Writer: Mitch Brian
Director: Kevin Altieri
Release Date: September, 1996
Welcome to Weird Science's best written section: DCAU Tuesdays. As many of you may have realized, I did not post a review last week. That was because I was busy doing very important things like eating, laundry and vacuuming.
Anyways, today I am reviewing the very first BTAS episode: On Leather Wings. Right out of the gate I'm going to say that since this episode has Batman fighting Man-Bat, there is a good chance I will like it. (I'm a very big fan of Batman punching anything or anyone with super powers.) So with that in mind, lets get into the nitty and gritty details of this whole sordid affair.
Our episode begins as a mysterious creature flies by a police blimp. We don't get to fully see it and even when it attacks an innocent security guard; it's identity remains unknown. At police headquarters, we find out that the Harvey Bullock blames Batman, James Gordon defends him and Harvey Dent will put him in jail if caught. Pan back to the Batcave and we get some nice Bat/Alfred banter. Here we confirm that Batman isn't the culprit and also looking for the assailant. In order to find the truth, Batman gets his Batmobile ready and heads to the company the guard worked in.
Inside this company, Batman finds some crucial evidence that points him in the direction of Kirk Langstorm. We get a bit misdirection from Kirk's father in law, but Batman pretty soon finds out who is really responsible and a fight ensues. Batman wins. The police then arrives on the scene and Batman's name is quickly cleared. As an added favor, because Batman's a super nice guy, he cures Man-Bat of his transformation and addiction (first sign of super science Batman) and hands Man-Bat's body back to his worried wife.
Bit's and Pieces:
The animation may be really slow and the plot may be really simple, but this episode did a lot more right than wrong. What did it do so right you ask? Well my good friend, the answer is simple: character. This episode was a gold-mine of character moments. First of all, we get introduced to Batman and 90% of his supporting cast and yet the episode doesn't feel overcrowded. Second of all, minor characters are introduced with an actual personality. (I also want to be radio star Mr. Security Guard!) And finally, the villain is complex and entertaining. (A guy dealing with both psychosis and addiction.) For all those reasons (and partially nostalgia), I give this episode: