DC Animated Universe

You may also be looking for the episode "Shriek".

Walter Shreeve was a brilliant sound engineer who created a suit that could generate and control sound. With the suit, Shreeve became Shriek.


Becoming Shriek[]

Walter Shreeve

Walter Shreeve.

Walter Shreeve was a talented sound engineer and owner of Shreeve Sound Laboratories. After consuming all his money on his research, he inevitably drove his company into bankruptcy. Derek Powers eventually saw the prospect of his work, so he acquired his business and funded his experiments.

Failed attempt

Shriek fails to kill Bruce Wayne.

Shreeve developed a sound suit with four built-in sound generators, each of which capable of different effects. He intended this technology to be used in demolition work. However, Powers had other plans for it. Shreeve was commanded to use the suit to murder Bruce Wayne.

He followed Bruce to Gotham City's historical district, where he attempted to kill him with focalized sound vibrations. Thanks to Batman, Shreeve failed in directly killing Bruce, but he hurt him enough to be committed in a hospital.

Before escaping, Shreeve left behind his right-hand sound generator, which was vital for Batman to track him down. Later that night, Terry posed as a pizza delivery boy who got his address wrong in order to get into Shreeve's lab. Shreeve couldn't resist an offer of a free pizza, so he let the pizza boy inside his lab.

Shreeve allowed the pizza boy to look around his gizmos, and even explained to him how sound masking worked. He then asked him to leave so that he could get back to work, but as soon as the pizza boy asked him about sound vibrations, Shreeve realized he was being duped, so he tackled the impostor. He put on his sound suit and wrecked most of his lab in an attempt to kill the pizza boy. He followed him outside, where he was intercepted by the GPD. Shreeve repelled the police blimps and escaped.


Shriek realizes he has lost his hearing.

Now turned into a wanted fugitive, Shreeve sought retribution against Powers, whom he blamed for his current status. Powers appealed to Shreeve's vanity, arguing that he should be contented with the absolute power bestowed upon him by his suit. He even gave him a new name, which would fit his new persona and impart fear in others. As of that moment, Shreeve adopted the moniker "Shriek".

Though Bruce was in a secured hospital, Shreeve had managed to implant a two-way radio in his bandage by bribing a nurse, through which he goaded him to commit suicide. When that failed, and Bruce was transferred into the psychiatric ward, Shreeve tried to drive him insane (and eventually kill him) by suggesting his food was poisoned. However, Batman discovered the hidden transmitter, and traced the signal back to the Zanti factory near the hospital.

Inside, Shriek battled with Batman, making use of several sound effects. He blasted him with vibrations, and then suppressed the sound of the contiguous area, and turned up his suit's volume to hear Batman's footsteps. Batman destroyed his sound masker with a batarang, canceling its muting effect. Consequently, Shriek was overwhelmed by the surrounding sounds amplified by his helmet, leaving him permanently deaf. Shreeve was arrested but refused to testify against Powers.[2]

The Tower of Babel[]

Shriek Tower

Shriek's very own Tower of Babel.

Shriek was committed to a mental hospital, from where he was discharged months later, after being declared cured. It remains unknown how Shriek managed to deceive, or oblige, the doctors. After his spar with Batman, all Shriek could hear was an everlasting buzzing sound, which he could only dampen with special headphones that enabled him to hear again. Shriek blamed Batman for his deafness and became obsessed with killing him. He moved into a fork-shaped tower at Hill Square and recruited Ollie to assist him. With his help, Shriek used the tower as a tuning fork to unleash turmoil in Gotham City.

Firstly, he emitted high pitch frequencies that drove animals crazy and violent. Then, he ran interference with the air molecules, thus disrupting human speech and spreading Babelic confusion all over Gotham. After wreaking havoc in the city, Shriek shut off the jamming signal momentarily and contacted Police Commissioner Barbara Gorden to deliver an ultimatum ― Batman was to give himself up quietly, or he'd escalate his attack on Gotham.

When Batman showed up at the rendezvous point, Shriek immediately engaged him, but Batman offered resistance. Shriek turned up the sound vibrations of the tower, in an attempt to stun Batman, and took off his special hearing aid, so as to be immune to the deafening sound. Batman managed to elude him and tried to shut down the sound device from inside, but he inadvertently activated low frequency vibrations that tore the building down. Unaware of the collapsing tower, Shriek pursued the battle against Batman, who tried to alert him. However, the warning fell on deaf ears, literally, and Shriek was seemingly buried in the rubble.[3]

The underground pursuit[]

Somehow, Shriek survived and for the next months he hid himself in an underground shelter, where he plotted to resume his revenge on Batman. One night, while returning to the hideout, Ollie was spotted and followed by Terry. Hearing his associate shouting a warning, Shriek estimated their location and hurled a sonic blast at Batman. Due to the quality of the tunnels, Shriek miscalculated his target's position and failed to kill him. Instead, he caused a small cave-in that left Batman knocked unconscious for some hours.

Shriek and Dak

Shriek runs into Dak.

