The Batman character you probably didn’t know was played by Nichelle Nichols

From Ron Perlman to John Rhys-Davies and Malcolm McDowall, Batman: The Animated Series saw a host of famous names on the cast throughout its run from 1992 to 1995. In the second season, episode 8 (“Avatar”), the animated series went where no series had gone before, resulting in Nichelle Nichols becoming an iconic villain.

In this episode, Nichols voices Thoth Khepri, a wise ancient goddess who holds the secrets of life and death. At the beginning of the episode, Ra’s al Ghul (David Warner) finds her grave to try and learn her secrets. First appearing as a beautiful young woman, Khepera begins draining his life essence until Batman (Kevin Conroy) and Talia al Ghul (Helen Slater) enter, revealing that the deity is actually a mummy-type being. After a violent skirmish, almost everyone flees, but Khepera is crushed by a collapsed pit.

Those more accustomed to Nichols’ slick yet energetic line in Star Trek may be surprised at just how wide a range the actress can portray here. As Khepera’s younger form, she delivers her lines with the perfect level of sultryness and out-of-the-box energy. But once she gets more decrepit, Nichols unleashes a suspenseful vocal performance, most evident in the final, chilling scream Khepera lets out as she is crushed under the rubble.

Notably, Nichols wasn’t the only Trekky to appear on the show. LeVar Burton, known as Lieutenant Commander Geordie La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation, also voiced Hayden Sloane. Similarly, Kate Mulgrew, known as Captain Katherine Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager, voiced the villain Red Claw.

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