DCAU #278: Disappearing Inque

IN THIS ONE... An obsessed guard frees Inque from cold storage.

CREDITS: Written by Stan Berkowitz; directed by Curt Geda.

REVIEW: Batman Beyond's villains are mostly driven by money, including Inque, but oddly, Aaron Herbst, a secondary antagonist, is the character with the most Arkham-worthy personality - he's in love with the frozen, protoplasmic Inque and talks to her every day, despite her silence. Part of it is wanting to become inky protoplasm, but still counts. Even so, he does go on about being underpaid, and only breaks Inque out after he's fired for being a perv. Mad villains often deserve ironic ends, and he gets one. Turned into useless protoplasm by Inque, he finds his way to a facility where a talkative nurse goes on tediously about her day as he's force-fed meat smoothies, unable to respond. So the show knows he's more of a Batman villain than Batman's villains in this era.

Indeed, Inque's mean and vengeful, and her powers always make for crazy fights, but one wonders how often they can go to the inkwell and still make it interesting. Here, we get to see her cruelty to Aaron, and her skill with chemistry to make herself more stable, but the rainstorm outside was always going to be her undoing. Very little surprise there. No number of Bat-exoskeletons were going to actually win the day.

Because ah yes, Chekhov's armor shows up early in the episode, so it must be used by the end. The only and best surprise is that Bruce is the one wearing it, going back into action, ever so briefly, as Batman. That's cool, and it's great how they use the old theme music during the sequence. And good thing too, because otherwise, this is a rather weak episode for Bruce. It's like his every line is delivered with dripping sarcasm, to the point where it becomes annoying. It's fine, even expected, for him to be one step ahead of Terry, but that smug smile and tone are just one flat note in this one.

IN THE COMICS: Batman armors have been featured in the comics (and in a recent film), this one most like the one worn by Bruce Wayne in Kingdom Come.

SOUNDS LIKE: Aaron is played by none other than William H. Macy.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - Inque's back, but her liberator is actually the main attraction. Similarly, the two Batmen jostle for attention.


Anonymous said...

Poor Inque is too young to realize: when the old Danny Elfman "Batman" music starts, your doom is at hand.

Inque wouldn't be the first villain who thought they'd defeated Batman only for Robin to sneak up on them. And can we talk about that? To me, Terry McGinnis is always the Robin of the future, and never quite Batman. Which is fine -- look at all the exceptional Robins there have been -- but none of them ever succeeds at being Batman.

Siskoid said...

Well, I liked Dick Grayson as Batman (just prior to New52).

Brian said...

Those of us who watched BB in its first run back in the day likely can agree on just how totally awesome that moment when the Elfman/Walker theme welled up; I remember well running back the VCR a few times to rewatch that scene over and over.

Being an era before JL or any of the various seemingly-annual animated reboots, the image of Wayne playing Batman again for that moment (something that wasn't expected given the expected focus on McGinnis at the time) was something special.

LiamKav said...

Shirley Walker Batman theme, not Danny Elfman. The original theme to BTAS was the Elfman movie theme, but Walker wrote her own Batman theme that was usually used for the character (as well as for the "New Adventures of Batman and Robin" episodes.

Anonymous said...

Shirley Walker it is, my bad. Thanks!

About Dick Grayson as Batman, he did well and he kept Gotham safe. But at least to me he never quite felt like Batman, and I think it's because he's meant to be Nightwing.

As came up in the most recent "Nightwing" annual, there is at least one piece of the Batman recipe that is missing in Dick Grayson: he doesn't quite have Bruce's magnificent brain, for instance.

LiamKav said...

But (comic) Tim Drake arguably does. I suppose each Robin reflects a different part of Bruce. Dick: Justice. Jason: Vengence. Tim: Detective. Damien: Dark Knight (not sure about that one). Terry is quite a good mix of all of them in some respects, with (as has been pointed out) some Spider-Man thrown in.


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