"April Moon" is the twenty-third episode of the second season of Batman Beyond. It depicts the emergence of a new gang of ruffians cybernetically enhanced with weapons powerful enough to take on Batman.
A car lands near Gotham Jewelry Planet and four teenagers climb out. One of them is nervous but their leader insists that they have nothing to worry about. The leader promptly renames himself "Bullwhip" and proceeds to crack a steel whip that emerges from his wrist. He calls to another member of his gang who reveals he has a retractable suit of armor granting him the capability to smash through a steel door. A third member of the gang has chain saws extend from his knees and wrists and uses them to cut through a safe. Batman arrives during the robbery and starts to take on the gang. At first he has the upper hand and even manages to greatly disable the saw wielding member by smashing one of his knee saws. However, the one member left behind to stand guard attacks Batman with piston-covered fists. The rest of the gang get back up and manage to beat their enemy. However, Batman discovers a servomotor left behind from the injured gang member and takes it with him.
Elsewhere, an old man sits up late at night and is surprised to find the gang came to him. He mentions that their being around him wasn't part of the bargain but Bullwhip insists that the bargain is anything he wants it to be. The doctor tends to the injured teenager but scolds him on leaving the servomotor behind.
Meanwhile, Terry takes the servomotor to Bruce and comments on how it looks like one of the servomotors in his costume. Bruce agrees and explains that he bought them from a doctor who had been revolutionary in making artificial prosthetics, Dr. Corso. After taking a look at the servomotor Bruce's suspicions are confirmed and Terry believes that "the good doctor isn't so good any more". Bruce mentions that there's something strange about the circuitry and sends Terry after the Doc.
Dr. Corso finishes up his work and is offered jewels by Bullwhip but he refuses them saying that that's not what he wants. Bullwhip tells him to be patient and he'll get what he wants when he's sure they don't need the doctor anymore. Shortly after the gang leaves, Batman arrives and confronts the Doctor. Dr. Corso refuses to explain his actions and injects Batman with a sedative. Batman wakes up in the morning and discovers that the Doctor and all his equipment are missing.
Angered over his failure Terry goes to Max and complains about his mistake. Max, however, points out that Dr. Corso could've easily killed Batman but didn't. This is evidence that he may not be as bad as Terry first believed. Looking to test this theory and lure the Doctor into a trap Max makes a phone call.
Elsewhere, Dr. Corso angrily complains that he can no longer go back to his own home but Bullwhip is unsympathetic. The Doctor gets a call and at first insists that he's taking a leave of absence but after hearing about an emergency involving "both legs" he comes out of his leave and heads out. Bullwhip is suspicious.
Dr. Corso makes his way to the address to see to his patient but finds to his dismay that he's been tricked. Batman confronts him and the Doctor starts to cry saying that "they're going to kill her". He explains that he's been working with the gang because they kidnapped his wife. He tells Batman that he spent twenty years of his life in which all he had was his work and helping other people. That changed when he met his new nurse, April. He was charmed by her appearance and her cheery outlook on life. Within a couple of weeks he decided to propose marriage and she readily agreed. However, all that changed when he met Harold (Bullwhip). Harold had been a patient and started musing about how he could create weaponized prosthetics thereby making people into powerful cyborgs. Off handedly, he suggested a partnership, which would be monetarily profitable. However, Dr. Corso wasn't interested as he already had everything he wanted. Not wanting to hear "no" for an answer, Harold kidnapped April and brought his gang over. He blackmailed the doctor into enhancing them with prosthetics. Feeling he had no choice, Dr. Corso agreed.
Batman understands the Doctor's motives but is still angry about what he has done. Dr. Corso, however, explains that he built fail-safe devices into the gang's servomotors. He intends to activate the devices once he gets April back and thereby destroy the gang's advantage. All the same, he refuses to tell Batman how to activate them. Before Batman can further interrogate Dr. Corso, the gang arrives. Dr. Corso pretends loyalty and the gang attacks Batman. Together they manage to beat Batman and he only barely manages to escape after using a smoke bomb.
The gang leaves and Batman follows after them. Bruce tells Terry that he found out about the cut-off circuits and that they're voice-activated. Unfortunately, he doesn't know the password. He manages to give Terry a couple of clues indicating it has to be an uncommon word or phrase and that it should be significant to the doctor.
Batman reaches the gang and prepares to confront them in their hideout but discovers that Dr. Corso followed him. He still won't tell Batman the secret word. Soon after, however, he sees that April is with the gang, but she's not a hostage, she's there willingly. Worse still, he sees April kiss Bullwhip after receiving a jewel from him. Dr. Corso almost cries out and while Batman prevents this, he is unable to stop the broken man from knocking over some crates thereby alerting the gang to their presence. Batman pushes the man down a cellar and confronts the gang. Once again they seem to have the advantage in spite of a few setbacks and now nearly manage to kill him. However, Batman thinks back on his conversation with Doctor Corso and remembers the picture he was showed with April in front of the moon. Realizing the password, Batman whispers out "April Moon". The cut off switches activate and the servomotors completely self-destruct. Three of the gang members are defeated but Bullwhip sees what's going on and retreats into the shadows.
Later, Terry tells Bruce about the incident and that Bullwhip, April and Dr. Corso disappeared. Bruce assures him that they'll all be back. However, when he learns that Bullwhip doesn't know Dr. Corso saw April kissing him, he realizes that Bullwhip may not be coming back after all.
In Corso's clinic, Bullwhip is on the operating table, assuring Corso that he'll have his wife back after he performs one last "upgrade", to make Bullwhip stronger than ever. Corso appears to accept this. Bullwhip urges Corso not to "hold back" when working on him. Corso agrees, dons his surgical gear, and puts Bullwhip under anesthesia. The last thing Bullwhip sees before losing consciousness is a drill bit moving closer to his face.
Home video releases
- On the DVD menu, the episode was incorrectly named "The April Moon Gang".
- The jewelry deposit the Gang robs has gibberish on its facade: "Gotili vtv jewielry mlatitit"; it was supposed to say "Gotham City Jewelry Planet" or something the like.
- When Bullwhip's gang were blackmailing Dr. Corso, Kneejerk already had gaps in his forearms where his saws would protrude from.
- When the Gang leaves the West End Inn after the fight with Batman, it's misspelled "West Eni Dnn". The next shot, it's normal again.
- The "old song" mentioned by Dr. Corso is Sam Brown's 1990 song "April Moon".
- Only Bullwhip is ever named. All other members of his gang never use a name but are named in the credits.
- Strangely, Knux's pistons are originally flat pistons and later appear to be metal fists.
- The fate of April remains unknown, though the episode's final scene, as well as Bruce's comments, implies that Corso (rather gruesomely) murders Bullwhip.
- This is the second episode since "The Last Resort" in which Batman does not use any Batarangs.
Bullwhip: Don't just repair me. Make me stronger, less vulnerable too. And don't hold back understand?