Going Through The DCAU Part Sixty-Five

Normally, Jimmy and Tom talk three episodes/stories at a time of any given DCAU series.  But we did a quick count and found out there’d be one episode by itself if we kept that up for Batman Beyond.

As such, we decided this time around to do four episodes.  Which episodes were they?  “Where’s Terry?” “Ace in the Hole,” “King’s Ransom,” and “Untouchable.”  See what they had to say below!

“Where’s Terry?”

Terry is missing!  Can Max and Bruce work together to find him?

jimmy:  You know, I thought this would be more of a “whodunit?” with next to no Terry/Batman appearing. And it did start off that way…

tomk:  And then Terry is rescued by the buffest kid in the sewers.

jimmy:  Well, there’s lots of time for push ups when you don’t go to school.

tomk:  Did you have fun with this one?

jimmy:  Well, you know how I feel about episodes with Bruce stepping up.

tomk:  You wish he’d shut up and go to bed early.

jimmy:  Hells no!

tomk:  Oh that’s right. You find him charming and witty.

jimmy:  And a wizard with a cane.

tomk:  Who will sell out a teenage girl.

jimmy:  He’s been messing with teenagers for 60 years.

tomk:  He usually doesn’t let them get arrested to cover for himself. He gives them bright colors to cover him from armed goons.

jimmy:  Much better.

tomk:  Well, how did you like Max and Bruce? Would you want another episode with just them and no Terry?

jimmy:  Well, she’s no Robin. Bruce does throw a few compliments her way…but how much of that was genuine…seeing her just used her to get past the cops 10 seconds later.

tomk:  Keep in mind, this show came out on the 90s when Bruce was often characterized as someone who uses people more than connects to them.

jimmy:  Which he doesn’t now?

tomk:  Not as much or as blatantly.

I mean, Bruce throws a big party for all the heroes at the end of Dark Nights: Metal.

jimmy:  True. But wasn’t the “Death Of The Family” storyline along the lines of showing all the ways that Bruce DOES use the Robin’s, Alfred, etc?

tomk:  But he felt bad about it.

jimmy:  Poor ole Batman. Never gets a break.

tomk:  Current Batman seems to recognize he mistreats people.

90s Batman didn’t much care if he did.

jimmy:  And 80 year old Batman can take out Clash or Soundwave or whatever his name is, much, much too easily with just the swing of a cane.

tomk:  Shriek.

He wears a helmet. Probably rattles his already oversensitive ears.

jimmy:  And that all just makes Terry look bad.

tomk:  No, the fact Dana was more worried than his mom makes Terry look bad.

jimmy:  That makes his mom look bad.

tomk:  On the other hand, it makes Dana look good.

jimmy:  Dana is less likely to believe Terry started making his bed.

tomk:  It’s a kids show, so we don’t need to know how much Dana knows about Terry’s bed.

In fact, Dana was so worried that she didn’t even check in again at the end of the episode.

jimmy:  Well, there wasn’t much time to. Terry had just crawled in the window.

tomk:  Dana probably had to go bail Max out of jail.

jimmy:  Yeah, Bruce and Terry didn’t seem overly concerned.

tomk:  Terry was probably too scared.

Then again, I don’t know why you doubt Bruce so much. You know what he did to Darth Vader.

jimmy:  Batman always wins. Unless it is a JLA Knife Fight.

tomk:  Nobody cares about those things.

jimmy:  Well…one “person” does.

tomk:  Anyone we know? Or know of?

jimmy:  Or want to know?

tomk:  There are a lot of people I would want to know.

jimmy:  Back to your point: of course Terry is afraid of Bruce. Wouldn’t you be?

tomk:  Terry can get some wiseass comments in when he wants to.

jimmy:  Bruce is no stranger to them himself.

tomk:  What are you? The real Bruce Wayne?

jimmy:  I wish. I could definitely use the scratch.

tomk:  Yeah. Besides, you’d probably just be part of Alpha Flight or something with Watson.

