"Sideshow" is the seventh episode of the second season of Batman: The Animated Series. It originally aired on May 3, 1994.
In the forest outside of Gotham a train carrying Killer Croc drives down its tracks. Croc has been declared sane and therefore responsible for his crimes and he is now to be taken to prison. The reporters discuss this and jokingly claim, wishing he breaks out so they have something to write about. Indeed, Croc breaks free of his chains by biting through them and overpowers the guards. Fortunately, one of the guards manages to shoot him with a tranquilizer dart before he climbs to the top of the train. Batman, who had disguised himself as a reporter, gives chase and the two fight. During the fight, Croc falls off the train and pulls Batman down with him. Batman is knocked out while Croc remains conscious. He tries to crush Batman with a boulder but the sedative dazes him and he misses. Croc falls off the cliff he's on and runs away.
Later, Batman wakes up and starts following Croc's trail. Despite being filled with sedative, Croc manages to make his way through the forest and gets pretty far before Batman almost catches up with him. Batman starts to cross a tree Croc used to bridge a gap but Croc pushes some boulders down onto it breaking the tree and sending Batman falling. Batman manages to catch the edge of the canyon walls but is trapped below.
Thinking Batman is gone, Croc continues to make his way through the forest but slips on a rock jutting from a waterfall. Falling into the waterfall he is swept away and saved by a boy who has flippers instead of hands and feet. This "seal boy", Billy, takes him to his friends, a giant, Goliath, a hunchback, Richard, and Siamese Twins, May and June. Believing Croc to be a kindred spirit they take him into their home.
Croc wakes up to see their circus posters. Richard introduces himself as being like Richard III from Shakespeare's play. Croc acts pretty friendly towards these people and they claim that their farm is a sanctuary for all deformed people. Croc is only too happy to hear this.
For a time, Croc helps out with the chores and claims that he was part of a freak show.
Meanwhile, Batman makes his way across the canyon wall and climbs his way out.
Back at the farm, Croc is given a bed and learns that the family has $50,000 to their name. Later that night, Croc goes looking for the money and finds it hidden in a pipe organ, but begins to have second thoughts about stealing it upon remembering their hospitality towards him. Billy finds him poking around and asks what he's doing. Croc claims he's simply looking for a blanket and stashes the money away. Billy talks to Croc about how great the place is as the members of the family are allowed to be themselves.
Outside, Batman arrives and finds Goliath sleeping outside. Batman asks about Croc but Goliath attacks him trying to protect his new friend. Batman faces off against Goliath but is overpowered by Croc and thrown into a cage. The family is horrified by Batman's appearance and Croc tells them that he's the one that put him into the freak show. Batman tries to tell them the truth but they refuse to believe him. However, they are at a loss as to what to do to Batman. Croc decides that the only thing to do is kill Batman but the family refuses to allow it. Croc attacks them in his rage revealing that he was lying. Richard tells him that he has to leave but Croc takes sleeping gas pellets from Batman's belt and knocks out the family.
Croc locks up his "friends" and goes to steal their cash. Finding a gun, he prepares to kill Batman, but he runs into the side of the cage causing it to roll towards Croc. The cage smashes against the rocks below and Batman escapes. Furthermore, Goliath is able to bend the bars of the cage he's chained to releasing the family.
Desperate to escape, Croc locks himself in the mill and starts firing down on the group. Fortunately, Billy knows of an underwater entrance and shows it to Batman. Batman enters and attacks Croc getting the gun away from him but Croc grabs up a chain and hook. Batman easily manages to disarm Croc and the fight is taken outside. Croc manages to get Batman underwater where he has an advantage, however, Batman grabs hold of the mill's wheel and gets out of the water. Croc is instantly after him. After getting too high on the wheel, Batman jumps over Croc but gets caught in a crack on the wheel. Happy to see that his enemy is stuck, Croc fails to pay attention to his surroundings and is crushed between the wheel and the mill. Knocked out, he is taken in by Batman.
Later, Croc is fitted with a straight jacket and a mask preventing him from using his jaws. Before he is taken away, Billy asks him why he turned on them. Croc responds that he was doing what Billy said he could do, which was being himself.
Home video releases
- Batman: The Animated Series, Volume Three (DVD)
- Batman: The Complete Animated Series (DVD)
- Batman: The Complete Animated Series (Blu-ray)
- Right after Croc says, "Who are you calling human?", Billy's shirt and shorts switch colors.
- When June explains to Croc what "additional raiment" means during dinner, Crocs eyes change color several times from yellow and black to blue and white.
- First appearance of Brad Garrett in the DCAU. He would go on to voice Lobo and Bibbo Bibbowski on Superman: The Animated Series.
- The episode is based on the comics story "A View from the Grave!" (Detective Comics #410, April 1971) by Dennis O'Neil. That story did not feature Croc, but Kano Wiggins, a death row escapee.
- This and "The Demon's Quest, Part II" are the only two episodes in the series to take place completely outside of Gotham City.
- Croc is quite correct: Crocodiles exert the strongest bite pressure of any member of the animal kingdom.
- After they fall from the train, Croc almost duplicates the story Batman (in disguise as Croc) told in Almost Got 'Im: he picks up a big rock and nearly hits Batman with it.
- Richard shares his name with King Richard III, the lead character of Shakespeare's play of the same name. Both Richards are "rudely stamp'd" (i.e., born hunchbacks).
|“|| But I,—that am not shap'd for sportive tricks,|
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
— Richard III, Richard III, Act I: Scene 1
- Other Shakespearean references include:
|“|| The evil that men do lives after them;|
The good is oft interred with their bones:
So let it be with Caesar.
— Antony, Julius Caesar, Act III: Scene 2
|“|| O judgment, thou are fled to brutish beasts,;|
And men have lost their reason.
— Antony, Julius Caesar, Act III: Scene 2
|Kevin Conroy||Bruce Wayne/Batman|
|Aron Kincaid||Killer Croc|
|JoBeth Williams||May and June|
Killer Croc: What's a freak show doin' in the middle of nowhere?
Billy: You know, Croc, I know you feel a little funny being here, but it's great, it really is. No one stares at you laughing, making you feel bad. You can be yourself.
Richard: His chains speak more eloquently than any words of yours.
Killer Croc: It's your last hunt, Bats, and now you're the prey.
Richard: Alas, I fear that the chameleon has shown his true colors.
Richard: The evil that men do...
Batman: Show's over, folks.
Batman: Calm down. I won't hurt you. I'm looking for someone. Half man, half crocodile. (Goliath looks over in worry) He's in there, isn't he?
Batman: I don't want to hurt you!
Billy: Why, Croc? Why'd you turn on us like that? We could've helped you. We could've done something.