“Batman” in Film – Upcoming Reviews

Batman Symbol

     After the “Disney Marvel Franchise Adventure” I figured it was time to return back to DC and to visit the area of DC Comics where the greatest amount of live action films have been good…so Batman, which seems to be the only thing that DC live action can seem to get right some of the time versus their other heroes which have either not been tackled beyond television (Flash, Green Arrow) or have even more bad films to their name (Green Lantern, Superman). Batman is the only one has enough live action films to really show a range in quality that can give a full illustration of what keeps bringing us back to this amazing character.

     I’ll be staring with the Adam West “Batman” from 1966, going through Burton’s “Batman” and “Batman Returns,” as well as doing “Batman Forever” and “Batman and Robin” before I get to Nolan’s “Dark Knight Trilogy.” I’ve already reviewed “Batman v. Superman” but will include it when I get to rating the different takes on Batman and rating all of the Batman films as a whole from Worst to Best.

    This is going to be quite an adventure and also a change of pace, which should be good. Batman is one of my favorite parts of the DC Universe and I can’t wait to see the Affleck’s solo flick if it comes together. This is a character who speaks to human vulnerability and strength better than nearly any hero in comics, which is why there has been so many films made about him.

   Many of these films are my favorite and some are some of the worst to come out of cinema. Suffice to say this is going to be a fun reviewing adventure and I look forward to hearing your own thoughts on the films that are reviewed and the final ratings at the end.

Top 10 Batman: The Animated Series Episodes (Season 1)

1992-BatmanTheAnimatedSeries-keyart

“Batman: The Animated Series,” is one of my favorite shows and after rewatching Season 1 I can once see why. It has fully fleshed out characters, villains with dimensions and adds so much to the mythos. I’ll be taking a break from Batman for a while but plan on returning to Batman and the DC Animated Universe.

In this post I’ll be going into my top 10, as well as giving a link to each one and the reason why they are where they are. Each was chosen because it was the perfect episode compared to the others. I am going to give an honorary mention to some more of my favorites though: “Harley and Ivy,” “Heart of Steel,” “Shadow of the Bat,” “Curse of the Grey Ghost,” “Day of the Samurai,” “His Silicon Soul,” and “Joker’s Wild.” All of these are worth checking out and worth more than one viewing.

Here are the Top 10:

What is Reality

10th) What is Reality?

“What is Reality?” is not higher on the list because it doesn’t really add more to any of the characters. It is on the list though because it shows the Riddler at his height (wiping all information of his existence away and stealing money and stock via hacking) and it takes Robin and Batman working together and at their best to stop him and save Commissioner Gordon. The Riddler is one of my favorite of Batman’s Rogues and this one captures why that is perfectly.

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/batman-the-animated-series-season-1-episode-48-what-is-reality-the-riddlers-game/

Wayne_and_Batman_fight

9th) Perchance to Dream

“Perchance to Dream,” is the best Mad Hatter episode since he gives Batman a world where Bruce Wayne could function in. Someone else is Batman, his parents are alive and he has a normal life. This is a common trope especially in the DC Animated Universe which is why it isn’t higher on the list, but what sets this one apart is how in the world created a Batman does exist and shows just how much Bruce Wayne needs Batman as an identity to function.

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/batman-the-animated-series-season-1-episode-30-trapped-in-a-dream/

Robin's Reckoning

8th) Robin’s Reckoning

“Robin’s Reckoning,” sold me on the Batman and Robin possible romance in this series. The chemistry and honesty they have with each other is greater than any of the partners they get in this universe and it shows their bond with Batman trying to protect Robin from doing something he’ll regret by killing his parents killer. The killer Tony Zucco is the weakest part of this episode, which is why it isn’t higher on the list.

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/batman-the-animated-series-season-1-episodes-32-33-robins-reckoning-how-dick-grayson-became-robin/

Riddler-5

7th) If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?