But you must have been happy to see the T’s again.

jimmy:  I…must have been?

tomk:  Someone must have been. They came back.

jimmy:  Buncha no good backpack thieves.

tomk:  You’d rather the Jokerz?

jimmy:  They’re…not much better.

tomk:  Bruce wouldn’t have tried an ill-advised negotiation with them.

jimmy:  I dunno, this is Bruce. I think he forgets he’s 100 years old most of the time.

tomk:  He’s that young!?!

jimmy:  Heh.

tomk:  So, did Bruce save the day here?

jimmy:  Seemed more like that little kid…until Terry remembered that he could fly.

tomk:  Dak didn’t want anyone telling him when he could lift weights.

jimmy:  But seriously…there was nothing Terry could do to get out of that place he was stuck? And only gets free because the hole widens with the flood. He had nothing in his utility belt to make that hole bigger?

tomk:  Not after he used all his explosives.

jimmy:  Bruce needs to teach him how to better pack his utility belt.

tomk:  Or to just not use all the explosives at once.

jimmy:  Terry. *shakes head*

tomk:  It mostly worked. Just not the way Terry planned.

I think this episode mostly showed Terry being useless.

jimmy:  Pretty much. Maybe Max should be Batgirl Beyond.

tomk:  Maybe. Did you have anything else to add?

jimmy:  Do you think Bruce would have needed the help of a little kid and have Alfred and say Barbara Gordon come looking for him in the same situation?

tomk:  I think that was almost the plot to the Sewer King episode. And he was the suckiest suck who ever sucked.

jimmy:  Well, this was better than the Sewer King.

tomk:  Having engine trouble deep in the woods at night is better than the Sewer King.

jimmy:  It wasn’t a bad episode, but like you said, just seemed to show Terry still has a ways to go as Batman.

tomk:  Or that Bruce and Max can work together for short intervals.

jimmy:  Something we will see going forward?

tomk:  Maybe. Would you rather an episode about the dog?

jimmy:  I like dogs.

tomk:  Sensible people do.

jimmy:  …don’t you have a cat?

tomk:  I would have a dog if I had a yard.

jimmy:  Dogs are great. Cats are ok too. (Don’t send your cat to lay on my mouth while I’m asleep and smother me.)

tomk:  That would require my cat to show effort.

jimmy:  Like this dog you keep going on about?

tomk:  Would you like to find out?

jimmy:  I would!

tomk:  Then I think it’s time for the next episode.

“Ace in the Hole”

Ace goes missing! Is it connected to the dog’s past?

jimmy:  Possibly the first time ever…Bruce smiled?

tomk:  People like dogs, Jimmy.

jimmy:  Oh, I know all about it.

tomk:  Sure, some people might say dogs are idiots. If I came into your house and started sniffing at your crotch and slobbering all over your face, how would you react?

jimmy:  If YOU did it Tom?

tomk:  See? I’d be fit to be tied.

But hey, I’m sure Bruce smiled before. Remember when he got married?

jimmy:  No one’s smile lasts long after that.

tomk:  No comment.

Then again, Bruce’s wife turned out to be a weird plant clone Poison Ivy made.

Maybe not the best example.

Well, Jimmy, I know you like dogs. How do you feel about the Secret Origin of Ace the Bat-Hound?

jimmy:  It was a little cliched for an abused dog origin…minus the genetically mutated monsters at the end.

tomk:  Right. When we want to see Batman avoiding giant pets in an arena, we want it to be Bruce dealing with a cat cult.

jimmy:  Well, we know cats are evil.

tomk:  Again, no comment.

OK, more serious question: Terry calls people who set up dog fights as “the worst”. Now, I love dogs, but is that really the lowest type of person Terry deals with on a routine basis?

jimmy:  …probably not, in the grand scheme of things…particularly in his world, but it’s a pretty sick “profession”.

tomk:  Agreed. I sometimes think people care more for animals than other people, but dogs are innocent creatures. That big dog at the end? He was abused before he came out and Terry wasn’t exactly gentle. A buzzsaw across the teeth just sounds awful.

jimmy:  Well, he didn’t have much choice. That “dog” would have killed him.

tomk:  It was still a dog. Probably started off as an innocent pug.

jimmy:  I suppose it is still “innocent” now.

tomk:  We saw what a cute puppy Ace was.

