DC Animated Universe

"Blind as a Bat" is the fifty-fourth episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It originally aired on February 22, 1993.


Raven X1-11

Raven X1-11 doing its demonstration.

Bruce Wayne is present at a demonstration of Wayne Tech's prototype military helicopter, the Raven X1-11. The attending brass is suitably impressed by its capabilities, which include silent running, a cloaking device making it invisible to radar and sonar, and its revolutionary ZVF sensor package which uses computers to turn sensor data into visual images, thus working in total darkness. 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.

Bruce is blind

Bruce Wayne discovers that he's blind.

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 to a car engine causes it to explode right in front of his face, and he collapses in agony. Alfred arrives and Bruce orders him to take him home at once, revealing 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 refuses him to leave and strictly orders him to stay home and rest, otherwise he could damage his vision permanently. While the Penguin is menacing the city, Bruce disobeys Leslie's refusal but has to admit that his blindness has grounded him.

Penguin attacks a Gotham bridge

Penguin & his crew laughing after using the Raven X1-11 on destroying a bridge.

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.

Batman with radar eyes

Batman sports a new look with radar eyes.

Determined to stop Penguin, Bruce has Alfred and a reluctant Leslie craft a vision aid for him: Using the sensor package similar to the one mounted on the chopper and wired into his brains optic nerve center. 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 a fake. 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 thug Falcone. As he coaxes the last dregs of power from it, he manages to subdue Falcone, but it shuts down for good, with Penguin still left.

Batman stumbles

Batman stumbles along blindly.

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 and hangs onto the ceiling. Feeling water drip on his head, he realizes he is hanging near a water valve, and twists it, releasing a gush of water that vaporizes on contact with the steel, creating a thick cloud of steam that causes Penguin to cough heavily. 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 next day, Leslie removes the bandages from Bruce's eyes, and all are relieved to see that he can see with his vision that has returned. Bruce takes great delight in the newspaper headline of Penguin's pending incarceration.

Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production notes[]

  • Dan Riba noted that this episode had a major flaw that was almost caught too late. "Everybody was worried about the mechanics of the third act and how to make it work and we kind of lost track of what the characters' motivations were, myself included. Suddenly, I realized we had turned Wayne into an arms merchant, which he shouldn't be. He doesn't like guns. He should never manufacture guns. There was a line in the script where he gloats about how much money he would make on the sale of this copter. We altered that to him expressing his reservations about the sale. At the ADR session Alan Burnett wrote a new line for a voice over expressing his regret at building the thing in the first place. We implied that not only had he been blind physically, but he had been blind to what his company was doing."[1]
  • In the script, the helicopter was supposed to have been for police riot control. After the LA Riots, it was changed to military use.[2]

Production inconsistencies[]

  • After Batman puts on the ZVF helmet, a shadow on the wall shows that his cowl is back up over his head. In the next cut, it's still down and the helmet is uncovered.


  • This is the final episode in which Penguin is the main antagonist. Soon after this season, the revamp emerged and Penguin became "reformed", although Batman occasionally questioned him about other crimes of which he had knowledge.
  • The Raven was a "boss" in the Super Nintendo game The Adventures of Batman & Robin.
  • The music played on the car radio before the Penguin destroys the bridge is also played in "Almost Got 'Im".
  • This episode's title would also be used as a riddle in the live-action film Batman Forever.


Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Batman
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. Alfred Pennyworth
Bob Hastings Commissioner Gordon
Lloyd Bochner Mayor Hill
Robert Costanzo Harvey Bullock
Paul Williams Penguin
Haunani Minn Dr. Lee
Walter Olkewicz Falcone
John De Lancie Eagleton
Barry Gordon Sheldrake
Jeff Bennett Computer
Diana Muldaur Leslie Thompkins


Penguin: As of this moment, the most dangerous bird in the sky is the Penguin!

Bruce: Alfred, I've got to find some way to stop him. Sight or no sight.

Penguin: This means war!

Batman: Gotcha!

Batwing: Red alert. Red alert. Traumatic impact. Heat damage to fuselage. Breach to hull. Extensive structural damage.
Batman: Tell me something I don't know.
(The Batwing begins to nosedive)
Batwing: Sixty-five seconds to total system failure.

Penguin: Your aim seems to be a little off today, Batman. I don't think you could hit the broad side of a barn, let alone the broad side of this bird! You're blind as a bat! Sightless and helpless!
Batman: You've got one right. (Kicks a barrel straight into Penguin, knocking him down)


  1. "Episode Guide" - Cinefantastique Vol. 24 #6/Vol. 25 #1 (February 1994)
  2. "Episode Guide" - Cinefantastique Vol. 24 #6/Vol. 25 #1 (February 1994)