"The Man Who Killed Batman" (Season 1/Episode #51) Posted by: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
A small time hood becomes a hunted underworld hero when he apparently kills Batman.
"Off Balance" was written by Paul Dini and directed by Bruce Timm. It originally aired on February 1, 1993.
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As rain pours down on Gotham City, a man hurriedly runs through the streets. As he runs, a newspaper flies by with the headline: "BATMAN SLAIN?" Mysterious Crimefighter Missing. The man finally arrives at Rupert Thorne's house. He gets inside and introduces himself — but Thorne already knows who he is — Sidney Debris, "The Man Who Killed Batman". Sidney, however, doesn't appreciate the fame, because now everyone wants to kill or fight him. So Sidney tells his story...
Sidney was an average, two-bit crook who wanted to move up in the underworld, and agreed to go on a drug run as a lookout. A gangster named Eddie G. gives Sidney a nickname called Sid "The Squid". The other mobsters, however, see Sidney as bait for the Batman to snap up while the rest of them flee. Unfortunately, the Batman does show up, and tackles Sidney. Sidney is terrified and clumsy, but the other mobsters, watching their exaggerated shadows from afar, believe that Sidney is fighting Batman.
Suddenly, Sidney falls off the roof, and Batman grabs one of his hands. Beneath them, a dislodged brick punches a hole in a propane tank. In desperation, Sidney tries to climb up Batman's arm onto the building, throwing him off balance. As Sidney climbs onto the ledge, Batman falls down toward the gas tank, and there is a tremendous explosion. Sidney emerges from the blast carrying Batman's cape and cowl, and the mobsters are stunned to see Sidney has done the impossible: He has killed the Batman.
In jubilation, the rest of the underworld hold a celebration for his death and toast Sidney (at last a success), but a tough fighter challenges Sidney, leading to a huge barroom fight until the police arrive. The group of criminals end up in jail where Harvey Bullock, visibly upset, breaks the news to Renee Montoya that Batman has been killed, and asks her to check on a depressed Commissioner Gordon. Luckily for Sidney however, a blonde woman claiming to be his lawyer (who looks familiar to Bullock) announces that she has posted his bail, and the two leave. Once in the car, the lawyer reveals herself to be Harley Quinn, which means that the Joker wants to see Sidney.
At the theater which serves as his gang's hideout, the Joker is delighted to meet him, but wants to test whether or not Batman is indeed dead. The Joker and Harley stage a museum robbery, and wait for the Batman. He doesn't show up, much to Joker's dismay. They leave without any jewels and Joker decides to hold a funeral.
The funeral is held in the chemical plant where the Joker was first created, with only six attending members. The coffin holds Batman's cape and cowl, to which Joker attaches a "Kick me" sign. As Joker delivers a eulogy describing the death of the Joker's dream to kill Batman, wishing his jokes could have outsmarted his cold, equanimous logic (Harley cries through the entire speech), he denounces Sidney for doing it first.
When he is done, the two hoods place Sidney in the coffin, and the coffin is sent on a conveyor belt towards a vat of acid, while Harley plays "Amazing Grace" on a kazoo. The Joker sheds a tear, but then immediately cheers up with a happy, "Well, that was fun. Who's for Chinese?"
Just as the acid seeps in, Sidney is apparently saved by getting sucked into a drainpipe. Winding up on the bank of the Gotham River, he knew he had to get out of town. Sidney calls Eddie G. who sets him up with Rupert Thorne to get him out of Gotham.
Returning to the present, Sidney begs for a way to get out of town to avoid the Joker and other hoods. Thorne, however, doesn't buy his story, believing Sidney's trying to trick his way into Thorne's drug operation. After all, in one night he's killed Batman and outwitted the Joker, meaning he must really be a criminal genius. As Thorne points a gun at Sidney, Batman suddenly arrives, completely unharmed, and knocks Thorne unconscious. Batman explains to Sidney that he faked his death and laid low for a while, observing what happened. Sidney realizes that Batman saved him from the acid, and attempts to walk out. Batman stops him, explaining that he's still guilty as an accomplice to the drug run, but then points out that in prison, a man like Sidney would garner high respect, which should make his sentence more bearable.
As Sidney is led through prison, the inmates cheer him on for almost killing Batman, setting up Rupert Thorne, and making a fool out of the Joker. A pleased Sidney realizes his dream of making a name for himself.- DCANIMATED.WIKIA.COM