The fourth season of Batman: The Animated Series continues this week with this trio of episodes, first up is Showdown, which aired 12 September, 1995.
This one is a little different, and may have hinted at what was going to come down the line when the Justice League series started. Batman (Kevin Conroy) and Robin (Loren Lester) are trying to reach and stop Ra’s Al Ghul (David Warner) from pulling off a kidnapping. As this happens, a story is shared that follows Arcady Duvall (Malcolm McDowell) and his encounter with the disfigured bounty hunter of the Old West, Jonah Hex (Bill McKinney).
As the story unfolds we learn that Arcady was working with Ra’s all those years ago, when the near-immortal had plans to lay claim to America, and make himself master of all of it. Jonah Hex, however, causes problems in his hunt for Arcady.
As the story unfolds, we get a rollicking adventure that brings Hex to life in the DC animated universe, and ties his story together with Batman’s as we learn Arcady’s true identity, and why Ra’s was so intent on getting his hands on him.
Definitely not your usual Batman story, and it made for a nice change.
Catwalk, which aired 13 September, 1995, sees Adrienne Barbeau return as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman, as she tries to go straight. She joins Bruce at a museum party celebrating conservation, and mourning the extinction of animals long gone, and she has a bit of a soul-searching moment as she wonders where she fits into the world now. She’s not in prison, but unable to enjoy the excitement of her previous life seems to put her in a cage of a different kind.
She agrees to be recruited by The Ventriloquist/Scarface (George Dzunda) to perform a theft in the museum, but of course, the villain can’t be trusted, and he’s actually using her as a patsy for his real theft.
Selina tries to convince Bruce that she is innocent, and he goes along with it as the pair try and find out what really happened at the museum and what was really stolen, but he only gives her enough rope to hang herself, and her own actions may very well end her up in jail again.
While a return to adventure, it’s interesting to see Selina taking stock of her life, missing what she’s done, and being drawn back to it, as well as her continually conflicted relationship with Batman.
The final story this week is A Bullet for Bullock, based on the comic book story of the same name. This one aired 14 September, 1995.
Detective Harvey Bullock (Robert Costanzo) very reluctantly turns to the Dark Knight for help when he believes that someone may be gunning for him.
While they don’t necessarily team up to work together, both recognize that the other does some good, as they begin to run down leads, and keep Bullock out of someone’s gun sights.
The cop, while not dirty, is not adverse to bending some rules, and has put a lot of people away, and it seems all of them would like to exact a little revenge, including a would-be crime boss named Vinnie (Jeffrey Jones).
As the Dark Knight hunts down any lead that may save the police officer, as well as saving the bulky detective a couple of times, Bullock seems to be in all manner of trouble with whomever is trying to scare him into fear for his life.
It’s a fun and amusing story, with an entertaining denouement, which involves Bullock’s much put upon building super, Nivens (also voiced by Jones).
See you next week, same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel!