Batman: a fallen knight

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BATMAN: A FALLEN KNIGHT

A Treatment and Story Arc for an Animated Series by

Matthew Orobko


Based on Characters Created by

Bob Kane
Appearing in Magazines Published by

D.C. Comics

JULY, 2008



OVERVIEW:
BATMAN: A FALLEN KNIGHT is a proposed animated television series aimed towards an adult audience mainly focusing on the adventures of Batman as he struggles to keep the citizens of a crumbling Gotham City safe.
Batman will be portrayed as a frail, psychologically breaking character struggling to maintain his personal life as millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne and at the same time carry the burden of being the city’s only hope for safety.
Throughout the series various aspects of Bruce Wayne’s/Batman’s life and challenges will be explored whether it be trying to settle down with a family as Bruce Wayne and trying to keep tabs on the city’s most dangerous criminals as Batman.
The villains that Batman will encounter throughout the series will all come from the classic rogue gallery of previous Batman stories and mythology. These include The Joker, Two-Face, Scarecrow, Clayface, The Penguin, Catwoman, The Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Bane, Deadshot, Black Mask, The Mad-Hatter, etc. The characterizations of these villains will strive to be somewhat different than any form they have previously been portrayed.

CONTENTS:

EPISODE 1.1: A LESSER OF TWO EVILS

EPISODE 1.2: THE LAST SYMBOL

EPISODE 1.3: HAVE I GOT A JOKE FOR YOU...

EPISODE 1.4: THE PAINTED SMILE

EPISODE 1.5: VALENTINE’S DAY

EPISODE 1.6: A WORLD OF GREEN

EPISODE 1.7.1: LITTLE DARLINGS (PART ONE)

EPISODE 1.7.2: LITTLE DARLINGS (PART TWO)

EPISODE 1.8: CAREFUL CONSIDERATION

EPISODE 1.9: A TASTE OF RAIN

EPISODE 1.10: HEADS OR TAILS

EPISODE 1.11: TWO ROADS DIVERGE

EPISODE 1.12: AN OLD FRIEND, A NEW ENEMY


SEASON ONE OVERVIEW:

EPISODE 1.1: A LESSER OF TWO EVILS


For the past 6 months the Gotham City Police Department has been on strike due to lack of government funding and the ever-increasing amount of crime that riddles the city. When the series opens, Gotham City is 65% controlled by the mob and other various criminal factions. Bruce Wayne, after successfully rebuilding the Gotham City Children’s Hospital after it was destroyed in a blast caused by a terrorist organization known only as ‘The Clowns’ that operates beneath the city and is controlled by an unknown mastermind focuses his attention on trying to help the GCPD strike get resolved. As the city succumbs more and more towards crime Bruce Wayne realizes that he alone cannot help the city crawl from the depths it as sunk. On the anniversary of his parents’ death, Wayne travels to Gotham Cemetery where he admits to them that he is beginning to question whether or not the city can be saved, even going as far as asking if he should no longer attempt to bring justice to the fallen city. At the end of the episode a distraught and depressed Bruce Wayne tosses his Batman costume into a burning fire, destroying it.

EPISODE 1.2: THE LAST SYMBOL

Commissioner Gordon, attempting to fix things happening with the GCPD, begs for the return of Batman stating that in a city on the verge of total disaster he is the only hope, one last symbol of good. Bruce Wayne continues his inner struggle, contemplating whether or not he should return. Meanwhile, the Maroni clan (one of the most powerful crime families in Gotham), led by crime boss Sal Maroni orders one of his men to help orchestrate and plan a robbery at the First National Bank of Gotham City. The heist is revealed to be a set-up in which the Maroni clan hope to flush out Batman once they begin killing innocent hostages and end Batman’s life. When the robbery commences and innocent hostages begin dying, Bruce Wayne decides once and for all that as Batman, the city does have hope and justice that is worth fighting for. At the bank, Batman disposes of all the criminals, infuriating Sal Maroni. Batman returns to the rooftops where he stands, in shadows. For the first time since Bruce Wayne decided not to act as Batman anymore, the bat-signal illuminates the night sky.

EPISODE 1.3: HAVE I GOT A JOKE FOR YOU...


