Batman: The Animated Series – Season 1, Episode 54 – Zatanna – The Art of Escape


“Zatanna” goes into Bruce Wayne’s past before he went to train in Japan. It was here that we learn that Zatara trained Bruce Wayne in the art of escape and that his daughter Zatanna had a thing for him. We jump to modern day where Zatanna is framed for a crime by the villain Montague Kane. From here the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

Pros: The flashback – We learn that Bruce Wayne was paranoid even when he was younger since when he is being trained by Zatara he is going under the alias John Smith. It is implied Zatara most likely knows who he really is though…but he respects Wayne’s secret.

Zatanna – Is a compelling character, but handled much better later. The majority of this episode is her getting rescued by Batman. She does take out Montague Kane and she is able to deduce who Batman is (the man from her past) that is more than most can say. It is good at exploring the friendship that this episode reestablishes though.

Batman – Is great once again. We see his escape artist tricks to their greatest here (from escaping a spiked room and being thrown out of an airplane chained). He even opens up a bit to Zatanna about the fact that he dresses the way he does because of a painful memory.

Cons: Montague Kane – This guy has no motivation outside of boring. He just isn’t compelling as a villain, which is a shame cause this episode needed that since more in’st done with the heroes.

This episode was alright. The flasback and the ending were the best part…besides that there is way too many “Damsel in Distress,” moments for a character who becomes much more active later on the the DCAU.

Final score is 7 / 10.



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