DC Animated Universe

"Epilogue" is the 13th episode of the second season of Justice League Unlimited, and the 26th of the overall series. It is the season two finale of Justice League Unlimited and also served as the true finale of Batman Beyond. This episode focuses around Batman, revealing a dark secret.


31-year-old Terry McGinnis breaks into the high-security home of Amanda Waller (now a very old woman). He confronts her and demands answers. She seems unsurprised to see him and insists on telling the story at her own pace.

Months earlier, when Bruce Wayne (also now very old) was suffering kidney failure and needed a tissue donor to clone new organs, Terry was tested and found to be perfectly compatible. Surprised, Terry had his DNA checked and was found to be Bruce's genetic son.

Terry confronts Bruce

In his mind, Terry angrily confronts Bruce.

Terry is at first angry, believing that Bruce masterminded the whole thing in order to ensure that he had a successor. In his mind, Terry imagines himself storming into the Batcave and confronting Bruce not denying the accusation and insists that the world will always need a Batman. Terry is even more angry to learn that Bruce never told him that Warren McGinnis was not his real father. He also imagines himself breaking up with Dana Tan, whom he has continued dating since high school and now knows his secret identity, while withdrawing from the JLU.

To prove he's wrong about Bruce, Waller tells Terry a story of a crisis that occurred before he was born:

At some point, Ace began causing havoc when her powers developed beyond causing hallucinations to being able to alter the fabric of reality itself. She used this new skill to fashion herself an impregnable fortress and her own Royal Flush Gang to ward off interlopers. After the Justice League defeated them, Waller warned Batman that Ace was on the verge of dying from a brain aneurysm, and the resulting psychic backlash would cause massive destruction and loss of life.

Ace's demise

Ace being carried away by Batman.

Cadmus had retrieved a special weapon to kill her and prevent the disaster, which Batman volunteered to use. However, when he reached her, Ace revealed that he never intended to use the weapon having read his mind. Instead, he asked Ace to reverse the changes she had made, as he related with her over her lost childhood. Ace was aware that she would die and asked Batman to stay with her, as he did just that holding the crying girl's hand. With him by her side, she died peacefully, and the world returned to normal.

Terry scoffs at this, believing that Bruce didn't resort to lethal force by virtue of already having deduced that Ace would rather die quietly than doom reality itself. Waller didn't put it past Terry's suspicion, for Bruce was always "steps ahead of everybody".

Waller then tells Terry the truth: she was the mastermind, not Bruce. After the Cadmus Crisis, Waller went from being the Justice League's chief antagonist to its ally. In her role as the Government Liaison to the League, she came to know Batman very well, gaining a great deal of respect for him. She also met a lot of interesting people but none of them were comparable to Batman as he saved the day using his wits, body and will, as opposed to others and their gained superpowers.

The incident with Ace demonstrated to Waller that Batman's greatest attributes were his compassion, and his iron refusal to never take a life. But as time went on, Waller saw him age, and realized he wouldn't be around forever as he would have to eventually retire, if he wasn't killed first. However, in her mind, the world would always need a Batman.

Waller used her old Project Cadmus contacts to launch Project Batman Beyond. Batman's DNA was obtained years previously during one of his exploits. He would sometimes be treated by emergency medical personnel; it was easy to retrieve the medical waste. She found a young couple, Warren and Mary McGinnis, that was almost an identical psychological match for Batman's father and mother. When Warren went in for what he thought was a flu shot, his reproductive DNA was overwritten by that of Batman's by nanobots. A year later, Terry was born, genetically the son of Mary McGinnis and Batman.

Genetics, however, do not alone make a Batman, so Waller hired an assassin to kill Terry's parents when he was eight years old as the three of them were leaving a movie theater showing The Grey Ghost Strikes hoping that the same tragedy would cause the same response. However, the assassin couldn't bring herself to kill them and confronted Waller afterwards, as Batman would never resort to murder because it would destroy everything he stood for. Waller was forced to agree, and the project was effectively scrapped. With Terry's parents spared, his brother would be born.

However, nine years later, due to a cruel twist of fate, Terry's father was killed, which set a chain of events in motion that turned Terry into Batman.

Terry is not soothed, believing that, whether Bruce or Waller was the real mastermind, he is still "cursed", in that his identity of Batman was written before he was even born. Waller implies that she believes it was a form of divine intervention which led to the death of his father. Why Terry became Batman was a mystery, but she still says he is free to choose his own path in his own way. He is Bruce's secret son, not his clone. In her assessment, Terry may not be as smart as the old Batman, but he is every bit as devoted to helping others, and, she adds, he could have worse role models than Bruce Wayne, who, "for all that fierce exterior, I've never met anyone who cared as deeply about his fellow man."

In parting, she gives him some last advice: "You want to have a little better life than the old man's? Take care of the people who love you. Or don't. It's your choice.".

Did you see that

"Did you see that?"