The GCPD strike is close to ending and Batman is prowling the streets once again. Commissioner Gordon praises Batman’s efforts although they may seem futile since crime is still on the extreme rise in the city. Bruce Wayne, attending a function at the mayor’s house meets Commissioner Gordon’s daughter, Barbara and a friendship is formed. Meanwhile, a mysterious criminal has come to Gotham City known only as The Joker. The crime world also fears The Joker because he has brought his own gang with him that not only wants to control the city but also the criminal underworld as well. Aided by Commissioner Gordon, Batman tries to learn more about the mysterious Joker and hopefully bring him down. When The Joker and his goons succeed in destroying The Gotham Gazette building because, in The Joker’s own words “I’m sick of all the fairy tales they print about yours truly. I’m scarier than they say. And funnier too.” It becomes clear to Batman and the city that The Joker is a real threat. The Joker then manages to televise a signal city-wide asking for Batman to meet him or else he will begin ‘slowly dismantling the city.’ Bruce, reluctant at first, decides that it is unwise to disobey The Joker and travels to his lair (the abandoned Gotham Boardwalk amusement park). There, The Joker and Batman discuss things about the city and why, according to The Joker, it needs people like them. When Batman asks The Joker to leave the city The Joker tries to kill Batman by shooting him in the chest. Batman escapes, leaving The Joker to rule the streets.

EPISODE 1.4: THE PAINTED SMILE

An episode that opens with the origin of The Joker. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne maintains a steady relationship with Barbara Gordon. The panic that The Joker has created in the city causes drastic action that directly influences the GCPD strike, ending it. The Maroni clan, upset with the way their reputation has diminished, employs the help of a super-sniper known only as Deadshot to eliminate The Joker. In the end, Batman ends up stopping Deadshot who falls off a high building and dies while simultaneously capturing The Joker preventing another act of terrorism. Batman takes The Joker to Arkham Asylum where he vows revenge on Batman and the city of Gotham.

EPISODE 1.5: VALENTINE’S DAY

Bruce Wayne is making headlines. His friendship with Barbara Gordon has sprung into a romance, eliminating his title as Gotham’s most desirable bachelor. The relationship adds humanity and somewhat of a grip on a normal life for Bruce Wayne as his stints as Batman causes crushing loneliness. A lonely botanist, Dr. Pamela Ivesly, obsessed with Bruce Wayne succumbs to total jealousy when she learns of his romance with Barbara Gordon. On Valentine’s Day, Ivesly manages to sneak into the kitchen of the restaurant where Bruce and Barbara are eating dinner. She slips a rare strain of toxin from a strange hybrid plant she is working on into Barbara’s dish and when she eats it, falls into a catatonic state. When doctors fail to pinpoint the toxin, Wayne takes matters into his own hands when he visits Luscious Fox, a confidant working in the science division of Wayne Enterprises. Luscious can’t seem to pinpoint the problem either but suggests that the toxin could have come from a rare or hybrid plant. This leads Bruce to Dr. Ivesly where an argument and subsequent accident causes Ivesley to be saturated in the concentrated toxin she has extracted from the hybrid turning herself into Poison Ivy. Upon escape from the hospital, Poison Ivy breaks into Wayne Manor, seeking revenge on Bruce Wayne. Meanwhile, Bruce struggles to find a way to revive Barbara but when his efforts are interrupted by Poison Ivy, he is kidnapped. When Bruce Wayne is saved from Poison Ivy from the GCPD (with Ivy escaping), a journalist notices that Batman neglected to save Bruce Wayne from Ivy. This weighs on the reporter’s conscious, and eventually leads into his secret investigation into the true identity of Batman. Barbara is finally revived when Bruce concocts an antidote from the toxins found at Poison Ivy’s lab.

EPISODE 1.6: A WORLD OF GREEN

Batman successfully stops a massive counterfeiting ring that is run by the remainder of The Joker’s gang as well as the Maroni clan. Meanwhile, Poison Ivy, fresh off her rage at the city of Gotham, concocts a plan to blanket the city in her patented toxin by hijacking a number of crop-dusting planes to spray over the city. She has since become the leader of a group of orphaned teenagers who see her as a mother figure. After successfully managing to hijack the planes, she begins her plan. Meanwhile, a young, idealistic attorney, Harvey Dent decides to run for District Attorney for Gotham under the blessing of friend Bruce Wayne. He shares the same vision as Wayne in the sense that they both want to bring a level of safety and peace to the fallen city. As Poison Ivy readies her plans, Batman soon realizes that if he does not stop her quickly, the results can be catastrophic. After a confrontation at Gotham Airfield, Batman captures Poison Ivy, sending her to Arkham Asylum and foiling her plan against the city. The orphans are placed in foster care.

