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Recap / Batman: The Animated Series E55 "The Mechanic"

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Earl Cooper, the mechanic/co-creator for the Batmobile, is forced by the Penguin to put it under his control.


Tropes in this episode include:

  • Bald of Awesome: Earl Cooper
  • Bland-Name Product: Global Motors is a not-so-subtle rebranding of General Motors.
  • Cool Garage: The episode is devoted to the character Earl Cooper, who is not only the Batmobile's mechanic, but its designer. Cooper has a hidden Cool Garage where Bats takes the Batmobile after its front end is crushed under a closing drawbridge. It also contains a hilarious flashback to when Batman first "hires" Cooper as his mechanic. He pulls his clunker of a Batmobile up alongside Cooper on the sidewalk and explains "I need a new car."
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  • Finger Wag: Batman issues one to the Penguin after catching him toward the end of the episode, which prompts Penguin to throw a little tantrum.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Penguin straight-up murders a guy early in the episode. And considering that the man's increasingly panicked shouts are perfectly audible and acknowledged by the bad-guy characters on-screen, it's valid to ask if the radar was even turned on.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Earl says the alignment and the suspension system of the Batmobile have been "shot to heck."
  • I Have Your Wife: Penguin holds Cooper's daughter hostage to ensure his cooperation.
  • Murder by Remote Control Vehicle: The Penguin holds Earl's daughter hostage and forces him to booby-trap the Batmobile, including giving Penguin the ability to control it remotely. After having some fun with it, he tries to kill Batman and Robin by steering the Batmobile off the roof of a multi-story car park.
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  • Mythology Gag: In the flashback showing Batman asking Earl to design a new Batmobile for him, the old Batmobile is based on a design used in the early years of the Batman comics.*
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Earl Cooper was an automobile engineer who was nearly killed by his bosses for trying to go public about a potential lethal safety defect in his company's newest model of car, and was saved by Batman. He lost his job, was unjustly blacklisted from the industry, and lived on the streets when Batman saved him again... by tracking him down and hiring him to design the Batmobile.
  • Off-Model: Near the end of the episode, Batman's mouth suddenly wrenches open and his eyes dilate, going in opposite directions, which lasts a good second or two. Unsurprisingly, this was an AKOM-helmed episode.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Earl's daughter, Marva, is kidnapped. With the bad guys listening in, Batman asks where she is, and Earl responds that she's "in the basement," which is apparently racetrack slang for in big trouble. He also mentioned that he "fixed the air conditioner," hinting that he'd installed an ejection mechanism in the air conditioner controls so that Batman and Robin could escape the hijacked Batmobile.
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  • Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": The Penguin's goon after the Batmobile explodes: "B-b-b-b-bat's all, folks!"
  • Shooting Superman: The fleeing criminals try to shoot the bulletproof, practically-indestructible Batmobile with a Thompson submachine gun. Robin asks if the guy shooting is serious, and Batman says that he must be new in town.
  • The Stool Pigeon: Earl Cooper was a Whistleblower William who was nearly killed by his bosses for trying to go public about a potential lethal safety defect in his company's newest model of car and was saved by Batman. He lost his job and was living on the streets when Batman saved him again... by tracking him down and hiring him to design the Batmobile.
  • Vanity License Plate: The end of the episode shows Penguin making license plates in prison after his scheme failed. Penguin loses it when he sees one of the plates reads, "1 BAT 4 U."
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: The episode introduces Earl Cooper, the Batmobile's designer/mechanic, who performs the necessary repairs that are beyond Batman's time or ability. The Penguin is able to find Cooper after he orders a series of dead-giveaway parts that could only be for the Batmobile, in his own name. Batman responds by having his "backers" set up "dummy corporations" for Cooper to order through so that no one will track him down again. This is probably just a euphemism for hiding more crimefighting behind Wayne Enterprises expenditures.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The premise of Penguin hijacking the Batmobile is a reference to the scene in Batman Returns.

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