Bitchface McDogwhip was a terrible owner.

jimmy:  I did wonder why Bruce never took the time to track him down previously? But I guess he never had a reason to. As far as he knew, Ace was just a stray that helped save him from a mugging.

tomk:  And furthermore, Bruce never adopts anyone who didn’t have a traumatic childhood.

I’m sure that chauffeur we saw was an orphan at the age of 3 after a horrifying wheat thresher accident.

jimmy:  That…or he didn’t last long. He didn’t seem cut out to be part of the Bat-Family.

tomk:  What? Some nameless guy we never saw before? I don’t see it.

jimmy:  I’m sure he’ll show up again in future flashbacks.

tomk:  And then we’ll learn he’s, like, the Scarecrow’s grandson.

jimmy:  And he’ll become Scarecrow 2099…uh, I mean…Scarecrow Beyond. Or whatever.

tomk:  He’d be a more memorable villain than Bitchface. At least I’d remember his name without looking it up.

And he’s the worst.

jimmy:  Worse than the Sewer King?

tomk:  I’m just going by what Terry said.

Or maybe Jenny.

And Bitchface McDogwhip may be terrible, but he isn’t the suckiest suck who ever sucked.

jimmy:  And how about Ace? Seems like Batman should be taking him on more adventures.

tomk:  Maybe give him a nice cowl of his own. He’ll take a bite out of crime.

jimmy:  lol, nice.

tomk:

jimmy:  Maybe copyright infringement, but nice.

tomk:  Ever looked up the original backstory on the original Ace?

jimmy:  I have not.

tomk:  In the 50s, he was some other guy’s dog that Batman would “borrow” for certain missions. And he never really told the guy he was borrowing the dog.

jimmy:  Just “some guy”? And he would “borrow” his dog without asking? Did the guy know his dog was going off with Batman solving crimes in his spare time?

tomk:  I don’t believe the guy did. He was a friend of Bruce Wayne’s and eventually moved out of Gotham, but not before giving Ace to Bruce because he couldn’t take the dog with him for some reason.

jimmy:  “Some reason”…that I’m sure Bruce had nothing to do with…

tomk:  You’re so suspicious some times.

jimmy:  Am I?

tomk:  50s Batman was much friendlier. Less Machiavellian.

jimmy:  Did he dance?

tomk:  He may have worn a zebra-striped outfit.

jimmy:  He also hung out with other multi-colored Batmen from other planets…

tomk:  And that’s not getting into the Batmen of Many Nations.

jimmy:  Jenny would hate this convo.

tomk:  Jenny won’t read it.

Hmm, this episode doesn’t seem to be producing much chat. We’re making references to forgotten eras of Batman that were too silly for some people.

jimmy:  Well, it’s an episode with an origin story for a dog. 🙂

tomk:  Woof woof.

jimmy:  It was good. Might have had more meaning if Ace had really any part in any other episodes besides just sometimes being there. Like, have we ever seen Terry taking him for a walk before?

tomk:  Ace walks himself.

Because he was trained by Batman!

jimmy:  Except this one time, because, plot.

tomk:  Maybe we should move on. I can guarantee you’ll get some stuff you like with the next one. It has Bruce going outside and everything.

jimmy:  …in daylight?

tomk:  Perhaps. Maybe what you want is a good old-fashioned villain war.

jimmy:  Who doesn’t love a villain war?

tomk:  Villains.

jimmy:  I’m not sure you’re right about that.

tomk:  They take all the casualties. Shall we see how this one turns out?

jimmy:  Yes, now that you’ve teased me enough with it.

