"Rumors" is the eleventh episode of the fourth season of The Batman.
Killer Croc and three of his henchmen return to Croc's lair after robbing a bank. Croc begins to review their loot when he turns to find his henchmen tied down and gagged. Killer Croc immediately assumes that Batman is the one who's attacked his henchmen, but when Croc fails to find Batman in plain sight, he discovers that his assailant isn't Batman after smelling the air. Croc's assailant grabs him by the tail and the two fight briefly before Croc is knocked unconscious after the assailant sends an electric shock through the water that Killer Croc was standing in.
Killer Croc then wakes up, bound and gagged in a glass holding cell; questioning what's going on. Croc's assailant reveals himself and states that this is the end for all of Gotham's super villains.
Bruce and Dick are shown watching a news report, where the news caster mentions that Killer Croc is the latest of Gotham's super villains to vanish from the public eye (other victims shown to include Spellbinder, Maxie Zeus, Hugo Strange, Gearhead, Punch, Judy, Toymaker, Bane, Temblor, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, Rupert Thorne, Man-Bat, Number One, Riddler, Harley Quinn, the Kabuki Twins, Cluemaster, Black Mask, the Ventriloquist and Scarface). While forgetting Tony Zucko and Bassil Karlo. The news reporter raises the question of whether or not there's room in Gotham City for two crime-fighting vigilantes. The report then cuts to an interview of a Gotham citizen who voices his opinion that the new vigilante is all Gotham needs, as the Batman never locks the super villains away for good. Dick states that it's not their fault that the super villains keep escaping Arkham Asylum.
Bruce and Dick suit up and head to the scene of another crime, where Ragdoll, Killer Moth and Firefly had just been taken by the mystery vigilante. Robin notes how the new hero isn't leaving them much work in Gotham, but Batman objects that the vigilante isn't a hero, because if he were he'd hand the criminals over to the Gotham City Police Department rather than collect them. Suddenly, Batman gets word that there's been a break in at the art museum.
Catwoman moves towards a golden statue of a cat, stating that she had the perfect place for it. Batman and Robin appear behind her; Batman saying that the perfect spot Catwoman was talking about was back where she found it. Catwoman doesn't seem surprised that Batman is there, noting Robin's presence and asking if Batman kept with the kid-partners because they make him look taller. Catwoman asks how Batman knew to find her at the art museum, because she thought she was being careful; but Robin notes how nothing screams careful like a brick through the window. Batman sums up that someone else had tripped the alarm on purpose, prompting Penguin to emerge from behind an exhibit, glad to see that Batman got his message.
Robin goes to attack Penguin, but Batman stops him and says that they should wait and see what Penguin wants first. Penguin explains that what he wants is to turn himself in, urging Batman to arrest him and even attempting to "steal" in order to be guilty enough to be arrested. Penguin asks what he's got to do to get arrested, and Robin just tells him to stop because he's embarrassing himself. Penguin explains that he needs protection from the new vigilante, because he's not like Batman. Catwoman scoffs and states that there's no real new vigilante, and that it's just a rumor.
Suddenly a target appears on Penguin, Robin only just managing to pull him out of the way before a bow-staff is shot in Penguin's direction. The new vigilante then jumps down from the museum's rafters, turning visible and identifying himself as Rumor, stating that the thing about rumors is that they're often true. Rumor draws his bow-staff and tells Batman that he only gets one chance to step away from the "low-life scum". Batman, Robin and Rumor spar briefly, with Catwoman grabbing the statue and running towards the art museum's exit while the vigilantes are distracted. Rumor fires an explosive over the exit before turning invisible again and going after Catwoman. Batman attempts to find Rumor using heat-vision, but Rumor tells Batman that his suit absorbs all his body heat. Batman draws smoke bombs, but before he can use them, Rumor drops a chandelier on top of him and Robin.
This causes the smoke bombs to drop in front of Catwoman, revealing to her where Rumor is. Catwoman uses her whip against Rumor, managing to break off a piece of material from Rumor's suit before Rumor stuns her with electricity. As Batman and Robin get out from underneath the chandelier, they see Rumor place Catwoman underneath a blanket made from the same material as his suit. Rumor then proceeds to chase after Penguin, apprehending him as well as he tries to escape. Robin notes how good Rumor's skills are because he keeps disappearing without a trace. Just then, Batman manages to find the piece of Rumor's suit that Catwoman took off, taking it back to the Batcave for analysis. In the Batcave, Batman realizes that Rumor is using light-refracting nanofibres to become invisible, technology that only one company in Gotham, Karon Industries, is developing.
Within Rumor's warehouse where he's keeping Gotham's criminals detained, Bane is continuously trying to use his strength to break out of his cell. Hugo Strange watches Bane and notes how Rumor continues to captivate him; wondering if there was some form of ultimate punishment in store for all of the captured super villains. Catwoman questions what Hugo means, as there couldn't be anything worse than being stuck in a cell beside Hugo being force to listen to him drone on. Ventriloquist is shown to have been separated in different neighboring cells from Scarface, worrying about the situation that they're in. Ventriloquist's attention is drawn above him, where Rumor appears and announces that he has bad news, and worse news.
