26 May 2007

The Friends and Foes of Batman - Baby Doll

Mary Louise Dahl, aka Baby Doll, is a Websteresque villainess created for Batman: The Animate Series, though she only appeared in two episodes, she was an interesting Batman style baddie that will hopefully one day be adopted into comics cannon.

Baby Doll suffers from a disorder called systemic hypoplasia, similar to dwarfism but more extreme, which causes its victims to cease aging at a certain point in childhood. Dahl stopped aging at approximately the age of six. As a result, she has the mental and emotional capacity of an adult, but the body of a child. At one point, Dahl was a successful actress on a family sitcom, That's Our Baby, but her fading stardom as well as the fact that no one takes her seriously as an adult drove her criminally insane.

Baby Doll first appears in an episode that ran towards the end of the first run of Batman: The Animated Series in an episode called "Baby Doll." In it, Batman and Robin investigated the kidnapping of several actors, all of whom once starred on the sitcom That's Our Baby. She played a toddler whose catch line was "I didn't mean to." Initially, Mary Dahl was viewed as a possible target, but Batman soon learned that the woman was more villainous than she looked.

After her sitcom was canceled, Dahl tried legitimate acting, but her efforts were critically panned. Twenty years later, Dahl — adopting her former show persona, Baby Doll — returned to kidnap her former co-stars and return them to the abandoned set where That's Our Baby was filmed in an attempt to recapture the happiness she had when she was on the show. Batman freed the actors from Baby Doll and chased her to a carnival. There, they enter a house of mirrors where Baby was confronted with a distorted reflection of herself that, in her mind, resembled what she would look like if she had a normal body. Instead of attacking Batman, Baby Doll shot the mirror. She then broke down, sobbing "...I didn't mean to."

After Batman: The Animated Series completed its run, a new and slightly re-vamped show called The New Batman Adventures aired. Baby Doll showed up in one episode of this series, Love Is a Croc, in which she teamed up with Killer Croc, whom she believed to be a kindred spirit. In the end, Baby Doll betrayed Croc when she realizes he was only using her.

Thus ends the tale of Baby Doll.

Villain Profiles:

Ra's al Ghul

Talia al Ghul
Baby Doll

The Dark Knight returns in 419 days!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Baby Doll needs to relive! She was such an interesting character in her first episode. Then again, I doubt she might reappear in the Batman franchise. Her original appearance was unique to BTAS.