Taking this advice to heart, Terry returns to the Wayne Manor. After checking the time, Terry calls Dana to confirm their plans for later in the week while at the same time checking over his engagement ring, revealing he plans to propose to Dana. Once the call ends, Bruce appears and asks for Terry's whereabouts, he reveals he had "stuff" to take care of. Terry apologizes for worrying Bruce, but he dismisses his claim saying he was really worried about Gotham, while getting his medicine. However, to Bruce's surprise Terry instead helps him take his medicine and assures him that he has everything taken care of, thus sharing a moment of mostly unspoken reconciliation with Bruce. Bruce then changes the subject and mentions that Superman needs his help on a case, Terry prepares to leave to help where he shares a fatherly moment with Bruce, secretly referring to him as his "old man".

In the skies of Gotham, something winged flies past a police hovercraft, causing one of the pilots to ask, "Did you see that?"


Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production notes[]

  • There was a deleted scene that explained Waller had conducted more experiments in the past but only stopped after Phantasm refused to kill Terry's parents.
  • This episode's final scene features Terry flying silhouetted against buildings and startling an airborne police craft, a reversed version of the opening scene with Man-Bat in the DCAU's very first episode of Batman: The Animated Series. Likewise, one of the officers (voiced by Kevin Conroy) on board the police craft says, "Did you see that?" which is mirrored as this episode's last line.[1]
  • This episode was written and produced before Justice League Unlimited was renewed for an additional season and was thus intended to be the epilogue (hence the episode's title) for the entire DC Animated Universe from Batman: The Animated Series to Justice League Unlimited.[2]
  • Bruce Timm revealed that if a second Batman Beyond DTV was greenlit after Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, an idea they had was to have an aged Catwoman be responsible for Terry McGinnis' origins. In a story inspired by The Boys from Brazil, Selina would have created multiple clones of Bruce Wayne, placing them with random families, and systematically murdering their parents when they reached the proper age. Catwoman's reasoning for doing this would have been because as she got older, she believed in Batman's mission, but thought he didn't go far enough in punishing criminals. So, she decided to create a Batman who would kill criminals. Furthermore, one of the clones she would raise as her son, who'd serve as the main antagonist of the film. Terry McGinnis would have discovered that he was a clone of Bruce Wayne, and Selina's son was going to be a dark, twisted version of Terry. Certain elements of that story were repurposed in this episode.[3]

Production inconsistencies[]

  • When Waller first confronts Terry in her home, Terry is standing by the desk and Waller is standing in the doorway. After the opening credits, they have switched places.
  • During one of the B&W scenes, the Batsuit from The New Batman Adventures in the display is replaced with Terry's Batsuit, despite Terry still wearing it.
  • In the B&W fighting scene, after Shriek falls down and his helmet is shattered, he can be seen not wearing his headphones from the Batman Beyond episodes "Babel" and "Where's Terry?" to overcome his deafness. Either he has recovered his hearing (or was using the helmet to hear) or this is an oversight on behalf of the animators (or within Terry's imagination).
  • The Grey Ghost Strikes is based on the American The Gray Ghost TV show, but for whatever reason the film title uses the British English spelling "Grey" for the eponymous character's name.
  • When Ace says "I'm dying very soon, aren't I?", Batman responds "Yes. I'm sorry...", but his lip movements read the words "You are" in place of "yes".


