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Recap / Batman: The Animated Series E63 "Fire from Olympus"

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Maxie Zeus, believing himself to be the Greek god, steals an electron discharge cannon to use on Gotham.

Tropes in this episode include:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: Non-death example (being a Batman show aimed at children after all), Maxie Zeus falls from his penthouse in a Hoist by His Own Petard, knocking himself out, and it has become apparent to both the audience and the characters that the man he once was is beyond hope of saving, as his obsession with Greek mythology has completely consumed him.
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  • Ancient Grome: Maxie asks "Hades" if "Lord Vulcan" has been bothering him. Vulcan is the Roman name for Hephestus. At the end of the episode, Maxie Zeus identifies Two-Face as Janus, a Roman god, despite imagining himself to be a modern incarnation of a Greek god. Janus did not have a Greek counterpart and should have been completely unknown to "Zeus". Then again, the guy is not all there, so maybe this is an In-Universe mistake.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Maximillian Zeus had something of an Ancient Grome fetish long before he went crazy, if the architecture of his skyscraper is any indication, plus he had a Heroic Build prior to losing his mind (fitting in with the classical Greek physique).
  • Beard of Evil: Maxie post-breakdown, and it's even styled in the manner of vase paintings featuring Zeus and Poseidon.
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  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Before Maxie went nuts, he did business with the mob.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Maxie Zeus may be crazy, but "godly" wrath makes him a dangerous foe: He first appears by tracking and electrocuting a former employee who was about to rat out his underworld dealings to Commissioner Gordon, and fires the experimental electric weapon to shoot down a police blimp for the audacity of being "mortals trying to ascend into Mount Olympus" (the blimp was getting too close to his penthouse at the top floor of the tower).
  • A God Am I: Maxie Zeus's delusion runs so deep that, at the end of the episode, he perceives his incarceration in Arkham as a return home to the 'true' Olympus, and identifies Poison Ivy, Two-Face, and the Joker as nature goddess Demeter, two-faced Janus (see Ancient Grome entry above) and trickster Hermes.
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  • God Guise: Defied. Bats is given a chance to play along with Maxie's delusions when he's mistaken for Hades; he refuses to go along with it. The thing is, it's not that inappropriate a guise for him... a grim, dark, but ultimately benevolent figure who has fantastic wealth and (in a manner of speaking) rules over the underworld?
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: An especially ironic example as Batman thwarts Maxie Zeus by throwing the thunderbolt rod onto the electric cannon, to short-circuit it—and Maxie runs for the rod, electrocuting him until he falls onto the balcony, which likely only makes him further delusional, as the ending indicates.
  • Hope Spot: There's a moment where Maxie shows signs of his sanity coming back after his girlfriend pleads with him to stop... but then he orders his henchmen to tie her up onto the Electric Discharge Cannon.
  • Large and in Charge: Maxie is huge, taller than Batman and massively muscled. He uses it mainly as an intimidation factor and as a means to fit into his "Greek God" aesthetic, as his build does him little good against Batman.
  • Made of Iron: Zeus is electrocuted, falls down a story onto concrete, landing on his head, and survives.
  • The Muse: Maxie Zeus's girlfriend is named Clio, and he believes her to be the actual Muse of History. This is taken as another sad sign of his insanity.
  • Napoleon Delusion: Maxie Zeus was a shipping tycoon who got into connections with the mob after experiencing financial troubles. The stress from working with them and his losses forced him into a mental breakdown, and he became deluded that he was the actual Greek god Zeus. It goes further after his arrest; he actually believes Arkham Asylum is Olympus and that some of the inmates are other Greek gods.
  • Nothing Personal: What Alex says when he seizes Clio and ties her up to the electric discharge cannon.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Maxie Zeus orders his henchman Alex to attack Batman. Alex declares that there's no way he can possibly win and tries to leave. Zeus angrily tries to gun him down for his defiance, but he outruns the gunfire and escapes into the swimming pool. Although he disappears for the rest of the episode, he is presumably arrested after the battle.
  • Tragic Villain: Maxie turned to The Mob to bolster his shipping business after an economic downturn and eventually cracked under the stress, forging a personality based on the Greek god Zeus to deal with running his company. His former girlfriend turned 'muse' Clio and his hired goons know that Maxie's lost it, but all are at a loss for what to do about it. Worse, he likely subconsciously stole the Electrical Discharge Cannon as a means to protect himself from probable threats (the Police and the Mob). When he is wheeled into his cell at Arkham, he rejoices pathetically—because in his hallucination, he is finally back home among the gods in Olympus.
    Maxie: Now, at last, mighty Zeus is home...


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