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The World's Finest Presents

Zeta

Episode #28 - Zeta
Original Airdate - April 8th, 2000

Batman joins forces with the military to recover robotic assassin, until he discovers that the robot has escaped the government clutches because it no longer wants to kill. Batman then teams to robot to try and fend off the military.

Media by Bird Boy
Review by Matt Zimmer
Credits:
Written by Robert Goodman
Directed by Dan Riba
Music by Michael McCuistion
Animation Services by Koko Enterprise Co., LTD., Dong Yang Animation Co., LTD.

Voices:
Will Friedle as Terry McGinnis/Batman
Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne
Gary Cole as Zeta
Cree Summer as Max
Stockard Channing as Barbara Gordon
Lauren Tom as Dana Tan
Gregg Berger as Dispatch Agent
Jeff Harlan as Agent Console
Kerrigan Mahan as Baker
Edie McClurg as Ms. Martel
Screen Grabs













Pans

Review

Zeta's first appearance reveals a synthoid more creepy than cuddly.

Terry and Max notice one of their teachers is acting very strangely. As they walk outside the high school they see government agents shooting at her and she takes out laser pistols and shoots back. She turns out to be a robot and manages to get away. Agent Bennett is in Commissioner Gordon's office and explains that the robot is named Zeta and is a synthoid capable of changing it's appearance that was programmed to infiltrate and destroy targets and that it has turned renegade after infiltrating a terrorist organization. They can only assume it is following the terrorists orders now and are doing everything they can to recapture it. Batman overhears and tells Gordon he will stay out of the agentís way if he can help it.

Meanwhile Zeta kidnaps Max and uses her place in the school to do research on the computers. Max is startled to realize that Zeta is treating her well. He explains that he went renegade; he was ordered to kill a man who he learned was innocent and had a family. He has decided he will not destroy anymore. Max convinces him to get rid of all of his weapons. Batman arrives because Feux Max was acting suspicious and he tracked her and he and Zeta get into a fight. Max stops them and tells Batman that Zeta is okay. Batman reluctantly agrees to help him avoid the government agents.

After another run-in Zeta is forced into the position of almost having to kill Bennett, Batman is ready to stop him but waits to see what he will do. Zeta breaks the gun and says he will decide who he wants to be. The agents corner him and he falls off a building appearing to be destroyed. Once Batman arrives he sees that Zeta only masked himself to look destroyed and is actually fine. Batman then lets Zeta escape Gotham.

This was a rare good episode from Batman Beyond's mediocre second season and a good but not great introduction to Zeta. For one thing Gary Cole doesn't give Zeta the humanity in his voice that Deidrich Bader manages to. Zeta is also kind of creepy looking here but that's to be expected as this is sort of a pilot and Robert Goodman was still trying to feel out the characters here.

Max is annoying as usual but I definitely liked Batman's wary reaction to letting Zeta go. Zeta has so many marks against him that it would be unrealistic for Terry to let him go without a lot of reservations. Some things to note in this episode are that this is the ONLY Zeta appearance in which he fires weapons and that this is the only episode where the government agents try to destroy rather than capture Zeta. If you think about it the entire premise of The Zeta Project is somewhat hardcore and it's a little bit surprising (but not unwelcome) that they went with a much softer version of Zeta in that series and aimed it's stories at a younger demographic than most of the DCAU. Honestly, battling government agents trying to bring down as former robot assassin who they believe is being controlled by terrorists doesn't seem like the most kid-friendly kind of cartoon but it's interesting that the show went in that direction despite the premise.

The animation here was decent but unremarkable. Though Batman Beyond has achieved much better episodes in it's first and third season this was still an intriguing introduction to Zeta that introduces elements of the character that weren't able to be followed up on his own series and that is a very good thing.

Story: ****
Animation: ***1/2
Average: ***1/2

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