The pilot episode begins in the year 2019. An aging Bruce Wayne continues his role as Batman in a high-tech Batsuit. In the rescue of a kidnapped heiress, Batman suffers a mild heart attack and, at risk of being beaten to death by one of the kidnappers, is forced to betray a lifelong principle by threatening to use a gun. Ultimately, Bruce reluctantly decides that his time as Batman is over and vows "never again" as he shuts down the Batcave. By this time, his allies (Alfred Pennyworth, Lucius Fox, Commissioner James Gordon, Leslie Thompkins and Harvey Bullock) have died. His partners Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, Selina Kyle and Tim Drake have grown up and left or had fallings-out. All of his enemies are either retired, in prison or dead and he has severed his ties with the Justice League.
The story fast-forwards 20 years later to 2039 in Neo-Gotham, a futuristic megalopolis featuring staggering high rises and flying vehicles. Bruce is now an old man and a recluse living in bitter isolation in Wayne Manor, with no companion but his guard dog Ace. Terry McGinnis is an athletic 17-year-old high school student and reformed troublemaker with a deeply ingrained sense of personal justice. Living on poor terms with his father Warren McGinnis, Terry disobeys his curfew one night to meet up with his girlfriend Dana Tan, only to incur the wrath of a group of the Jokerz gang harassing them. A high-speed motorcycle chase between Terry and the Jokerz leads them to the grounds of Wayne Manor, where they run into the elderly Bruce Wayne. Bruce and Terry fend off the Jokerz side-by-side, but the exertion aggravates Bruce's heart condition. Terry helps Bruce back to the manor and, while exploring the mansion, stumbles upon the entrance to the Batcave and thus discovers Bruce's secrets, only to be chased out by a recovered and angered Bruce.
Terry returns home to discover that his father has been murdered, apparently by the vengeful Jokerz. Soon after, though, he discovers that his father had stumbled onto information about the production of illegal chemical weapons by Derek Powers's Wayne-Powers (Wayne Enterprises now merged Powers's company) and that the man actually responsible for his father's murder is Wayne-Powers's personal assistant/bodyguard Mr. Fixx. Terry goes to Bruce for help but he refuses, feeling he is too old and too weak to be of any use. Terry subsequently steals the Batsuit, intending to bring Powers to justice. Bruce initially opposes all of Terry's efforts and vehemently demands he return the suit but Terry convinces Bruce to let him take on the Batman mantle, partially by drawing on the fact they both lost a parent to criminals, and subsequently defeats Mr. Fixx. During the battle, Powers is exposed to the chemical and forced to flee into hiding to receive treatment which subsequently mutates him into a radiation-emitting entity, though he uses artificial skin to hide the accident. Realizing that crime and corruption are running rampant in Gotham without Batman's presence, Bruce offers Terry the chance to assume the role of Batman.