The bad news is apparently that Rumor has sentenced all of the super villains to life-sentences, while the worse news is that it will be a very short sentence. Rumor turns invisible and states that before he can kill all of Gotham's super villains, there's still one very important piece to add to his collection, Joker. Harley Quinn gets worried for Joker
At Karon Industries, Paul Karon's bodyguard, Mario, asks if Paul is ready; however Paul states that he still needs another two minutes. Mario closes the doors to Paul's office and states that he's there if Paul needs him. Batman and Robin confront Paul in his office, with Paul sarcastically greeting Batman because someone more qualified has taken over as Gotham's vigilante. Batman brings up the fact that Rumor is using technology which Paul had developed himself, prompting Paul to say that if Batman finds Rumor, to tell him that he wants to shake Rumors hand. Robin questions if Paul has any idea how Rumor obtained his technology. Paul states that perhaps it fell off a truck during a shipment, or maybe it's not even his technology, and maybe he doesn't even care; something which he says as he comes out from behind his desk in a wheelchair. Paul asks if Batman hadn't told Robin where the two of them had met before.
Paul explains that he had created a device that could emit low-frequency sound waves that were so powerful that they could destroy a building; something which both the government and Joker were greatly interested in. Batman arrived to save the day, taking Joker down, but not stopping Joker from firing a rocket that caused the roof of the building they were in to collapse on top of Paul. Batman saved the day, but not Paul himself. Paul notes how the super villains weren't around before Batman, prompting Robin to object because Gotham is better off because of Batman. Paul states that he's most definitely not, asking Batman and Robin to leave if they were done interrogating the victim; calling Mario in at the same time.
Batman and Robin sit on a ledge outside of Paul Karon's office, Robin questioning where they go now. Batman says that they're not done at Karon Industries yet. The two infiltrate Karon Industries and search for clues, finding prototypes for Paul Karon's exo-legs. Suddenly, Paul and Mario come into the lab, Paul urging Mario to go home for the night; as he's able to handle himself in the lab despite his condition. As Mario leaves, Paul has mechanical arms fit him into a suit that is identical to Rumor's, a suit which allows him to walk again. Batman and Robin then leave the scene, having seen enough.
The next night, whilst patrolling Gotham, Robin states that they should have apprehended Paul the night before. Batman argues that they still don't know where Paul's keeping Gotham's super villains. Robin then questions if it wouldn't just be better if they let Rumor finish the job, but Batman again argues the fact that the code they work by isn't always the easiest way, but it's the right way.
In Joker's lair, Rumor interrupts a show that Joker is watching by smashing Joker's TV. Joker's not at all surprised by Rumor's presence, stating that he started to worry when Punch and Judy didn't 'punch in' a few nights before. Joker knew that Rumor would come for him sooner or later, and so he decided to be proactive, hiring thugs to beat on Rumor when he did finally show his face. Rumor turns invisible and easily dispatches Joker's thugs. Joker attempts to escape Rumor, but Rumor manages to corner Joker, pinning him up against a mirror and knocking him unconscious.
Batman and Robin confront Paul at Karon Industries, revealing to him that Joker had been taken and that they know about his exo-suit. Paul explains that he's been testing the suit so that it could be used to benefit people who were like him, unable to utilize their legs, using his bodyguard Theo as an alibi. Batman questions where Mario is, with Paul explaining that Mario has the night off. Using this information, Batman figures out that Mario is Rumor, rather than Paul.
Rumor tells his captives that their time is up, but Hugo Strange requests that Rumor simply explain to them why he intends on killing them. Rumor explains that he's the bodyguard of Paul Karon (Mario), doing so because Joker had maimed Paul. The other super villains voice their frustration with Joker, but Rumor tells them that if they want to blame someone, they should blame Batman for failing to stop the super villains of Gotham permanently because of a code of ethics that he follows, leaving Rumor to finish the job. Strange laughs at this, stating that Rumor hadn't rounded them all up in order to save Gotham, but to redeem himself for failing to save Paul instead. Rumor gets upset by this and sets up a larger version of Karon's device that Joker had previously attempted to steal.
Batman and Robin arrive, telling Rumor that he has nothing to prove. Rumor is surprised to discover that his boss had helped Batman find him because Paul felt that he had crossed the line. Rumor attempts to go invisible once again, but Batman and Robin throw capsules of gelatin at Rumor so that they can see him while he's invisible. Rumor proceeds to fight Robin, managing to stun him before battling Batman. Batman successfully removes a piece of Rumor's suit that controls his invisibility, taking away Rumor's edge. Batman then punches Rumor into his machine, where Rumor sets every one of Gotham's super villains free in the process, accidentally. Batman goes to deal the finishing blow to Rumor, when Joker asks to cut in on the fight so that Gotham's super villains can decimate Rumor themselves. Rumor begs Batman for protection, which Batman complies to as Robin takes Rumor's bow-staff in preparation for the fight ahead.
