"Fire From Olympus" is the sixtieth episode of Batman: The Animated Series.
Commissioner Gordon waits for an informant within an alley. Unbeknownst to him, however, the informant, Yanni Stavros, is being chased by a couple of thugs. They inform him that his meeting's been canceled and they chase him towards their boss. He is finally cornered in an alley filled with old tires. Their boss comes out of his car and Stavros pleads with him. However, his words make the boss even angrier that he defied him, forced him to come to the "mortal plane", and then claims that he doesn't know what he thinks. He condemns Starvos to Tartarus and a bolt of electricity strikes him.
Gordon finds Stavros and takes him to the hospital, where he is diagnosed as being struck by lightning and only alive due to the tires absorbing the shock. Gordon is skeptical of the diagnosis as it was a clear night.
Later, Gordon takes Stavros' file to Batman and the two talk about his past record of selling shipping schedules to hijackers. As a scheduler for Maximilian Shipping Lines, he is well suited to this kind of work. Gordon then tells Batman that Stavros was going to tell him about a new energy weapon capable of firing bolts of lightning. The weapon has been stolen and Batman fears that it may already be in the wrong hands. He heads out to see Maxie Zeus, owner of Maximilian Shipping.
On top of Maxie's office building, which is made to look like a Greek Temple, Maxie's assistant, Clio, tells Maxie about a case that's being built against him. Maxie, dressed like the Greek god Zeus, doesn't much care, claiming that he's bored with tales of human concerns. Clio is upset that Maxie is acting like he's a god who thinks she is a muse of history. She tries to talk some sense into him but he will not hear reason. Just then, Batman arrives in the Batwing. Zeus sees him and decides that this is Hades. Clio tries to tell Maxie that "Hades" is really Batman, but Zeus refuses to listen, claiming that no mortal could make it to the top of Olympus. He sends Clio away and talks with Batman.
Batman asks Zeus about the electron cannon, but Zeus claims he has no need for mortal weapons as he can summon thunderbolts of his own, revealing that he has a lightning staff capable of generating thousands of volts of electricity. Upset that reality is starting to enter into his world, Zeus tells Batman to leave and activates guns in his decorative stone harpies. Batman leaves, and Zeus reveals to his thugs that he has the electron cannon and will now cause mortals to tremble.
Clio returns home and cries over her boss' condition when Batman arrives. She explains that Maximilian Shipping started losing business and to save it, Maxie started handling cargo for the mob. However, the stress was so great that he got confused and now lives inside a fantasy. Batman asks Clio to take him to Zeus so that he can be helped. She drives Batman into the company building and heads up in an elevator. Unfortunately, Zeus' thugs capture her and take her to their boss.
On top of the building, Maxie sees a police blimp. Believing they're trying to encroach on Mt. Olympus, Maxie fires the electron cannon onto it over his henchmen's objections, setting the blimp on fire. Clio runs up to him and tries to talk to him into reality. For a moment it seems to work and Maxie is returned. However, he soon falls back into his delusions and claims that Clio is no longer fit to be around him. He orders his thugs to tie her to the cannon.Meanwhile, Batman sneaks into the buildings but security systems detect him. Discovering him, Zeus activates a trap door and drops him into a dark room. Zeus releases his "hydra", a python that tries to squeeze Batman to death. Batman is able to spray it with a sedative and it falls to sleep. Next, Zeus releases a warthog that Batman manages to harness with a rope. However, the warthog is too strong for him to stop and Batman is hurled through the window out of the building. Fortunately, he manages to catch the ledge of the building.
On the top of the building, Zeus prepares to fire the electron cannon with Clio on it. Before he can fire it, however, Batman arrives and stops the firing procedure. Zeus orders his henchman, Alexander, to take on Batman but he hesitates. Zeus takes this as a sign of defiance and activates his harpies having them fire on Batman and Alexander. Batman manages to destroy the harpies and Zeus attacks him with his lightning staff. Batman easily beats Zeus, deactivates the cannon, and frees Clio. Unfortunately, Zeus fires his staff at Batman pushing him off the building, and then activates the cannon again. Batman climbs back onto the top of the building and grabs Zeus' staff. Hurling it into the cannon, he deactivates it. Zeus dives after the staff and is electrocuted when it overloads. He then falls onto a ledge and is knocked out.
Zeus is taken to Arkham where he believes that he is truly in Olympus and equates the inmates with the ancient gods. Even though he's locked up, he feels that he's home and now happier than ever.
Home video releases
- The Adventures of Batman & Robin: Fire & Ice (VHS)
- The Adventures of Batman & Robin: The Joker/Fire & Ice (DVD)
- Batman: The Animated Series, Volume Three (DVD)
- Batman: The Complete Animated Series (DVD)
- Batman: The Complete Animated Series (Blu-ray)
- On Yanni Stavros' file, he is listed as a resident of Gotham City, New York—but his zip code is 90068, the zip code of Los Angeles. In Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero, Barbara Gordon and Dean Arbagast were given New York zipcodes starting with 100.
- Maxie Zeus recognizes Two-Face as Janus, however, Janus was a god of Roman mythology, not Greek, and does not have a Greek equivalent. He also mentions "Lord Vulcan", which is the Roman name for Hephaestus.
- Many references to Greek Mythology are made in this episode:
- The Hydra was a many headed dragon that would re-grow heads after they were cut off. It was eventually killed by Heracles and Iolaus. The boar is the Erymanthian Boar, another one of Heracles' opponents.
- Although of Roman origin, Janus was in fact depicted as a two-faced god and was lord of beginnings and endings, doors and gates.
- Demeter, whom Maxie Zeus equates with Poison Ivy, was a goddess of fertility and was responsible for times of plenty. The winter and autumn months came when she was grieving over the loss of her daughter Persephone. Poison Ivy had previously used Demeter as a pseudonym.
- Hermes, whom Maxie Zeus equates with the Joker, was the messenger of the gods. He was considered to be a trickster and a thief as well.
- Clio, whom Maxie Zeus equates with his assistant, was the muse of history and often depicted as being a daughter of Zeus. The muses were minor goddesses but they too were worshiped.
- Hades, whom Maxie Zeus equates with Batman, was the eldest of the Olympian gods, and ruler of the underworld. Though considered a Dark God, he was not actually evil and kept the dead in check. In this continuity, however, Hades is depicted as an evil villain and Batman actually comes into conflict with him in "Paradise Lost".
- Bellerophon, whom Maxie equates a Police Blimp to, was a mortal warrior who managed to tame the winged horse Pegasus, he eventually tried to join the gods on Mount Olympus but was killed by a thunderbolt from Zeus.
- Harpies were creatures used by Zeus to punish evil people by eating and spoiling their food, and carrying them off for torture before their deaths. However, they were usually depicted as having heads of women and bodies of birds.
- Fittingly, Stavros is captured next to the Zorbas, which has Greek letters Omega and Alpha in the title. The name is derived from a novel called Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.
- Maxie's line "Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" comes from Percy Bysshe Shelley's Ozymandias, a poem telling of human hubris.
|Kevin Conroy||Bruce Wayne/Batman|
|Bob Hastings||Commissioner Gordon|
|Bess Armstrong||Clio Droukas|
|Nicholas Savalas|| Yanni Stavros|
|Steve Susskind||Maxie Zeus|
Clio: Yeah that's me. Just a lowly muse. Whatever.
Alex: You called, boss? I-I mean, uh, thou didst summon us, O great Zeus?
Clio: He's not living in the real world anymore. Maybe you can relate to that.
Clio: But Maxie, please, you know I love you!
Maxie Zeus: Begone, thou foul bat-demon!