This is an in-universe article with out-of-universe material.
- Barbara Gordon (Flashback and main story)
- Bruce Wayne (Flashback and main story)
- Tim Drake (Flashback and main story)
- Ace the Bat-Hound
- Harley Quinn (Flashback and main story)
- Jordan Pryce (Single appearance)
- Joyce Carr (Single appearance)
- Dana Tan
- Chelsea Cunningham
- Bobbi "Blade" Sommer
- Mary McGinnis
- Matt McGinnis
- Batmobile (Flashback and main story)
Some 40 years after the timeline of Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures, the seemingly immortal Joker has taken control of a faction of the Jokerz, a street gang devoted to the Clown Prince of Crime's image. On his orders, they steal high-tech equipment which Batman had been tracking for weeks.
The next night, Bruce is about to announce his return to active leadership of Wayne Enterprises when the Joker and his cronies interrupt, and the Joker announces his return to Gotham. Bruce is stunned to see his archenemy again, and staunchly insists that it cannot be the real Joker, whose death he claims to have witnessed decades before.
In the Batcave, Terry asks Bruce if he killed the Joker to prevent him from committing a particularly heinous crime. Bruce does not respond, and instead asks Terry to give back the Batsuit. Terry refuses, saying that fighting crime as Batman is what makes him a worthwhile person. The two argue, and an angry Terry throws the Batsuit to the ground.
Later on, as Terry is dancing with his girlfriend Dana at a nightclub, he is attacked by the Jokerz, who know that he is Batman. At the same time, the Joker himself ambushes and attacks Bruce in the Batcave, leaving him for dead. Dana is injured, but Terry evades the Jokerz and gets Dana to the hospital. Terry rushes to Wayne Manor, and finds Bruce half-dead from Joker venom. Terry quickly administers an antidote with the help of Barbara Gordon, whom he called, and as Bruce recovers, Barbara tells Terry the truth about the Joker's death.
While on solo patrol one night, Tim Drake, the second Robin in The New Batman Adventures universe, is kidnapped by The Joker and his sidekick, Harley Quinn. Over the course of three weeks, the Joker subjects Tim to a series of brutal physical and psychological tortures, bleaching his skin white, dying his hair green, giving him a purple suit, and contorting his lips into a rictus reminiscent of the Joker's. Eventually, Tim is driven insane, and the Joker "adopts" him as his son, "J.J."
During the torture, Tim reveals to the Joker all of Batman's secrets, including his secret identity. When Batman and Batgirl locate Joker and Harley at the old Arkham Asylum, they discover what the Joker has done to Tim. Batman flies into a rage and chases Joker around the abandoned asylum. Meanwhile, Harley forces Batgirl on the defensive with her rocket launcher, knocking her off a cliff outside the ruins. Harley loses control of the rocket launcher, and both she and Batgirl are knocked off the cliff. During the ensuing struggle, Harley falls off the cliff to her "apparent" death.
Batman chases after the Joker, but during the ensuing struggle, the Joker stabs Batman in the leg. With Batman incapacitated, the Joker gives "J.J." a speargun with a dart shaped like a BANG-flag and tells him to kill Batman; however, the traumatized boy throws away the gun and pushes the Joker into a water case. Joker slips,grabs an electricity switch, and is electrocuted and dies. Tim starts laughing, but then breaks down into sobbing. Batman and Batgirl later bury the Joker's body in an abandoned mine shaft deep beneath the asylum, but are unable to find Harley. The only people who are aware of what happened at Arkham that night are Barbara's father, the first Commissioner Gordon, who helped keep what happened a secret for Tim's sake, and Dr. Leslie Thompkins, who helped Tim back to sanity during a whole year. After Tim recovers, Batman forbids him from ever being Robin again, vowing to never harm another young partner. Tim leaves Wayne Manor, determined to make it on his own. Tim eventually marries, fathers two children (James Thomas "Jimmy" Drake and Christopher Gordon "Chris: Drake), and gets a job as a communications engineer.
Back in the present, Terry, as Batman, questions the now adult Tim Drake, who denies any involvement and expresses resentment about his past life as Robin. Terry then suspects Jordan Price, Paxton Powers' original heir of Wayne-Powers Enterprises until Bruce's return, and thus now a rival to Bruce. However, Terry finds the Jokerz on Price's yacht, trying to kill him. He rescues Price before a giant laser beam from a satellite destroys the boat. He then plays a recording of the conversation between Price and the Jokerz for the police, finding that Price had been helping the gang steal the technology, in exchange for them trying to kill Wayne. Price is subsequently arrested.
