By Will Barber Taylor
After Responding to a break-in at The Chemical Labs on Stagg Industries, Batman rescues a security guard named Rex Mason who had been exposed to a weaponized toxic gas called Project Metamorpho. Soon, Rex begins to mutate and transform, with the ability to control the elements in his own body. Terrified and unable to control his new abilities, Rex becomes a fugitive. Realizing that this metamorphosis is slowly killing Rex, Batman sets out to find a cure. But Rex is only concerned about the woman he loves – Sapphire Stagg – and he’d risk all of Gotham to be with her. But her father – Simon Stagg – holds secrets of his own and will do anything to keep them apart.
After a quick recap, we dive straight into the episode. A security guard, named Rex Mason is alerted to a break in. Following the source of the alarm to Project Metamorpho, Mason is soon trapped inside it. Batman is also on the trail and breaks Mason out, he then takes him to hospital.
After speaking to Sapphire and Simon Stagg at the hospital, Manson becomes metamorphed by the gasses he was exposed to. After escaping from the hospital he is soon on the run. Batman follows him and discovers that if he does not find a cure quickly, Mason will die. After thinking he has a cure, Batman confronts Mason and forces him back to Stagg’s lab. He then realises that he cannot change back and that Sapphire cannot love him now, Manson disappears into the ventilation system.
This episode has a certain Frankenstinian quality to it. After Rex Manson becomes a monstrous creature, he lashes out and this demonstrates that if you have some affliction and are treated as inhuman, it can lead to you becoming inhuman. Rex’s very human qualities of love and revenge drive him to seek a cure and become more human, as The Creature did in Mary Shelley’s spin chilling classic.
Interestingly, the episode does not take the “I don’t care what you look like, I still love you!” clichéd route with Sapphire’s reaction to her boyfriend’s sudden change. She admits that she cannot feel the same towards him because of his change. This makes the character seem more human and not just an unconditionally loving person. Admittedly, it could have gone the opposite way and made us feel that Sapphire is being unfeeling in her approach but the way it is presented in the episode makes us instead feels sympathy for both parties, we can tell that this is a difficult truth for him to tell her and that it is also difficult for him to accept this giving the whole thing an extra layer of psychological depth.
Beware The Batman: Toxic, is a wonderful character piece that shows us when something happens to a person’s appearance, it can change other people’s perception of them which can make them also change their own character.
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