More trouble stalks the streets of Gotham this week in this trio of episodes. Up first is Torch Song, a former pyrotechnician, turns stalker and villain, in the form of Firefly (Mark Rolston).
Airing on 13 June, 1998, Batman (Kevin Conroy) and Batgirl (Tara Strong) attempt to hunt down and stop Firefly, before he is able to destroy his target, Cassidy (Karla DeVito), an up and coming rock star.
As they investigate, they learn that Cassidy and Firefly had a previous relationship, but she called it off, and he’s never gotten over it, becoming violent in his actions. But the caped duo seem to tumble from one fire trap to the next, while Firefly uses the diversion to kidnap Cassidy.
Batman tracks Firefly and Cassidy down, while an injured Batgirl is sidelined, and the Dark Knight dons some fireproof armour, to take him on.
There’s a nice reference to Pinky and the Brain made by Batgirl which flies right over Bruce’s head, and David Paymer makes a voice appearance as Cassidy’s put-upon manager, Frank.
Not a terrible episode, and Bats’ new suit is cool, but I think it would have made for a stronger story, and character message, if Cassidy had saved herself.
Love is a Croc aired 11 July, 1998, and sees Killer Croc (Brooks Gardner) and Baby-Doll (Laraine Newman) pairing up in an unusual combination, as the diminutive woman sees a kindred spirit, and perhaps a love interest in her new partner in crime.
Baby-Doll has been trying to survive, and make a living, by running a hotel, but a couple of tourists send her spiralling into depression, until she sees Croc’s trial and failed escape on television, and sees someone like her, someone different.
So, she decides to break him out of Arkham.
The two go on a huge crime spree, and while it’s obvious that Baby-Doll has become fixated on Croc, he’s not as interested in her, as she is him. He plans to ditch her as soon as he feels he has enough cash, but learning of this makes Baby-Doll more than a little jealous, and she comes up with a plan that even Croc won’t be party to.
Happily, it doesn’t take long for Batman and Batgirl to figure out the pattern to the duo’s robberies, and bring the pair to justice.
This seems like a good time to mention, once again, that not all of the character redesigns work, and I hate Croc’s new look.
The Ultimate Thrill, our final episode this week, and the first episode of the final season, sees Batman taking on a former stuntwoman now turned dangerous criminal thrill seeker, Roxy Rocket (Charity James).
The season opened on 14 September, 1998, and with 11 episodes to go, Bats still seems to have his hands full!
Roxy was a no fear stuntwoman who worked for years in the industry, but turned to crime when she could no longer get work, or insurance coverage on the shoots.
We learn that Roxy is working with Penguin (Paul Williams), who fancies her a bit, but after an opening chase with Batman, she thinks she may have found a man who can keep up with her.
Batgirl tracks her down for Batman and the Dark Knight goes after the fun, but definitely off her rocker, criminal, who now, is a bit of a liability for Penguin and wants her offed.
This one ends up being an entertaining episode and Roxy is a bit of a delight, a strong, exciting female character who can hold her own against Batman, and does so with a sense of panache.
More next week, same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel!