Temple Fugate seeks revenge against Mayor Hill.
Written by David Wise
Directed by Kevin Altieri
Music by Carlos Rodriguez
Animation by Sunrise
Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne
Bob Hastings as Commissioner Gordon
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Alfred
Lloyd Bochner as Mayor Hill
Mari Devon as Summer Gleeson
Jeff Bennett as Office Boy
Alan Rachins as Temple Fugate
Unfortunately, being recognizably human and relatively untouched by personal tragedy, these antagonists tend not to engage us emotionally, and the episodes in which they figure tend to be slack. Even where there is some lurid streak in themPenguin's bizarre appearance, or Riddler's erudite snobberythey tend to leave us bored, because their crimes are the crimes of the average criminal looking for a score. At least when the Joker steals something, he leaves everyone in the vicinity laughing his guts out.
Like Riddler and Penguin, the Clock King is a villain of the head, marked and moved by his intelligence rather than his passions. Like them he is dry, ironic, intellectual. (Sideshow Bob could relax in their company.) So why is Fugate so much more interesting than they are?
Partially because, although his actions are directed toward revenge, he does not let his end encumber his means. He is wise enough to retreat when the odds grow too great; he is so utterly remorseless that he dares not risk any setback that might prove permanent. When he closes a door, it's because he knows where there's a window open.
More important, he makes of his obsessive nature a servant and not a master. He likes clocks not in themselves but only for the precision and predictability they represent; he fetishizes efficiency for its utility. His mastery of minutiae and detail enable him to pull off remarkable stunts and effortless escapes without resorting to the gadgets, muscle, or "black magic" of the Joker or the other members of the Rogues Gallery. He is Laplace's daemon, able to step off a tall building because he knows that the 9:15 train, which always runs 6 minutes early, will be just below him. We like him because he flatters us into thinking that, if we were a little bit smarter, we could pull off stunts like that too.
And let's not overlook that unique tincture of personality; he is, to put it brutally, an a**hole and makes no bones about it. The puerility of the poster he unveils before a snarled traffic jam reveals the stunted personality working that clockwork mind.
"The Clock King" would be little more than a monotonous exercise in pyrotechnics if not for this tightly-wound little man. Still, a bit more ingenuity could have gone into the plot, more than just some haywire traffic signals and misdirected trains. A man of this ability should be able to conduct a symphony of chaos had he the city's computers under his fingers.
Bruce Timm on Fugate's design: "We originally intended it to suggest a stiff-upper-lip British gentleman. When the show came back, he was wearing brown. It ruined it for me. He just looks like a normal guy, not a supervillain."
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