The next trio of episodes from this amazing animated series aired originally on 19th and 30th of September and the 5th of October respectively.
First up is Fear of Victory, which sees the series introduction of Robin/Dick Grayson (Loren Lester) joining Batman/Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy). It also sees the return of Scarecrow (Henry Polic II) with a new look.
Members of the Gotham Knights football team, as well as other local teams and athletes, seem to be having panic attacks, so the Dark Knight and the Boy Wonder investigate, only to have Robin exposed to Scarecrow’s fear toxin.
Dick is a university student rooming with football star Brian Rogers (Brian Stokes Mitchell) who is the latest target of the fear toxin, but Dick who handles a telegram addressed to Brian is infected as well.
Unfortunately, it affects Dick at the most inopportune time, putting both his and Batman’s life at risk. Suspecting the work of Scarecrow, the Dark Knight begins his investigation. Scarecrow is infecting the sports teams, and betting against them to clean up.
I do like Robin’s outfit, it’s not as bright and garish looking as the early comic books look, and is very much in keeping with the Gotham gothic look of the series. We also get a wander through Arkham as Batman investigates to make sure Scarecrow is still locked up, and we see the Joker (Mark Hamill), Poison Ivy and Two-Face all safely contained.
As Batman hunts Scarecrow down, Robin confronts his fears.
It’s a solid episode, and Robin is actually a welcome addition to the series.
I’ve Got Batman in My Basement is another unique type of episode. This one sees Batman tangling with The Penguin (Paul Williams), his first appearance in the series, at the episode’s opening but our hero gets infected with a toxic gas and, unable to make it back to the BatCave, hides out in a young boy’s basement.
The teenager, Sherman Grant (Matthew Brooks) fancies himself an amateur detective, and lends a hand to the Dark Knight. And of course Sherman is bullied by some local hoods, and pals around with Roberta (Denise Marco) the only girl who understands him. He helps Batman foil the Penguins’ thugs, and mucks around a bit with the Batmobile.
It’s one of the manner of stories that puts younger viewers in to the story. They may not be able to be Batman, but they can imagine what it would be like to be Roberta and Sherman, and help their hero (and maybe drive the Batmobile).
The kids and their bullies unite to take on the Penguin while Batman recuperates, and as a happy ending plays out for our heroes, Sherman starts his own neighborhood detective agency with Roberta, and the bullies-now-turned-allies work together.
The final episode this week is Vendetta, Harvey Bullock (Robert Costanzo) is the lead suspect when a convict turns witness disappears, but there is something more insidious going on as Killer Croc (Aron Kincaid) joins the series.
Spider Conway (also Kincaid) is willing to testify against some of his former compatriots as well as mob bosses, but his boat is blown up on its way into the city, and Conway can’t be found.
Batman tries to track down Conway, and questions mob boss Rupert Thorne (John Vernon) about him, one of the bosses Conway was going to testify against, who hints that Bullock may have been involved, something Batman suspects, but Commissioner Gordon (Bob Hastings) thinks he is wrong.
But behind it all, is Killer Croc. It seems he is getting ready to exact some revenge on Conway and others who have gone missing. It’s up to Batman to track down Croc’s lair, rescue his hostages, and see that justice is done…
Croc’s history is explored a little, he was in a sideshow, then a wrestler, and now he’s turned to crime, and he has a history with Bullock. The detective busted him at one point, and may in fact be the monster’s final target.
And will Croc escape Batman to wreak havoc another day?
Find out next time, same Bat-Time and Bat-Channel.