|Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman|
|Directed by||Curt Geda|
|Written by||Michael Reaves|
|Story by||Alan Burnett|
|Based on||Batman created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane|
|Produced by||Margaret M. Dean|
|Edited by||Margaret Hou|
|Music by||Lolita Ritmanis|
|Distributed by||Warner Home Video|
Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman is a 2003 direct-to-video animated superhero film based on the animated series The New Batman Adventures. Released in the U.S. in October 2003, the film was produced by Warner Bros. Animation and is the fourth film in the DC Animated Universe, taking place between the events of Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero and the flashback sequence as depicted in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
A new heroine, Batwoman has arrived in Gotham whose identity is a mystery—even to Batman. While she claims to fight for justice, Batwoman forsakes Batman's code to never take a life. Batman must figure out who she is, while stopping the Penguin and Rupert Thorne from selling illegal weapons to the fictional nation of Kasnia. The two villains employ Carlton Duquesne, a gangster, to provide protection.
Batman, with Robin, sets out to stop 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 Kathy Duquesne, the crime boss' daughter.
In addition to Kathy, 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, who seemingly but briefly forms a bond with Robin's alter-ego, Tim Drake and whose technology development is used by the Batwoman against the Penguin; and Detective Harvey Bullock's new partner Sonia Alcana, who seems to know too much about the weapons being smuggled by the Penguin and Carlton Dunquesne. With Carlton 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 all harbor grudges against the Penguin, Thorne, and Carleton Duquesne; the Penguin had framed Roxanne's fiancé Kevin, Thorne had bankrupted Sonia's family, and Carlton Duquesne's war with a rival gang got his wife (and Kathy's mother) killed. They had taken turns posing as Batwoman to remove suspicion on any one of the three. Sonia invented the Batwoman persona as a tribute to Batman, who had saved her life nine years earlier and inspired her to become a police officer.
Kathy plants a bomb in the ship taking the weapons into international waters for the exchange - but not before Bane unmasks her. Kathy and Batman narrowly escape as the bomb goes off, while Carlton forsakes his ties to Thorne and the Penguin to save his daughter's life, and Bane falls into the Gotham River. The GCPD assume that Sonia is the Batwoman; Sonia resigns from the GCPD and decides to leave Gotham. Batman gives Sonia evidence that he discovered which helps clear Rocky's fiancé. Carlton agrees to testify against Thorne and the Penguin. After she reconciles with her father, Kathy drives off with Bruce.
Cherie performs the single "Betcha Never" in the Iceberg Lounge as herself. This is the only time in the DC animated universe that Paul Williams and Henry Silva did not voice the Penguin and Bane, respectively. This film marked the final performances of Bob Hastings and John Vernon as Commissioner James Gordon and Rupert Thorne before their deaths in 2014 and 2005 respectively as well as being the final film for Hastings. It additionally marked the final film appearance of Efrem Zimbalist Jr. before his death in 2014 (He would reprise Alfred one more time in the Justice League three-parter episode "Starcrossed" in 2004)
Despite that the majority of returning characters retain the same designs from The New Batman Adventures era, the character animation is considerably brighter and more lively than from the series. Rupert Thorne was featured in the original show Batman: The Animated Series, but not in The New Batman Adventures. As such, the animators had to create a new appearance for him specifically for this film; he is streamlined and seems to have lost some weight compared to his previous appearance. the animation was outsourced to DR Movie.
Series writers Alan Burnett and Michael Reaves wrote the script, and Kevin Conroy reprises the voice of Batman. The film also shows further continuity with previous Bruce Timm-developed Batman shows: Barbara Gordon's romantic relationship with Bruce Wayne (as mentioned in Batman Beyond) is coming to an end, Dick Grayson has left Gotham to fight crime in Blüdhaven as Nightwing (as mentioned in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker and later making a fleeting cameo in an episode of the later released Justice League Unlimited titled "Grudge Match" which is set in the city of Blüdhaven), hence his absence in the film although it's not explicitly stated, and Robin and Batgirl are much older than their depictions in The New Batman Adventures, but have not yet been forced to quit in the wake of the flashback events in Return of the Joker as this film is set before those events.
Main article: Chase Me
The US DVD release of Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (October 21, 2003) included the bonus short silent film Chase Me. Chase Me is a 2003 American direct-to-video animated short film also based on the animated series The New Batman Adventures. The silent film was produced by Warner Bros. Animation, and follows Batman as he chases Catwoman across Gotham City. The chase sequences are accompanied by a soundtrack mix of a quiet piano score, and jazz style score that plays up the chase.
The film was written by Paul Dini and Alan Burnett and was directed by Curt Geda. It was co-produced by Geda, Burnett, Margaret M. Dean, Benjamin Melniker, and Batman-producer Michael Uslan. The score is by Lolita Ritmanis.
Chase Me is also included as part of the main feature on video streaming sites such as Amazon Video.
The soundtrack album, composed by Lolita Ritmanis, produced by John Takis and mastered by James Nelson was released on March 29, 2016 by La-La Land Records. Bonus tracks and the score to the animated short "Chase Me" were also included.
The film holds a 60% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. DVD Talk rated the film as 3.5 stars of 5 stars as "Recommended".
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman|