Batman: The Animated Series – Season 1, Episode 45 – Terror in the Skies – The Curse of the Bat

Terror_in_the_Sky-Title_Card

“Terror in the Sky,” continues where the pilot left off with the Langstroms. A humanoid bat appears once again terrorizing others which leads Batman to check up on Kirk Langstrom to see if he was the one who was the Man-Bat. From here the story unfolds. This is the story that completes the Langstrom’s arc in relation to Batman in “Batman: The Animated Series.”

Pros: The Langstroms – This drama is really about them and it is executed well. Kirk Langstrom has given up taking the serum it is discovered, but in the process he cut himself off from his wife Francine…which lead to her being used by her father Dr. March as a guenie pig. She tries to escape from him but ends up turning because of what her father did. It is only through Kirk and Batman that she is able to find herself again after being used. I liked this considering she was the one who saved Kirk in the beginning…it completes the circle and saves their relationship.

Batman – We see the sympathetic Batman in this…from his aiding of Kirk to helping Francine and confrontation of Dr. March. Batman is the light cutting through the dark in this episode to reveal the truths.

Okay: The music is alright, again unmemorable.

This was a great episode that I wish had gone more into Dr. March’s motivations behind continuing the experiments. What did he hope to gain and why hadn’t he learned from Kirk’s folly? These are the questions I wish this episode had addressed and keep it from being a favorite.

My final score from this episode is 8.5 / 10. It is solid and good.

 

Batman: The Animated Series Pilot – Season 1, episode 1 – On Leather Wings – If Dr. Jekyll turned into a Bat

Man Bat and Batman

“On Leather Wings,” is the pilot to “Batman: The Animated Series,” and it does a good job at establishing the different relationships…what defines Batman’s baddies (usually have some issue going on), his relationship to the police (they hate him) and his identity as Bruce Wayne.

The Baddy is established first as Kirk a scientist who creates a new species that is a mixture of man and bat (Man-Bat) the thing is though the serum is putting him out of control and he is the creature. Classic Jeckyll and Hyde story. The doctor has mostly good intentions but in his mad quest for knowledge he becomes a monster. Luckily in this case he eventually gets the chemical out of his system…this being based off a comic book though the door is left open with Bruce Wayne’s suspicion that Man-Bat may return.

The police are hunting him and he is blamed for the actions of Man-Bat (throwing a security guard out a building and attacks). There is Comissioner Gordon and D.A. Harvey Dent who are no-nonsense…if Batman is caught they will bring him in but not at the the expense of the real culprit in this case. The corrupt Detective Bullock is established as the corrupt underbelly of Gotham too…you can’t count on Gotham PD in any universe.

Next is Bruce Wayne who is established as the rich playboy businessman using his money for good. You see his charisma and he is instantly likeable and real since he backs up his words with actions. Kevin Conroy sells it as Wayne and of course as the darker Batman.

Now for the assessment:

The pros: The writing – Is solid and there are great humorous moments such as the security guard pretending to be a news announcer as well as helicopter pilots joking. Wayne is seen as a real person too, not just the brooder.

The characters – Are introduced and you get to know them a little. You see Harvey Dent and his coin and you also see his idealism, you see the no-nonsense of Gordon, the sleaze of Bullock and of course Alfred and Bruce.

The tone – It is dark and fantastic. It knows it is a fantasy but still follows rules. It has an idealized version of the future¬† (blimps everywhere in the opening) with old style cars and tv…it is a mixture of the old and new, much like Bruce Wayne.

Okay: The Message –¬† “Jekyll and Hyde” – don’t let knowledge corrupt. It isn’t handled amazingly, just okay. I never cared about the scientist Kirk like I would other baddies like Mr. Freeze, Two-Face and Harley Quinn.

The cons: Kirk/Man-Bat – Weak character in any universe. Thankfully the cops are there to pick up the slack as antagonists to Batman. Bullock is a much better driving force this episode.

I would give this episode an 8 / 10. Solidly good, but not great. Good introduction to a great series though. The classic episodes and worse episodes come later.