Beware the Gray Ghost

"Beware the Gray Ghost"
Batman: The Animated Series episode

Title card for the episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 18
Directed by Boyd Kirkland
Written by Dennis O'Flaherty (story), Tom Ruegger (story and teleplay), Garin Wolf (teleplay)
Original air date November 4, 1992
Guest appearance(s)

"Beware the Gray Ghost" is the eighteenth episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It was directed by series regular Boyd Kirkland and first aired on November 4, 1992. The episode features guest star Adam West, best known for his portrayal of Batman in the 1960s Batman television series. West plays the Gray Ghost, a character who bears a strong resemblance to Batman antecedent The Shadow.


The episode opens with a young Bruce Wayne watching a black-and-white television show called The Gray Ghost. The episode cuts back and forth between the flashback and events in the present day, where a crime takes place in Gotham that mirrors the episode: a whirring sound is heard, an explosion goes off, and the police receive a letter claiming responsibility from someone calling himself "The Mad Bomber". The sequence ends with the Gray Ghost going into action on the television show, and Batman doing the same in reality.

In the present day, Batman makes the connection between the explosion and the television episode, but cannot remember what happened in the show as he fell asleep before it was over. He tracks down Simon Trent, the actor who portrayed the Gray Ghost, now unemployed and short of money. In an act of desperation after trashing his display cases in frustration, Trent attempts to sell his Gray Ghost memorabilia to toy collector Ted Dymer. Later that night, Trent awakens to find his memorabilia back in his apartment and his display cases restored. Trent also finds a letter from an anonymous person to meet in an alley. When Trent and Batman finally meet, Trent is unable to recall the details of the episode featuring the Mad Bomber and states that he does not want to help Batman and just wants to be left alone. After a second explosion at the Gotham Bank, Trent relents and gives Batman a copy of the episode from his personal archive (all production copies were reportedly destroyed in a fire twenty years before).

Bruce watches the episode and learns that the source of the whirring noises was a remote-control toy car, and that the next target will be the Gotham Library. Batman alerts the police to the threat and is able to defend the library against a wave of toy cars armed with explosives, capturing one of them in the process, but finds himself trapped by three of them. He is rescued at the last moment by Trent, who has donned his Gray Ghost costume one last time.

Batman and Trent travel to the Batcave, which Trent remarks bears a strong resemblance to the "Gray Ghost Lair" from the television show. They identify the unarmed toy car which Batman captured as an authentic Gray Ghost prop, and find Trent's fingerprints on them. After Trent convinces Batman of his innocence, the two realize that Dymer must be the Mad Bomber. Batman and Trent confront Dymer, who reveals that he is carrying out the attacks as it happened in the show to raise money to buy more toys. Batman and Trent capture Dymer and his toy store is destroyed along with all of his weaponry in the process.

In the aftermath of Dymer's capture, Trent is hailed as a real-life hero, which prompts a resurgence in popularity of the Gray Ghost character. His videotape collection of the entire Gray Ghost television series is released on home video, helping Trent with fresh income. Bruce visits him at the product launch and asks for an autograph, adding how the Gray Ghost was his childhood hero, "and he still is".



"Beware the Gray Ghost" has been very positively received by critics. The A.V. Club gave the episode an A and called it "smartly written and gorgeously animated".[1]

Other appearances of the Gray Ghost




Video games


External links

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