This is the episode that introduces us to the Riddler and what a great episode it is! It incorporates mythology with the Riddler as the sphinx and Batman and Robin having to save the Riddler’s corrupt boss in a giant maze. This one is great in regards to their team work and shows that Robin is a gamer. The Riddler is also one of the more sympathetic rogues and this is why. He is cheated out of the game he created and fired by his corrupt boss. He could have been an anti-hero if he hadn’t violent too…showing the promise to this version of the Riddler. My hope is that when he returns to the big screen that inspiration will be taken from this Riddler after the horrible execution and choice that was the Jim Carrey Riddler.

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/06/19/batman-the-animated-series-season-1-episode-40-if-youre-so-smart-why-arent-you-rich-the-arrival-of-the-riddler/

Joker's Favor

6th) Joker’s Favor

“Joker’s Favor,” is the episode that shows just how petty and cruel the Joker can be. Charlie is a guy having a bad day, he yells at a car that happens to have the Joker in it and he is blackmailed for the rest of his life. The Joker and Harley later use him to almost wipe out the Police Force. Harley Quinn is also the reason this episode is so perfect, given the plan would have have succeeded without her and Charlie. The ending is perfect too and we’re left wondering if Charlie snapped because of everything the Joker put him through…showing us just how deadly the Joker can be to total strangers.

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/batman-the-animated-series-season-1-episode-22-jokers-favor-the-deal-with-the-devil/

two_face_piece

5th) Two-Face

“Two-Face,” is one of the greatest tragedies of this series because in the beginning he was a well intentioned District Attorney who we see as a flawed but good person through his friendship with Bruce Wayne. It makes Rupert Thorne’s blackmail of him all the more powerful since he uses Harvey’s past and vulnerabilities against him, which in turn creates a monster who becomes one of the best of Batman’s Rogues. I always had hope for this Two-Face, it was a shame that the hope was forsaken as Harvey was lost and Two-Face became dominant. Also, my favorite Two-Face is the one from this series.

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/batman-the-animated-series-season-1-episodes-10-and-11-two-face-the-tragedy-of-harvey-dent/

Dreams in Darkness

4th) Dreams in Darkness

“Dreams in Darkness,” asks the question of does Batman belong in Arkham Asylum? It is a haunting episode because Batman is someone who is like the crooks he brings in. He has unresolved issues that lead him to dress up like a bat to take out criminals. This is the question dealt with as he tries to convince the doctors that Scarecrow has escaped and is planning to destroy Gotham. This is by far the best of the Scarecrow episodes and well worth a watch due to how it analyzes Batman, shows Scarecrow at his height and how the workers of Gotham are just normal well intentioned doctors.

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/06/11/batman-the-animated-series-season-1-episode-28-dreams-in-darkness-batman-in-arkham-asylum/

Heart of Ice

3rd) Heart of Ice

“Heart of Ice,” is one of the most tragic tales of “Batman: The Animated Series,” and by far the best of them. We see a scientist trying to save his wife with experimental technology destroyed by his boss and in the process losing all ability to physically feel. There is a reason this episode has won awards before. It is just that good and Mr. Freeze is one of the more complex rogues who I was always rooting for to get redemption.

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/batman-the-animated-series-season-1-episode-14-heart-of-ice-the-tragedy-of-victor-fries/

The_Man_Who_Killed_Batman-Title_Card

2nd) The Man Who Killed Batman

“The Man Who Killed Batman,” is an episode that explores what Gotham would be like without Batman. It would be first place if it had shown how more of the rogues reacted besides the Joker and how Commissioner Gordon reacted, but it does what it needs to. Sydney the ambitious but stupid and funny thug is believed to have killed Batman and from there he faces the consequences of it as Thorne thinks he is a threat, Joker hates him for stealing his kill and in the end the prison admires him. It is a fun and powerful episode.

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/batman-the-animated-series-season-1-episode-51-the-man-who-killed-batman-a-world-without-batman/

Almost Got Im

1st) Almost Got ‘Im

Told in the style of “The Canterbury Tales,” the villains Two-Face, Penguin, Poison Ivy, Joker and Killer Croc recount their exploits on how they almost killed Batman. It is fun and you see why Penguin, Two-Face, Poison Ivy and the Joker are the strongest of the popular rogues. They dynamic between them all of jealousy, animosity and friendship is fantastic since it was created by Batman bringing them down. There are a few twists and some great jokes and fantastic stories making “Almost Got ‘Im” the best of the “Batman: The Animated Series,” episodes of season 1!

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/batman-the-animated-series-season-1-episode-46-almost-got-im-a-meeting-of-the-rogues-or-so-close-to-victory/

Next I will be reviewing some animated shows, but someday I will be returning to review Season 2 (and best of Season 2) and the rest of the DC Animated Universe. Bruce Timm helped create something great that stands strong to this day.

 

Batman: The Animated Series – Season 1, Episode 56 – Harley and Ivy – Power to Women

Harley and Ivy

 

“Harley and Ivy,” is one of the more poignant episodes in “Batman: The Animated Series,” though it’s execution isn’t the best. The premise is Joker is being his usual abusive self to Harley Quinn. He kicks her out and she begins to go on a stealing spree to impress him that changes into a stealing spree for herself when Poison Ivy takes her under her wing and the two team up to be quite a crime duo. From here the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

Pros: The Joker – The Joker’s abusive sociopathicness is captured really well in this episode. You see how he never recognizes how much Harley helps and how Harley is his punching bag and that he sees Harley Quinn as property. If you already didn’t have reason to hate the Joker, this one is it. In this episode he represents every abusive partner or spouse. You see how much he depends on her to keep his life running since his fort goes to hell in regards to how the Hyenas’ view him and how disorganized it is once she is gone.

Batman – Batman is just kind of there, but it is great to see him fall to Harley and Ivy when teamed up but beat the Joker. He is also the one to find out where Ivy’s hideout is through detective work verses the Joker tracking the call.

Renee – Is meant to be the counter to Harley and Ivy since she is the woman who takes them both down after they’ve taken down Batman. She does it in a Batmanesque way too by booby trapping the street to stop their car.

Harley Quinn – Is the co-dependent partner and “Spouse” of the Joker. After every abuse she comes back and keeps thinking they can work it out. It is powerful how she is a character that was inspired by a real person and that real people like her exist who can’t get out of those types of situations. When she’s going through empowerment via the tutorship if Poison Ivy she is on top of her game…stealing, overturning Old Boys Clubs and even managing to nearly destroy Batman. It is a shame that she never comes out from under the Joker’s shadow until much later in life in the cannon.

Poison Ivy – Is the mentor to Harley. She misses that women can be bad too but nails the abusiveness prevalent among men as represented by the Joker. She is always presenting the alternative view and doing all she can to help Harley move on. Sadly she doesn’t succeed, but it isn’t from lack of trying.

The Friendship and Romance – It is played up in the comic of the same name but Harley and Poison Ivy are implied to be Bisexual. This is the first time we really see this too. Though in this episode Harley does play as more of a friendship because of her obsession with the Joker. There are romantic moments and tension though, which is great! It is a shame it isn’t more common in comics. These two are a great paring due to how well they compliment each other like Batman and Robin.

The Message – The message has a great intent. Don’t put up with abuse and embrace freedom of the self. The main issue I’d say is it being through the eyes of villains which may hurt the argument…The theme of the empowerment of women is pulled off pretty well in this episode though.

Okay: Show Don’t Tell – Poison Ivy’s quips end up taking away from the message of the episode. We see them being powerful and doing acts to upset the patriarchy. It doesn’t really need to be announced every time, it would have been more powerful without that actually. This is the one reason I can’t give it full points. Showing not telling is the best way to tell any story.

I definitly recommend this episode. The message is great even if the execution of it could be better and Harley and Ivy are great characters who I wish could have teamed up more.

Final score the episode is 9.5 / 10. It is a favorite.

