Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman is a direct-to-video animated film set in the continuity of The New Batman Adventures. It introduces the characters of Rupert Thorne and Batwoman to The New Batman Adventures. It was released on DVD and VHS on October 21, 2003, and on Blu-ray on March 12, 2013.
On one of Gotham City's highways, a truck is carrying a load of crates out of the city while being escorted by thugs in a car. Out of nowhere, a jet-like craft piloted by a woman in a Bat-costume lands on the trailer and opens a crate. She takes out one of the high-tech rifles and blasts the thugs' car off the road. The woman then destroys part of the rest of the load, and soon after, the truck's co-driver intervenes. They fight, and it attracts the attention of Batman and Robin when a stray shot nearly hits the Batwing. The fight goes the Batwoman's way; she knocks the thug into the river and escapes on her glider. She fires one last shot at the truck, which sends it off the highway. Batman saves the truck by firing a hook from the Batwing preventing it from falling to the street. Robin wonders who the woman is, but Batman remains silent as he pilots the Batwing carrying the truck away.
Later that night at Wayne Manor, Alfred has a theory about Batwoman's identity that she could be one of his old enemies taking a new persona such as Catwoman. Bruce disagrees saying that Selina Kyle has more regard for human life and there is a completely new vigilante running the streets. Bruce wants to know her motive and why her costume is linked to him. Alfred warns Bruce there are many species in which the female is deadlier than the male.In another part of town, Rupert Thorne and Carlton Duquesne are seen visiting Beaks' Bric-A-Brac to see their partner, Penguin. The warehouse is actually a hidden weapons factory. Duquesne reports that the shipment had failed due to a Batwoman attacking his men, and doubled his efforts to prevent her from getting the rest. Penguin points out that their clients overseas have already given a half billion dollars for the weapons and if they're not delivered they'll want their money back while stating they spent most of it. So, the rest of the delivery has to be done within the next week. He orders Duquesne to get rid of the Batwoman.
At a penthouse, Kathy Duquesne returns from shopping with two of Carlton's men. She meets her father who's on the phone talking about finding the Batwoman. She asks him who was on the phone, he answered it was business and nothing for her worry about. She leaves him alone in his office. Back on the phone, he orders his men to find the Batwoman and finish her.
On the news, people are wondering if Batwoman is Batman's new partner or an adult Batgirl. Reporters asks Commissioner James Gordon, but all he knows that she's not affiliated with Batman. They ask Harvey Bullock who thinks that the city has enough bat-freaks in Gotham already. He wonders if Bat-hound is next. Bruce and Tim Drake watch the news in the car and Bruce gets a call from Barbara Gordon, who is doing well in college. She called to let Bruce know that she saw the news also and asks about the newcomer while Bruce assures her that he doesn't know who the woman is. Barbara explains she would have been upset because she and Bruce were dating. Bruce fakes a signal break up to get of the phone saying they will talk later much to Barbara's dismay. While Alfred and Tim joke about it, Bruce says to deal with one female bat at a time.
At Wayne Enterprises, a young woman named Rocky Ballantine gives a presentation for her new alloy, but she keeps knocking her charts over about the progress of the alloy. To cut it short, she shows a chunk of metal which can change shape, to a flower, a crystal, a butterfly, and finally, the Statue of Liberty, much to everyone's delight. At a restaurant, Bruce praises Rocky for her work and says a silent parent may have some use for her work. Suddenly, the Bat-signal shines in the sky. Bruce asks for the check and departs.
At Gotham Police Department, Gordon, Bullock, and Sonia Alcana wait on the rooftop for Batman. As Batman arrives, Gordon shows the remains of the weapons from the truck Batwoman destroyed. Batman pointed out that it's a plasma rifle which could take out a tank at 200 yards, but Sonia corrected him with more like 500 after saying she measured the clip size. Gordon then introduces Sonia as Bullock's new partner. They also found many other weapons, but the driver isn't talking. Batman sees the key chain Bullock is holding and has an idea of who is behind it. He departs stating he will get back to them.