EPISODE 1.7.1: LITTLE DARLINGS (PART ONE)

Fear grips the city. A pedophilic serial killer is abducting children. The children are found dead 4 days after the kidnappings. Because of the killer’s penchant to leave behind passages from the story ‘Alice in Wonderland’ at the crime scenes, the media has deemed the killer with the name The Mad-Hatter. Bruce Wayne feels sickened by the crimes, finding it hard to solve especially because of the psychological toll it is taking on his girlfriend, Barbara. Commissioner Gordon is concerned that the police cannot catch a break with the case but grows even more concerned when Batman confides with him his feelings of inadequacy. When the Mayor’s daughter, Melissa, is kidnapped, Batman takes drastic measures. He decides to visit The Joker at Arkham Asylum in hopes that he may be able to shed some light on the psychology of The Mad-Hatter because they are similar in theatrics and delusions of fantasy. When The Joker reveals to Batman that he knows who The Mad-Hatter is but won’t tell him, Batman becomes infuriated and almost beats him to death. Ashamed by how he let his emotions get to him, Batman retreats back to the bat-cave, speculating on how he handled himself. As the time limit begins to run out, Bruce Wayne spirals into depression and at his weakest state, tells his girlfriend Barbara that he is Batman. At first, she is unable to believe it but when Bruce tells Alfred to show her the bat-cave, she becomes furious, telling Bruce to not endanger his life for the city. When Barbara faces Bruce with the question of “It’s either me. Or the city.” Bruce chooses Batman and Barbara flees Gotham, to the city of Metropolis.

EPISODE 1.7.2: LITTLE DARLINGS (PART TWO)

Meanwhile, D.A. hopeful Harvey Dent suggests that the entirety of the Gotham police squad should focus all man-power on The Mad-Hatter case. Bruce Wayne puts his crumbling relationship behind and continues to stalk the streets as Batman, hoping to capture The Mad-Hatter. One day, Bruce Wayne watches a grown man enter a candy store, wearing a top hat. He exits carrying a large amount of candy. Bruce tells Alfred to follow the man as they see him enter an apartment building and disappear. Bruce tells Alfred that he will look into the man that night. At night (the time limit to find the mayor’s daughter runs out the next morning), Batman goes to the apartment building and through the window sees the man hugging the mayor’s daughter. Batman flies in through the window and tackles The Mad-Hatter to the ground. The Mad-Hatter cannot stop laughing and when Batman punches him in the face he falls to the ground. The Mad-Hatter smiles and tells Batman that “it’s too late” pointing at the lifeless body of Melissa on the floor. Batman breaks down in tears, holding the body. The Mad-Hatter walks over to the broken window and leaps out. When Batman looks outside, he sees the body of The Mad-Hatter on the ground below, dead. The next day, the city mourns the loss of Melissa. Harvey Dent gives a moving speech that is televised throughout Gotham. The Joker is revealed to be watching it from the Asylum, smiling. Dent then makes a point to say that Batman didn’t help and couldn’t get to her in time. He then goes on to say that Batman might not be needed after all. Bruce Wayne is once again faced with the question of whether or not what he is doing is good.

EPISODE 1.8: CAREFUL CONSIDERATION


As the city mourns the death of the mayor’s daughter, Melissa, Harvey Dent has swept the campaign for Gotham’s D.A. mainly riding on his ‘anti-Batman’ angle. The city (including the mayor) largely blames Batman for the death of his daughter. Despite this, Bruce Wayne still continues to fight crime during the night. He attempts to foil a jewelry store robbery set up by the Maroni clan and when Batman is shot in the ensuing fight, he falls to the ground unconscious. When he wakes up, he is being held captive by the Maroni Clan. Sal Maroni explains that he would very much like to see who Batman really is but decides not to, saying that it is a greater message to simply kill him. Maroni then regales Batman with the story of how his family rose to the top of Gotham’s criminal underworld. Suddenly, when a bomb goes off in the Maroni mansion, Batman is able to set himself free. Unaware of who detonated the bomb Batman returns to the bat-cave. The next day, headlines and news programs show that many criminals were brought to justice the night before. While the newspapers state that it was Batman who did it, Bruce Wayne realizes that he did not and there is a possibility of another masked avenger in Gotham.

