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Batman The Animated Series: Vendetta

"What can I tell ya? Bein' a reptile man ain't pretty. But it's got its upsides. Like having the strength of a crocodile, for instance. But I guess you've learned that by now, huh? The hard way."

'Vendetta' combines two things that I just cannot stand: worn out cop show plots, and Harvey bleedin' Bullock.

Name a cop show, any cop show, and there's a good chance that at some point (or five) there was an episode where the one of the cops is framed for a crime they didn't commit by a vengeful criminal they'd previously put away. I hate those episodes. I find them contrived and boring. They are what you do when you've run out of ideas, but you've still got another five episodes you need to plot. 'Vendetta' is a perfect example of that kind of episode, made even worse by the fact it is centred around bloody Harvey Bullock.

I've just never been a fan of this character or understood why the show's writers seem to have so much (undeserved) affection for him. Gordon ain't wrong when he says he's hard to like, but I don't buy this unwavering belief he has that Bullock is a good cop. Last time he had the spotlight he completely messed up a bust by charging in early and then lying about it to save his own skin. No matter what his boss (or the show's writers) might want us to think, Bullock is a thoroughly crap cop.

This was the first episode with Killer Croc, one of the naffer members of Batman's rogues gallery. BTAS usually did an amazing job taking some of the comic's sillier villains and turning them into something far more interesting. They made tragic figures of Mr. Freeze and Clayface, and even found a way to make the soddin' Clock King a credible threat. Alas, that didn't happen with Killer Croc. He's still a completely naff villain with a silly gimmick, a cliched backstory and an uninspired motivation for his actions.

Comic Book Connections

Waylon Jones/Killer Croc was created by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan and first appeared (briefly) in Detective Comics #523 (February 1983) and Batman #357 (March 1983), with his full first appearance being in Detective Comics #524 (March 1983).

I Know That Voice

Killer Croc and Spider Conway were all voiced by Aron Kincaid. He'd previously voiced Lucas in 'Prophecy of Doom' and Sky Lynx on Transformers. He passed away in 2011 at the age of 70.

Notes and Quotes

--Why did Bruce need to go all the way to Ocean World just to learn some basic crocodile facts? Surely he could've got that information off the Bat-computer.

--Love the rain coats all the Gotham coppers are wearing.

--Speaking of which, all the rain in this episode couldn't have been easy to animate.

--They're always trying to bring down Rupert Throne, but never do it. Maybe they should look at his taxes.

--So was just no one aware that Killer Croc, a criminal with a grudge against Bullock, had escaped from prison? At this point, you gotta wonder why Gotham even bothers having prisons. They never seem to hold anyone for long.

--Thanks to Honest Trailers, it's hard for me not to laugh now during all the scenes where Batman sneaks up on Gordon.

--Croc fakes the murder of criminals to frame Bullock, but then keeps them imprisoned because... well, because this is still a kids' show and they're not allowed to really kill anyone no matter how much sense it makes for the bad guy to do it.

Gordon: "I've had cats that made more noise than you."

Killer Croc: "Terrific. Just what I need now. The freak job in the cape."
Batman: "You're no prize yourself."

Rupert Throne: "You better have the money to pay for that."

Killer Croc: "You know, they used to call Killer Croc the meanest dude in the wrestling federation. Now, they'll call him the guy who iced the Batman."
Batman: "Don't hold your breath."

Batman: "Alfred, you're beautiful."

One and a half out of four worn out cop show plots.

Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011. More Mark Greig.

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