“King’s Ransom”

The Royal Flush Gang have a dispute with Paxton Powers! And Batman is in the middle of it!

jimmy:  Ace is back and kicking ass!

tomk:  Well, you seem pleased. All Ace did was maul a lame guy in a playing card outfit.

jimmy:  Uh, he was a King, Tom.

tomk:  A King in someone else’s shadow.

jimmy:  Aren’t we all?

tomk:  Not I.

I cast shadows, not sit in them.

jimmy:  You’re a bigger man than I.

tomk:  Probably literally.

Ok, so, you got Ace kicking ass. That clearly caught your eye.

jimmy:  It also caught my eye that King’s lover defeated him soundly…while Terry struggles. Unless he was playing possum…which is quite possumable.

tomk:  I think it was possum play. They were clearly in cahoots.

jimmy:  Was it clear prior to the end reveal?

tomk:  Well, it seems doubtful he got to second base that easily after that earlier beating.

jimmy:  Second base? Tom, this is a kids show. Keep it clean!

tomk:  Um…cootie transfer?

jimmy:  Speaking of, Ten didn’t have much of a role.

tomk:  She’s reformed. Possibly heartbroken. But she may have reformed her brother.

jimmy:  Ten, Jack suited. Good starting hand.

tomk:  But hey, remember when we were told you in their first episode how formidable the Royal Flush Gang were and here they are in their last episode looking like a bunch of chumps. Ten must have been the glue holding that family together.

jimmy:  And don’t mess with the Queen either. I think I see a pattern here.

tomk:  You wished Bruce sicced his Ace on their Ace?

jimmy:  That might not be a fair fight…though Ace is not exactly at his best these days.

tomk:  Which Ace?

jimmy:  The non-canine one.

tomk:  Dog Ace could have taken this Ace by lifting a leg and aiming well…if this wasn’t a kids show.

jimmy:  Malfunctioning Ace was kinda creepy. Like when his head was pointing in the wrong direction while fighting Terry and he had to adjust it.

tomk:  And I believe this was the first time that Ace was explicitly shown to be a robot.

Which makes past episodes where he’s led away in handcuffs with the rest of the Gang kinda weird.

jimmy:  Or at least a cyborg of some kind. But did seem to be just straight up robot.

But that always happens. Doc Ock and Spider-Man will battle across the whole city…Spider-Man defeats him, barely. Cops put a set of cuffs on Doc and put him in the back of the police car, arms and all.

tomk:  The comic book version is generally a robot. This one was mostly a superstrong mute.

And hey, cops arrested Thanos once!

jimmy:  That’ll teach him to steal a helicopter and put his name on it!

tomk:

Those must have been the Infinity Cuffs.

jimmy:  Heh. Nice.

tomk:  So, I mentioned this was the last appearance of the Royal Flush Gang. I think it’s also the last for Paxton Powers.
That may be coincidental. This was the last season, but nobody really knew it at the time. Most of the creative people were shuffled over to Justice League and stuff just happened.

jimmy:  Powers isn’t much of an interesting character.

tomk:  Well, apparently colluding to murder someone is still frowned upon in the future.

jimmy:  Surprising.

tomk:  Yeah, but given this was his last appearance, how appropriate.

jimmy:  I was a little surprised by Bruce saying that he never knew where Powers hid his collection. A more appropriate statement would have been to say he didn’t bother to find out because, you know he could have.

tomk:  Bruce was too busy setting traps for fools.

jimmy:  It takes one to know one!

I don’t know what that means.

Anyway, you mentioned that this is the last season, and I’m sure there’s not many episodes left. We talk about how Bruce is the “real” Batman all the time. The concept of the show is interesting, and the Batman Beyond suit is, dare I say, iconic, but I’ve never felt that Terry has ever elevated to any kind of memorable level.

tomk:  What, if anything, do you like about Terry?

jimmy:  I don’t dislike Terry, but I guess there is nothing really that stands up. Which is kind of my point. You could really replace him with any character around that same age.

tomk:  True. That was probably at least a little deliberate.

jimmy:  Perhaps.

tomk:  Isn’t that supposed to be the appeal of a certain Mr. Parker we often compare Terry to?

jimmy:  Peter is much more interesting than Terry.

tomk:  That’s because Uncle Ben at least produced some high quality rice with his fortune cookie adages. That’s more than you can say about Terry’s dad.

jimmy:  But even interesting things about Terry (he’s been incarcerated, his father’s death) are mostly glossed over or never mentioned again.

tomk:  Oh, that incarcerated thing will come back.

jimmy:  Ohh…

tomk:  Yes, it will be explained.

