So I’ve come up with a loose five act structure for my take on Batman. I’m thinking five seasons of hour long episodes (full hours, not 44 minutes). This gives each villain room to breathe in their own solos episodes. I tried to stick to the use of strong themes like in the Nolan films. The acts are as follows:
Batman Begins: A lot of beats taken from the movie of the same name, namely the focus on Batman’s origins and the theme of fear. Throughout the season, Arkham Asylum superintendent Dr. Jonathan Crane appears to be up to no good, with inmates disappearing left and right. Okay, so yeah it pretty much is Batman Begins, which is appropriate given the title. The Joker is hinted at throughout and one episode has the Red Hood falling in a vat of acid at Ace Chemicals, though we never see who was under the mask. The arc villain is scarecrow. Batman starts of dealing with normal crime bosses, culminating in the Penguin.
Batman Strikes (tentative title): The same way the first act took from Batman Begins, the second act draws from The Dark Knight. We now a fully formed Batman. District Attorney Harvey Dent is waging war on the criminals of Gotham but new villain the Joker throws a wrench everything. We get Two-Face as the arc villain, but in this version he survives and becomes a part of the rogues gallery. Like TDK, we have a theme of chaos.
Batman Rises: Okay, here’s the part where the Nolan films go out the window (on a script level, since right off the bat (ha!) they were aesthetically the total opposite of my take). This one’s all about teamwork. We start off with the Sewer King, an amalgam character based on the Sewer King from TAS, Killer Croc, and Burton’s Penguin. Essentially, he’s an outcast whose parents threw him away as a baby due to his deformed reptilian skin. He came to live in the sewers, where he keeps pet crocodiles and an army of orphans who serve him. Among these orphans is a young boy named Tim Drake. When Batman frees the orphans from the Sewer King’s oppression, Tim begins an investigation into Batman’s identity, eventually locating the Batcave and deducing that Batman is Bruce Wayne. This impresses the Bat so much he adopts him and takes him on as an apprentice named Batboy.
Meanwhile, Joker is in Arkham following his capture at the end of the last season. There he manipulates a young Arkham cook (because there’s no way he’d manipulate someone whose entire job is understanding the human mind) named Hayley Fitzpatrick. She falls in love with him and helps him escape. Afterwards, to prove her love for him, she plunges into the vat of acid at Ace Chemicals and Joker dubs her Harlequin. The two wreak chaos throughout Gotham and clash with Batman and Batboy.
Batman Falls: Batboy becomes disillusioned with Batman’s ways and leaves him. Poison Ivy points out to Harlequin how abusive her relationship with Joker is so she ditches him. While on the run, Tim and Hayley meet and briefly work together, bonding over their similar situations. They eventually part ways when their goals no longer align. Tim also meets fellow vigilante Spoiler, with whom he falls in love. Meanwhile, Batman’s dealing with Catwoman and Dr. Freeze. The latter meets Harley leading her to realize that just because her love for Joker wasn’t true love doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist (taking that one straight from that one episode of Harley Quinn). So yeah, in case you couldn’t tell, the theme of this season is love. Oh and Batman tries to hire a new Batboy but he ends up being too violent so he fires him. Mad Hatter is there, and we see his failed romance with Alice.
Batman Returns: The theme here is identity. Batman reunites with the original Batboy, or as he now calls himself, Robin. Spoiler is also along for the ride (sorry, Barbara, you’re sitting this one out). Actor Basil Karlo has a tragic accident and resorts to a special cream to heal his facial injuries, becoming Clayface, a man with no real face of his own. Batman decides he wants to know who the Joker really is. DNA tests turn up nothing, his DNA having been corrupted by his acid bath. Batman puts two and two together and deduces that Joker is the Red Hood, which leads him down a long investigation. And yet there are so many conflicting possibilities. Jack Napier, head of the Red Hood gang, went missing that fateful night. Jeremy Valeska was there too. Struggling comedian Arthur Fleck was last seen that night. They all were ginger. The Riddler, the only one smart enough to know the secret identity of just about everyone, taunts him about this. Batman confronts Joker, demanding to know the truth, but Joker simply toys with him, finding the whole situation very amusing. That’s when Harlequin, now named…something, I haven’t really decided yet, shows up and kills Joker as vengeance for his mistreatement of her. We never do find out who he was. Haley dies from her injuries, but not before revealing she had a daughter with the Joker. An epilogue features an older Bruce Wayne, crippled from years of crime fighting, sitting outside his manor with an older Selina Kyle, looking after two children, a black haired boy who looks a lot like Bruce, and a hyperactive young girl with distinct ginger hair.