Review: “Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman”
Waiting for the new Batwoman series? Here’s a good way to whet your appetite
“Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman” is an animated feature from 2003 introducing the character of the Batwoman to DC fans. Batwoman first appeared in the comics in 1956, but this movie marks her first appearance in the movies or television.
The story starts with Batwoman violently disrupting an arms shipment; she appears to be less concerned with loss of life than Batman. Fortunately for the villains, Batman and Robin are on patrol and see the explosions, and they come to investigate. This leads Batman to begin searching for Batwoman to discover her identity and bring her to justice.
It turns out that Batwoman is trying to stop Penguin from shipping advanced weaponry, so Batman gets drawn into this plot while investigating Batwoman. Without giving away the whole story, there are three women who could potentially be Batwoman, and Batman suspects each of them in turn: Kathy Duquesne, daughter of gangster (and Penguin henchman) Carlton Duquesne; Dr. Rocky Ballantine, a scientist working for Wayne Enterprises, and Sonia Alanca, a police detective partnering with Harvey Bullock. Which one is it? If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you’ll have to watch it to find out. We don’t want to give everything away.
As is typical for Batman movies, what follows are a lot of chases, explosions, and scenes of Bruce Wayne acting the charming ladies’ man. After the Bat family gets too close to ruining Penguin’s plans for comfort, he calls in Bane to take over security from Duquesne. You know when Bane gets involved, it never ends well. It takes all Batman’s prowess to neutralize Bane and save the day.
All in all, this is a decent addition to the DC universe’s animated movies. It also provides some pretty interesting contrasts to the upcoming Batwoman series premiering this fall. In that series, the story returns to the original Batwoman, Katherine (Kate) Kane. In the movie, Batwoman is not related to Bruce Wayne, but is instead something of a romantic interest; in the new series, Kate is Bruce’s cousin. In the series, Kate is taking on her role because Batman has disappeared and Gotham is being overrun by criminals.
It will be interesting to see how the series plays out. In the meantime, check out “Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman” to get your Bat-fix!