FANDOM


"On Leather Wings" is the second-aired episode of Batman: The Animated Series, though the first to be produced. As such, it is also the first episode of the DCAU.

A mysterious creature is mistaken for Batman, and the police send a task force after the Dark Knight.

Plot

All seems quiet in Gotham City, until a half-bat/half-human creature ghosts past the Gotham Air One police blimp, breaks into Phoenix Pharmaceuticals, and assaults a security guard before stealing assorted chemicals from the laboratories. This is the latest in a series of such break-ins at pharmaceutical companies.

The report from the blimp and the wounded security guard leads Detective Harvey Bullock, after an unauthorized interview with Gotham Glazer, to petition Mayor Hamilton Hill for a special task force designed to eliminate the strange "Batman" that has appeared around the city. Commissioner James Gordon objects, stating that the police are already on the case, but the mayor grants the request and D.A. Harvey Dent promises Bullock immunity.

In the days following the Phoenix break-in, Batman investigates the robberies. Sneaking into the crime scene by dosing the guarding police officer with knock-out gas, Batman is spotted by two scientists. They notify the police, and Bullock radios for his squad to join him at the scene.

Batman investigates and discovers an audio tape of the creature as well as some hair samples. The police task force tries ineffectively to trap him at the crime scene but ends up merely blowing out the third floor of the building, allowing Batman to escape with the samples.

As Bruce Wayne, Batman takes the samples to the Bat Exhibit at the Gotham Zoo, where he meets a married couple on staff, Drs. Kirk Langstrom and Francine Langstrom, and her father Dr. March. Dr. March seems quite obsessed with bats, which he insists are the only creatures able to survive the next evolutionary cataclysm, while humans aren't. Bruce asks the zoologists to analyze the evidence from the crime scene, passing it off as a pest problem at Wayne Manor.

In the Batcave, the Bat-Computer has failed to match either the sounds or the hairs with any species known to man. Dr. March calls back and gives a perfectly plausible scientific explanation: the hairs are from a common brown bat, while the sounds are actually a mixture of sounds from the bats and a nest of starlings fighting in the chimney. The explanation proves false, given the Bat-Computer's inability to find a match with either species. Batman concludes that March is lying, and the zoo staff are somehow involved.

Later that night, Batman enters the zoo laboratory and finds Kirk working alone. Working from his father-in-law's theories, Kirk has created a formula that temporarily transforms him into a Man-Bat creature. Kirk has become addicted to the formula, to the point where he thinks of the Man-Bat as its own independent being, taking the necessary steps to continue its existence, such as stealing the chemicals necessary to keep making the formula. Now that he has destroyed Batman's evidence, Kirk is only one component away from a formula that will make the transformation permanent, but now Batman has interrupted the process.

Then Kirk finally transforms and attacks. When the first Man-Bat recoils at the sight of his wife who came to his lab, he leaves in shame. In the fight, the Man-Bat drags Batman through the sky across half of Gotham. Both of them fly past Gotham Air One, allowing Gordon and Bullock to see that the Man-Bat and Batman were in fact two different people.

Batman manages to subdue the Man-Bat. Taking him to the Batcave, he analyzes the chemical makeup of the formula and reverses the transformation. He then delivers an unconscious but fully-restored Kirk to his grateful wife.

Cast

Home video releases

VHS
  • Batman: The Legend Begins
DVD
  • Batman: The Legend Begins
  • Batman: The Animated Series, Volume One
  • Batman: The Complete Animated Series

Transcript

Gallery

WARNER BROS. WIKI LOGO
Warner Bros. Entertainment Wiki has a collection of images and media related to On Leather Wings.