  • Terry McGinnis' outfit and hairstyle mirrors his predecessor's out of costume appearance in the Justice League episode "Starcrossed".
  • Ace's appearance in this episode has a couple of redesigned details: her boots are now gray instead of black, and her club-shaped hairpin is now on the left side of her head as opposed to the right.
  • This episode marks the second time that the Batman: The Animated Series theme has been officially adapted for Terry McGinnis. The first time was in "Out of the Past."
  • The place where Andrea Beaumont almost goes through with the assassination of Warren and Mary McGinnis is in a parking garage. This was also a place where she successfully killed her first victim. Interestingly, Terry and Andrea share some similarities in regard to their respective fathers' murders: both were not present at home when their fathers were killed, and both ran inside their houses and scream in agony upon seeing their dead fathers and in both cases the killer was hired by someone whom the fathers had ties with and who felt threatened or betrayed at their victims' actions or potential actions.
  • Although it is ambiguous on-screen, Bruce Timm and Dwayne McDuffie confirmed that the black-and-white sequences are Terry's imagination of what will happen if he quits being Batman, not flashbacks. There are several clues in the sequences that support this:
    • Terry smashes the clock down. By the end of the episode, the clock is intact.
    • Bruce was uncharacteristically forthcoming in his exchange with Terry. Also, in the final scene, he speaks casually with Terry. If such stern spat had taken place, it would be unlikely of him to dismiss it.
    • Terry breaks up with Dana, but later on, when he calls her over the phone, she reacts too casually for someone who had just been dumped.
  • According to Bruce Timm and Dwayne McDuffie, Bruce Wayne is also Matt McGinnis' biological father.[4]
  • Per Dwayne McDuffie, Bruce, the world's greatest detective, was aware that Terry and Matt are his genetic offspring some point after Terry assumed the Batman mantle and realized Waller's machination but would never bring it up as he wanted Terry to be his own man, and out of respect for Warren McGinnis as well since he was the one who raised him since birth.
  • Per Bruce Timm, the crux of the episode is that despite the "shocking revelation" and various easter eggs, it's ultimately window-dressing to provide an honest, happy ending for Batman. In regard to Terry, he "changes the Batman paradigm," and that his genetic relationship to Bruce doesn't matter. Terry choses to be his own man, defying destiny by marrying the woman he loves while being Batman on his own terms.[5]
  • Timm further stated that, at this point, Bruce has effectively retired from crime-fighting and has taken on the role of Alfred Pennyworth to Terry's Batman.[6]
  • Ace's Fantasy, including the Queen, resembles many of the illustrations and movie adaptations from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
  • The new Royal Flush Gang bear specific in-joking in each of their identities:
  • Amanda Waller's quip about the Royal Flush Gang being the group's second or third incarnation alludes to the fact that production-wise this is the third one.
  • Throughout Batman Beyond, Terry refers to Bruce as "old man", a general term used for one's father. Before leaving, Bruce comments that Terry's "a stubborn piece of work" to which Terry quietly replies "Just like my old man." The revelation of Terry's kinship with Bruce was also foreshadowed or hinted at in the episodes "Disappearing Inque", "Inqueling", and "The Call".
  • "Project Batman Beyond" marks the first and only time the term "Batman Beyond" is used in-universe.
  • Kai-Ro's new uniform resembles the costume John Stewart and Katma Tui took when Green Lanterns began customizing their costumes after the Crisis on Infinite Earths.
  • Last appearances of Terry McGinnis and Dana Tan in the DCAU. Even though they are only seen in Terry's imagination, this is Warhawk's third and final appearance in the DCAU, as well as Kai-Ro and Aquagirl's second and final appearances. It is also the final chronological appearance of Amanda Waller and Bruce Wayne.
  • Ace's death was the idea of Bruce Timm.[7]
  • Phantasm's appearance in the episode resembles her design in the tie-in comics Batman Adventures Vol. 2, being visibly thinner and with red eyes.


Actor Role
Will Friedle Terry McGinnis
Kevin Conroy Batman/Bruce Wayne
Sky Patrol Officer (uncredited)
CCH Pounder Amanda Waller
Lauren Tom Dana Tan
Kai-Ro (uncredited)
Doctor Light (uncredited)
Hynden Walch Ace
Marc Worden Parasite

Uncredited appearances[]


Terry McGinnis: I've got some questions I need you to answer.
Amanda Waller: Of course you do, boy. Why else go to all the trouble of breaking into the lair of the great and powerful Amanda Waller. You want some green tea? I do.

Terry: How could you do it to me, Bruce?
Bruce Wayne: The only thing that matters is the mission. You know that.
Terry: What about people, Bruce? Dick, Barbara, Tim, Selina. They all loved you, but eventually every single one of them left you. Ever wonder why?
Bruce: Not for an instant. They quit because when it came down to it, they didn't have the heart for the mission. Are you about to quit too? It doesn't really surprise me.

Waller: Look at all this. (gestures to a tray full of pills in her lap) A pill for blood pressure. A pill for my diabetes. A pill to replace my pituitary function. (picks up one pill and looks at it thoughtfully) I don't even know what this one's for. (beat) Oh, yeah. Alzheimer's.

Waller: It's been many a year since I had a handsome gentleman caller. Why is it that superheroes are always... so good-looking?

Terry: You know why I can't marry you. If-
Dana Tan: "If the bad guys ever found out I was Batman, they'd try to get to me by hurting you", blah blah blah.
Terry: It's nothing to joke about.
Dana: You're right! There could be supervillains hiding in the tall grass!

Parasite: Ruined, I tell you!
Kai-Ro: I would offer my condolences... but that would be insincere.

Kai-Ro: Good of you to drop in, considering that three quarters of the Iniquity Collective are from your rogue's gallery.

Bruce: Fine. Believe what you want, but you know as well as I do, accident or not, it's a good thing that you're almost a clone of me. The world does need a Batman, and it always will.

Bruce: The Mantle of Batman is an honor, Terry.

Terry: You know what, old man? All those years, turn's out everybody was right. You are insane. Being Batman's no honor. It's a curse.

Waller: The Justice League found themselves cleaning up one of my old messes. The second group of villains to call themselves the Royal Flush Gang. Or the third—who can keep it all straight?

Waller: Bruce's DNA was easy enough to obtain. He left it all over town. (Terry raises an eyebrow) Not remotely what I meant!

Waller: You're not Bruce's clone, you're his son. There are similarities, mind you, but more than a few differences too. You don't quite have his magnificent brain, for instance. You do have his heart, though, and for all that fierce exterior, I've never met anyone who cared as deeply about his fellow man as Bruce Wayne, except maybe you. You want to have a little better life than the old man's? Take care of the people who love you. Or don't. It's your choice.

Bruce: You're a stubborn piece of work—you know that?
Terry: (sotto) Just like my old man...

(Batman flies past a police hovercar)
Pilot: Did you see that?