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The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy is an episode of the first season of Batman: The Animated Series. This episode is notable for being a faithful adaptation of the story first featured in Detective Comics #450 (1975) under the title The Cape and Cowl Deathtrap, which was also written by Elliot S. Maggin.

"The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy" was the 31st episode produced and the 25th episode aired.


Batman investigates a theft of bearer bonds intended for the starving people of Byelocroatia. One suspect is Baron Wacklaw Josek, a European nobleman. He confronts Jozek, who tells him that Josiah Wormwood, the 'deathtrap specialist', is responsible for theft. Jozek contacts Wormwood and sets him a task; to use his talents to get Batman's cape and cowl.


A man walks into an empty golf course at night, following some instructions printed on a paper and when he reaches his destination, a voice speaks to him through a speaker and tells him to move towards a sand pit lit by several small lights. The man follows the voice instructions and when he steps into the sand, he discovers that it's quicksand. The voice tells him that he can either give up a collection of bearer bonds he’s supposed to transport and be rescued or he can keep the information to himself and die, and the man gives in.

CCC 22 - Batman and Baron

Batman warns the Baron

At the GCPD Headquarters, Commisioner Gordon and Batman discuss about the events of the trapped man. It all pointed towards Josiah Wormwood a.k.a. The Interrogator. Batman uses Gordon's files and finds the file of an old accomplice of Wormwood; a man called Baron Wacklaw Josek. Batman goes to see the man and he grabs Josek out of a ceremony in order to interrogate him. Josek tells Batman everything he knows about Wormwood, but it isn't much. Batman tells Josek that it would be better for him if he moved out of Gotham City.

Later, at Josek's office, Wormwood arrives to discuss some business with Josek. Wormwood is asked to retrieve Batman's cape and cowl and give it to Josek. Wormwood agrees but he is curious about what Josek wants it for. Josek tells him that he would tell him what he wanted the cape and cowl for only if Wormwood tell him about the bearer bonds. Wormwood doesn't tell him and Josek assures him that after retrieving the item, he would pay Wormwood.

Commisioner Gordon uses the Batsignal for the first time in order to call Batman and gives him a letter telling him to go to "where iron horses go to rot and children toot their horns a lot." Batman goes to a park known as Traintown and enters into a train with smoke coming from its stack. Soon, Batman discovers that it is a trap, as doors and windows are sealed. Batman prevents a window from closing using a Batarang and just as he is trying to escape, Wormwood speaks to him and tells him that the train would start moving and will crush a girl that is tied-up on the railroad tracks and that the only way to prevent that from happening is that he surrender his cape and cowl. Batman escapes through the open window and just a second before the train could crush the girl, Batman arrives to save her, only to discover that she was not a girl but just an hologram. Wormwood escapes from the scene and Batman can't follow him.

Wormwood calls Josek and tells him about his failure. Josek gives Wormwood a second chance and before Wormwood could ask him about the cape and cown, Josek hangs up the phone.

CCC 58 - Second Mask

Batman's second mask

Another message for Batman is delivered and he follows the lead to DeLarue's Wax Museum. Batman enters a room filled with incomplete wax figures and the doors of the room shut tight. Wormwood speaks to Batman and then he opens a panel in the roof revealing a 20,000-watt light that rapidly heats up the room and melts the wax figures. Batman tries to escape but every door and window are out of reach. Batman decides to use a a metal frame from one of the wax figures to shatter the light. Unfortunately, from the broken glass, a nerve gas starts to fill the room and Batman is unable to breathe and in the end he surrenders the cape and cowl to Wormwood. Batman is using a second mask underneath the cowl and Wormwood isn't able to recognize Batman's identity. when Batman got out of the room, it was already too late as Wormwood was gone.

Wormwood delivers the cape and cowl to Josek and then he asks him why does he want it for. Josek refuses to tell unless Wormwood reveals the location of the bearer bonds. Wormwood tells everything about the plan and Josek turns around in his chair concealing himself. Wormwood demands to know why Josek wants the cape and cowl and Josek answers that he wants it to wear it. As Josek turns around, it is revealed that it was Batman all the time impersonating Josek and just did so in order to obtain a confession from Wormwood. Wormwood tries to escape but Batman tackles him and both of them engage in a fight in Josek's gym.

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Cape and Cowl

A desperate move by Wormwood leaves him hanging from the penthouse's window clinging to Batman's cape. Batman pulls him inside and then he turns Wormwood over to the police, with his confession recorded.

In prison, Wormwood is given a package explaining as "Confinement will speed your reform, but long, cold nights will be the norm, so here's a thing to keep you warm." He opens it only to discover it's Batman's cape and cowl.


Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Batman
Bob Hastings Commissioner Gordon
Bud Cort Wormwood
John Rhys-Davies Josek
Gaille Heidemann Matron
Mark Taylor McWhirter