Batman:The Animated Series Wiki

The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne is an episode of the first season of Batman: The Animated Series. It is notable for being the first episode to feature several villains and it is also the first and only appearance of one of the first enemies in the history of Batman: Professor Hugo Strange. The story was partially based on some comic books from the 70s, which featured Hugo Strange as the main antagonist. (See Notes.)

"The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne" was the 37th produced episode and the 29th episode aired.


Judge Vargas, a personal friend of Bruce Wayne's, is blackmailed by Dr. Hugo Strange, leading Bruce to infiltrate Strange's health resort in Yucca Springs to investigate. While in the resort, Bruce finds out that Strange has invented a machine that can see people's thoughts, and he's been using this on Bruce to discover that Bruce is Batman. It is then up to Bruce to stop Strange from auctioning his secret identity to The Joker, Two-Face and The Penguin.


Batman stops two criminals from blackmailing a woman named Maria Vargas, a renowned judge in Gotham City. They ask money in exchange of a videotape but Batman arrives and prevents the exchange from happening. The thugs drop the tape by accident, which ends up in a girder right below the bridge they were in and Jugde Vargas tries to reach the tape, risking her safety. Batman saves Vargas from falling to the river but in the meantime the thugs drive away.

The Gotham City Police Department arrive at the scene and Judge Vargas is taken to a hospital. James Gordon tells Batman about Vargas' recent vacations in a resort called Yucca Springs Health Resort and conicidentally the thugs' car was registered to that same resort. Batman needs no more information and he decides he should go to the resort and see what is happening.

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Strange learns the secret

Bruce Wayne arrives at the resort along with Alfred. Bruce then goes to the first session with Dr. Hugo Strange and he is taken into a room with a big computer and a leaning table in the middle. Strange places Bruce in the table and tells him that the machine would make him feel better by releasing the stress and lowering his defences. Strange starts asking Bruce questions about his childhood and the machine projects some images on the screen. The images are Bruce's thoughts and as he remembered his parents' deaths the images become more clear. Strange pushes a little more and then he discovers that Bruce Wayne is Batman when the screen shows the batsignal coming from Bruce's thoughts. After Strange sees that, Bruce decides to dismiss the session and he goes out of the room. Strange ejects a videotape of Bruce's thoughts and he now has something in mind.

Strange calls The Joker and tells him that he has something that he might find interesting. After making a few more calls, Strange leaves the resort for the airport and Bruce decides to sneak into Strange's laboratory and check for any clues. At the airport, Strange welcomes The Joker, Two-Face and Penguin. All of them arrive at Strange's place because the Doctor called all of them. Alfred warns Bruce about the recent guests and Bruce deduces that Strange must be planning to auction his videotape to the criminals. Bruce hurries up and creates a new videotape with modified images and upon finishing, he destroys Strange's machine. Strange arrives at the room and tells his henchmen to stop Bruce Wayne and lock him in the resort's cellar along with Alfred.

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Money for the Secret

Alfred and Bruce are trapped and tied up, but Bruce tells Alfred that evertything is going as planned. Bruce takes a lockpick from his sweater and breaks free. Meanwhile, Strange is already auctioning the tape and the three villains offer him 50+ million dollars for the videotape of Batman's secret identity. However, Bruce had already escaped, dressed up as Batman and is in the control room where he switches the projector's cables. When Strange places the tape in the projector, the images on the screen are the ones Bruce imagined the second time. On the video, Strange is speaking about how he could fool the three villains by telling them the identity of Batman, even when he didn't knew it. Strange turns off the projector but the villains are already enraged for what they saw. Strange tries to explain, but the villains wouldn't listen and Penguin shoots at the original tape, destroying it. Strange then escapes in his car, but the villains follow him closely. Alfred follows them as well and as Batman clinges to the car's side, Alfred tells him that he had already contacted Dick Grayson.

Strange arrives at the airport but the three villains manage to catch him and force him inside a plane. Batman launches himself to the plane's landing gear and clinged to it. Joker sets the plane in auto-pilot and goes to deal with Strange once and for all. Strange tells the three of them that Bruce Wayne is Batman, but Two-Face replies that he knew Bruce Wayne and that he couldn't be Batman. Joker is ready to drop Strange from the plane when Batman cuts off the fuel feed of the plane and almost at once it begins to lose height. Batman drops off the plane as it comes down. When the plane hits the ground, Joker dives to the ground and stays there while Penguin and Two-Face threaten Batman with their guns. Using a Batarang, Batman disarms them, just as the GCPD arrive and place the villains uder custody.

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Bruce Wayne and Batman

Commissioner Gordon talks with Batman while Strange keeps saying that Bruce Wayne is Batman; when suddenly Bruce Wayne appears, proving Strange's theory incorrect. Wayne tells Gordon that Batman asked him to trick Strange into believing that he was Batman, all this with the purpose of uncovering Strange illegal activities. Strange is taken by Gordon and once the police are gone, Bruce Wayne takes off the disguise, revealing Dick Grayson disguised as Wayne. Batman thanks Grayson for his help and he decides to return to work in Gotham since he has had enough "vacation".


Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Batman
Bob Hastings Commissioner Gordon
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Alfred
Ray Buktenica Hugo Strange
Mark Hamill Joker
Loren Lester Dick Grayson
Richard Moll Two-Face
Ingrid Oliu Renee Montoya
Paul Williams Penguin
Carmen Zapata Judge Vargas