 

 

Batman: The Animated Series – Season 1, Episode 51 – The Man Who Killed Batman – A World Without Batman

The_Man_Who_Killed_Batman-Title_Card

“The Man Who Killed Batman,” is a fantastic episode. The premise is what would happen if a nobody killed Batman. How would Gotham react? What would be the fallout? In the super hero world these premises are always fascinating and usually handled well since the folks writing know how serious taking out a major character is, even if it is only for an episode or movie.

The premise of this episode is Syndey (Syd the Squid) wants to get in on a drug ring and over the course of the operation he manages to have Batman accidentally fall into an explosion. From here everyone thinks he killed Batman since he is holding his cowl…even though it was Batman who saved his life. From here the story unfolds.

Pros: The music – Captures the feel of intense mourning and bleakness. Batman is such a major part of Gotham city that the question of how would the city feel without Batman is answered pretty quick. A lot of folks would be lost who are both good and bad.

The Underworld – Things start out good and the thugs celebrate him, until a large thug tries to kill him so he’ll be the toughest guy in town. This is the first time Syd realizes he is in over his head.

Gotham Police – We see Bullock and Rene mourning the death of Batman and here how cut up Commissioner Gordon is after what happened. Their hatred becomes directed at Syd once they hear he is the one who did it. The scene is great because we see how much Bullock admires Batman.

The Joker and Harley Quinn – It is in this episode we see how abusive the Joker can be and that he has no love for Harley at all. She is a means to an end, a person to stroke his ego and cheer for his victories…even though she is the one still smart. She wants to steal the jewels but the Joker doesn’t care because his punch line of Batman is gone.

Batman’s Funeral – The Joker throws a funeral for Batman that expresses how incomplete he feels without him and how much he hates Syd for stealing his kill. It ends with Syd being burning alive in a vat of acid only being saved by Batman’s intervention.

Rupert Thorne – The man who set all the wheels in motion again. It was he who had the drug operation that lead to the “death” of Batman and who is so ruled by fear he is not able to believe that Syd did it all by accident and tries to kill Syd. He is once again established as the most dangerous crime boss who isn’t a rogue.

Batman – Batman is great in this episode in that he uses being undercover to finally take out Rupert Thorne…who had been putting the drugs on the street in the first place. He also gives Syd what he wants by playing dead after Thorne is taken in so that Syd will be respected in prison.

Syd – Syd is great as a Woody Allen type of guy. He’s a nervous wreck who manages to be lucky and unlucky to the extreme. Like a Woody Allen character he also wins in the end…getting the respect and recognition he craved. He is a funny and interesting character. He actually manages to carry the episode.

This episode was perfect and deals with the question of “What would Gotham be without Batman?” in this animated universe really well. I kind of wish it was longer so we could see more reactions from other rogues and actually see Gordon…but from the limited point of view we get through Syd’s perspective it is brilliant and a must see.

10 / 10.

 

 

Batman: The Animated Series – Season 1, Episode 46 – Almost Got ‘Im – A Meeting of the Rogues or So Close to Victory

Almost Got Im

“Almost Got ‘Im,” is one of the best exploration of Batman’s rogues gallery. We get to see their moments of near triumph and see that they have a working relationships and a near comradery that almost borders on friendship…all because of Batman. It begins with them all meeting and playing cards as they share their stories…from their the story unfolds.

Here is my assessment of the episode:

Pros: The Dynamic –  The Dynamic between the villains is extremely well done. Past history is referenced (Poison Ivy saying that her and Harvey Dent were in a relationship…which they were). There is a playfulness, especially in how Killer Croc is ignored as the dolt and Joker owns the arena.

Poison Ivy – Her plan was actually pretty cool. Poisoned pumpkins on Halloween that explode when Batman arrives. She nearly wins except the Batmobile attacks her and gets Batman his mask. This story reveals why Poison Ivy is one of the greatest of the rogues. She shuts down Two-Face pretty thoroughly too. She is captured though at the end of her story.

Two-Face – Two-Face manages to capture Batman with the Two Ton Gang and luckily has his coin end on death which leads to Batman being flipped on a giant coin that he only manages to escape from by using Two-Face’s coin against him to cut the ropes. He is captured by Batman in the end though and is given back his coin.

Killer Croc – Killer Croc throws a rock at Batman and the silence he receives from the other rogues is perfect. He is ignored after that and becomes sad. He is the thug of Batman’s rogues and only really functions as muscle not planner in relation to the others in the room (which becomes a good ploy later for this episode).

Penguin – Penguin manages to be better than all before him in that he poisons Batman, injures Batman and even escapes. His plan is elaborate with poison tipped hummingbirds and a Cassowary (one of my favorite birds). He is the intellectual of the group and Joker asks him to use smaller words. Penguin is also the most polite and respectful.

Joker – Joker’s plan is the best. In his him and Harley Quinn hijack Gotham Live and have Batman trapped in a laugh machine that sends electric currents through his body the more the audience laughs. He nearly succeeds except for the arrival of Catwoman who Harley Quinn manages to capture in the end for Joker to use against Batman in the final plot. He is the best of them all in regards to how close he gets to killing Batman and is by far the greatest threat of the group.

Harley Quinn – Captures Catwoman and saves Joker. This episode is great at establishing her as more than Joker’s flunky. She is threat to be reckoned with by anyone she sets her sight on…especially in regards to the Joker.

Catwoman – She saves Batman and even dreams of a normal life for her and Batman and is saved by Batman in turn. The equal exchange between them rescuing each other was part of what the characters so interesting in the first place. She ends the episode with it’s name saying she, “Almost Got ‘Im.”

Batman – Batman was playing as Killer Croc the entire time. He went undercover to capture the group and find out where Catwoman was. The group gets captured by him and Gordon and after he manages to stop Harley from killing Catwoman.

This is a fantastic story that has a unique narrative style and a great exploration of every character who gets to speak. I highly recommend it. It is one of my favorites and part of the reason the rogues from this show are so memorable and unforgettable.

10 / 10 The perfect episode.

Batman: The Animated Series – Season 1, Episode 41 – Joker’s Wild – You Don’t Play the Joker

Jokers_Wild-Title_Card

“Joker’s Wild,” is an excellent episode. The basic premise is what would happen if someone tried using the Joker. In this case the billionaire Kaiser tries to in order to get his casino destroyed (names it Joker’s Wild and makes it Joker themed) in order to get the insurance money. Knowing the Joker, you can bet how that turned out.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

Pros: The Joker – The Joker is fantastic, we see how the other inmates of Arkham are afraid of him, and how easily he can escape by manipulating the workers of the Asylum. We also see him able to listen to Batman when Batman tells him Kaiser’s plot which gives Batman time to escape.

Cameron Kaiser – Is a great baddie He is basically Maroni from “The Dark Knight,” he knows the Joker is a mad dog who will reek destruction and just like Maroni he forgot that the mad dog may turn on the one who set it loose.

Batman/Bruce Wayne – We get to see Bruce Wayne get some jabs in at the Joker and the Joker get some jabs in at Bruce Wayne (is this how your parents made all their money), it is fantastic. Batman is the only one who can get under the Joker’s skin and this episode shows that perfectly.

The Music – Is good in this one, it has the casino and carnival feel to it that fits the Joker theme.

Life in Arkham – It is great that most of this episode is from the Joker’s POV. Because of it we get to see the relationships between the inmates of Arkham and how they live. It is basically a prison with not as well armed guards. I would have liked to see more dynamic and character exploration between the inmates though…

This is a great Joker episode and one I would highly recommend. It really shows how you can’t use someone as insane as him for own ends and just how dangerous and threatening he can be when he finds things personal.

My final score this episode is 9.75 / 10. Definitely a favorite, though it isn’t a perfect episode.

 

Batman: The Animated Series – Season 1, Episode 37 – The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne – Hugo Strange and the Identity of Batman

The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne

“The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne,” introduces us to the villain Hugo Strange. This Strange isn’t the best of the Strange’s but he isn’t as cool or as interesting as the “Arkham City” Hugo Strange. This Dr. Strange’s drive is much more simple which I’ll talk about later.

The premise of the episode is Judge Vargis is blackmailed after visiting an area on vacation owned by Daggett. It turns out that here was she was going to therapy with Doctor Strange. Batman does as well, which leads to Strange finding out the identity of Batman. From here it is Batman trying to find out how Strange did it and stopping him before he can auction off his identity to his Rogues Gallery.

Here is my assessment of the episode:

Pros: Batman/Bruce Wayne – It is here we learn through Hugo Strange’s machine that Batman still feels the guilt over his parents death and how it drove him for his desire to revenge. It is a great scene. After we see is ingenuity when he comes as Batman and Robin pretends to be Bruce Wayne. It is very well done.

Robin – The switch is pretty cool and we saw Robin in a good supporting role in protecting Bruce Wayne’s secret identity.

Batman’s Rogues – Joker, The Penguin and Two-Face have a great dynamic with one another. Penguin is the gentlemen trying to keep peace between the groups and looking at Strange with the best of intentions while Two-Face is erupting in anger and distrust at every opportunity…and of course Joker as chaos playing off of everyone. It is great seeing them work together, which sets the stage for later team ups like in “The Trial,” or when they are all hanging out in, “Almost Got ‘Im,”

Okay: Hugo Strange – It sucks that his only motivation is money. The Strange in the comics and “Arkham City” is motivated by a desire to replace Batman which is much more interesting. He wants to be important and is strong against opposition…in this one he is schooled by everyone, which I think is largely because his motivations are so weak and he’s easily stopped by a switch with the tape he recorded and the destruction of his mind machine (and Robin playing as Bruce Wayne). He isn’t bad (he does manage to capture Alfred), but he is no better than any other minor thug. Finding out Bruce Wayne is Batman should have been a bigger deal and his motivations greater than money.

I’d recommend this episode if only for the fact that you get to see the rogues all interact in a mostly peaceful way with one another, as well as seeing Batman and Robin work together to outsmart Strange even though Strange is just a minor rogue when he could have been major if handled differently. Again, see “Arkham City,” for Strange done right.

My final score for this episode is 9 / 10.

Batman: The Animated Series – Season 1, Episode 34 – The Laughing Fish – Joker the Survivor

The Laughing Fish

“The Laughing Fish,” is a Joker centric episode that focuses around his scheme to get fish that he has poisoned with the Joker Venom sold in stores. He begins by targeting copyright folks which in turns lures out Batman and the Police who were the point of his scheme in the first place. Harley Quinn also appears in this episode again as his assistant.

Here is the assessment:

The Pros: The Joker – This episode is good at showing just how psychotic and uncaring he is about anyone but himself. Where before his minions were robots but meant nothing, here they are people who mean nothing…even Harley Quinn who loves him. In this episode we see how creative (In a James Bond villain with a Shark Tank kind of way – Yes he has a Shark Tank in this episode) can be. He would have killed all his targets too if not for Batman having the Joker venom antidote. We also see his a survivor given everything he goes through before being attacked by his shark and presumed dead (He’s obviously not).

Harley Quinn – Is fantastic as Joker’s second in command. She promotes his plan throughout the episode and leads in her own way in regards to the schemes. We also see her demented unhealthy relationship with the Joker revealed in full when Bullock points out he’s a psychotic abusive and she says that is why she misses him.

Bullock – Is fantastic in this episode. He actually manages to find Joker first when he realizes the second fish that is used in the poisoning isn’t native to the region leading him to the Aquarium.

Batman – He fights a shark and wins as well as proves to Bullock he can be counted on. This is a great episode to see Batman as protector and detective.

The Animation – Once again is amazing, more so than the usual amazing. I like the large flowing drawings.

Okay: The story – The Laughing Fish is a very Joker story but not the best one. His intentions aren’t really clear (Which I guess is part of the point), but because of it the episode doesn’t seem to know what tone it wants.

The Music – Not all that memorable. Like the episode it didn’t know what tone it wanted.

This was a solid episode that I would diffidently recommend. Seeing the Joker and Harley in action is usually always a good thing since the schemes are always interesting and Joker is the anti-thesis to the Batman.

My score for this episode is 8.5 / 10.

Batman: The Animated Series – Season 1, Episode 22 – Joker’s Favor – The Deal with the Devil

Joker's Favor

“Joker’s Favor,” is one of my favorite episodes. It is one of the best of the Joker episodes and also introduces us to Harley Quinn (though this isn’t her origin episode). The premise is Charlie is having a bad day and ends up accidentally cussing out the Joker. Joker spares his life if he does him a favor, which 2 years he calls upon in order to get back at Commissioner Gordon.

Here is the assessment:

The Pros: Harley Quinn – Her voice and crazy style. In this episode she is very much doing her own thing and it lines up with the Joker…we don’t see the abuse in the relationship until later episodes and her origin. She is an awesome character and she pulls off the trap really well too with her reading her “Tribute” to Gordon before Joker and his thugs arrive and the party gets gassed (Which paralyzes them).

The Joker – Is frightening in this one. There is an heir of threat around him from the moment he arrives on the scene and scares Charlie into submission. He is the devil in this episode and is winning throughout most of the episode until the end.

Commissioner Gordon – You see why his marriage fell apart in this one. He lives for his job and it is only after pressure from Batman that he even goes to the event honoring his service.

Batman – Does alright, he is good at what he does and saves the day. The episode isn’t about him though. This is about Charlie, not Batman.

Charlie Collins – You get his anger at having a horrible day and why he erupts at the Joker and how he develops a spine over the course of the episode. The ending of him almost being “The man who kills the Joker,” is brilliant. He scares the Joker since he acts so much like him. His point about Joker being killed as the only way to stop him is right too. It’s a shame Batman didn’t listen, he would have saved a lot of lives.

The script – Is solid as are the locations. It is an eventful episode.

Okay: The music – It is alright. It is strange when it could have been threatening.

I give this episode a 10 / 10. A perfect Joker episode.

 

Batman: The Animated Series – Season 1, Episode 9 – Be a Clown – Joker and the Mayor’s Son

Be A Clown

“Be a Clown” is about the Joker, Mayor and the Mayor’s son. The Joker arrives undercover as another clown and convinces the Mayor’s son Jordan to run away (the Mayor cares more about good publicity than his son’s passions). From here it is Batman attempting save Jordan and bring the Joker down.

Here is my assessment of the episode:

The Pros: The Joker – Even in his weaker episodes he elevates the story. This time we get to see him in the Devil role as he attempts to corrupt Jordan and turn him against his father and Batman. We later see him do this again with another child in “Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker,” in a much darker way. This episode he also manages to capture Batman…which is an accomplishment for any of the villains.

Bruce Wayne – Is great as the pretend klutz saving the day…since he manages to save the party by knocking the cake with the dynamite into the pool.

Batman – Has his moment when he uses the Joker’s funhouse against him in order to save Jordan.

Jordan – Is a kid who is actually written well. You get the anger at his dad and the moment when he realizes that he ran off to be with a psychopath. He has some great moments and his voice isn’t annoying like a lot of child actors.

Okay: The mayor – For someone who gets a lot of screen time…he’s still basically a corrupt suit who cares about his kid…which is a shame since he even has a kid in this episode to give him more dimension. We see a character done right next episode with the Harvey Dent two-parter “Two-Face.” “P.O.V.” also did a better job with character exploration.

The music – Isn’t super memorable again, standard fair…nothing special.

The episode is great at showing the danger of the Joker and how deftly he uses people (as we’ll see later with other people in later episodes). It also great seeing a child character written well since most shows and movies suffer from writing children poorly. The episode has a great resolution with helping move things forward between the Mayor and Jordan. They have a sweet moment and it adds to a fun episode.

This episode gets an 8.5 / 10.