Batman: Gotham Knight is an animated anthology film, consisting of six shorts produced by Japanese animation studios Studio 4°C, Madhouse, Bee Train and Production I.G in association with DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation. The shorts were written by Josh Olson, David S. Goyer, Brian Azzarello, Greg Rucka, Jordan Goldberg and Alan Burnett. Although all based on Japanese anime art style, each segment has its own writing and artistic style. However, some segments are connected. All six shorts feature Kevin Conroy, reprising his role as Batman from the DC animated universe. It is the third in the line of DC Universe Animated Original Movies.
Have I Got a Story for You
Animated by Studio 4°C
A street kid meets with his three friends at a skate park and all three of them claim to have seen Batman earlier that day. Batman's battle with the Man in Black, a high-tech criminal, is told in reverse chronological order with three very different interpretations of Batman's form and abilities. One describes him as a living shadow that can melt away and reappear at will. Another describes him as a half-human, half-bat creature (similar to Man-Bat). Lastly, one describes him as a combat robot that can leap tall buildings in a single bound. At the end, Batman pursues the Man in Black to the skate park and captures him with the help of the fourth street kid. The fourth kid is able to see what Batman truly is after seeing him sustain injuries from the battle: a human warrior in a costume. The kid then proceeds to tell his experience about seeing Batman to his friends after Batman disappears.
Animated by Production I.G
Crispus Allen and Anna Ramirez are partners and members of the Major Crimes Unit that have been hand-picked by Lieutenant James Gordon. The two are assigned to take the recently captured Man in Black, revealed to be Jacob Feely, an escaped inmate from Arkham Asylum with an expertise in advanced electronics and explosives. On their way, they argue over whether Batman can be trusted with Allen saying that they are just running errands for a vigilante while Ramirez replies that Batman has changed Gotham for the better. As they head back, Allen declares his intention to leave the MCU and Ramirez pulls into a vacant lot to confront Allen. However, the two get caught in a very large gunfight between gangs, The Russian Mob and Sal Maroni's gang.
Maroni's men are gunned down and Maroni takes refuge behind Allen and Ramirez's patrol car which The Russian subsequently destroys with a rocket launcher. Ramirez and Maroni manage to get clear in time while Allen is rescued by Batman who proceeds to take out The Russian and his men. Sal Maroni then threatens to kill Ramirez, but he is dispatched by Batman. Batman recognizes Allen and Ramirez as Gordon's hand-picked officers and remarks that Gordon is a good judge of character, and disappears.
Animated by Bee Train
An accident involving a new WayneCom satellite's gyroscopic electromagnetic guidance system gives Lucius Fox an idea to create a device with the satellite's gyro with an advanced sound sensor that will electromagnetically deflect small-arms fire. Bruce Wayne takes the device and attends a charity golf tournament being held by land developer Ronald Marshall, with whom he discusses the mysterious death of a community activist named Teresa Williams, who had opposed some of Marshall's plans. During the tournament, Wayne secretly takes Marshall's PDA device.
Later that night as Batman, he hijacks a boat owned by Sal Maroni and drives it alongside a boat owned by the Russian Mob's leader The Russian and proceeds to attack both gangs at once with assistance from his new device. He attempts to force a truce between the two gang leaders until he can get evidence against them and that Sal Maroni and the Russian can then argue who gets the top bunk at Blackgate Penitentiary. The discussion is disrupted when one of Maroni's men fires at him. The bullet deflects and instead hits one of The Russian's men. Distressed, Batman takes the injured man to the hospital. Later, he returns the device to Fox, stating: "...It works too well: I'm willing to put my life on the line to do what I have to. But it has to be mine, no one else's."
In Darkness Dwells
Animated by Madhouse
The police respond to a riot in a cathedral where Cardinal O'Fallon was giving a sermon. According to eyewitness testimony, the Cardinal was abducted by a large monster and taken down into the crypts below the cathedral. Lieutenant Gordon, Crispus Allen, and Anna Ramirez investigate. Gordon has a brief conversation with Batman, who agrees with Gordon's theory that the Scarecrow's fear toxin is behind the riot as the doctor has been at large since the riot at the Narrows. Batman gives Gordon an earpiece that will allow them to stay in contact and descends below ground, trying to find Cardinal O'Fallon and his abductor. A homeless man living in an abandoned subway station identifies the abductor as Killer Croc. Batman and Gordon briefly discuss the villain's past, but are cut off when Killer Croc ambushes Batman.
During the fight, Batman discovers Croc is under the influence of the Scarecrow's fear toxin. Batman defeats him, but not before sustaining a bite that transfers some of the toxin to him. He then finds Cardinal O'Fallon being put on trial and sentenced to death by the Scarecrow (who is unhappy with O'Fallon's efforts to help the homeless). Batman leaps in to defend the Cardinal. Using the methane already present in the room, he sparks an explosion that destroys several water pipes, flooding the area and allowing him to escape with the Cardinal. While Scarecrow escapes, Gordon appears in a helicopter to retrieve the Cardinal. Gordon offers to help Batman, but Batman refuses, saying: "Maybe next time."
Working Through Pain
Animated by Studio 4°C
Taking place after In Darkness Dwells, Batman is shot in the stomach by a man hallucinating in the sewers of Gotham. Severely injured, Batman cauterizes the wound and then desperately searches for a way out, reflecting on his experiences with managing pain as he does so. First, he remembers volunteering with a relief effort and assisting a doctor in performing surgery without anesthesia. Next, he reflects on the lessons he learned from a woman named Cassandra who was cast out of her community for disguising herself as a boy in an attempt to become a Fakir. Over several months, she teaches him to minimize his pain to the point where he can control it, sleeping on a bed of needles or standing on hot coals without reacting.
One night, several young men appear to harass Cassandra, who takes their blows without seeming to feel them. Bruce steps in to defend her, not only demonstrating his ability to withstand their attacks but defeating them all with his martial arts skills. Cassandra then tells him to leave, saying that he has learned what he came to learn. She then comments on how Bruce's pain was beyond her or possibly even his ability to handle, but how it also appeared to be leading him down a path he desired. Back in the present, Batman ends up in a gutter where he discovers a cache of guns buried in the garbage. Alfred then arrives to assist him and tells Batman to reach out his hand so he can pull him out of the gutter but Batman, whose arms are full of guns, replies that he cannot.
Animated by Madhouse
Bruce Wayne has a flashback to the murder of his parents. In his penthouse, he examines the firearms he took from the underground tunnel's gutter which he intends to turn in to the police. Wayne admits to Alfred that even though he vowed never to use them in the memory of his parents, he can still understand the temptation to use one. Meanwhile, in another city, a prodigious assassin known as Deadshot carries out an assassination on Mayor Manning with a spectacularly difficult shot from a moving ferris wheel literally miles away from the man and returns to his tropical base. There, one of his associates hires him to carry out a hit in Gotham.
It is revealed that The Russian has put out a hit on Lieutenant Gordon, and Batman is called in to protect him. Batman gives Crispus Allen Ronald Marshall's handheld PDA device (which he stole as Bruce Wayne in Field Test), containing a link to encrypted e-mails proving that Ronald Marshall hired Deadshot in the past. He then follows Gordon's motorcade, with Alfred providing satellite-imagery assistance using the new WayneCom satellites. Deadshot attempts to shoot Gordon from a moving train, but Batman deflects the bullet. Deadshot then gleefully reveals that Batman was his real target the entire time and that the threat against Gordon was merely a ruse to draw him out. He opens fire as the train enters a tunnel and as Batman attempts to charge at Deadshot, he gets shot and falls off the train.
Deadshot advances to where he saw Batman fall while gloating about shooting Batman, but is suddenly ambushed and disarmed from behind by Batman. Now terrified, Deadshot confesses that he was hired by the Russians to kill Batman and tries to talk Batman out of killing him since he was "only doing his job." Infuriated with Deadshot's cowardice, Batman knocks him out and Deadshot and Ronald Marshall are arrested afterward. Later, Wayne confides to Alfred about how similar the fight in the tunnel seemed to the night his parents were murdered and comments that "I've been trying to stop those two bullets all my life." He expresses discouragement and Alfred agrees, but then adds that he thinks Bruce has a higher purpose. The film ends with Bruce looking up at the sky and seeing the Bat-Signal.
Toonami Broadcast History
- August 22, 2020 at 12:00 AM
- "Toonami’s teaming up with DC FanDome to bring you two weeks of back-to-back DC animated movies! ". facebook.com/TOONAMI. August 4, 2020. https://www.facebook.com/Toonami/photos/a.1442483259375850/2494524504171715/. Retrieved on August 4, 2020.
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