At the warehouse bearing the same logo as the key chain, Batman and Robin arrive in the Batmobile looking for some thugs. Inside the factory, Batwoman battles with some men, but is soon outnumbered. Batman and Robin come down through the roof's window just in time for back up. They fight off the thugs, but Batwoman had planted a bomb in a room below them. It soon goes off, destroying the entire warehouse not before the heroes escape. Batwoman revealed that they were making weapons for Kasnia. When she is about to depart, Batman halts her and asks who she is and why she's doing this, but Batwoman brushes him off and tell him to figure it out as he's the great detective. She gets away in her Batglider but Batman grapples up to it with the Batline. Batwoman notices him and the cuts the line. Batman quickly uses another to land on a building. With binoculars, he sees Batwoman land near Duquesne's penthouse. He goes up there and overhears Carlton getting a report that the warehouse is destroyed. One of Carlton's thug tries to sneaks up on Batman, but he knocks him out along with two others. Carlton comes out and starts yelling that he and Batwoman gave him enough trouble for one night and tells him to leave, as Kathy hears from her room above.
The next morning, Kathy said that she heard a commotion last night, but Carlton stated that is nothing for her to worry about. When she about to go out, Carlton orders his men to go with her for the next couple of days because he's having problems with some people, Kathy replied "mama problems". Carlton became angered and told her that as long as she is living under his roof, she'll do what he says. She departs with the men. Bruce watches from his limo and tells Alfred to follow Kathy's car.
At the mall, Bruce asks Alfred to wait while he goes in for a watch. Bruce goes up on an escalator and spots Kathy looking through some dresses. When Kathy goes to a dressing room, one of guards states the he misses working for The Joker, while the other takes out his frustration on a rack. Kathy sneaks by with Bruce, but they get caught by the guards and they attempt to catch them. At the escalator, Bruce halts it which sends the guards to crash, then he uses an umbrella to stop the rotating door. They get away in Kathy's car. Alfred follows the car for a while but Kathy notices a car following them. Alfred doesn't catch up remarking that Bruce is on his own. While out on a cliff, Kathy is shocked the man she's with is Bruce Wayne, noting the most respected man in Gotham was with the daughter of the most disrespected. When Kathy was close to the edge, Bruce told her to be careful with Kathy saying that he reminded her of her mother and cliff was their favorite spot for painting. She sadly told Bruce that she passed away some years ago and still felt sorry. Kathy was too close to the edge and nearly fell, but Bruce caught her just in time. They soon gazed into each other's eyes. The bodyguards finally catch up and drove in to pick up Kathy. She gave Bruce the keys and told him he can bring it back sometime or to keep it, then she kisses him on the cheek and departs with the guards.
Back at the police department, Batman reports that she met Batwoman and confirmed they were making weapons at Penguin's factory. Batman thinks that Batwoman is Kathy, the daughter of Carlton Duquesne. Gordon recalls the assassination attempt on Carlton 10 years ago that the killers missed him but hit his wife instead. Batman feels that the incident left Kathy to blame Carlton for what happened and a lot more. Bullock dismisses the theory pointing out that Carlton has a lot of money and Kathy would be biting the hand that feeds her but Sonia interjects that peace of mind can't be bought. Gordon orders that they keep a tail on her, just to be sure.
At the Batcave, Bruce looks through photos of Kathy seeing her playing all kinds of sports. Alfred notices a change in Bruce's attitude as the evidence is building against Kathy. While Tim is training with the Batarangs, he asks Alfred what's going on with Bruce. Alfred informs Tim that Bruce has developed some affection for Kathy. Tim states "he sure can pick 'em" and continues training.
Later that night, Batwoman goes to the top of a building and while she takes pictures of some files, she hears Penguin and Thorne talking about their progress with the weapons. Penguin worries that without the weapons the Kaznians would come after them like wolverines. He also expressed concern that Duquesne is inadequate at being the muscle since this new threat shows Duquesne is out of his league. Penguin decides to replace him but notices flashes coming from the other room. Penguin and Thorne see Batwoman but blinds them and with a flash. While getting into a brief fight, she gets away. Thorne says that anyone Penguin wants to hire is fine with him. Back at Duquesne's penthouse, Kathy comes out of a swimming pool, and dries herself, then she hears her father enraged that Penguin is replacing him. After noticing one of his guards come out of Duquesne's room, she walks away.
