Batman:The Animated Series Wiki

"I see now there's a need for the things you do. But I'm still going to work towards a city that doesn't need Batman."
―Janet Van Dorn[src]

Janet Van Dorn was Gotham City's District Attorney after Harvey Dent's mental breakdown.


When Police Commissioner James Gordon was accused of accepting bribes from Rupert Thorne, Van Dorn reluctantly told Barbara Gordon that the evidence was solid enough to keep her from dropping the charges or allowing Gordon bail. Gordon was eventually cleared, as the crime was shown to be a frame-up by Deputy Commissioner Gil Mason.

Unlike Gordon, Van Dorn deeply resented Batman's interference in law enforcement and she made no secret of her contempt for the superhero.

However, this changed when Van Dorn was abducted by the inmates of Arkham Asylum and held at the mental hospital. Shortly thereafter, Batman was captured as well for the purposes of a twisted trial that indicted the Dark Knight for making them insane costumed criminals. To her surprise, Van Dorn was forced to defend Batman, on the threat that she would be murdered along with him if he was "convicted".

The trial seemed hopeless from the onset with Two-Face conducting the prosecution, Joker being the judge and a grotesquely biased jury made up in part of Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, The Mad Hatter, Scarecrow, The Riddler and Killer Croc, all determined to kill Batman at this farce's conclusion. However, Van Dorn cunningly blindsided each witness to confess that, while Batman may have been a stylistic influence, they themselves were solely responsible for becoming violent criminals.

To Van Dorn's surprise, the jury formally acquitted Batman, after accepting their own faults and choices. However, Joker cheerfully announced they were going to kill Batman and his advocate anyway. Fortunately, at the moment of Batman's unmasking in the electroshock therapy room, Van Dorn realized she had a batarang from an earlier encounter with the Dark Knight and used it to smash the room's only light. Batman took advantage of the situation to free himself from his straitjacket and fight back.

Eventually, Batman and Van Dorn escaped and defeated the Joker while the Gotham Police Department arrived to subdue the prisoners. Afterward, Van Dorn respectfully reconciled with Batman and his useful role in the city, but vowed to work to change the city to make him unnecessary. Batman respectfully vowed to do the same.