But your point is valid. He’s an everyman hero, but we expect Batman to be more. Bruce gets more done with a glare and a whistle in this episode. But then he needs to take his heart medicine.

jimmy:  Heh.

tomk:  Heck, both Terry and King comment here on being in someone else’s shadow.

Terry’s just more used to it now.

jimmy:  And Bruce is still alive as a mentor.

tomk:  A grumpy mentor the fans really miss.

Just ask Paxton Powers!

Well, look, Terry has one thing Bruce doesn’t.

jimmy:  A mother? A brother? A girlfriend? A curfew?

tomk:  A dinosaur!

No, wait, I mean an electric guitar-based soundtrack.

Well, if they’re wrapping things up, however unintentionally, this episode works very well as the last one for the Royal Flush Gang and Paxton Powers.

jimmy:  Powers was a weasel, he won’t be missed. Though I’m a little surprised that the Royal Flush Gang (at least an earlier rendition of) didn’t appear elsewhere, like in Justice League.

tomk:  Well, they do. But they’re very different characters. This version is closer to the comics.

jimmy:  I’m not familiar with their comic counterparts. Mainly Batman villains?

tomk:  No. Justice League. A group of criminals working off a card motif.

jimmy:  These guys?

tomk:  That’s them.

jimmy:  I guess clubs were cooler than spades back then. I blame Motörhead.

tomk:  Clubs are good weapons.

jimmy:  So are spades. Hearts…not so much.

tomk:  And we don’t want to talk Diamonds.

jimmy:  That they are a girls best friend? And are forever?

tomk:  And crooks like to steal them.

Well, anything else to add, Jimmy? I know Spider-Man is back in a new movie right about now, so you may have other teenage superheroes grabbing your attention.

jimmy:  Only thing that comes to mind is that they wasted Ten in this episode. The only reason for her appearance seemed to be to show some closure or something for her/Terry.

tomk:  And maybe for Jack.

The parents fell apart, but the kids in the Gang stuck together.

Though Ace fell apart much more literally.

jimmy:  The kids are all right.

tomk:  They better be. Jack’s dishwashing skills sound better than his lockpicking skills.

jimmy:  They better be.

tomk:  Well, maybe after all that, let’s try a one-and-done bad guy.

jimmy:  Anyone new is likely to be one and done at this point.

tomk:  That’s not quite true, and Terry has enough of a rogue’s gallery by now to get repeating bad guys.

Oh, and there is one or two of Bruce’s still to come…

jimmy:  Intriguing.

tomk:  In the meantime, we have the Repeller.

I think he was standing behind the door when they were handing out good bad guy names. That or he got lost on his way to fight Spider-Man alongside the Shocker.

jimmy:  Better than Sewer King.

tomk:  On that note…

“Untouchable”

A mysterious thief has a suit that makes him literally untouchable! Is there a connection to a Wayne-Powers medical lab?

jimmy:  Man…drawing all those graviton lines must have been a pain in the ass.

tomk:  Yeah, these shows were still 100% hand drawn back then.

jimmy:  Except for the slick cutting edge CGI in the opening credits. 🙂

tomk:  Which wasn’t.

Anyway, how about that Repeller? He sure was a memorable foe with a good name.

jimmy:  He…was?

tomk:  Sure. Remember when he was revealed to be the Big Bad in Infinite Crisis?

jimmy:  …have I slipped into an alternate reality again?

tomk:  Just the Sarcasm Zone.