At Rocky's apartment, she shows Tim how to go through a game that none of his friends could figure out. Bruce comes in to let him know that Alfred is waiting. Bruce asks Rocky is working late again and she replies her boyfriend is very understanding then asks about him. Bruce replies he didn't have anyone special. Kathy appears asking if she was that forgettable. Kathy and Rocky shake hands with Rocky saying she was sorry for something but wasn't sure about what. Bullock and Sonia wait out in their car to follow Bruce and Kathy to the Iceberg Lounge. After taking their seats, they are greeted by Penguin. Kathy is friendly with him but Bruce was rather irritated as the last time he saw Penguin was when he stole plutonium from from one of Bruce's labs to threaten to blow up the city. Penguin remembered but said it was part of his more rambunctious days. One of the lounge members said that he had a call and the Penguin departs. Bruce questions Kathy about wanting her father to know about her at the Lounge. She denies this and goes to the ladies room. At Penguin's office, Bane is seen talking on the phone with Penguin. They make plans to meet later that night.
Batwoman appears out the shadows startling Penguin and as he is about to reach for his umbrella gun, Batwoman throws a metal object that turns into a restraint trapping him. She questions him who he was talking to. Before Penguin answers, he presses a button to call his staff to his office. Bruce sees them and walks away. Batwoman finally gets her answer from Penguin, he reveals his new muscle is Bane. The staff breaks into the office and gets into a scuffle with Batwoman, who is out matched by the two skilled fighters. Penguin use the stars that one of them threw to cut himself free. Batwoman is then knocked out of the office into the dance floor. This time, she knocks down the lounge staffers. Penguin launches a bat-seeking missile at Batwoman, but she avoids it and end up nearly hitting the staff. Bullock and Sonia overhear an explosion, she goes in after telling Bullock to call for backup. Penguin fires another missile and hits the column she's on which sends her through a table. As she lays helpless, Batman swings by and kicks Penguin who then fights the guards allowing Batwoman to escape. Batman knocks out some of the guards, but sees Kathy watching, much to his shock.
The distractions allows for a guard to hit Batman with a chair sending him into the pool. Penguin fires more missiles but Batman places a bomb to blowup the pool sending the seals from the water into them. Batman makes his getaway in the commotion. Bane sees the mayhem and departs. Bruce escorts Kathy home and explained he was sorry that he wrong about her. Kathy and Bruce are about to share their first kiss until they are interrupted by one of her bodyguards, who informs her that her father wishes to see her. Kathy and Bruce then say goodnight to each other. Bruce smiles watching her leave.
Batman meets Sonia in a subway station. After they discuss Kathy can't be Batwoman, Batman gives Sonia a piece of metal Batwoman used on Penguin. When he is about to depart, Sonia pointed out that Batman saved her life once from a fire at her parents' shop nine years ago. Batman remembers the incident and said the arsonists were working for Rupert Thorne as part of his protection racket though, the D.A. was never able to make the case stick. Thus that is why Sonia decided to become a cop. As the train passes, Batman is gone. At the Batcave, Bruce discovers the wire from Penguin's office is identical to the alloy Rocky Ballantine developed.
At Stonegate Penitentiary, Rocky visits her boyfriend Kevin. While he is not doing well, Rocky informs him she's close to finding someone in Penguin's organization that will talk. Kevin disapproves of Rocky's methods to spy on the Penguin as it's too dangerous. Rocky assures that she can take care of herself because she's not the wimp she used to be. Kevin said she would have to be Supergirl to stand a chance against his goons. He informs her that he doesn't want see her any more. Kevin explains he has five more years before he has a chance for parole and doesn't want her to waste her life waiting. Kevin tells her not to come again and if she does, he won't see her much to Rocky's disappointment. Rocky returns to her apartment and sees someone in the shadows and starts punching and kicking. Batman appears out of his darkness and points out her nice moves for a computer geek. Batman had found Rocky's notes about her projects and questions her whereabouts the night before, if she went to the Iceberg Lounge. Rocky resents the implication that she's Batwoman. Batman then showed her the metal object used by Batwoman which is the same alloy she developed for Wayne Tech. Batman also knew about Kevin who was framed for smuggling for the Penguin and that Penguin's files were broken into recently. Rocky confesses that she tried to get Kevin's sentence commuted, but denies doing anything illegal. She says to go investigate Penguin instead. Batman warns the game she's playing has high stakes and that she could get hurt or worse. Rocky points out that he sounded just like Kevin but Batman had already left.
