- They call me... yellow-skinned whacky man! But I prefer 'the Creeper'!
Synopsis for "Beware the Creeper"
It's been seven years since the accident that created the Joker and reporter Jack Ryder is hosting a live broadcast from the Ace Chemical Processing Plant as part of a documentary about the Clown Prince of Crime. Bruce Wayne watches the program with great concentration and he notices the Joker himself prowling in the dark corners of the chemical plant. Bruce and Tim hurry to the place, but in the meantime, Joker and his goons attack the TV crew with laughing gas and they toss Ryder into the same vat of chemicals in which Joker fell seven years ago.
Batman and Robin arrive to the plant and they fight Joker's henchmen, while the madman makes sure Ryder can't get out of the vat of chemicals, starting a fire in the process. The struggle between Batman, Robin and Joker's thugs causes the valves of the chemical vats to open and Ryder is sucked out of the plant and into the river. Joker forces Batman to focus his attention on trying to save Ryder, which gives him and his gang enough time to escape. Batman and Robin don't make it in time and they assume that Ryder is lost to the chemicals.
However, not long after this, Ryder comes out of the sewers, but he has endured a severe transformation. Much like the Joker, Ryder's hair has turned green, but his skin has turned yellow instead of white. Ryder also has a proclivity to burst into insane fits of laughter after making remarks about himself and the environment around him. The transformation has also given him extreme agility, endurance and stamina and his personality has also become very whacky. However, he notices his clothes have been ripped by the chemicals and he decides to get himself a new attire. Ryder goes into "Ditko's Vintage Clothing" and following one of the clerks' suggestions, he takes a stripped green speedo and a set of boots, gloves and a fur coat, all red, before bursting out to the streets. The whole incident is reported by the police radio and Batman picks up the signal, learning that the strange subject has used Jack Ryder's credit card to pay for the clothes.
Eslewhere, a frustrated Joker returns to his lair after learning that someone is stealing his schtick. However, his gang is not at the place and he is surprised when a seductive Harley comes out of a giant pie, singing the Happy Birthday tune to celebrate Joker's seventh anniversary since becoming the Clown Prince of Crime. Harley expected this surprise to cheer the Joker, but the abusive prick tosses her out and tells her to find the bozo who is stealing his act.
Meanwhile, the manic Ryder makes his way to the Stacked Deck, the hangout for all criminals in Gotham. He breaks into the place and attacks the three henchmen working for the Joker who attacked him and his crew at the chemical plant. Joker's thugs call Ryder a "creep" and he likes it enough that he starts calling himself The Creeper. He continues to interrogate them about Joker's whereabouts and when they put up a fight, he takes them down rather quickly thanks to his new skills. At that moment, a disgruntled Harley is walking by the Stacked Deck and notices the struggle taking place inside. When Harley walks into the place, The Creeper becomes instantly attracted and infatuated by Harley as he continues to beat Joker's thugs and Batman, who had just arrived at the place. The Joker's thugs turn their attention to Batman, while Harley flees from the place and The Creeper follows her closely.
Batman and Robin take down the Joker's henchmen, but in the meantime The Creeper has cornered Harley somewhere at the docks. After trying to fight him, Harley realizes it's useless as The Creeper is faster and more agile than her. Instead, she takes advantage of his attraction for her and lures him into a spot where she drops a massive box on top of him, which could've killed a normal person. Harley takes off, leaving Batman and Robin to rescue Ryder. However, The Creeper comes out unscathed and slips away as he starts following the trail of Harley back to the Joker's hideout.
Harley rushes into the lair, seeking Joker's protection from The Creeper, just as the yellow freak bursts into the place and reveals himself to the Joker. Harley informs Joker that The Creeper is the man stealing his act and the Creeper tells them that he is also going to steal Harley, despite the fact that she still rejects his advances and is pretty much still charmed by the Joker. The Clown Prince of Crime decides to take action against The Creeper and uses a chemical explosive against him. Batman and Robin, who are still looking for The Creeper, notice the explosion and head towards the place. Harley and Joker take the upper hand against the Creeper, but they get ready to flee when they notice Batman and Robin arriving to the place. Batman prevents Joker from getting into his Jokermobile, but Harley has already started a parade car and drives away taking the Joker with her. Meanwhile, The Creeper takes the Jokermobile while Batman and Robin manage to get a hold of the car's rear end as it chases down Harley and the Joker.
A hot pursuit ensues across the streets of Gotham, with Joker trying to get rid of their pursuers and The Creeper tinkering with the many buttons of the Jokermobile. One of those buttons ejects the driver's seat forward, allowing him to catch up with Joker and Harley and causing them to lose control of the vehicle and drive into a chemical wasteland. Batman and Robin avoid falling into the waste pit, but they watch as the villains continue their struggle in the mountains of garbage. Joker falls from the top of one of those mountains and pleas Batman to save him from The Creeper, who is still trying to get Harley's affections, by force. Batman gets there in time to sedate The Creeper, causing him to fall unconscious into Harley's chest.
Moments later, Jack Ryder is back on his apartment and his normal form has been restored thanks to an antidote developed by Batman in the form of a patch that he has to wear on his shoulder to prevent himself from ever becoming The Creeper again. When Batman leaves his apartment, Jack Ryder expresses his disbelief at the fact that a simple patch can prevent a full transformation from ever happening again. Ryder then proceeds to remove the patch and he is overcome by the insane laughter of The Creeper.
Appearing in "Beware the Creeper"
- The Creeper (Jack Ryder) (First appearance as Creeper) (Origin)
- The Joker (Origin)
- Salvatore Valestra (In a photograph only) (Final appearance)
- Chuckie Sol (In a photograph only) (Final appearance)
- Arthur Reeves (In a photograph only) (Final appearance)
- The end of the initial telecast of "Beware The Creeper" featured a tribute to Batman creator Bob Kane, who died on November 3, 1998 at age 83, a good 4 days prior.
- The names Joker's henchmen are based on those of the original Three Stooges.
- When Ryder leaps from the woman's window, he says "Okay I love you buh-bye". This phrase is the catchphrase of the character Mindy from another WB cartoon, Animaniacs.
- While digging through the bargain bin in the clothing store, the Creeper holds up to the camera a mask that resembles Adam West's character from the 1966 Batman TV series.
- 7 Images from New Batman Adventures (TV Series) Episode: Beware the Creeper
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Links and References