Trivia

  • This episode was the first one to feature Batman bleeding. Bruce Timm stated on the DVD commentary for this episode that he and Paul Dini fought with the censors to allow this shot, which was deemed inappropriate for younger viewers.
  • Producer Eric Radomski says in the commentary that he had a crush on Meredith MacRae, the voice of Francine Langstrom.
  • Batman answers Dr. March's phone call saying "What's up, Doc?", Bugs Bunny's catchphrase.
  • Dr. March's line "They're survivors" of referring to bats was similarly said by Batman in Tim Burton's Batman that "They're great survivors".
  • This marks one of the very few times in the series where Batman speaks using Bruce Wayne's voice, which later happens again in "Heart of Steel, Part I".
  • For the Batman Beyond episode "Splicers", Will Friedle was given a tape of this episode to help him prepare for voicing Terry McGinnis's Man-Bat transformation.
  • This episode's opening where Man-Bat's flying through Gotham is reversed shot for shot in the end of the Justice League Unlimited episode "Epilogue" with Terry McGinnis. Also, the blimp pilot (voiced by Kevin Conroy) who asks "Did you see that?" is mirrored by a Gotham police officer (also voiced by Conroy) asking the same question as the last line spoken.
  • In the Justice League Unlimited episode "Destroyer", Batman (voiced by Conroy) says the second to last line to Superman which mirrors Conroy voicing the second line of this episode.
  • The opening of the episode is also mirrored in the opening scene of the Supernatural episode "Like A Virgin" with a small plane passenger asking the pilot if they "saw that" flying outside the window that looked like a large bat. Perhaps in respect to this, Batman is mentioned later in the episode.

Production Notes

  • Although this was the first episode made, the first aired episode of the series was "The Cat and the Claw, Part I", likely due to the success of Batman Returns.
  • Danny Elfman's theme from the first Batman movie is strongly used in one scene.

Production inconsistencies

  • In the robbery report on the Batcomputer, the Carson Chemicals burglary is misspelled "buaglary".

Continuity

  • Kirk Langstrom's formula would later be the basis for Abel Cuvier's Splicing formula in Batman Beyond, and Professor Milo uses Kirk Langstrom's notes for use by Project Cadmus's genetics division in Justice League Unlimited.
  • Dr. March continues Langstrom's research and subsequently, Francine Langstrom becomes the Man-Bat albeit accidentally in "Terror in the Sky".
  • In the later episode "Tyger, Tyger", Langstrom identifies the base chemical for his fomula as the invention of Dr. Emile Dorian.
  • Batman was subsequently framed again by a crime that he didn't comit in the feature movie Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.

External Links


v - e - d
DC Comics logo
Media
Animated series: Batman: The Animated SeriesSuperman: The Animated SeriesThe New Batman AdventuresThe New Batman/Superman AdventuresBatman BeyondStatic ShockThe Zeta ProjectJustice LeagueJustice League UnlimitedTeen TitansThe BatmanKrypto the SuperdogLegion of Super HeroesBatman: The Brave and the BoldYoung JusticeGreen Lantern: The Animated SeriesDC Nation ShortsTeen Titans Go!Beware the BatmanJustice League: Gods and Monsters ChroniclesVixenJustice League ActionFreedom Fighters: The RayConstantine: City of DemonsDC Super Hero GirlsTV seriesHarley Quinn

Live-action series: The FlashHuman TargetLois & Clark: The New Adventures of SupermanSmallvilleBirds of PreyHuman TargetConstantinePowerlessArrowGothamThe FlashiZombieSupergirlLegends of TomorrowLuciferPreacherBlack LightningKryptonTitansThe BoysPennyworthDoom PatrolSwamp ThingStargirlWatchmen Animated films: The Batman vs. DraculaSuperman: Brainiac AttacksTeen Titans: Trouble in TokyoJLA Adventures: Trapped in TimeScooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the BoldBatman NinjaTeen Titans Go! To the MoviesBatman: Mask of the PhantasmBatman & Mr. Freeze: SubZeroThe Batman/Superman Movie: World's FinestBatman Beyond: Return of the JokerBatman: Mystery of the BatwomanBatman and Harley QuinnSuperman: DoomsdayJustice League: The New FrontierBatman: Gotham KnightWonder WomanGreen Lantern: First FlightJustice League: Crisis on Two EarthsBatman: Under the Red HoodAll-Star SupermanGreen Lantern: Emerald KnightsBatman: Year OneJustice League: DoomSuperman vs. The EliteBatman: The Dark Knight ReturnsSuperman: UnboundBatman: Assault on ArkhamJustice League: Gods and MonstersBatman: The Killing JokeBatman: Gotham by GaslightSuperman/Batman: Public EnemiesSuperman/Batman: ApocalypseJustice League: The Flashpoint ParadoxJustice League: WarSon of BatmanJustice League: Throne of AtlantisBatman vs. RobinBatman: Bad BloodJustice League vs. Teen TitansJustice League DarkTeen Titans: The Judas ContractSuicide Squad: Hell to PayThe Death of SupermanReign of the SupermenThe SpectreJonah HexGreen ArrowSuperman/Shazam!: The Return of Black AdamCatwomanBatman: Return of the Caped CrusadersBatman vs. Two-FaceBatman UnlimitedBatman Unlimited: Animal InstinctsBatman Unlimited: Monster MayhemBatman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants Live-action films: SupermanSuperman II • (The Richard Donner Cut) • Superman IIISupergirlSuperman IV: The Quest for PeaceBatmanBatman ReturnsBatman ForeverBatmanSteelCatwomanConstantineBatman BeginsV for Vendetta (film)Superman ReturnsWatchmenThe LosersJonah HexGreen LanternMan of SteelBatman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeSuicide SquadJustice LeagueAquamanShazam!JokerBirds of Prey Serials:
Books:
Comic Books:
Soundtracks:
Video games:
Universes: DC ComicsDC animated universeDC Universe Animated Original Movies/DC Animated Movie UniverseDC Extended UniverseDC UniverseDC Universe OnlineDC Universe: LegaciesDC Universe Online: Legends • DC Universe Classics • DC Universe (toyline)

