"Bloodsport" is the nineteenth episode of Batman Beyond. It depicts the arrival of Stalker, a big game hunter who has now set his sights on Batman. Seeking the ultimate hunting challenge, Stalker arrives in Gotham City and proceeds to lure Batman into a trap. Though Batman manages to escape, he soon discovers that Stalker is following him while he is in his civilian guise as Terry McGinnis. Now Terry has to deal with a villain who knows his secret identity and doesn't have any aversion to using his family as bait.
In a Gotham hotel, a mysterious man is given the penthouse suite. He ignores the staff's various offers, claiming that all he requires is privacy. While he looks over Gotham, a mosquito sucks some of his blood. Angered, he fires a dart from a blowgun, killing the mosquito with grim accuracy.
Meanwhile, Batman surveys a group of chop shoppers and starts his nightly business. While Batman fights off the thugs, Bruce mentions him that his mother has asked him to run an errand on his way home. However, when morning comes Terry has forgotten to do so and his mother scolds him for not helping her enough.
That night, Stalker performs a ritual in which he smears his body with ink and draws several animal symbols on a skin, one of which is Batman's symbol. With his ceremony done, he extends his retractable spear and heads out into the city. Eventually coming to the Casemore Tribal Arts Gallery, he forces his way in. Batman learns of the break-in and enters.
Stalker watches Batman from an unseen perch and attempts to attack him with his blowgun. Batman manages to evade but Stalker attacks him again, this time tackling him to the ground. The two fight for a short while and Batman learns that his adversary is much stronger than he looks. Batman still manages to gain the upper hand but Stalker throws a grenade at him, releasing a powder that temporarily blinds his foe. Finding Stalker gone, Batman leaves.
Shortly afterwards, Terry runs up to his mother and finds that he's late again. She gives him responsibility for feeding Matt, and they go to Cheezy Dan's for dinner. Unbeknownst to Terry, however, Stalker is watching him from afar: seen through his electronic eye, Terry glows brightly.
At Cheezy Dan's Terry meets up with Maxine. Seeing Stalker following him, he quickly leaves Matt with Max and starts running through the city. He eventually is stopped by the police who are reluctant to believe his story that a man with a spear is chasing him. However, Stalker arrives and makes short work of the police. Terry runs into the subway and tries to lose his adversary by riding the train, again without success. Bruce contacts Terry and tells him that the man that is chasing him is called Stalker: a big game hunter who only goes after the most dangerous prey. The train soon stops and Stalker goes after his target. However, he soon discovers that the man he's brought down is a bum whom Terry had given his jacket to. Terry himself has escaped.
Terry returns to Cheezy Dan's and finds that Matt has been taken while he was in the restaurant's fun tubes. He goes to Bruce and showers, learning that Stalker sprayed on him was phosphorous powder and tracked him. Bruce then shows Terry a disk he found in Matt's jacket. It contains a map revealing where Stalker will be found.
Back at Stalker's suite, Matt is being kept in a cage above the floor of the veranda, which now closely resembles a jungle. As Stalker walks past, Matt sees a surgical scar running down the entire length of Stalker's back, and asks about it. Stalker explains that, back when he was an ordinary poacher with a rifle, he became overconfident and was mauled by a black panther. His back was broken in five places, requiring replacement with an artificial spine. The operation was intensely painful, but Stalker found afterward that his strength and reflexes had been greatly enhanced.
Upon recovering, he tracked down the panther and killed it with his bare hands in revenge. However, he felt unsatisfied, that the fight had been too easy, and now no animal was powerful enough to challenge him. Upon learning that Batman had returned, he headed to Gotham to hunt him down: in his mind, Batman is an ageless soul who inhabited the body of the greatest warrior of each generation, and if this were true, he would be the ultimate challenge for Stalker.
Batman arrives just then and attacks him, drawing first blood when Stalker's mouth bleeds, impressing him. However, Stalker has prepared for him and sends him into a trap of steel cables. Batman manages to escape but falls into a trap of flash grenades, then into a pit trap. Batman manages to get out of the trap and heads to Matt only to find himself caught in a foot snare. Stalker attacks him but Batman isn't through. Batman hurls Stalker into Matt's cage, distracting him.
When Stalker gets up he sees that Batman is gone. Surprised, he checks the trap only to discover that he's been tricked and Batman is still in it. Batman comes out of stealth mode and jams Stalker's spear into the trap. The electricity from the trap damages Stalker's artificial spine and his vision is distorted. Opening his eyes, he hallucinates, seeing Batman as the panther that had nearly killed him. Fearful, he leaps from the suite and onto the train track. A train rushes towards him, which he also sees as the panther. Batman looks away as Stalker is supposedly hit and Matt is then freed.
Back at home, Matt tells his mother about his ordeal with excitement. Though his mother plays along, it's obvious she doesn't believe him. Matt finishes by saying that Batman is cool, unlike Terry.
Home video releases
- This episode was produced before the episode "Hidden Agenda" but aired afterwards, which is why Maxine doesn't know Matt, even though she used a cover story about him in the last episode. In this episode she still doesn't know Terry is Batman.
- Sam McMurray voices the bum on the train, but in the credits, "Bum" is misspelled "Burn".
- Carl Lumbly voices his second character in the DCAU. The first was the Mayor of Metropolis in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Speed Demons", the third will be J'onn J'onzz on Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, and the fourth will be Anansi in the Static Shock episodes "Static in Africa" and "Out of Africa".
|Will Friedle||Terry McGinnis / Batman|
|Kevin Conroy||Bruce Wayne|
|Mark Slaughter||Pie Joker|
|Teri Garr||Mary McGinnis|
|Ryan O'Donohue||Matt McGinnis|
|Cree Summer||Maxine Gibson|
Batman: You should see this place. Antiques, relics, you'd feel right at home.
Pie Joker: Your money or a pie!
Matt: What happened to your back?
Stalker: I'd always imagined this Batman to be an ageless soul, inhabiting the greatest warrior of each generation. If this bat-spirit really existed, it would present the ultimate challenge.
Stalker: I've stalked kittens with more tooth than you!
Stalker: (sees Batman as the panther) You're a devil! Stay back!
Matt: Weird. What happened to him?