that the two no longer hold a grudge against each other and can work together without issue. Justified, considering how Batwoman becomes The Dreaded for Thorne and Penguin, to the point that Thorne is willing to let bygones be bygones and bring in Bane.
  • The Eeyore: Rocky's fiancee Kevin, who was framed for the Penguin's crimes, has given up any hope of having his name cleared, and doesn't want Rocky to either wait for him or risk her own life by crossing Penguin, saying that if she comes back for another visit, he won't see her. His being released from prison changes that though.
  • Elite Mooks: Both Penguin's waitresses (Jay and Raven anyway, Lark is busy waitressing when the other two respond to his silent alarm) and the man Batwoman fights on the top of the truck with the weapons in the opening scene are surprisingly resilient and get in a few blows.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Batman gets his when Alfred comments that Batwoman can't be in two places at once unless she finds a way to duplicate herself. Also counts as a Wham Line.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In the novelization, when Robin asks if Catwoman could be posing as Batwoman, Bruce mentions that while Selina is willing to kill in self-defense, she wouldn't kill recklessly. The film proper has Alfred ask the question with a similar answer, that Selina has more respect for human life than Batwoman.
  • Everybody Did It: All three villains are working together. All three suspects are Batwoman.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Commissioner Gordon might condone vigilantism in his city, but he draws the line at hiring one himself. Sonia points this out when she takes the fall for the Batwoman operation and has to resign from the GCPD as a result.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: A plot relevant version. Rocky and Sonia were college roommates freshman year, and Sonia and Kathy met in an art class.
  • Expy:
    • Sonia was inspired by and based on Renee Montoya, a character created for the animated series who was adapted into the comic continuity.
    • Kathy Duquesne's name is a reference to Kathy Kane, the comics Batwoman's secret identity, though this version of Batwoman is a little too antiheroic to be her.
  • Fake Static: Bruce crushes up some paper near the receiver when Barbara gets too flirtatious during a phone call.
  • Fall Guy: At the end of the movie, Sonia voluntarily takes the fall for the Batwoman operation.
  • Fantasy Sequence: The beginning and ending of the "Chase Me" short suggest that the action sequences of Batman chasing Catwoman are Bruce's daydream of what he'd rather be doing instead of attending a high-society gathering.
  • Fanservice Extra: Several background female Gotham citizens show a lot of skin (mall-dwellers in short tops, a waitress with a long slit in her dress, etc.).
  • Foregone Conclusion: While Bane seemingly perishes in the climax, DCAU fans know he survives (as he will pop up in Batman Beyond).
  • Foreshadowing: When Kathy picks up Bruce for their date Rocky scowls at her, seemingly out of jealousy, then apologizes for no apparent reason. Then when Bruce and Kathy leave, Bullock snarks about "the trash picking up the trash" and gets a Death Glare from Sonia. Their Facial Dialogue makes more sense when you find out all three women are friends.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Roxanne "Rocky" Ballantine, in a nickname variant.
  • Genius Bruiser: Rocky is an ahead-of-the-curve researcher and also shows some martial arts skills when Batman arrives in her apartment, increasing his suspicions that she's Batwoman. And that's to say nothing of the stuff she does while actually in costume.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Mafia Princess Kathy Duquesne is a painter, something she learned from her mother, and plays lots of sports like tennis and marathons.
    • Rocky is a bit of a Gamer Chick and quickly befriends Tim helping him beat a level.
    • Sonia also took art classes, which is how she met Kathy.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Bruce's opinion of the Batwoman is "The last thing Gotham needs is a vigilante running amok", leading to Alfred snidely remarking "I ain't touching that one."
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Roxanne resembles her voice actress Kelly Ripa.
  • Improbable Age: According to the Batcomputer's data, Rocky Ballantine is 20 years old. Not only does she have a doctorate (which usually takes until at least one's mid-twenties to obtain), but she's working a prominent position as a scientist at Wayne Enterprises. Given that this is a Batman story and Rocky is one of the Batwoman, it could be explained as her being a Child Prodigy, though this is never touched upon. It's most likely an animation snafu, as the same screen misspells Kathy's last name as "Duquesnes".
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Rocky and Tim become fast friends after bonding over video games, so much so he refuses to believe it when she might be the Batwoman.
