"Avatar" is the eighth episode of the second season of Batman: The Animated Series. It originally aired on May 9, 1994.
The time and place is Egypt 1898. A young boy brings a lantern to an explorer. He is lowered into a temple and searches through the artifacts. Suddenly, a doorway starts to glow with light. The rope is suddenly pulled in with such force that it takes several men to pull it back up. When it is pulled back up, only a burned frayed end is retrieved. The explorer is nowhere to be found.
Back in the present, Lucius Fox commends Bruce on his donating several Egyptian artifacts to the museum. Among these artifacts is half of the Scroll of Osiris: the oldest Egyptian document currently known.
Later that night, a thief sneaks in and steals the scroll. However, Batman arrives and confronts the thief, shocked to see that it's Ubu. Ra's al Ghul then reveals himself and throws an Egyptian cobra at Batman. The cobra bites him, injecting him with poison. Batman barely has time to save himself with anti-venom while Ra's and Ubu escape.
Back at the Batcave, Batman looks up the snake venom and talks to Alfred about the incident. Unfortunately, there's not much information to lead to Ra's so Batman heads out to Gibraltar to find Talia.
Talia is shocked to learn that her father is alive and that he didn't try to contact her. Bruce is sure that it's Ra's and wants to know why he's so interested in the scroll. Talia explains that the scroll is part of a map and Ra's has the other half. The map leads to the tomb of the Egyptian queen Thoth Khepera and Ra's has been obsessed with finding it. She doesn't know why he's after the tomb but Batman decides he has to go after him anyway. Talia agrees to help and takes Batman to a hidden sanctuary in Cairo.
Talia and Bruce walk into a shop and using an ultrasound radar, they find their way into the secret entrance. However, the shop owner finds them and he and a couple thugs detain the duo. They are dealt with easily enough and the couple heads down. There they find the completed scroll and a translation. However, Ra's stops them from getting the scroll and explains that Thoth Khepera had power over life and death. He now seeks to have that power for himself. His explanation done, Ra's traps both Batman and Talia in a glass case with no air supply.
Batman tries his best to break out, but the glass is too strong. Talia gives up, but Batman uses his sonar device to break the glass with sound vibrations. Now free, the duo decides to do what must be done.
Batman and Talia make their way to the tomb and climb in. However, Ra's watches their actions from afar. Inside the temple, they find the queen's sarcophagus but Ra's arrives and has Ubu open the coffin. Inside are scrolls that are so old they crumble under Ra's hands. Batman and Talia take the opportunity to escape leaving Ra's to despair. However, while the duo deals with Ra's thugs,Ra's finds a hidden lever that opens a passageway under the coffin. Inside, Ra's finds dozens of skeletons surrounding a green pool. From the pool arises a beautiful woman, Thoth Khepera, who promises the knowledge of the power of the gods if Ra's will join her. She then seduces him and lures him in. As she embraces and kisses Ra's, her true hag-like nature is revealed as she sucks the life from his body. Fortunately, Batman and Talia arrive and stop Thoth from finishing Ra's off. Outraged, Thoth summons the souls from her pool which form tentacles and seize Talia. Batman cuts the tentacles with a sword to free Talia. As Talia bears an aged and withered Ra's out of the chamber, Batman tries to kill Thoth with a grenade but it's ineffective. As Thoth summons her souls for a renewed assault, Batman shoves a statue of Tauret, causing the temple to collapse over and bury Thoth. Furthermore, Ra's is restored to normal.
With Thoth gone, the group heads out and Ra's re-accepts Talia as his daughter. However, when she sees that Ra's is tied up and learns that Batman intends to take him to the authorities, she turns on him and takes his horse. She then frees her father and the group leaves after Ubu leaves Batman a canteen. He takes it and vows that there will be another time.
- Ra's makes reference to Batman's refusal to join him in "The Demon's Quest".
- Although Ra's leaves Talia for dead while searching for the scrolls, he later chooses to save her from a cave-in over getting revenge on Superman in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "The Demon Reborn".
Home video releases
- Batman: The Animated Series, Volume Three (DVD)
- Batman: The Complete Animated Series (DVD)
- Best of Batman (DVD)
- Batman: The Complete Animated Series (Blu-ray)
- Batman: Bad Blood (2DVD, Blu-ray only)
- The hole in the archeological dig changes size throughout shots.
- This marks the first time that Batman is shown to be willing to kill a sentient being.
- The moment Thoth initially appears as a young pretty woman, as she arises from the Lazarus Pit and seduces Ra's, only to reveal her true self as an aged hag after she embraces him, is similar to a scene in The Shining where Jack (portrayed by Jack Nicholson, who coincidentally played the Joker in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman movie) investigates the bathroom of Room 237.
- Thoth Khepera refers to herself as Legion, because many have shared their knowledge with her. This is an allusion to the biblical demon Legion.
- Nichelle Nichols, Brock Peters, and David Warner all appeared in the movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
|Kevin Conroy||Batman/Bruce Wayne|
|Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.||Alfred|
|Nichelle Nichols||Thoth Khepera|
|Brock Peters||Lucius Fox|
|David Warner||Ra's al Ghul|
Ra's al Ghul: You could have been my successor, Detective. Instead you will suffer the fate of all mortal flesh.
Talia: You're so like him, making me choose between the two of you.
Batman: What could be in that tomb that's more valuable than the love of your daughter?
Ra's al Ghul: Farewell, Talia. It's said that one finds immortality in one's offspring. Alas, I know that to be a lie.
Thoth Khepera: I am Thoth Khepera. Those who have joined me share their knowledge with me. We are legion.
Thoth Khepera: None may defile me and live!