Characters
Heroes: SupermanBatman (Bruce Wayne/Terry McGinnis) • Supergirl (Kara Zor-El/Matrix/Linda Danvers/Cir-El/Power Girl/Ariella Kent) • Robin (Dick Grayson/Jason Todd/Damian Wayne/Tim Drake) • Nightwing (Dick Grayson/Chris Kent) • Green Lantern Corps (Hal Jordan/Alan Scott/Guy Gardner/John Stewart/Kyle Rayner/Jade/Simon Baz/Jessica Cruz) • BatwomanBatgirlHuntressRed RobinRed HoodFlamebirdBatwingBluebirdStarfireStar HuntersCyborgRavenBeast BoyAqualadArgentBumblebeeBushidoGnarrkHeraldKid FlashThe FlashJerichoKoleMás y MenosPanthaRed StarSpeedyThunder and LightningTerraGreen ArrowWonder WomanAquamanBlack CanaryMartian ManhunterHawkwomanHawkgirlWonder Girl • Blue Beetle (Dan Garret/Ted Kord/Jaime Reyes)

Villains: The JokerCatwomanLex LuthorSinestroHarvey Two-FaceThe RiddlerLaurel HedareGeorge HedareThe PenguinBaneClayfaceHarley QuinnKiller CrocMad HatterMan-BatScarecrowMr. FreezePoison IvyVentriloquistRa's al GhulCalendar ManCatmanCluemasterDeadshotDeathstrokeFireflyHugo StrangeHushKiller MothMaxie ZeusTweedledum and TweedledeeVictor ZsaszJinx
Other characters:

Weapons/Objects
Vehicles
Organizations/Groups
Locations


v - e - d
Dc animated universe logo
Media
Animated series: Batman: The Animated SeriesSuperman: The Animated SeriesThe New Batman AdventuresBatman BeyondStatic ShockThe Zeta ProjectJustice League/Justice League Unlimited

Animated films: Batman: Mask of the PhantasmBatman & Mr. Freeze: SubZeroBatman Beyond: Return of the JokerBatman: Mystery of the BatwomanBatman and Harley Quinn (Part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies)
Animated shorts: The Dark Knight's First NightChase MeBatman Beyond
Web cartoons: Gotham GirlsLobo
Comic books:
Video games:

Characters
Heroes: Bruce Wayne/BatmanKal-El/Clark Kent/SupermanZetaTerry McGinnis/Batman

Villains:
Other characters:

Songs
Weapons/Objects
Vehicles
Organizations/Groups
Locations
Episodes


v - e - d
DC Comics logo
Media
Animated series: Batman: The Animated SeriesSuperman: The Animated SeriesThe New Batman AdventuresThe New Batman/Superman AdventuresBatman BeyondStatic ShockThe Zeta ProjectJustice LeagueJustice League UnlimitedTeen TitansThe BatmanKrypto the SuperdogLegion of Super HeroesBatman: The Brave and the BoldYoung JusticeGreen Lantern: The Animated SeriesDC Nation ShortsTeen Titans Go!Beware the BatmanJustice League: Gods and Monsters ChroniclesVixenJustice League ActionFreedom Fighters: The RayConstantine: City of DemonsDC Super Hero GirlsTV seriesHarley Quinn

