DC Animated Universe

"Vendetta" is the twenty-first episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It originally aired on October 5, 1992, and introduces Killer Croc.


Croc captures Conway

Spider Conway is captured by a mysterious individual.

A police boat escorts a very nervous convict, Spider Conway, to Gotham Harbor. Commissioner Gordon is confused as to why Conway is nervous as he's getting an early parole in exchange for testifying against Rupert Thorne. Detective Bullock explains that Conway's nervous about someone getting to him before he reaches the hearings. It turns out that Conway's fears are well founded as a strange figure attaches a bomb to the boat and kidnaps him in the ensuing chaos. The officers are rescued but Conway is lost. Upon learning this, Bullock drops a toothpick and orders the bay to be dredged. Batman goes on his own investigation around Stonegate and discovers a toothpick on the docks.

Back at the Police Station, Bullock is enraged to learn that he's been taken off the case. Gordon explains that Thorne is a prime suspect and because of that, "a lot of ugly ancient history is bound to come up". Batman listens in on this conversation and decides to investigate Bullock. He sneaks into the police files and takes the one on Bullock. Just as Batman takes the file, Bullock comes in and discovers with rather dark glee that he does not have a file.

After Batman returns home, Alfred discovers the file and reads that Bullock was suspected of taking graft from Thorne. Conway was working for Thorne at the time and was the one who gave the information which got Bullock in trouble. Although the case was dropped for lack of evidence, Batman suspects Bullock is still to blame for Conway's disappearance.

Meanwhile, Conway wakes up in an underwater cave and is confronted by a mysterious individual who frightens him.

Batman goes to confront Thorne who reluctantly explains that he had nothing to do with the kidnapping as he has nothing to lose if Conway talks. Batman decides to believe him and leaves. Bullock now seems to be the prime suspect. He goes to explain his suspicions to Gordon, who insists that Bullock would never go rogue.

News of Bullock's arrest

News spreads of Harvey Bullock being arrested.

Things get worse for Bullock, however, when "he" arrives at the police station dripping wet and breaks in to kidnap Joey the Snail. With a witness testimony against him, Bullock is arrested.

Back in the Batcave, Batman reads the news but decides to focus his attention on a small scale he found on the docks. Alfred comes in with Batman's dinner and is told that the scale, although reptilian in appearance, has a human cellular structure. Alfred is unconcerned and gives Batman his dinner pointing out "it's in a microwavable crock". Reminded of someone named "Croc", Batman realizes that Bullock may not be the primary suspect after all, and gets an idea of where Conway and Martin might be.

To confirm his suspicions, Bruce Wayne goes to the zoo and learns that crocodiles live in underwater caves. This is the final clue he needs to deduce the location of Conway and Martin.

Returning to Gotham Harbor, Batman goes underwater in the Batboat and finds that there is in fact an underwater cave and the two kidnapped criminals are there. Batman starts to free them but Killer Croc, a half-man, half-crocodile criminal, arrives and attacks. Having enhanced strength, Croc easily gains the upper hand over his enemy. Seizing the opportunity, the criminals make their escape but Batman manages to tie up Croc and catches the crooks before they can escape. Croc himself escapes, though, and continues with his plans.

Batman returns to the Batcave and searches for articles about Killer Croc, learning that he was once a freak show attraction, then a wrestler, and finally turned to crime. Bullock was the officer who caught him and he was convicted on testimony given by Conway and Martin. Now that he's escaped, he's out for revenge against his three enemies.

Croc confronts Bullock

Killer Croc confronts Harvey Bullock after his release.

With the two criminals returned, Bullock is released and Croc takes the opportunity to assault him in his car. However, Batman is also in the car waiting for him and manages to save Bullock. Croc escapes into the sewers and Batman soon follow after him. A brief fight ensues and though Croc has the advantage of strength and better lung capacity, Batman manages to get the upper hand by using his arsenal. Croc is soon knocked out cold and given to Bullock who takes him into custody. Bullock is confused about why Batman helped him and is told that Batman thought he was guilty too.

The next day, Bullock is formally cleared of all charges and tells criminals to beware that he's back on the street "and ready to kick butt".

Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production notes[]

  • Michael Reaves' script underwent edits by Martin Pasko, and received further edits by Frank Paur who redid the last act himself. "The original ending had a fight in the sewer between Batman and Killer Croc. Killer Croc escapes to a Seaworld park where he gets knocked into a pool of electric eels."[1]
  • Frank Paur has praised Spectrum Animation Co. for their work on this episode. "We wanted to keep the [episode] heavy on the mist, the rain. I wanted reflections, mist, gentle rain to play up the whole motif. I was really worried at first that it would go to a bad studio.[1]

Production inconsistencies[]

  • When Croc-as-Bullock breaks out Joey the Snail, he mentions he was arrested for a "605". This is California Penal Code, and though the better-known numbers might be in informal use outside California, a relatively rare one like 605 - destroying a border marker would not be in use on the East coast.


  • While Bruce Timm has stated that this episode "has a lot of stupid stuff in it," he was overall impressed by the final product. "It's one of those shows that works purely on a visceral level. It's well-staged and the animation is good. It's really moody."[1]
  • When Batman is going through the files looking for Bullock's, one of the files he passes is labeled "Bates, N.", a reference to Norman Bates of the 1960 film Psycho.
  • The optic device that Batman uses turns his eyes red, giving him a similar look to when he later used a headpiece in "Blind as a Bat" to partially restore his vision. The way he looks also resembles the Batman Duplicant later in "His Silicon Soul".


Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Batman
Robert Costanzo Detective Bullock
Bob Hastings Commissioner Gordon
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Alfred
Cop (uncredited)
Mari Devon Summer Gleeson
Aron Kincaid Killer Croc
Ingrid Oliu Renee Montoya
John Vernon Rupert Thorne

Uncredited appearances[]


James Gordon: Spider Conway. Don't know what he's worrying about. He's only got the sweetest deal of the century. All he's gotta do is make like a canary at the crime-commission hearings and he gets 10 years off his time.
Harvey Bullock: It ain't him getting to the hearings that's got him spooked, Commish. It's somebody else getting to him before then.

Gordon: (After the police ship is sunk) Remind me never to think of you as a good luck charm.

Gordon: I've had cats that made more noise than you.

Bullock: (Smiling cynically, finding his file missing) "Ancient history." Yeah, right!

Batman: Here's how it works, slimeball. I have questions, and if you have answers, I'll leave you alone.

Alfred: In any event, I've made your favorite, French onion soup, and when you let it get cold this time, note that it's in a microwavable crock.
Batman: Croc? Alfred, you're beautiful! (runs off)
Alfred: Imagine if I got around to telling him about the salad.

Killer Croc: Terrific. Just what I need now. The freak job in the cape.
Batman: You're no prize yourself.

Killer Croc: What can I tell ya? Bein' a reptile man ain't pretty. But it's got its upsides. Like having the strength of a crocodile, for instance. But I guess you've learned that by now, huh? The hard way.

Killer Croc: You know, they used to call Killer Croc the meanest dude in the wrestling federation. Now, they'll call him the guy who iced the Batman.
Batman: Don't hold your breath.

Bullock: Croc? How did you...?
Killer Croc: Escape? Simple. The guards don't think about the sewers. No one does except me.
Bullock: It was you who set me up for Spider and Joey!
Killer Croc: You got it. I wanted you to sweat it out in a cell for a while like I did. To know what it feels like, the way I do.

Batman: Give it up, Croc. I know everything now. You planted that toothpick on the dock, didn't you? And you impersonated Bullock at the jail.
Killer Croc: Yeah, and it would have gone down smooth if you hadn't butted in, but hey, I'm adaptable. When you grow up looking like I do, you gotta learn to go with the flow.

Bullock: Why? Why'd you stick your neck out like that to help me?
Batman: Because I thought you were guilty too, and I was wrong. We may have different ways of enforcing the law, but we both believe in it.
Bullock: Eh, go on. I'll take it from here. (Batman vanishes, leaving Croc alone) Not a bad piece of work.

Summer Gleeson: Tell me, Detective Bullock, how does it feel to be formally cleared of all charges, now that Killer Croc Morgan has been arrested?
Bullock: I just want all the scum buckets and dirtbags in this town to know they'd better lay low, 'cause Bullock's back and ready to kick butt!


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Episode Guide" - Cinefantastique Vol. 24 #6/Vol. 25 #1 (February 1994)