"Strange New World" is the fifth episode of the fourth season of The Batman.
The episode begins with Bruce Wayne as a wanted man. Gotham is burning down and is in anarchy. Most of the citizens have become what Batman can only describe as zombies. Batman admits that he hasn't slept in days. He can't as long as these purple-skinned zombies are around. Around the city, Batman has placed multiple explosves that will hopefully cure the infected citzens. As he is about to detonate them, he is attacked from behind by two shadowy figures who take him to the ground. The Dark Knight drops the detonator, unable to get back up. Batman does over power the two attackers and grabs the detonator. The two shadows corner the hero onto a ledge and below him a swarm of zombies. Batman prepares to detonate. Bruce Wayne is practicing his speech in Wayne Manor while Dick Grayson plays video games. Grayson criticizes Wayne's speech as being boring. Alfred compliments Wayne's speech but then suggests to bring "blankets and pillows for those who will require them." The kid and Alfred laugh and high five each other. Alfred tells Wayne not to worry. They still have two days to write the speech. Suddenly, Batsignal flashes and the heroes suit up.
Batman and Robin are told to visit Arkham Asylum. Doctor Hugo Strange wants to talk to the hero for some reason. The Dynamic Duo arrive and Batman warns Robin that Strange will try to mess with his mind if he is given the opportunity.
The two heroes arrive at Strange's cell. Strange thanks Batman for coming and cuts straight to the point. The villain says that he plans to release an invisible odorless gas into Gotham City that will practically turn the infected into blue-skinned zombies that will only answer to Strange, himself. The infected will then become carriers and try to infect as many non-infected as possible. There is only one antidote and Strange has already given it to himself so he won't be affected by the toxin. He offers Batman a vile but drops it right in front of him. A little note that Dr. Strange then remembers to say is that, if the antidote is not given in 48 hours, the infected will remain zombies forever.
The conversation is interrupted by a buzzing alarm. Strange says that that means the toxins are being released. Batman orders Robin to put on his filter gas mask. The heroes are now safe from inhaling the toxin. Hugo Strange happily announces, "Let the games begin."
The first zombie the heroes find is an Arkham Asylum doctor. He is surprisngly fast and blood-thirsty. Suddenly, about ten more Arkham doctors appear, zombified and charge at the heroes. Batman and Robin manage to escpae using their batropes.
The duo are making their escape in the Batmobile. Most of the town is already infected. Robin asks how Strange managed to do it from his little cell in Arkham. Batman is more concerned with why? Alfred enters the conversation through the Batmobile radio. Batman tells Alfred to stay in the Batcave. The Dark Knight says that he notified Batgirl. They are going to need all the help they can get.
The air analysis in the Batmobile has just finished its testing. The virus is gone in the air, but the zombies can still infect others through contact. Batman and Robin remove their air masks. They then notice the Batsignal is still on.
On the GCPD building, Commisioner Gordon is there with a few of his men. Batman and Robin glide onto the roof as Gordon turns around. He is zombified himself. The zombie cops and Gordon charge at Batman and Robin. The two fight off the cops but, thankfully, Batgirl arrives. Robin expresses his gratitute, only for Batgirl to reveal that she is zombified herself. The girl then joins the fight against Batman and Robin. In the fight, Robin manages to hand-cuff Batgirl and subdue her. Batman, meanwhile, fighting the rest of the cops on the other side of the roof, scapes off a piece of zombie Gordon's hair. Batman, having something to work with, throws smoke grenades and the two heroes escape in one piece.
In the Batcave, Robin admits he feels bad fighting his friends like Batgirl. Batman says that they'll get them back. Wayne begins to analyze the hair sample from zombified Gordon. Immediately, Alfred comes down the elevator...a zombie. Batman, unable to fight his guardian, throws another smoke bomb to knockout Alfred. Batman picks up zombie Alfred and places him a temporary jail cell in the Batcave, telling him to rest easy. Robin asks how Alfred managed to get infected all the way in the Batcave. Wayne doesn't have an answer but plans to find one very soon.
The scene fast fowards to the second night. Wayne and Grayson are still in the Batcave looking for an answer to the infection. In his cell, zombie Alfred moans for help. Robin can't take it. He covers his ears and whimpers to the floor. They don't even know what's wrong with them. Batman says that they know one man who does.
In Arkham Asylum, Strange is the only one not a zombie. He is running the asylum like his own kingdom. Batman arrives and makes a deal with Strange: Batman will remove his mask if Strange will give him the antidote.
Robin is watching their conversation in the shadows. Batgirl silently drops in through the doorway and sneaks up on the Boy Wonder. They have a quiet fight while Batman gets more information.
Strange tells Batman that there is more antidote. The police found the stash a week ago, unsure what it was for, and returned it to the station. Strange says that he can go and get it, but that is not ideal considering he is now alone. Unsure of what that meant, Batman looks behind him, no longer seeing Robin. Strange is done talking to Batman. He orders his zombies to attack.