  • Interquel: Between Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond. Many features of the Beyond batsuit are taken from Batwoman's and it sets up the Bruce/Barbara relationship mentioned in the latter series. Tim Drake is still Robin and visibly older than his appearance in The New Batman Adventures, but it is before the flashback sequence in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. The film also features newly developed plasma rifles that are likely early prototypes for the energy weapons that are later ubiquitous in the Beyond era.
  • I Was Never Here: A mook and Batman lock eyes for a moment when Batman is investigating. The mook leaves and tells another that no one is in the room.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Penguin is tied up with constricting bindings that cut off his air at the Iceberg Lounge by Batwoman.
  • Kick Chick: Batwoman's fighting style.
  • Kiss Diss: In the "Chase Me" short, after Catwoman has been cornered by Batman after a lengthy chase, she notices how he got hurt earlier and tries to lean in and kiss him, but he pushes her away from him. Subverted shortly afterwards, since as Catwoman looks down, sad at being rejected, Batman smirks before suddenly sweeping her into his arms and kissing her himself, though it turns out to have been a Kiss of Distraction.
  • Kiss of Distraction: The action sequence of the "Chase Me" short ends with Batman suddenly moving in to kiss Catwoman. As he backs away, she tries to follow, and finds herself cuffed to the fence behind her.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: A goon walks in as Batman is snooping around. While all the other mooks might attack Batman and get their butts handed to them, he's previously been thrashed by Batman and not eager for a rematch, so after an agonizingly long and tense silent staredown with the Bat, he brilliantly decides just to close the door and pretend he didn't see him.
  • Lady in Red: Kathy wears a red dress and has a flirtatious demeanor.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Played with. Batman is out to stop the reckless Batwoman, but in their first face-to-face encounter he comes to her aid when she is surrounded by Mooks. They later have a scuffle, but there is no real misunderstanding at work- she just does not want Batman to stop her.
  • Lighter and Softer: As compared to other Batman animated films. In the clearest departure from its roots, more scenes take place in the daytime and it's not as violent and dramatic as Batman: Mask of the Phantasm or Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero.
  • Low Clearance: Bane is fighting Batman on top of a burning ocean liner in Gotham harbour, not realising the liner is about to run into a bridge. Batman uses his grappling hook to hoist him onto the bridge, which then smashes into the superstructure, toppling Bane into the fire. This raises the question of how the ocean liner would have gotten under the bridge normally, but as it grounds shortly after the liner had presumably drifted off the deep-water channel after the crew abandoned ship.
  • Mafia Princess: Kathy, the secretly bitter daughter of a mob boss who is followed around by bodyguards a lot.
  • Male Gaze: Kathy is introduced exiting a pool in a skimpy bikini.
  • Maybe Ever After: Bruce and Kathy at the end.note 
  • Missing Mom: Kathy's was killed by assassins aiming for her father Carlton Duquesne.
  • Morph Weapon: Batwoman's shape metal restraint.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Batwoman (All three of them) is a curvaceous and athletic woman whose curves are emphasized by her skin-tight, shiny silver bodysuit.
    • The Penguin's Bodyguard Babes Jay, Lark, and Raven have cleavage-baring tops and leg long stockings with no short sleeves.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The original Batwoman, Kathy Kane, is referenced by the identity of one of the women potentially behind the mask: Kathy Duquesne.
    • "I think we've got enough Bat freaks in Gotham already, I mean, sheesh, what's next? Bat-Hound?"
  • No-Dialogue Episode: "Chase Me", a short that was included on the DVD. On HBO Max, it is shown after the end credits.
  • Non-Indicative Name: It's actually "Mystery of the Batwomen".
  • Noodle Incident: Penguin once stole plutonium from Wayne Labs and threatened to blow up Gotham.
  • Not Me This Time: Bruce is annoyed that the press and Barbara seem to think that Batwoman has anything to do with him, since while he has brought proteges, he wouldn't bring one that would resort to murder.
  • Not That There's Anything Wrong with That: When Roxanne accidentally misspoke about Bruce's playboy reputation concerning women during one of her ramblings.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Batwoman is a brilliant martial artist who also invented miraculous gadgets and is a skilled and experienced computer hacker. It turns out it is three different women using one costume who each bring their own skills to the table.
  • One Degree of Separation: Batman realises that Kathy and Rocky must be working together, but when Robin digs into their past history he can't find any connection between them. Batman then realises there had to have been a third person involved who knew both parties. Once he realises it's Sonia, everything becomes clear.