Looking around the Batcave with a now-healthy Bruce's help, Terry notices that only the Robin costume was deliberately damaged in the Joker's attack on the Batcave. Remembering Tim's resentment, Terry deduces that Tim must be behind the Joker, especially when Terry discovers that the high-tech equipment the Jokerz have been stealing are actually parts of a bigger machine which will allow the user to access Satellite Defense Systems and fire them at will, like someone already had done to Price's yacht; something in Tim Drake's field of work. Bruce is skeptical, but nonetheless sends Terry to question Tim again. Terry confronts Tim at his job site, but is lured into a trap by the Joker, who had planted a hologram of Tim in the site. Escaping in the Batmobile, he is then chased through Gotham by the laser beam from the satellite, which the Joker is controlling. He tracks the Joker to an abandoned candy factory. After fighting off the Jokerz, he discovers Tim Drake, who traps Batman and then shockingly transforms into the Joker. The Joker then reveals the truth about his return from death: using stolen Project Cadmus technology, the Joker had copied his consciousness and DNA onto a microchip and implanted it in Tim Drake's brain while Tim was his prisoner. Whenever the chip takes control of Tim, he transforms into the Joker. Soon, the Joker will take complete and permanent control of Tim's body, and ultimately take control of Gotham City itself.
The Joker prepares to fire the satellite on Gotham again, beginning with Wayne Manor and including Dana's hospital and Terry's mother's house, ultimately burning a path of destruction into Gotham City in the shape of a smiley face. Before he can fire, Terry sets Bruce's guard dog Ace on the Joker and uses the distraction to destroy the beam's guidance system. The beam then heads toward the factory.
The Joker attempts to escape, but Terry seals the factory, and the two adversaries face off in a final confrontation. At the fight's climax, Terry hides in the rafters, mocking the Joker's obsession with Batman and his inability to make the original Batman laugh, sending him into a crazed fury. An enraged Joker throws a handful of grenades at his opponent, sending Terry crashing to the floor. The Joker pins him to the ground, pulls off his mask, and begins to strangle him. Terry capitalizes on the Joker's distraction and destroys the microchip with Joker's own electrical joy buzzer, destroying the Clown Prince of Crime once and for all.
Tim Drake reverts to his old self. Donning back his mask, Terry escapes with Tim and Ace before the satellite destroys the factory, taking the satellite jammer with it and stopping the beam.
In the city jail, two of the Jokerz, the Dee-Dee twins (Delia & Deidre Dennis), are revealed to be the twin granddaughters of the elderly Harley Quinn ("Nana Harley"), who also survived the fall from Arkham and is ironically seen bailing them out while lamenting what disappointments they are. Meanwhile, Terry meets Tim properly in the hospital while Tim is talking with Barbara. Bruce arrives just as Terry leaves, and tells Terry that it is not being Batman that makes him a worthwhile person, but the other way round. Bruce joins Barbara and Tim in the hospital room and they finally make amends.
The film ends with Terry donning the Batsuit and flying off into the heart of Gotham City.
- Will Friedle as Batman (Terry McGinnis)
- Kevin Conroy as the voice of Bruce Wayne/Batman
- Mark Hamill as the voice of The Joker
- Angie Harmon as the voice of Commissioner Barbara Gordon
- Dean Stockwell as the voice of Tim Drake
- Mathew Valencia as the voice of Robin
- Tara Strong as the voice of Batgirl
- Melissa Joan Hart as the voice of Dee-Dee (Delia & Deidre Dennis)
- Arleen Sorkin as the voice of Harleen Quinzel (Harley Quinn)
- Frank Welker as the voice of Ace the Bat-Hound
- Lauren Tom as the voice of Dana Tan
- Batman Beyond: Return Of The Joker was released on DVD in two different versions: an edited version which removes or tones down much of the violence in the movie and modifies some of the language and dialogue, and an uncut version. It should be noted that the Joker's death through electrocution scene appears in the edited version, while in the uncut version Tim Drake kills the Joker by shooting the BANG! flagpole into the Joker's chest.
- One of the prostitutes that the Batgirl questions in the uncut version resembles Black Canary.
- No trivia.
- Characters from Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (Movie)
- Other things related to Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (Movie)
- Movie Gallery: Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (Movie)
Links and References