Later on, Penguin, and Thorne meet up with Duquesne at a new warehouse, where Batwoman lands on the rooftop. The three men meet Bane who is working out on a weight machine. Bane said he reviewed the terms for his employment and they weren't acceptable. He required complete control of the operation. Duquesne objects but Bane smashes a metal cylinder indicating what he'd do to Batwoman. Penguin discuss the plan for the weapons. They will be shipped on a luxury cruise liner and that it would sail that night. In the background, Batwoman hears of their scheme.
Back at the Batcave, Batman finds out the night he and Robin saw Batwoman, Rocky was working late at Wayne Tech. Robin thought she was too nice to be Batwoman. Alfred said she can't be in two places at once unless she a has a way to duplicate herself. Batman soon realizes that Alfred might be onto something and tells Robin to look on the Batcomputer to find any connections between Kathy and Rocky. Batman leaves to make a house call. Batwoman returns to her hideout and says she has all the plans, timetable and Bane's agenda. Rocky comes out expressing concern that Batman thinks she's Batwoman and knows everything about her, her work and Kevin. Rocky states that Batman will ruin everything and that they should have created a new persona and not spin it off of him. Kathy agrees, noting how fast Batman came on to her . Batwoman claims Batman is still in the dark because she would know. Batwoman removes her mask and it is revealed to be Sonia. Sonia assures her friends that they are so close. Once Penguin is stopped, it will have broken them. Rocky is shocked that they're moving that fast but Sonia insists they aren't fast enough.
At Duquesne's penthouse, Batman looks around Kathy's room for clues. One of the guards walks in to find Batman but is speechless. He then closes the door claiming nothing was wrong when the other guard asks. Batman goes into another room and finds a sketch book. Robin calls to let him know that there are no connections between Kathy and Rocky noting they traveled in different circles. But Batman found out there is and that all they needed was someone to introduce them. Back at the hideout, Sonia gives Kathy her mission on the cruise liner and Rocky gives her a detonator. Kathy is saddened when she looks at the newspaper with Bruce's picture on it. However, she dons the Batwoman costume and proceeds with the mission.
She arrives at the cruise ship and just when it is about to set sail, she places a bomb on a large crate. Bane emerges out of the crate and grabs Batwoman then throws her into another crate. He then calls Penguin to let him know that he has Batwoman and won't leave just yet. Penguin, Thorne, and Carlton soon depart for the liner.
Sonia watches the ship from the GCPD rooftop but is soon approached by Batman. He found out that she knew Kathy from art classes years ago, then he showed Kathy's sketch book of her in it, proving it. He also explains Sonia also knew Rocky from state university, freshman year, same dorm, same floor, same room. All three women had a part in Batwoman: Kathy the money, Rocky had the genius, and Sonia had the scheme and the will to make it happen. Sonia defended herself by saying the fire destroyed her family business, it tore them apart and they never recovered. Everyone knew it was Rupert Thorne but there was no way to prove it. Sonia wanted Thorne to see how it feels to have his life go up in smoke. Batman deduced that it was three Batwomen, it was just a matter of disguising their voices and taking turns. He said it almost worked. Batman then asked where Kathy Duquesne is. He sees that Sonia is about to pull out her gun, but she gets a call from Rocky. She claims something is wrong and there's no report from the coast guard of any ship in distress. She also tried to radio Kathy but there was no response. Sonia reluctantly asks Batman for help.
Penguin, Thorne, and Carlton arrive in Penguin's speedboat. They meet up with Bane with the disarmed Batwoman and praise him for the capture. Bane removes the mask and reveals the woman to be Kathy, much to the three men's shock. Penguin and Thorne assume that Carlton told her of their plans, which he denied. Bane shows them that she was going to use a carbonite bomb which was powerful enough to take out the entire chamber and more. Carlton questions Kathy about doing this, Kathy says that he made easy because of the kind of man he is, for allowing his wife to be killed, turning his house into a prison out of his house, and a prisoner out of his own child, spreading misery through everything he touches. Duquesne tells her to shut up, and is about to strike her, but catches himself, saying none of it makes sense. Penguin agrees, stating that Kathy was at the lounge the same night Batwoman came. Penguin knows Kathy isn't the only one involved and questions her who else is involved, releasing gas from his umbrella to get her to talk. Duquesne tries to stop him, but is held back by Bane. Just when Kathy is about to give in, Batman arrives just in time to save her. Batman disarms Thorne but is punched by Bane which sends him into a glass elevator. Batman escapes by throwing gas pellets and kicks over a crate onto Bane. Batman grabs Kathy and uses the Batliner to get to the upper floor. Thorne uses the plasma rifle to destroy the upper floor as they run away. Bane orders the crew to head out to sea as he wants to be in international waters. Robin follows in the Batboat, while Sonia and Rocky in Batwoman costumes follow in the air, At the chamber, Thorne dismisses Duquesne where he states he should have never gotten mixed with them. Penguin agrees, but finds the bomb missing. Bane sees that it's Duquesne's fault and tells him it's not over yet.
