DC Animated Universe
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"Moon of the Wolf" is the thirty-sixth episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It depicts the return of Dr. Milo and the introduction of Anthony Romulus.

Plot[]

Wolf attack

The werewolf prepares to take his first victim.

It's a peaceful night in Gotham Park and a man, John Hamner, quietly walks his dog. Suddenly, the dog starts to get agitated and growls at an unseen creature. The man dismisses the dog's fears, but he is soon confronted by a hulking man-wolf. The werewolf prepares to kill Hamner, but Batman arrives and saves him. The werewolf, however, manages to escape.

Batman goes to see Commissioner Gordon and tells him about a "mugger in a werewolf mask". Gordon checks the files, but comes up with nothing, claiming the closest query to that search was about a recent theft of two Alaskan Timberwolves from the Gotham Zoo. Remembering that the victim was a guard from the Zoo, and finding some genuine fur on his gloves, Batman realizes that it might be an actual werewolf.

The werewolf heads out and smashes his way into a shanty where Dr. Milo is inside. Milo is unconcerned, however, simply saying that sunrise will be momentary. Sure enough, the werewolf starts losing its fur and assumes human form. He assures the man that everything will be over soon now that Hamner has been killed, but the man tells him that he failed due to Batman's interference. Milo is outraged and decides that the werewolf has a new target.

Later, a radio announcement states that the Olympic champion Anthony Romulus will be making a donation to a charity and will double it if Batman himself arrives to receive the check. In an athletic club, Bruce Wayne is working out with Anthony Romulus and some girls. Bruce asks about his interest in Batman and Romulus claims he wants to meet "Gotham's second-best athlete".

Batman arrives to meet Romulus, who seems friendly enough and prepares to cut the check. Batman then discovers that the room is filled with knockout gas. He tries to put on his gas mask but is too late and he passes out. Milo then arrives and puts the second part of his plan into motion.

Romulus sees Milo

Anthony Romulus sees Dr. Milo about his strange condition.

While the two men wait for Batman to awaken, Romulus ponders on the unpleasant task of killing him and confronts Milo over the evil he's made him do. However, Milo reminds him that he's the only one with the cure for Romulus' condition. It flashes back to scenes of Anthony devoting himself to training, but that did not give him the confidence that he would get the gold medal. Wanting a guaranteed win, as well as something that would not cause him to fail the test for steroids, he went to Milo for an undetectable performance enhancer. Milo showed him a serum derived from steroids and wolf estrogen. Romulus immediately snatched the vial and gulped the serum down. It proved to be a success and Romulus won at every event he competed in. With the fame, he amassed a fortune, but he turned back on Milo's deal and refused to share the profits. This proved to be a mistake as the serum infected him with lycanthropy, albeit at a moderate stage as he had some wolf traits, but without the bestial behavior. Romulus went to Milo to seek out help, who warned that the condition is irreversible. Milo said advanced lycanthropy is curable, as gave Romulus a second dose of the performance enhancer.

Meanwhile, at the Gotham Zoo, Hamner is confronted by Harvey Bullock, who was investigating the timber wolf theft. Bullock accuses Hamner of being complicit in the theft, as he was on duty the night of the disappearance and shortly afterward there was a sizeable deposit made to his bank account. Hamner nervously admits someone paid him to leave the cage unsecured but does not know whom. Bullock arrests Hamner for bribery.

Back at Milo's cabin, Romulus' condition takes hold, and he transforms. However, instead of killing Batman like he was supposed to, he goes after Milo. In fear, Milo drops the antidote, which makes the werewolf very angry. In his rampage, the werewolf smashes the cabin and causes Milo to fall into a ditch unconscious.

The werewolf and Batman fight

The werewolf and Batman fight for the last time.