Several zombies then fly from the ceiling and swarm the Dark Knight. He throws more smoke and escapes through the window alone.
In the GCPD building, the halls are patrolled by several zombie guards, but Batman manages to get into the evidense locker anyway. He finds the antidotes all in large test tubes. He takes the tubes and gets into the Batmobile.
In the Batmobile, Wayne calculates that he has a little less than a day before everyone becomes zombified forever. What makes everything harder is the fact that he is alone. The Batmobile alarm goes off. He is being pursued. Wayne sees that he is being followed by zombie Batgirl and zombie Robin on their Batcycles. The two zombie sidekicks jump off their bikes and onto the Batmobile. Robin pries open the roof and the zombies look at Batman, who is still trying to drive.
Robin and Batgirl take out spray bottles filled with the toxin and prepare to shoot. Batman throws twin batarangs in time and the sidekicks drop each of their bottles. Batman sets the Batmobile into autopilot and he begins to fight the children on the top of the speeding Batmobile. After a brief fight, Batman pulls out a tube of the antidote and offers it to his old partners. The zombies shrink back and jump off the Batmobile, leaving to be cured another time.
Unable to return to the Batcave now that Robin and Batgirl are infected, Batman returns to his second Batcave. He states that he built it just in case he ever had to go off the grid. The second Batcave is much smaller and not as advanced but it should do.
Batman works for thirteen hours straight creating vapor bombs that will detonate the antidote. He's made many but he only has four hours until everyone becomes zombies forever.
Batman begins planting the bombs everywhere in the city, avoiding zombies on the street and the ones patrolling the air with helicopters and airplanes. Batman plants all the bombs, even one on the stage he was supposed to give his speech on. Wayne says he has to get to higher ground to detonate.
The story now is back where it started in the beginning. Batman is about to detonate the bombs but he is attacked by zombie Robin. Zombie Batgirl then swings in to assist the sidekick. Just like in the beginning, Batman is cornerred by the two zombies and is on the edge of the building.
Batgirl tackles the hero off of the building, but he hangs on to a nearby gargoyle. Batman is again about to push the button, but Robin swipes it out of his hand and begins to fly away with Batgirl. Batman chases Robin and tackles him in mid-air. The three land and Batman finds himself surrounded by zombie GCPD officers.
Batman tries to fend them off but he is taken down. Just as Batgirl is about to infect Batman, he throws all of the cops off of him in an adrenaline rush. In the fight, Wayne manages to get the detonator. As Robin closes in on his mentor, he mumbles "Mess...head." Batman uses the batrope to escape again.
On a high building, Batman readies the charges. He remembers Robin's "mess...head." Comment and linked it to what Wayne said earlier, how Strange can mess with his head. He uses clues like the fact that the air was fine to breathe, the lack of evidense in Gordon's hair, and the fact that Strange pracitcally sent Batman to the police station for the antidote. He remembers the final clue, that when Strange dropped the antidote in the beginning of the story, the fumes raised into Batman's face and they were immediately attacked by zombies.
Batman deduces that he has been drugged by that "antidote" Strange threw at him in the beginning All of it is just an illusion. The antidote meant to cure the city is really just the toxin that is going to poison the city.
Suddenly, Robin, Batgirl, Gordon and more zombies bash through the door to the roof that Batman is on. Batman continues to fight the zombies, unable to determine what is real and what is his imagination. He has to make a choice.
Batman deciedes to drop the detonator. Robin takes the detonators and deactivates it. Batgirl walks over to Batman and sprays him with the "poison" she has been trying to spray him with for the past two days. As she does, everything becomes clear.
All of the zombies, all of the mayhem, disappear. Batgirl explains that, when she captured Robin, they created an antidote for the toxin and cured him. The "antidote" that Batman was given was, indeed, the toxin meant to destroy Gotham. He had been under Strange's influence the entire time.
Bruce Wayne, sane again, delivers his speech as planned in the town square. He waves to the crowd as they cheer him.
Voice Cast and Characters
- Rino Romano as Bruce Wayne/The Batman
- Evan Sabara as Dick Grayson/Robin
- Danielle Judovits as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl
- Alastair Duncan as Alfred Pennyworth
- Richard Green as Hugo Strange
- Mitch Pileggi as James Gordon
- Zombified Marion Grange
- In this episode, the Zombies can talk.
- This is the only episode where Bruce has a beard.
- When Batman is cured meeting non-zombified Batgirl and Robin, he has a scratch in his mask, but some seconds after the scratch disappears.
- Originally, the Scarecrow was to appear as the main antagonist of the episode, with concept art even being made. However, due to him the Bat-Embargo and usage in the Nolan films, the team were forced to replaced him with Hugo Strange.
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