In the engine room, Batman gets Kathy out of the handcuffs. Before they depart, Kathy plants the bomb, to put an end to the weapons deal. Penguin and Thorne are about to get away until the two Batwomen arrive to halt them and question where Kathy is. Batman and Kathy head outside and find a beaten Carlton wrapped in chains by Bane who drops him in the pool below. Kathy dives in to save him while Batman confronts Bane. Batman knocks Bane off the edge, while still holding the chain. It pulls Carlton and Kathy out of the pool. The bomb goes off with the first explosion catching the Batwomen off guard. When the fire reaches the weapons chamber, it creates an even bigger explosion. When Rocky's mask and cape catch on fire, she quickly removes it and finds Sonia barely alive. Penguin attempts to run over them with his speedboat, but is stopped by Robin in the Batboat. He takes care of Sonia while Rocky goes after Penguin and Thorne. Bane then activates his Venom to increase his strength and proves to be more than a match for the Dark Knight, to the point of injuring his rib cage after violently punching Batman against a wall. Batman avoids Bane's running charge with his grapple and gets up to a higher level of the ship with Bane in pursuit climbing the wall. Kathy wakes finding herself hanging by the cape from a long fall, Duquesne notices her, but crawls away. Kathy believes that he doesn't care about her, but he actually went to get a life float tied with rope to rescue her. Penguin and Thorne see the ship sinking, Thorne expresses his disappointment but Penguin claims the only consolation will that it will take a few bats with it. Just then, Rocky catches them with a grappling hook. Thorne attempts to shoot her down, but misses, Rocky uses a buoy to fling Penguin and Thorne out of the boat, capturing them both.
Back on the blazing ship, Batman and Bane continue to fight. Batman manages to knock over Bane, but his injury to his ribs leave him unable to fight at his fullest. He tries to dash away, but Bane quickly grabs him by the cape and throws him against the wall. Bane is about to finish him off with a bearhug, Batman pushes against the wall to knock down Bane and throws the alloy to restrain him. Bane states that "no bounds can hold him", but much to his surprise it doesn't break. When he struggles harder, the tube of Venom gets cut in half, decreasing his strength. Despite this, he brakes the alloy and prepares to crush Batman. Bane dashes towards Batman but he escapes, leaving Bane to get caught in the crash against the bridge. Bane tries to hang on, but falls into the fire pit below. Batman loses his grip on the Batliner, but Sonia flies in and catches him. They fly with Rocky and see Kathy and Carlton Duquesne on a boat. On the mainland, Gordon and Bullock see Batman and Sonia. Bullock is shocked to discover that Sonia is Batwoman. Batman collapses but leans on Gordon who helps him regain his balance. Sonia says maybe she should the write the report this time to Bullock.
At the police department, Sonia resigned from the force and is relieved the D.A. is looking the other way. She asks how Batman doesn't cross the line to which he replies, he doesn't take it as personally. She decides to relocate to somewhere where capes aren't the prevailing fashion. Batman gives Sonia exculpatory evidence that should release Kevin from prison as he thought it should come from her. Sonia thanks Batman but he already had left. At the prison gate, Kathy is saddened that her father is in prison even though he did a lot of terrible things. Though, she states they talk and he is going to testify against Thorne and Penguin. Rocky sees that he must had hated his life just like Kathy hated her's. Kathy gives Rocky a hug. Kathy asks Rocky how Bruce is but she doesn't know. Kathy thinks he must have been reading the papers. Kevin is released from prison and is happily reunited with Rocky. Kathy walks away and sees Bruce with her car. He came to return the car and to see her, saying that everything was peaceful and quiet and that's when he realized he missed her. Kathy pointed out that was the old Kathy Duquesne and the new one intends to live a life with complete respectability with perhaps, an explosion now and then. Bruce smiles and they drive off.
