Episode Title: “Deep Cover for Batman!”
Original Airdate: February 27, 2009
Though I am sure there are still some nooks and crevices the series has not yet explored on Earth-1, it looks like the creators felt now was the time to introduce the viewers to the idea of the DC multiverse. This episode took us to the role reversing world known as Earth-3, certainly providing confusion to some while building what is perhaps the most epic story from the show so far.
The teaser starts in a warehouse with historically significant Batman Villain trying to escape a group of “heroes” in the shadows with a device that allows inter dimensional travel. As it becomes clear that his mission is going to fail, he sends out an inter dimensional request for help, as the “heroes” step out of the shadow to reveal that they are sinister doppelgangers of the heroes we know, and Batman’s “evil twin” Oilman jumps through the portal.
The story proper begins with Oilman emerging from the other side of the portal in the Dark Knight’s Batcave. Batman returns to his not so friendly confines after thwarting the latest criminal activities of the Riddler only to be ambushed by his inter dimensional nemesis. The two fight until Batman blinds his opponent and takes him down. Owlman refuses to talk so Batman removes his costume takes his place. Batman opens a portal and passes through where he finds himself in the Injustice Syndicate’s headquarters confronting the villains, who want to know how his journey went. The disguised Batman begins a ruse by telling the bad guys that the Earth he went to is far too powerful, and they should avoid it at all costs. The nefarious group decide to go with Plan B: destroying the parallel world using a bomb as a warning to other worlds to surrender or be destroyed. In an effort to stop the plan Batman teams up with this world’s Red Hood, who reveals himself as a noble version of the Joker. Red hood successfully rallies a team of “heroes” to fight the Injustice Syndicate. The good guys successfully out battle the bad ones, but not before the immensely powerful bomb is activated. The solution to this problem is to send the bomb to Earth-161 which is populated by Zombies that are incapable of dying. Batman congratulates Red Hood and wishes him well before departing through the wormhole. He returns to his Earth in an alleyway in Gotham City where he finds the streets covered with wanted posters with his name on it. The police move in to capture him as the words “to be continued” show up on screen.
I was very disappointed with the previous episode, but I have to hand it to the writers because they rebounded in a magnificent way. I have always been captivated by the characters from Earth-3 because they let me see how things would be if the tables were turned, and always give me some comfort in seeing that regardless of the abilities, justice prevails. I am sure that a great many viewers are not familiar with the peculiarities of Earth-3, but with the long tradition of inter dimensional crises in the DC comics this episode seems like a very reasonable introduction to the concept. It is also pretty cool to see Batman and the Joker working together for a common goal, which is not something one is likely to see on Earth-1. I am also impressed with the way this two part story arc seems to be made up of relatively stand alone episodes. This first episode features the adventures of Batman on Earth-3, and it looks like the next episode will involving solving the problem that is Owlman on Earth-1. I do like the rare occasion that the teaser lays down the ground work for the story proper, and hope that the show does that a little more often in future episodes. Overall, I am very satisfied with this episode and it has left me eager to view the next one. So far, the experience of watching this episode has been the most like reading a comic book of any of the offerings up to present, and to me that is always a good thing!
Featured Characters: Red Hood (Finger & Schwartz, 1951), Injustice Syndicate (Fox & Sekowsky, 1954)