Batman: The Animated Series (1993) – The Man Who Killed Batman, Zatanna, and Robin’s Reckoning: Part I

 

Is it possible the Batman (Kevin Conroy) is dead? That’s what someone is saying in The Man Who Killed Batman. The story aired on 1 February, 1993, and followed a panicked small time hood, Sidney (Matt Frewer) who believes he has killed the Dark Knight, admittedly by accident, in a fiery explosion.

A number of fellow criminals take exception to this, having wanted to do that themselves, including the Joker (Mark Hamill) and Harley Quinn (Arleen Sorkin), and it seems nothing will keep Sidney safe. If someone can take down the guy who took down the Bat, that would make them the ‘toughest.’

The Joker grabs Sidney, and wants to pull a caper just to prove that Batman is dead. In fact when the Caped Crusader doesn’t show up to stop them, the Joker becomes rather depressed and despondent, even to the point of shedding some tears.

But Batman is NOT dead, but he did use the opportunity to trail Sidney to Rupert Thorne (John Vernon), who thanks to Sidney’s stumbling, is revealed to be a major drug dealer allowing Bats to finally capture him.

Listen for Star Trek alumni, Robert Picardo who makes an appearance as the thug, Eddie G.

Killed_Batman_Joker

Zatanna, which aired 2 February, 1993, introduced the female magician (voiced by Julie Brown) to the animated DC universe. In this version, she is friend of Bruce Wayne’s who has just been framed for grand larceny, will Batman be able to help her out?

Long ago, Bruce came to learn how to be an escape artist from Zatanna’s father, John (Vincent Schiavelli) and relationship began between them, and now, she has come to Gotham, where Dr. Montague Kane (Michael York) is trying to debunk her tricks, and may be more involved in the theft than he would have the police, and Batman, believe.

Batman and Zatanna begin their investigation into the missing money, and fall right into Montague’s trap, literally. As the two fight to survive, even as they get thrown out of an airplane, chained together, Zatanna realizes that Batman is in fact the man she fell in love with a long time ago.

What is interesting is that in this version of the character, Zatanna is a stage magician, and not a real magician as she is in the comic universe. Still, it’s fun to see strong and familiar characters be introduced into the DC animated lexicon.

Zatanna

The final story this week is Robin’s Reckoning: Part I which aired 7 February, 1993. Robin (Loren Lester) is shocked to discover that the leader of an extortion ring he and Batman are after is none other than the man responsible for his parents’ death, Tony Zucco, not the one from Grease, as voiced by Thomas F. Wilson, who also voices’s Dick Grayson’s dad, John, while Diane Pershing voices his mother, Mary.

Eugene Roche shows up as Arnold Stromwell, who is Tony’s uncle and the character also made an appearance in the episode, It’s Never Too Late.

After chasing down some crooks, Robin is rather surprised that Batman doesn’t want to chase down a lead, but the Dark Knight is in fact trying to protect his partner from learning that the man responsible for Dick’s loss. That doesn’t stop Robin from learning the truth.

The large portion of the episode, after Robin learns of Zucco, is spent in flashback, telling the story of the Flying Graysons, and their demise. Dick and Bruce both recall their initial meetings, and how fate brought them together, all while Bats is out tracking down leads to Zucco.

The episode ends with a clffhanger, as Robin goes after Zucco!

robins-reckoning-1

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