- The events in this film take place before the flashback in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, even though Robin is portrayed slightly older here than in the other film. It also apparently takes place after the Justice League three-part episode "Starcrossed" and before the Justice League Unlimited episode "Initiation".
- Bane was previously hired by Rupert Thorne to kill Batman in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Bane". Strangely, Thorne doesn't have any resentment against Bane after he planned along Thorne's secretary Candice to take out him after Batman's potential defeat in that episode.
- Sonia Alcana seems to have replaced Renee Montoya as Harvey Bullock's partner. Strangely, Sonia wears similar clothing: grey pants, black top, and a shoulder holster.
- The conversation that Barbara Gordon has on the phone with Bruce explores the relationship between Bruce and Barbara; this notion was first introduced in the Batman Beyond episode "A Touch of Curaré". Here, Barbara is shown having romantic interests towards Bruce, which makes him uncomfortable, also Tim and Alfred's lack of surprise implies this isn't the first time Barbara's made a pass at Bruce.
- Bruce tells Penguin the last time they met, he stole plutonium from Wayne Labs and threatened to blow up Gotham City. This happened off-screen, presumably sometime before the revamp and The New Batman Adventures, as the Penguin is apparently a "legal businessman" by that time.
- Though Bane falls to his apparent doom, it has already been revealed in the Batman Beyond episode "The Winning Edge" that he somehow survived and was send to prison only to be released by 2019.
- The Tarnower Building was previously seen in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Mudslide".
Home video releases
- In this movie, the Batsuit has received a slight redesign—all its black parts have received highlights, similar to Batman's Justice League design.
- Although it uses character models from the series, the animation style used in this film is slightly different to that of The New Batman Adventures.
- Paul Williams did not voice Penguin in this film, much to the controversy of DCAU fans. The reasoning behind this decision was Alan Burnett and Curt Geda wanted to experiment with a different voice, and bring more of a "big boss" element to the character.
- During the fight between Bane and Batman aboard the S.S. Naiad Batman's leg is overlapped by Bane's face.
- Kathy Duquesne's name is misspelled "Duquesnes" on the Bat-computer.
- During the fight between Batwoman and the weapons traffickers at the start of the film, the tailing car's windscreen is broken by Batwoman, but then is mysteriously whole again in the next few takes, only then to become broken again, and then break again a separate time when the car rolls over
- The bat symbol used by Batwoman, which resembles the one used on Terry McGinnis's Batsuit and Justice Lord Batman's batsuit, is used by the current Batwoman in mainstream comics.
- Rupert Thorne makes his first and only appearance since the revamp.
- This movie marks the final DCAU appearances of Rupert Thorne and Penguin. It is also Bane's final appearance production-wise (chronologically, he would appear again in the Batman Beyond episode "The Winning Edge").
- The song that plays during the Iceberg Lounge scene and the ending credits is "Betcha Neva" by the French singer Cherie from her self-titled debut album. Consequentially, she voices the unnamed and uncredited Iceberg Lounge singer.
|Kevin Conroy||Batman/Bruce Wayne|
|Kimberly Brooks||Kathy Duquesne|
|Kelly Ripa||Rocky Ballantine|
|Elisa Gabrielli||Sonia Alcana|
|David Ogden Stiers||The Penguin|
|Kevin Michael Richardson||Carlton Duquesne|
|John Vernon||Rupert Thorne|
|Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.||Alfred|
|Eli Marienthal||Robin/Tim Drake|
|Tara Strong||Barbara Gordon|
|Bob Hastings||Commissioner Gordon|
|Robert Costanzo||Detective Bullock|
|Timothy Dang||Kevin (uncredited)|
|Chad Einbinder||Additional voices|
|Phil Hayes||Additional voices|
|Sal Lopez||Additional voices|
|John Mariano||Additional voices|
|Andrea Romano||Additional voices|
|Shane Sweet||Additional voices|
|Sean Patrick Thomas||Additional voices|