  • Pool Scene: There's a scene where Kathy in a bikini slowly gets out of her swimming pool.
  • Race Lift: As mentioned above, Kathy Duquesne is an Expy of Kathy Kane, the original Batwoman in the comics. While Kathy Kane is white, Kathy Duquesne is a light-skinned black woman.
  • Red Herring: One of the first suspects of the Batwoman case is Kathy Duquesne, but Batman quickly eliminates her when she is present at the Penguin's club at the same time as Batwoman when she busts the place up. Subverted when it turns out there are three Batwomen, and Kathy is indeed one of them.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Carlton Duquesne is treated as if he has always been a major underworld player and partner of Rupert Thorne and the Penguin but was never shown earlier in the series.
  • Revenge Before Reason: The women didn't consider the consequences of their actions, especially when adopting the Bat moniker. Sonia has to resign from the police force at the end due to her vigilante activities, and that's just one example.
  • Scary Black Man: Carlton Duquesne, Kathy's father; and one of his mooks.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: After spotting Batman rummaging around in a room (who gives him a rather displeased look), a mook quietly leaves the room and tells his inquisitive fellow mook nothing's wrong.
  • Secondary Adaptation: A 2003 animated movie that continues the adventures of Batman: The Animated Series, which is based on the DC Comics character, Batman.
  • Sensual Spandex: The costume that Batwoman (all three of them) wears is very form-fitting, shiny and highlights her voluptuous yet well-toned figure.
  • Series Continuity Error: This film depicts Barbara Gordon as a college student despite her having graduated college and working as a systems and data analyst for the GCPD by the time of The New Batman Adventures. This film is confirmed to take place around the time of Justice League Unlimited, meaning Barbara should be in her late twenties at this point. It's possible that Barbara went back to college to study for a new career, but this is unlikely as she's shown to be GCPD's new commissioner in Batman Beyond.
  • Sexophone: Very prominent in the movie. Even more present in the Chase Me short.
  • She-Fu: Penguin's waitresses-slash-cronies. It's a better showing than the actual series, where they only used cautiously-held handguns and were quickly neutralized.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Bruce acts this way when Barbara calls him on the phone.
    Barbara: But... spring break will be coming up soon and I'll be back in Gotham for two whole weeks. [suggestively] Won't that be nice.
    Bruce: ... Yes. We'll all be happy to see you.
    Tim: Don't drag me into this.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Bruce Wayne declares "The last thing Gotham needs is a vigilante running amok".
    Alfred: As they say on the streets, "I ain't touching that one".
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: The final act hints that gruff gangster Carlton Duquesne isn't that happy with what his lifestyle has done to himself and his family.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Par for the Batman course.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • The Penguin's Bodyguard Babes. Their only real fighting appearance in The New Batman Adventures involved very lame use of pistols, but here they're full-fledged She-Fu-wielding badasses who give Batwoman a run for her money.
    • Bane is much smarter and more powerful here than in the previous animated series. While Batman could previously take him on in a fight, in Mystery of the Batwoman his main strategy is to run away from Bane, and Bane beats the ever loving crap out of Batman and leaves him severely injured. And getting his Venom cut off stopped him cold in his first appearance, here he’s able to break through his restraints and still goes after Batman, only being stopped when he plunges into a pit of fire.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Batwoman becomes more heroic and willing to work with Batman in the final act.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: We have the gorgeous Kathy Duquesne. She clearly didn't get her looks from her father Carlton.
  • The Unfettered: Batwoman has no Thou Shalt Not Kill proscription and will use guns. Sonia references this at the end, when she asks Batman how he still manages to keep from crossing the line when he puts on the mask, since she couldn't even see the line anymore from behind hers.
  • You All Share My Story: Rocky, Sonia, and Kathy all have a beef either with an existing Bat-villain or Carlton Duquesne. More indirectly, each shares a trait with Batman: Rocky's intelligence, Kathy's wealth, and Sonia's determination.


Video Example(s):


Smart Goon

This guy knows better than to get involved with the goddamn Batman.

How well does it match the trope?

4.94 (66 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheDreaded

Media sources: