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"Blind as a Bat" is the fifty-fourth episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It originally aired on February 22, 1993.
Bruce Wayne is present at a demonstration of Wayne Tech's prototype military helicopter, the Raven X1-11. The attending brass are suitably impressed by its capabilities, which include silent running, a "cloaking device" making it invisible to radar and sonar, and its revolutionary sensor package. But as soon as the demonstration is completed, the helicopter runs amok, opening fire on the stands. As people flee inside the hangar, they find the real aircrew, gagged and bound.
The Penguin has hijacked the chopper, and he announces over its radio that he plans to ransom the city with it. Then it opens fire again, and Bruce dives to cover a woman caught in the line of fire. As he raises his head to look, another shot explodes a car engine right in front of his face, and he collapses in agony. He quickly orders Alfred to take him home at once, revealing to Alfred's horror that he has been blinded.
Leslie Thompkins examines Bruce at Wayne Manor. She says she can't be sure, but believes the blindness is only temporary. She strictly orders him to stay home and rest, otherwise he could damage his vision permanently. Bruce refuses to accept this while the Penguin is menacing the city, but has to admit that his blindness has grounded him.
When Batman fails to respond to the Bat-Signal, Commissioner Gordon confers with Mayor Hill and Harvey Bullock. The Penguin contacts Hill's office from the helicopter to ask about his ransom. When Hill says it'll take time to raise the amount demanded, the Penguin shuts off. In short order, the Raven attacks a bridge, causing it to collapse.Determined to stop Penguin, Bruce has Alfred and a reluctant Leslie craft a vision aid for him: a sensor package similar to the one mounted on the chopper, and wired into his brain. With his vision temporarily restored, Batman contacts the Mayor and orders him to comply with Penguin's demands. Hill broadcasts a message, inviting the Penguin to the ransom drop.
The chopper lands in an abandoned lot near a steel mill, but the ransom briefcase turns out to be loaded with phone books. Then the Batwing appears overhead, having sneaked up on them with its own cloaking device. It fires a net, but Penguin escapes and re-boards the helicopter. The Raven attacks, but Batman manages to down it with a volley of aerial bombs. But even when grounded, it fires a blast from its laser cannon that shoots down the Batwing.Batman makes an emergency landing and exits the vehicle just before it explodes, accidentally tearing his headpiece's power cable loose. It begins to run out of power, and he stumbles into the steel mill, pursued by Penguin and his thugs. As he coaxes the last dregs of power from it, he manages to subdue the thugs, but it shuts down for good, with Penguin still left.
Realizing Batman is blind, Penguin taunts him with scattered sounds. Batman gropes his way through the mill, ending up in a room filled with molten steel. As Penguin starts to push him over, Batman jumps up to the ceiling. Feeling water drip on his head, he realizes he is hanging onto a water valve, and twists it, releasing a gush of water steel that vaporizes on contact with the steel, creating a thick cloud of steam that causes Penguin to cough explosively. Finally knowing where his enemy is, and with both of them now unable to see, Batman dives down from the ceiling and knocks him out.
The day after the caper, Leslie removes the bandages from Bruce's eyes, and all are relieved to see his vision has returned.
- Kevin Conroy as Batman / Bruce Wayne
- Bob Hastings as Commissioner Gordon
- Lloyd Bochner as Mayor Hill
- Robert Costanzo as Detective Bullock
- Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Alfred
- Paul Williams as Penguin
- Haunani Minn as Dr. Lee
- Walter Olkewicz as Falcone
- John Delancie as Eagleton
- Barry Gordon as Sheldrake
- Jeff Bennett as Computer
- Diana Muldaur as Leslie Thopmkins
- Story by Mike Underwood, Len Wein
- Teleplay by Len Wein
- Directed by Dan Riba
- Music composed by Steve Chesne, James Stemple
- Animation by Studio Junio
- The Raven X1-11 makes an appearance on the third level of The Adventures of Batman & Robin: The Video Game as part of the boss fight against Penguin.
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