‘Fringe’ Season 4 Episode 17 Preview: Batman vs. M.A.N.T.I.S.?!

Lincoln Lee travels to the alternate universe and gets sucked into a comic book hero debate.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

Earlier this season on "Fringe," Lincoln Lee (Seth Gabel) joined the Fringe team in our world after his partner was murdered by a shapeshifter. And in this Friday's episode, "Everything in it's Right Place," Lincoln will travel to the alternate universe and team up with his own counterpart and the alternate Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv)  to solve a vigilante case in which a shapeshifter appears to be acting like a modern day superhero.

In the first preview clip from the upcoming episode, Lincoln sees that Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble) and his time lost son, Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) are taking the cow out of the lab for a field trip.


For the second clip, the alternate Lincoln and Olivia have Lincoln's back as he tries to convince the alternate Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick) to let him assist them on the current case. Unfortunately, none of them know that Broyles may be a shapeshifter himself and he is secretly loyal to David Robert Jones, this season's main villain.

And finally, the main event… as Lincoln brings up Bruce Wayne's famous alter ego to his alternate world colleagues and he's stunned by their reaction.



Unless the "Fringe" writers are just pulling Mantis out of thin air, the alternate Lincoln and Olivia may have been referring to M.A.N.T.I.S., a superhero introduced in the 1994 Fox TV series of the same name that was developed by Sam Raimi and Sam Hamm with "Alias" costar Carl Lumbly in the lead as M.A.N.T.I.S..



To put it charitably, the idea behind the series wasn't bad, but "M.A.N.T.I.S." wasn't very good and it ran only a single season. M.A.N.T.I.S. also died in the final episode by blowing himself up to kill an invisible dinosaur. And that was not a joke.

Despite alternate Olivia and Lincoln's lack of knowledge about Batman, the character does exist in the "Fringe" alternate universe… and there's proof! Back in the second season finale, Peter Bishop was shown comic book covers from his youth that resembled comics published in our world. Including a riff on the Death of Superman with Batman in his place…


And a Justice League cover in which Batman makes an appearance. But it might make the argument that Green Lantern Guy Gardner didn't exist in this world.


To steal from Marvel for a second, the "No-Prize" explanation is that Peter's erasure from the timeline meant that Batman either no longer exists in the other world or his popularity never achieved the same heights. He could be the Blue Beetle of that world for all that we know.

Or the writers could be sacrificing the truth for the sake of an amusing joke. Either way, Batman Lives!

Catch the new episode of "Fringe," this Friday at 9pm on Fox!