Sent by Carl Grissom to destroy all incriminating evidence, Jack Napier is shocked to find that there is no evidence, and that he has been ratted out by Grissom. Things escalate when the police, led by Lieutenant Eckhardt and Commissioner Gordon arrive. The thugs open fire on the police, and Napier makes a hasty escape. Batman soon arrives and assists the police by stealthily taking down several of Napier’s men.
Napier turns up several of the plant’s machines to dangerous levels to try and create enough chaos to escape, inadvertently causing several of the vats to fill up with an uncontrolled mixture of hazardous chemicals. He makes up to the final gantry, just beyond which is the exit door. Free to escape, Napier prepares to kill Commissioner Gordon. Batman soon stops him, but Bob the Goon puts Gordon at gunpoint – forcing Batman to let Napier escape. The gangster does not leave, but first shoots Lieutenant Eckhart in revenge, killing him then he attempts to shoot Batman. The Caped Crusader deflects the bullet into Napier’s face, causing him to tumble over the side.
But rather than fall, Napier grabs the gantry. Batman tries to pull him up, but can’t, and Napier plummets into the vat of chemicals below. He sinks into the green slime, quickly disappearing and being presumed dead by onlookers.
Commissioner Gordon orders his cops to get Batman. However, the Dark Knight creates a smoke cloud and disappears into the pipeworks.
We soon see Batman watching over the plant, lit from behind the luminous Axis sign. After he leaves, a deathly white hand rises from the murky wastewater underneath the plant’s drainage pipes, and several playing cards float to the surface.
Batman realizes that the only way to stop the Joker’s master plan is to destroy the nexus of the poisonous products – Axis Chemicals. Charging in with the Batmobile, Batman destroys the facility, taking with it the Smilex toxins and most of The Joker’s goons.
Behind the scenes
- The factory, in name and appearance, is comparable to Ace Chemicals from the comics.
- In Batman (1989), a map of the Axis Chemical plant was actually a map of the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.
- Axis Chemicals was mentioned in Batman: The Animated Series episodes « Nothing To Fear » and « Batgirl Returns« .