Live-action series: The FlashHuman TargetLois & Clark: The New Adventures of SupermanSmallvilleBirds of PreyHuman TargetConstantinePowerlessArrowGothamThe FlashiZombieSupergirlLegends of TomorrowLuciferPreacherBlack LightningKryptonTitansThe BoysPennyworthDoom PatrolSwamp ThingStargirlWatchmen Animated films: The Batman vs. DraculaSuperman: Brainiac AttacksTeen Titans: Trouble in TokyoJLA Adventures: Trapped in TimeScooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the BoldBatman NinjaTeen Titans Go! To the MoviesBatman: Mask of the PhantasmBatman & Mr. Freeze: SubZeroThe Batman/Superman Movie: World's FinestBatman Beyond: Return of the JokerBatman: Mystery of the BatwomanBatman and Harley QuinnSuperman: DoomsdayJustice League: The New FrontierBatman: Gotham KnightWonder WomanGreen Lantern: First FlightJustice League: Crisis on Two EarthsBatman: Under the Red HoodAll-Star SupermanGreen Lantern: Emerald KnightsBatman: Year OneJustice League: DoomSuperman vs. The EliteBatman: The Dark Knight ReturnsSuperman: UnboundBatman: Assault on ArkhamJustice League: Gods and MonstersBatman: The Killing JokeBatman: Gotham by GaslightSuperman/Batman: Public EnemiesSuperman/Batman: ApocalypseJustice League: The Flashpoint ParadoxJustice League: WarSon of BatmanJustice League: Throne of AtlantisBatman vs. RobinBatman: Bad BloodJustice League vs. Teen TitansJustice League DarkTeen Titans: The Judas ContractSuicide Squad: Hell to PayThe Death of SupermanReign of the SupermenThe SpectreJonah HexGreen ArrowSuperman/Shazam!: The Return of Black AdamCatwomanBatman: Return of the Caped CrusadersBatman vs. Two-FaceBatman UnlimitedBatman Unlimited: Animal InstinctsBatman Unlimited: Monster MayhemBatman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants Live-action films: SupermanSuperman II • (The Richard Donner Cut) • Superman IIISupergirlSuperman IV: The Quest for PeaceBatmanBatman ReturnsBatman ForeverBatmanSteelCatwomanConstantineBatman BeginsV for Vendetta (film)Superman ReturnsWatchmenThe LosersJonah HexGreen LanternMan of SteelBatman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeSuicide SquadJustice LeagueAquamanShazam!JokerBirds of Prey Serials:
Books:
Comic Books:
Soundtracks:
Video games:
Universes: DC ComicsDC animated universeDC Universe Animated Original Movies/DC Animated Movie UniverseDC Extended UniverseDC UniverseDC Universe OnlineDC Universe: LegaciesDC Universe Online: Legends • DC Universe Classics • DC Universe (toyline)

Characters
Heroes: SupermanBatman (Bruce Wayne/Terry McGinnis) • Supergirl (Kara Zor-El/Matrix/Linda Danvers/Cir-El/Power Girl/Ariella Kent) • Robin (Dick Grayson/Jason Todd/Damian Wayne/Tim Drake) • Nightwing (Dick Grayson/Chris Kent) • Green Lantern Corps (Hal Jordan/Alan Scott/Guy Gardner/John Stewart/Kyle Rayner/Jade/Simon Baz/Jessica Cruz) • BatwomanBatgirlHuntressRed RobinRed HoodFlamebirdBatwingBluebirdStarfireStar HuntersCyborgRavenBeast BoyAqualadArgentBumblebeeBushidoGnarrkHeraldKid FlashThe FlashJerichoKoleMás y MenosPanthaRed StarSpeedyThunder and LightningTerraGreen ArrowWonder WomanAquamanBlack CanaryMartian ManhunterHawkwomanHawkgirlWonder Girl • Blue Beetle (Dan Garret/Ted Kord/Jaime Reyes)

Villains: The JokerCatwomanLex LuthorSinestroHarvey Two-FaceThe RiddlerLaurel HedareGeorge HedareThe PenguinBaneClayfaceHarley QuinnKiller CrocMad HatterMan-BatScarecrowMr. FreezePoison IvyVentriloquistRa's al GhulCalendar ManCatmanCluemasterDeadshotDeathstrokeFireflyHugo StrangeHushKiller MothMaxie ZeusTweedledum and TweedledeeVictor ZsaszJinx
Other characters:

Weapons/Objects
Vehicles
Organizations/Groups
Locations
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.