Batman Beyond, "Zeta"

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"Zeta." Episode on Batman Beyond (vt Batman Tomorrow [USA working], Batman of the Future [English title in Europe]). Robert Goodman, script. Warner Bros. TV (prod. and dist.). Batman Beyond Premiered 10 Jan. 1999. "Zeta" 8 April 2000.[1]

Zeta is "an advanced tactical synthoid […]" built by the government of 2050 "for deep cover ops: Replace, interrogate . . . dispose" of enemies of the State. Using its own voice, Zeta is gendered male, and the plot moves Zeta from an it to a him. Zeta has a strong frame, "a full array of weapons and tools," and, most importantly, "A holographic emitter on board" that "conceals the rig, while enabling Zeta to mimic its targets." Like Alpha One of THE FLASH (1991), ROBOCOP, The Iron Giant, the reprogrammed Terminator of T-2 (q.v. above)—and a long tradition of reluctant or repentant killers—Zeta rebels: "I do not wish to destroy any more." With help from Batman and Max, Zeta (for now) gets his freedom, including as much free will as humans have in resisting, adapting, and going beyond his programming. Note image of Zeta in a high-tech factory: machinery surrounding a different sort of machine.

(JoeK/RDE, 20/VIII/00)