DCAU #195: Love Is a Croc

IN THIS ONE... Baby-Doll and Killer Croc strike up a Bonnie & Clyde relationship.

CREDITS: Written by Steve Gerber; directed by Butch Lukic.

REVIEW: Baby-Doll is back on the streets, apparently reformed, working a real job, and dressing her age. Unfortunately, she suffers abuse in the work place, from tourists who treat her like a second-class citizen and performing monkey. You feel for her and understand why her loneliness and bitterness would propel her back to crime. And even that is based her recognizing Killer Croc as a kindred soul - a fellow "freak", in their parlance - and possible soul mate. Unfortunately, the Baby-Doll persona she adopts can be annoying. I can't imagine how this episode would play without the opening scenes where Baby is so adult in demeanor and dress. They're already a bit iffy here, with a woman in a child's body, cozying up to a brutish man. Croc doesn't see this as a viable physical relationship and spends his nights with adult-bodied girls, drawing Baby's ire. Like Batman, I'm not sure I want to think about this situation while watching a cartoon.

Croc's redesign makes him more formidable, now eating whole chickens and even in prison, living in a swampy tank. And he's finally GREEN; sorry, but the gray never worked for me. It's a more high-concept take on the character, less "birth defect" and more "outright mutant", but there was no reason to hold back in the first place. He's there to dole out action beats, like his escape live on Court TV, the floating casino fight, and the climax in which he tests the rigidity of Batman's ears against the powerful cooling propellers in a nuclear reactor.

But he could be any monster, really. Baby-Doll remains the focus. It's her plight we see unfold, it's her hope for a life of companionship, and her anger pushing the story towards a non-consensual suicide pact that would take Gotham out along with herself and her pseudo-lover. It's a good hook, but her story hasn't necessarily changed since "My Girl".

IN THE COMICS: Killer Croc has also seemed to mutate more and more into an alligator-like creature in the mainstream DCU.

SOUNDS LIKE:  Brooks Gardner (Raw Deal) replaces Aron Kincaid as the voice of Killer Croc. Laraine Newman (SNL) replaces Alison LaPlaca as the voice of Baby-Doll.

- A good team-up between some lesser villains, if perhaps less than memorable.



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