Recap / The New Batman Adventures E23 "Beware the Creeper"
Reporter Jack Ryder presents an account of the Joker's origin story, broadcast live from the very spot where he fell into a vat of chemicals seven years earlier. However, the Clown Prince of Crime himself drops in and decides to present his own version of the events, dosing Ryder and his crew with laughing gas and then tossing Ryder into a chemical vat in a macabre re-enactment.
Batman and Robin arrive, having seen the Joker's intrusion on live TV. The resulting battle ends with the chemical plant in flames as the Joker and his henchmen flee. The heroes attempt to save Ryder, but find only his burning and dissolving coat.
However, Ryder is alive, if not precisely well. The combination of laughing gas and strange chemicals has transformed him into a powerful, nimble, yellow-skinned wacky man who will soon be known as... (dramatic pause)
the Creeper! He barges into a thrift shop looking for a suitable outfit for his new persona, and then goes looking for the Joker.
Alfred calls Batman with the news of the thrift shop incident, noting that the odd intruder paid for his purchases with Ryder's credit card. This puts Batman and Robin on the Creeper's trail. They catch up to him as he interrogates the Joker's henchmen and hits on Harley Quinn. However, the Creeper's strength, speed, and unpredictability prove to be too much for the heroes, and he escapes.
The story ends in a crescendo of chaos
, with the Creeper chasing the Joker and Harley and Batman and Robin chasing everybody else. Finally, Batman captures the Joker (who begs him to save him from the "lunatic" Creeper) and sedates the Creeper.
In the final scene, Batman has restored Jack Ryder to his normal self with an antidote skin patch. He tells Ryder that the incident will blow over, since nobody else knows the Creeper's identity, and cautions him to keep the patch in place until he returns with a fresh antidote supply. After Batman leaves, Ryder ponders the situation...and the sound of tearing tape is followed by the Creeper's maniacal laugh.
- Abhorrent Admirer: The Creeper, to Harley Quinn.
- Amazon Chaser: Being attacked by Harley only increases The Creeper's attraction to her:
- Breaking News/Film At Eleven: The Creeper's stream-of-consciousness ramblings occasionally parody standard newscaster lines ("Breaking news — and if you broke it you have to pay for it!"). Batman and Robin hear one of these comments, confirming that he's Jack Ryder.
- Cloudcuckoolander: The Creeper, so much so that when he initially tries to calm down and think rationally about what happened after his transformation, his eyes bug out, a broken-spring sound is heard, and he lets out a yelp about how much that hurt. Apparently his transformation has made him incapable of rational thought.
- Dramatization: Ryder's broadcast includes a reenactment of the Joker's origin. The Joker decides to present his own version of events, with Ryder taking his role.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- After dealing with the Creeper, the Joker actually throws himself at Batman and screams "He's a lunatic!" That's right, The Joker thinks the Creeper is too crazy!
- The Creeper isn't actually evil, just crazy — however, when he visited a thrift store for his costume he actually paid for the goods just like a normal customer (using Jack Ryder's credit card) instead of just running off with them.
- Follow the Chaos: Batman and Robin are looking for The Creeper:
Robin: Which way did he go?
Batman: That way.
- Friend or Idol Decision: The Joker escapes from the first confrontation with Batman and Robin by pointing out that Ryder has just been washed out to sea and is in need of rescue.
- Good Counterpart: The Creeper is this to the Joker, having been exposed to similar chemicals and transformed physically and mentally into a bizarre-looking lunatic — the difference is that the Creeper is weird and annoying rather than evil or malicious.
- Hold Up Your Score: When the Joker throws talk host Jack Ryder into a vat of chemicals (leading to the creation of the Creeper), he gets score signs from Harley Quinn and his henchmen.
- I Just Want to Be Normal/I Just Want to Be Special: In the final scene, Jack Ryder worries that his old life is gone. After Batman leaves him with an antidote skin patch to suppress the Creeper, he thinks about it and removes the patch. Judging from the Creeper's occasional cameo appearances in Justice League, he apparently decided to embrace the new persona.
- Illogical Safe: A variation — after Harley drops a crate containing a big statue on him, the Creeper pops out with his head in place of the statue's.
- Jumping Out of a Cake: Harley slinkily emerges from an oversized lemon custard pie. And then offers Joker some.
- Mêlée à Trois: Batman and Robin vs. The Joker and Harley Quinn vs. The Creeper. It's as hilarious as it sounds.
- One-Scene Wonder: The Thrift Store Clerk. Her take on The Creeper's attempt to find a new outfit for himself is so deliciously jaded she has her own fan club. Then again, she lives in a town where a guy dressed as a bat goes around fighting costumed freaks on a weekly basis: she's used to the crazy in Gotham by now.
- Offhand Backhand: Everyone in the pool hall takes a swing at The Creeper's back while he flirts with Harley Quinn. Offhand Backhands ensue. Even Batman takes one to the chin when moseys on over. Notably, this results in a bright flash as if the universe itself is stunned by Batman getting sucker punched.
- Outside Ride: During the hectic final chase, Batman does the usual version (hanging onto the Joker's car, which is being driven by the Creeper), while Robin follows on a wheeled platfom attached to the car with a grapple line. This gets particularly hair-raising when the Creeper tries random controls and fires the rear missiles.
- Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: The Creeper interrogating the Joker's henchmen:
Creeper: Last time we met, you were working for — dramatic pause — the Joker!
- Super-Stoic Shopkeeper: When The Creeper bursts into a thrift store, the clerk recommended green-striped underwear to complement his yellow skin tone and approved his choice of boa without the slightest twitch.