EPISODE 1.9: A TASTE OF RAIN


Harvey Dent has become Gotham City’s D.A. The citizens have a lot of respect for him and wish him well with his position. Batman has been hard at work trying to catch another vigilante that seems to be giving credit to Batman even when Batman is not involved at all. All efforts on Batman’s part to learn of the vigilante’s identity seem to be futile. The unnamed reporter from The Gotham Globe (which has taken over as Gotham’s main news source since the destruction of the gazette) approaches Bruce Wayne, wanting to do an in-depth story on his life. Reluctantly, Wayne agrees hoping the interview will put him into the people’s view as a positive image once again since lately he has been fairly reclusive since Barbara’s leaving. The reporter interviews Bruce Wayne at Wayne Manor and gathers information about the millionaire’s wife. When Wayne informs the reporter that the man who killed his parents was never apprehended the reporter grows anxious to find as much information as he can to hopefully find the identity of the killer. At the Science and Medicine building of the Wayne Corporation, Bruce Wayne congratulates a Dr. Victor Fries on the opening of the new Applied Cryogenics wing. That night, in the pouring rain, Batman overlooks the city. Across the rooftops he sees another mysterious figure ominously looming. He quickly tries to capture the figure but it ducks out of sight, into the night. On the street a thug is threatening a man in an alley way. Suddenly, a woman dressed similarly as Batman rushes out of the shadows, renders the thug unconscious and helps the innocent victim up. When the victim asks who she is, the woman replies: “I’m Batgirl.”
EPISODE 1.10: HEADS OR TAILS
Harvey Dent has finally amassed enough evidence against Sal Maroni for an arrest. With a team of Gotham SWAT and Commissioner Gordon, Dent leads an assault on the Maroni mansion. Things quickly go wrong when it’s revealed that Sal Maroni learned of the ambush from an anonymous tip. As the SWAT team falls under a barrage of gun fire, Sal Maroni manages to capture Dent. Commissioner Gordon, fearing his team might fall under the gun battle, withdraws the officers and quickly contacts Batman about the kidnapping of Harvey Dent. Meanwhile, Sal Maroni has taken Dent to Gotham Chemicals where he threatens to drop him into a vat of acid unless he calls off the arrest warrant on him. Harvey, unable to accept the terms orders Maroni to let him go. When Batman shows up, Dent is dropped from the catwalk into the acid but at the last minute, is saved by Batman. As Maroni tries to get away, he fires a shot at Batman which hits a tank of acid. The acid sprays out, hitting the left side of Harvey’s face. Harvey falls down, unconscious and because of this Batman needs to let Maroni and his thugs get away. At Gotham Hospital the doctors explain to Batman that Dent’s burns are severe and he could remain unconscious for days. Batman tells the doctors to do whatever they can to help him. At night, two of Maroni’s thugs sneak into the hospital bent on finishing the job they failed with Dent earlier. While Dent lies unconscious one of the thugs takes off his bandages to see “what kind of damage the acid did to him”. As the thugs look on in horror, Dent wakes up furious. Half of his face is mutilated and he has a look of madness in his eyes. He gets out of the bed and runs over to the criminals. A fight breaks out where Dent manages to push the two thugs out of the window, the fall killing them. Because of the commotion, two doctors rush in and have a hard time controlling Dent. They give him a sedative and let Dent fall unconscious again. As they put him back in bed, a coin falls onto the ground landing heads-side-up.

EPISODE 1.11: TWO ROADS DIVERGE


With Harvey Dent now conscious and suffering severe delusions and multiple personalities as a direct result of the trauma he suffered, doctors order that he sees a psychiatrist. The doctor he ends up seeing is Ruth Adams. Adams attempts to help Dent work through his personality disorder. The first problem she stumbles upon is that his is unable to make basic decisions for himself because his two personalities conflict with each other. She suggests using a coin flip to help wean him off his indecision. Unfortunately, the coin proves to be a prime catalyst in Dent’s homicidal tendencies and based on a flip, decides to kill Dr. Adams. In a standoff with the doctors, Dr. Moore ensures Dent that he will be able to surgically correct his horribly disfigured side but instead decides to flee into the night. Dent ends up at the Maroni mansion where he successfully ends up killing Sal Maroni. He tells his goons that he has taken over the clan and plans on being the ruler of the Gotham underground. His cronies give him a nick-name behind his back: Two-Face.

EPISODE 1.12: AN OLD FRIEND, A NEW ENEMY

With city hall panicking over the disappearance of Harvey Dent, Bruce Wayne decides to go to Metropolis to explain to Barbara and hopefully patch their relationship up. At night, Batman pays a visit to the Maroni mansion, hoping to find out where Dent has disappeared too. When he sees that Harvey is now controlling Maroni’s clan under the name Two-Face, he reports his findings to Commissioner Gordon as well as the mayor. Because the mayor still does not fully trust Batman, he confides with Commissioner Gordon that he believes Batman to be working with Two-Face, against the city. When Two-Face and his goons enter city hall with the hope of kidnapping the mayor and forcing the city to elect Two-Face as the new mayor Batman is met with the efforts of Batgirl that end up stopping Two-Face’s plan. When Batman attempts to catch Batgirl to find out who she is, she gets away instead, as does Two-Face. Bruce Wayne travels to Metropolis by train where he is followed by a reporter, desperately trying to uncover dirt on Bruce Wayne for a Gotham tabloid paper. In Metropolis Bruce tries to reason with Barbara over his duties and their relationship. When Barbara tells him that she left because of how she felt, Bruce gives up and travels back to Gotham. Barbara walks over to her closet, opening it revealing the costume of Batgirl. Back in Gotham, the tabloid reporter manages to break into Wayne Manor, discovering the bat-cave and also discovering Batman’s idenity. The reporter rushes to a pay phone in the city, calling his editor. The reporter speaks into the phone with a very excited tone: “Mr. Crantz? It’s Nygma. Edward Nygma. You’re not going to believe this...”

END OF SEASON 1


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