Mr. Freeze takes the first move, attempting to freeze Batman, Robin and Rumor in place. This fails however, as Batman and Robin throw down smoke bombs to escape, Batman binding Rumor and sending him to safety in the process. Batman and Robin take down Black Mask and two Riddle Men as they step out in front of the group, with Killer Croc joining the fight with Batman while Bane takes on Robin. Batman out-maneuvers Killer Croc, throwing him into Croc's three henchmen in time for him to prepare as the Kabuki Twins approach. Batman dodges their attack, throwing them back into an open cell and locking it shut afterwards. From behind Batman, Ragdoll, Temblor, Punch, Judy, Spellbinder, Cluemaster, Penguin and Black Mask rush in for the kill. Batman sees Mr. Freeze preparing another attack from the opposite side, dodging the attack so that Mr. Freeze would bind Ragdoll, Temblor, Punch, Judy, Spellbinder, Cluemaster, Penguin and Black Mask. Batman then sends a batarang towards Mr. Freeze, jamming the freeze gun on his right arm so that it cannot be used.
While Freeze goes to deal with Batman, Robin dodges an attack from Bane, allowing Bane to knock two other villains unconscious in the process. Robin continues to evade Bane, eventually cutting one of the tubes supplying Bane his strength. During Bane's next pursuit of Robin, Robin uses Rumor's bow-staff to shock Bane by sending electricity through the liquid pouring from the tube Robin had cut. As Bane falls, Man-Bat dives down and attacks Robin, missing initially. Robin sends a grappling hook after Man-Bat instead, latching onto Man-Bat's foot and getting lifted off of the ground alongside Man-Bat. Firefly follows closely behind as Man-Bat flies through the air with Robin. Robin, seeing that Killer Croc had recovered from his fight with Batman and was preparing to launch at him from a rafter, jumps out of the way. Killer Croc attacks Firefly instead, as Robin climbs over Croc's body, landing on a rafter.
Batman is still fighting Mr. Freeze, when Riddler uses his staff (with the help of his Riddle Men) to hold Batman in place. As Freeze warms up another attack, Batman opens the cell Freeze is standing over, sending Mr. Freeze falling into the cell. Batman then throws Riddler into the same cell and uses Riddler's staff to take out Riddler's two Riddle Men. Out of no where, Poison Ivy uses her plants to trip Batman, trapping him in her vines.
From above, Man-Bat is continuing his attempts to kill Robin, but Robin manages to jump onto Man-Bat's back and use his ears to steer him into Poison Ivy, who was about to take control of Batman using her plants. When Ivy and Man-Bat go down, Harley Quinn kicks Robin to the ground, while Joker attacks Batman; however the two manage to defeat Harley and Joker without much trouble. Finally, Batman destroys Paul Karon's machine, calling the GCPD to arrest the super villains whom Batman and Robin had defeated.
When the Gotham City Police Department arrives, Joker, Harley Quinn, Punch, Judy, Temblor, Ragdoll, Riddler, the two Riddle Men, Killer Moth, Firefly, Rupert Thorne, Toymaker, Black Mask, Number One, Cluemaster, the Kabuki Twins, Killer Croc, Croc's henchmen, Poison Ivy, Man-Bat, Mr. Freeze, Maxie Zeus, Penguin, Spellbinder, Bane, Gearhead, the Ventriloquist and Scarface and Rumor are all arrested. Batman and Robin overlook the arrests as Catwoman thanks Batman for the help before leaving into the night, making her and Hugo Strange the only super villains not apprehended by the Gotham City Police Department.
Voice Cast and Characters
- Rino Romano as Bruce Wayne/The Batman
- Evan Sabara as Dick Grayson/Robin
- Kevin Michael Richardson as The Joker
- Tom Kenny as The Penguin
- Gina Gershon as Catwoman
- Richard Green as Hugo Strange
- Ron Perlman as Killer Croc and Mario/Rumor
- Xander Berkeley as Paul Karon
- Mr. Freeze
- Kirk Langstrom/Man-Bat
- The Riddler
- Black Mask
- Harley Quinn
- The Ventriloquist & Scarface
- Toymaker (Appears on screen only)
- Poison Ivy
- Rupert Thorne (cameo)
- Kabuki Twins
- Punch and Judy
- Gearhead (cameo)
- Killer Moth (Appears on screen only)
- Number One (Appears on screen only)
- Maxie Zeus (cameo)
- Killer Croc's Thugs
- Rumor was originally going to be comic-book foe "Hush" (former surgeon Thomas Elliot, a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne).
- Despite the fact that Catwoman, Ragdoll and Firefly all appear on the list of super villains apprehended by Rumor at the episodes opening, all three of them were not actually apprehended until after Killer Croc.
- While Number One, The Toymaker and Killer Moth were apparently kidnapped by Rumor as well, neither of them made actual appearances in the episode.
- The only Villains missing are Tony Zucco, Clayface II (Unknown Reasons), The Everywhere Man, Ethan Bennett and Francis Grey, as they turned good.
- The appearance of Man Bat doesn't make sense because, as confirmed in Season 5, he turned good and decide to abandon his formula after his other fights.
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