Shriek activated a giant scope that picked up a heart pulse in the proximity. Suspecting it was Batman's, Shriek emitted another low frequency discharge to finish the job. Once again, he missed the target, but this time he caused the tunnel to collapse, trapping Batman. Shriek decided to play it safe, and took off to make sure he had succeeded this time.

Shriek duped

Dak leads Shriek and Ollie into a trap.

In the nearby tunnels, he stumbled upon Dak, a runaway child. Shriek took the boy back to his shelter, and sent out a message to draw Batman out, unaware that he was imprisoned. When Dak let it slip that he knew of Batman's whereabouts, Shriek threatened to kill him, unless he showed the way. Fearing for his life, Dak obliged. However, Shriek was tricked into breaking through a wall that obstructed Gotham's River, and he was swept away by the flood.

He quickly regrouped and attempted to do away with Batman. However, he didn't seize the opportunity quickly enough. Instead, he gloated, allowing Bruce the chance to bludgeon him with his cane. Shriek was swiftly knocked out and subsequently handed over to the authorities.[4]

Some years later, Shriek joined forces with other rogues, and formed the supervillain group Iniquity Collective to fight the Justice League Unlimited.[1]

Powers and abilities[]

While Shreeve had no powers by himself, he possessed a robotic suit that gave him a variety of sound-based abilities. He could project sound at a strong enough frequency to destroy anything he aimed at as well as isolate and magnify any single sound while muting all others. Shreeve is able to use his sound suit to generate sound vibrations to create earthquakes and other destructive properties. He's also able to "mute" all sound in a surrounding area. He also possesses the ability to transmit radio signals to receivers the size of a paperclip which he installs in his suit and one on Bruce's head.

Shreeve was a genius when it came to sound. All of the technology was of his own design. He was capable of doing amazing things, such as rigging a building to act as a massive tuning fork to disrupt air molecules throughout Gotham and make speech impossible, to something small scale like creating a tuning fork which created a vibration as addictive as any drug.


Sound suit

Shriek's sound suit.

  • Shriek's sound suit was a cybernetic costume with four embedded sound generators. These generators were made of copper, iron and acoustium, an alloy that amplified sound vibrations.[2]
    • The chest generator adjusted the ultra-low frequency vibrations he could target at any direction.[2]
    • The right-hand generator was a "sound masker," a muting device that produced absolute silence by replaying the sound it captured out of sync, making the waves cancel each other out.[2]
    • The helmet could alter his frequency perception by unblocking the sound waves canceled by the sound masker, and thus turning on and amplifying any desired sound.[2]
    • The two circular palms emanated destructive sound wave force and had razor sharp claws in the event of hand-to-hand combat. These claws are sharp enough to damage the Batman Beyond suit.[2][3][4][1]
    • If necessary, at least the palm generators could be ejected from the suit.[2]
    • After his deafening, Shriek also adapted the suit to temporarily restore his hearing while wearing it.[3][4]He also has a special set of earphones that allows him to hear when he takes off the helmet.

Background information[]

  • Shriek was designed by Glen Murakami and placed in the show's villain file until Alan Burnett pitched an episode idea recalling an old Bruce Timm pitch from a brainstorming session years earlier. "I mentioned to him that I wanted to do an [episode] where the climax was silent, that we had a villain whose powers were controlling sound." After Burnett's pitch, Stan Berkowitz came up with the villain Shriek, and the character was paired with the design.[5]
  • Despite clearly being named "Walter Shreeve" in his debut episode, two other names also appear in officially licensed material. In The Batman Beyond Files by Scott Sonneborn, he is called "Richard Shreeve", and in Batman Beyond: The Animated Series Guide by Scott Beatty, he is called "Michael Shreeve".
  • When Shriek is revealed to have gone deaf in his debut episode, there was a high-pitched ringing tone in scenes shot from his point of view, implying that he had actually acquired tinnitus as a result of the malfunction of his suit.


Batman Beyond

Justice League Unlimited


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Timm, Bruce, McDuffie, Dwayne (story) & McDuffie, Dwayne (teleplay) & Riba, Dan (director) (July 23, 2005). "Epilogue". Justice League Unlimited. Season 1. Episode 26 (airdate). Episode 26 (production). Cartoon Network.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Berkowitz, Stan (writer) & Geda, Curt (director) (March 14, 1999). "Shriek". Batman Beyond. Season 1. Episode 7 (airdate). Episode 10 (production). Kids WB!.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Berkowitz, Stan (writer) & Geda, Curt (director) (January 8, 2000). "Babel". Batman Beyond. Season 2. Episode 12 (airdate). Episode 25 (production). Kids WB!.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Fogel, Rich (writer) & Lim, Kyung-Won (director) (May 27, 2000). "Where's Terry?". Batman Beyond. Season 2. Episode 25 (airdate). Episode 40 (production). Kids WB!.
  5. "Batman Beyond First Season Episode Guide" by Dennis Fischer - AnimeFantastique vol. 1 No. 4 (Winter 1999)