Batman: The Animated Series (1993) – Birds of a Feather, Robin’s Reckoning: Part II and Blind as a Bat

 

The Penguin (Paul Williams) is about to get his heart broken in Birds of a Feather. The story aired 8 February, 1983, and sees a young socialite, Veronica Vreeland (Marilu Henner) making eyes at the villain, not because she loves him, but because she’s using him to climb the social ladder.

Oswald alias The Penguin, after one too many run-ins with the Batman (Kevin Conroy) decides to go straight, but fate seems to be against him. Even when he thinks he’s met the woman of his dreams, even that doesn’t play out the way he wants.

And through it all, Batman is dogging his footsteps, sure the rogue is going to return to his ways, even mistaking Cobblepot for leading a group of thieves who assaulted Veronica.

All of it blows up in Veronica’s face at the party, when the truth of why Penguin is there comes out, and decides to exact his revenge. Batman will have to save Veronica before the Penguin offs her, but even the Caped Crusader can understand a broken heart, as the Penguin is foiled and led away (again).

A solid episode that shows, once again, that despite being a cartoon, these DC characters exist in shades, and are not all black and white.

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Robin’s Reckoning: Part II aired on 14 February, 1993. It picks up where the previous episode left off with Robin (Loren Lester) beginning his own hunt for Tony Zucco (Thomas F. Wilson) against Batman’s orders.

We cut back and forth between Robin’s training and Dick Grayson’s initial hunt for Zucco, and his current conflict with Bruce over the pursuit of the villain who killed his parents. Batman (in an earlier design of his suit (nice touch)) reveals his real identity to Dick, and as their partnership grows in the past, their conflict continues in the present as Robin focuses solely on his revenge.

Zucco, aware he is being hunted, takes the fight to the streets, and the Batman is injured, but still capable, as he hunts the villain and his gang through a deserted fair ground. But what will happen when Robin arrives on the scene?

Will Batman’s training override Robin’s need for vengeance? Will the Boy Wonder go too far? Or does he still recall what justice is, even when his hands are around his parents’ murderer’s throat?

Seeing himself in Batman, brings Robin back, realizing that if Batman can serve justice and not his need for revenge, then, he can too. A fairly solid ending to the two-parter and a nice look at their relationship, and gives Robin a few nice moments as well.

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The final episode this week, Blind as a Bat, aired 22 February, 1993, and Bruce Wayne is suffering from temporary blindness, but is still determined that the Dark Knight will stop the Penguin (again), who is threatening Gotham with a prototype helicopter, think Airwolf, but no where near as stylish looking.

Bruce is blinded by an explosion when the Penguin steals the chopper, Doctor Thompkins (Diana Muldaur) checks him out, and advises him it is temporary, but that isn’t going to slow him down. He just has to find a way to take on the Penguin, and the criminal elements, when he can’t see a thing.

So with Alfred (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) and Dr. Thompkin’s help, they craft some tech, culled from the same design as some of the stolen helicopter to help him ‘see.’ Climbing aboard the Bat-wing, Batman goes after Cobblepot intent on taking the criminal down (again).

But even this tech, may not be enough, and Batman may have to take on the baddie without any aid at all…

A fun episode, but not quite as strong as the two previous.

Until next week, same Bat-time, same bat-channel!

Blind-6

 

 

 

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