"Black Out" is the third episode of Batman Beyond. It introduces the villainess Inque. While investigating a number of "accidents" at the company Foxteca, Terry encounters a polymorph who is able to pummel Batman with relative ease. Terry, being quite inexperienced, has to learn to "think on his feet" to beat his first major rogue.
A lone truck drives up to a building owned by Foxteca and things seem quiet. Suddenly, a strange black blob soon slips out from the shadows and sneaks into the main control room. The blob forces its way into the controls and causes several explosions throughout the building. When the fire department arrives, the blob manages to escape in one of the trucks.
That morning, Bruce heads over to see Derek Powers, who greets him but smoothly hides the files on his desk, asking Bruce not to touch a black statue in his office. Bruce says that he isn't there to take full control of Wayne-Powers, but warns Powers to stay off the back of Foxteca, a business owned by Lucius Fox, Jr. After Bruce leaves, the statue turns into Inque, and she expresses concern that he is snooping. Powers dismisses her concerns, saying Bruce is just a tired old man.
Night once again falls over Gotham and Terry and Dana are watching a game at high school. Unfortunately, Terry is called away on business: Inque is going after another Foxteca building. As Terry heads over, Bruce is busy analyzing a sample of Inque. He explains that Foxteca and Wayne-Powers have submitted competing bids to build a new lunar station for the government. Batman goes in to investigate and Inque attacks him. With her shape-shifting abilities Inque is easily able to stop Batman and escape.
Terry confronts Bruce with the fact that he doesn't know much about crime-fighting, beginning with the fact that he doesn't know what half the memorabilia in the Batcave is. Bruce dismisses him and explains that Inque is the result of a mutagenic experiment, and now works as an industrial saboteur-for-hire, but agrees to give Terry a boost, and puts him in the cockpit of a new Batmobile with flying capabilities.
Out at the Gotham Docks, Pier 18, Inque is at it again. However, before she can do much damage, Batman intervenes.
Inque tries to run but she is caught and confronted. Angered, she attacks and once again proves to be too strong a fighter, both managing to send back batarangs and pummel Batman. However, during the fight, Batman learns that Inque is afraid to go near water. This is still of little use to him and she beats him anyway.
Morning once again comes over Gotham and Miss Winston confers with Powers in his limousine, explaining that Foxteca still was on schedule for the new satellite and that the sabotage inflicted the night before had been minimal. Although he did not show any anger from the news to Winston, he then demanded an explanation from Inque as she arrived for the failure, stating her reason for the failure had better be a good one. She confesses that Foxteca is still meeting its schedule, but claims it's not her fault: A man in a black and red costume has been interfering, and this had been the second time this had happened. Hearing this, Powers, deducing from the description that Batman had been responsible for preventing Foxteca's sabotage, becomes angry and his fake skin starts to flake away. After explaining that he has a condition and requested discretion regarding it when she expressed shock at his flaking, he assigns Inque a new task: kill both Batman and his accomplice, the latter after learning from her that he had one due to overhearing him on the comm link. He also offered to pay her whatever amount of money she wanted for the hit, causing Inque to admit she likes working for Powers for this reason before being dismissed by him, citing that being near him while shedding his fake skin is "unhealthy."
That night, Batman investigates another sabotaged building, but Inque sneaks onto the Batmobile by layering herself on the outer surface. While sneaking to the Batmobile, she then reports to Derek Powers via comm-link explaining that Batman has arrived, with Derek Powers, who at this point is undergoing treatment for his condition and lost his skin, stating that he'll see her when she's done, and indicates he'll be back to his old self by that time before handing the technicians his cell phone, damaged from the radiation he was emitting. When Batman returns to the Batcave, Bruce realizes that the car is heaver than it should be; Inque emerges and attacks, slamming Batman against the floor and ceiling of the cave. She then forces herself down his throat, nearly killing him. However, Bruce attacks her with a fire hose, disguising himself in the Gray Ghost's costume.
Inque revives and tries to head upstairs but Bruce blocks her way with an electrified steel door. She moves to the ceiling and causes the roof to collapse. She also tries to crush her two enemies using Bruce's giant penny. Batman continues to fight her but is trapped and cannot do her much harm. However, before Inque can attack, Batman gets hold of Mr. Freeze's gun and fires it on her. Inque is frozen and shatters into pieces.
Later, Commissioner Barbara Gordon gets a call from Bruce and she notes that he's got a new Batman. She then looks out the window to see the "get acquainted gift" Batman left her. It's the pieces of Inque bagged in plastic, trapped in the ice. Though shattered, Inque's eye moves towards the Batmobile that flies past Barbara's window.
- Bruce mentions his partnership with the Fox family, alluding to Lucius Fox from the Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures series.
- This episode establishes Derek Powers' temporary fix for the condition caused by his exposure to radiation in "Rebirth". Eventually, his condition worsens in "Meltdown" and "Ascension".
- Inque returns later in "Disappearing Inque".
- During Inque's attack in the Batcave, a Scarface puppet filled with bullet holes is shown on display. It could be the same puppet that was shot up in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Read My Lips".
- When Barbara Gordon commented Bruce Wayne that it could have been better if he rejected Terry McGinnis as his sidekick instead of accept him, she hints in someway that a member of the Bat-Family ended up suffering for join it, foreshadowing the revelation of Tim Drake's fate in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
Home video releases
- Batman Beyond - Season One (DVD)
- Batman Beyond - The Complete Series (DVD)
- Batman Beyond - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
- Batman Beyond – Tech Wars and Disappearing Inque (DVD)
- This episode won an Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production.
- Inque proves to be the new Batman's most persistent enemy, confronting him even more often than Derek Powers as Blight.
- This is the first episode to show the older version of Barbara Gordon.
- Inque seems to know where the entrance to the Batcave is, as Terry later prepares for her possible return in "Disappearing Inque". Although Bruce does mention in that episode how it was dark and the Batmobile goes very fast, Inque might still have seen how the cave is beneath Wayne Manor, one of the most established estates in Gotham City. However, she doesn't appear to make the connection between Batman and Bruce Wayne.
- In the Batcave there are several displays of Batman's rogues, including The Riddler, Harley Quinn, the Mad Hatter, the Penguin, Catwoman, Firefly, Scarface, and Mr. Freeze's gun. There's also a display of the Gray Ghost, Bruce's old childhood hero. When Bruce is putting away the cowl for the (supposed) last time in "Rebirth", the cases are much smaller with the costumes folded up inside and sitting on rock stands.
|Will Friedle||Terry McGinnis/Batman|
|Kevin Conroy||Bruce Wayne|
|Lauren Tom||Dana Tan|
|Sherman Howard||Derek Powers|
|Mari Devon||Miss Winston|
|Kevin Michael Richardson||Security Chief|
|Stockard Channing||Commissioner Barbara Gordon|
Dana: Is it wrong to root for the other team?
Terry: Look, you may be used to dealing with freaks and monsters, but I'm a little new at this.
Terry: (Flying the Batmobile for the first time.) This is unbearably cool!
Bruce: You scratch it — no allowance.
Inque: Not quite the fast learner, are you?