OK, so, we had a mystery villain and a girl for Dana to get jealous over. What did you think of this one?

jimmy:  It was ok. It doesn’t take much to set Dana off.

tomk:  It’s her main personality trait.

jimmy:  Says a lot about her character.

tomk:  It says a lot about so little?

jimmy:  Um…yes. 🙂

tomk:  You get gold star!

jimmy:  Wahoo!

tomk:

OK, but you do know why Terry was so fascinated with that girl, right?

jimmy:  Because men are pigs?

tomk:  Nah. Terry never had a bad encounter with a Bubble Boy.

Just ask the moops.

jimmy:  You beat me to it. GD autocorrect!

tomk:  The card said moops.

Well, Jimmy, were you at all surprised who was under the Repeller mask?

jimmy:  Not overly. I figured it was one of the two lab guys. And the one it wasn’t seemed a little too old. But could have been either of them really.

tomk:  Well, this one wasn’t Payback. We really only had two suspects unless Terry’s new friend was Repeller, and the older one seemed far too cranky in my mind. Like they wanted us to think it was him.

jimmy:  Agreed. Were we at any point supposed to suspect…I can’t even remember her name…Mulva?

tomk:  I don’t remember her name either. Mulva works for me.

And I don’t think so.

jimmy:  Good, because I never did. Could have been the mystery guy at the end. I don’t know his name either. Let’s say, Brad.

tomk:  Brad is the ultimate generic name.

jimmy:

tomk:  But in all seriousness, I remember watching this episode and thinking though I didn’t actually recall who Repeller was, he had to be the friendlier lab guy. It’s like all the times I go to the movies and the protagonist knows someone betrayed him and there’s only one character it can possibly be without bringing in some brand new character in the last minute.

jimmy:  Agreed. Good job, Columbo.

tomk:  Oh come on. Columbo’s show always tells you who the murderer is in the beginning of the episode. The fun comes from watching Columbo annoy the killer into giving away all the clues.

But Repeller can shatter titanium, the strongest metal known to man. Maybe they should try vibranium next time.

Man, this episode wasn’t bad, but it doesn’t seem to be provoking much conversation. Maybe this late in the run, all we get are so-so mysteries and neat visuals for how a bad guy’s powersuit works.

jimmy:  And in the end, all you need is a really big fan.

tomk:  Like us?

I’m a big Batman fan.

jimmy:  That may be crazy enough to work!

tomk:  OK, you go find Repeller, I’ll ask him how he can breath since his suit should even repel air, and when he panics, you hit him with the unrepellable moose.

jimmy:  Done!

Didn’t Terry ask “not love interest” about breathing? Or was that simply smelling?

tomk:  Might have just been smelling.

Can they apply deodorant?

jimmy:  Do they need to?

tomk:  Well, those fields may contain their own odors and such.

While repelling everything else.

I’m just sayin’, she might stink.

jimmy:  Maybe that’s why Terry doesn’t hook up with her.

tomk:  That and hooking up might be difficult if he tries to get close to her only to get bounced across the room. It’d be like dating everybody’s favorite New Warrior Speedball.

jimmy:  Hopefully she doesn’t end up like this…

tomk:  Don’t we all end up like that on the inside?

jimmy:  Man, that’s dark.

tomk:  It goes well with the Batman Beyond opening credits.

jimmy:  Fair enough.

tomk:  Anything else to add, Jimmy?

jimmy:  I’m still waiting for that quintessential Batman Beyond episode that blows me away. I’m not sure I’ll get it.

tomk:  You might. In another three episodes.

jimmy:  You’re such a tease.

tomk:  I just know what you like. You’ll like an episode coming up in the next batch of three.

jimmy:  Well, we better get at them.

tomk:  Okey dokey.

NEXT TIME:  Tom and Jimmy go back to their three episode schedule with the episodes “Inqueling,” “Big Time,” and “Out of the Past”.  Be here for it!

tomk74

Defender of the faith, contributing writer, debonair man-about-town.

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