With Milo out of the way, the werewolf attacks Batman, who manages to get free of his chains. However, Batman is no match for the creature. A couple of civilians notice that and call the police. Looking to even the odds, he climbs up to the top of the stadium where he was chained. Bullock and other officers arrive, and he orders them to hold their fire. Batman uses the heavy hook on a crane to stop the werewolf, who manages to grab hold of the crane, but lightning strikes it, and he falls into the river. Milo is taken into custody, but the werewolf is nowhere to be found. Detective Bullock remarks they will wait until next month's full moon to see whether or not there really was such as mythical creature in Gotham.

Later, Romulus disappeared, and his house is sold to pay off his creditors. The buyers ask the realtor where he went, but she says that no one really knows. They also wonder why someone who had "just about everything" would suddenly give it all up.

Elsewhere, a wolf howls at the full moon.

Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production notes[]

  • Bruce Timm suggested the guitar score to episode composer Richard Bronskill. "My first thought was that a really weird electric guitar solo like Eric Clapton's might give it a weird edge." said Timm. "I don't know if it made the [episode] any better, but it's different."[1]
  • The episode is based on the comics story "Moon of the Wolf" (Batman #255, April 1974), also by Len Wein.[2]

Production inconsistencies[]

  • During the fight, when Batman says, "Guess not", the yellow outline of his emblem turns white.
  • Milo's coat changes from white to brown several times throughout the episode. This was fixed in the Blu-ray release, with Milo's coat remaining a consistent white color.
  • The display at Gotham Zoo misspells "Leopards" as "Lepords".
  • There are a few instances where Romulus' shirt changes from beige to black.
  • When Batman is captured, Romulus takes his utility belt. Throughout the fight, Batman is pictured wearing it. As Batman does not make use of his belt in this episode, the script likely meant that Batman had his belt confiscated in an attempt to thwart him in the forthcoming werewolf fight.
  • When Batman says, "From his uniform, I'd say he works for the zoo", he gestures with his left hand. However, in the next shot when he says, "I doubt it's a coincidence", it changes to his right hand.
  • Batman uses his teeth to pick up a pin and unlock one of his shackles. However, he doesn't really need his teeth to undo the lock as he should be able to reach one hand to the other.

Trivia[]

  • Bruce Timm has referred to this episode as "a good Tuesday episode" in that "it's not what you want to open a week on or end a week on, but it passes the time agreeably."[1] Later on, Timm gave a much harsher remark on the episode, considering it to be one of the worst episodes of the DCAU and apologizing for it.[3]
  • When Milo holds up the newspaper, the photo is captioned with Bruce Timm's name.
  • The name of Romulus and Milo's hideout is Sebast Construction, the surname of the episode's director, Dick Sebast.
  • John Hamner slightly resembles the zoo guard who saw Garth the ape-man apprehend Selina Kyle in "Tyger, Tyger".

Cast[]

Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Batman
Bob Hastings Commissioner Gordon
Robert Costanzo Detective Bullock
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Alfred
Norman (uncredited)
Harry Hamlin Romulus
Janet May Andrea
Real estate agent (uncredited)
Peter Scolari John Hamner
Frank Welker Werewolf FX
Buyer (uncredited)
Treat Williams Milo

Quotes[]

Batman: If it's a fight you're looking for, try starting one with me!

Romulus: Milo, you're a worse animal than anything that I turn into.

Batman: Masquerade party's over, hairy!

{Milo had been reading a newspaper in his shack when the werewolf breaks down the door and is snarling} Milo: Oh, please. Spare me the melodrama. In precisely seven seconds, all your fearsome growling won't mean a blessed thing.

Milo: I'm sorry, Batman, but you really should have taken the doctored drink.

Batman: (Fighting the werewolf) Do me a favor, Shaggy! (Batman starts beating on him with a wooden construction beam) Stay down! (The werewolf breaks the beam) Guess not.

Milo: You know, my friend, I'm innocent. They'll never convict me of a thing.
Gordon: Don't bet on it.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Episode Guide" - Cinefantastique Vol. 24 #6/Vol. 25 #1 (February 1994)
  2. "The Joker's Keeper" by Bob Miller - Comics Scene Magazine #31 (February 1993)
  3. Timm, Bruce (2003-11-11). Most underrated DCAU episodes EVER!. toonzone.net. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
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