We are mere days away from Zack Snyder’s Justice League, so once again take a trip down memory lane with the birth of the expanded DCEU with Batman v Superman.
Fearing that the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the Man of Steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs.
Remember this little indie flick that came into the zeitgeist back in 2016? Batman v Superman, arguably the most talked-about piece of pop culture this century. One of the most polarizing, divided, and controversial movies I can ever really remember seeing, it finally introduced us to the possibilities of the Justice League.
After the semi-success of Man of Steel, Warner Brothers knew they needed to go big for their next movie. Zack Snyder decided to bring in the big guns, which was Oscar Winner Ben Affleck, coming off winning best picture at the Oscars. He was going to be suiting up and taking on the Son of Krypton. Ben Affleck was at the height of his power, he had more juice than almost anyone in Hollywood at the time and Zack Snyder convinced this guy to come play Batman for him.
Warner Brothers had just wrapped up the monumental Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, proving that Batman was essentially box-office gold. How could this fail? Once production got underway, Zack Snyder and his team rolled out one of the most impressive marketing campaigns in history. Everything was a homerun, casting, posters, and more importantly the trailers. Fans couldn’t wait to sink their teeth into this movie and the world was waiting to see what Zack Snyder had in store.
When reviews came pouring in, it wasn’t what WB was expecting, arriving at 28% on Rotten Tomatoes and now that isn’t an important marker for every movie, but it can sink a movie in terms of box-office success. Not even eclipsing 1 billion dollars at the box-office, things didn’t seem the same once BvS was released.
Again, the problem with the movie for a lot of fans, they felt it had too many holes and some of the pieces of the puzzle seemed to be missing. Then came along the Ultimate Edition of the movie that proved the intended version that Zack Snyder had for the world was the superior one. It changed how a lot of people viewed the movie and made a stronger case for as to why Zack Snyder should be the one leading the charge on the future of the DCEU.
Personally, I remember being disappointed when I walked out of the theatre after seeing BvS. I waited over 700 days for the movie and it didn’t live up to my expectations. Until I realized I had set the highest of expectations that could never be reached. Like most fans, I didn’t really fall in love with this movie until I watched the Ultimate Edition. Now with every passing viewing, I find myself enjoying this thing just so much more. Mostly due to the fact, that there is just so much more to enjoy, and the movie just feels complete to me.
The movie serves as a launching pad for the future team-up movie, introducing us to Ben Afflecks’ dark and lost Batman. As he tries to find himself again and is eventually inspired by Superman. This is a Batman who has broken free from his golden rule and has lost all sense of what made him such a strong figure for Gotham City. We never quite got to see this kind of Dark Knight, someone who lives inside a world with super-powered beings all while having 20 years of crime-fighting experience. Without a doubt as of right now he is the definitive Batman because he fills out the suit to perfection and his relationship with Alfred is the best part of his entire character. Making his Bruce Wayne just as valuable on the screen as his alter-ego.
We also get introduced to the last piece of the Trinity, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. Obviously not as flushed out as Batman, but we knew she would be getting her own solo flick in the near future. Gal steals the last third of the movie, having one of the best entrances for a superhero ever. She looks fierce and has only gained confidence on-screen as time has gone on. She’s a much better actor today than she was when she was first cast as Diana. Not to mention a quick glimpse at Cyborg, Flash, and Aquaman, Snyder was trying to tell us a much larger threat was on the horizon and these heroes would need to come together in order to save the world.
This is just so different from anything that was going on in the comic-book world at that time. It was serious and dealt with our heroes in a very thematic and layered way. In the MCU it was mostly ordinary people trying to be Gods, where Snyder was displaying our DC heroes as Gods that just wanted to be like everyone else. Superman is a flawed character, for good reasons and his story arc through the first two DCEU movies was a unique take.
Fron the beautiful score, that hits right from the very get-go as we watch the Waynes get gunned down once again in Crime Alley. Leading all the way until the very last moments of our film. The action isn’t what propels this movie forward. When it hits, of course, it’s great, that’s one thing you never really have to worry about with Snyder (warehouse scene anyone), and his visuals are always on the highest of peaks. These characters have never looked better in a movie. Jesse Eisenberg who gives a more Mark Zuckerberg rather than Jeff Bezos kind of Lex Luthor portrayal was met with such criticism, but for me, it’s one of the things that works so well. It’s interesting that as the movie goes forward we see Batman and Lex go on opposite paths, Batman gliding towards the light, while Lex slips deeper into the dark. His rooftop sequence with both Superman and Lois Lane is his crowning achievement.
Over time I think more people have come around to this movie, but it’s still highly discussed and has polarized a fanbase. It will leave a mark on the comic-book industry no doubt, even more so with the events that played out after its release.
Batman v Superman may be flawed in some areas but overall, I truly believe it is one of the best comic-book movies ever made. It’s rich in context and in texture and it is more than just heroes punching one another. Zack looks at our heroes through a certain lens that leaves you wondering what he had in store for the future. In less than a week, we will finally get to see that vision and I don’t think the world is ready.
Spread the love on this Valentine’s Day by sharing and streaming this epic trailer that just arrived.
Well, this is certainly the best Valentine’s Day in many years. Thank you, Zack Snyder, for delivering on this most joyous of days. We get another look at what’s to come in his 4 hour cut of Justice League that promises to be something special. Now a quick refresher, this isn’t the Justice League movie that came out in 2017 with a few extra minutes latched on, no, this is something completely new, something darker.
Let’s break down the trailer a little bit. We get our first real glimpse at all the baddies of the movie. They’re all hanging out on Apokolips where it appears that the ultimate baddie, Darkseid is giving orders to Steppenwolf to head to Earth and stir up some trouble. Everyone fell in love with Thanos and now it’s Darkseid’s turn to get some of that love because he and his Omega Beams deserve it. From there we get a few incredible voice-overs by Alfred (Jeremy Irons) who is essentially telling Bruce Wayne not to poke the bear unless he is sure that he can win. Followed up by the Pa Kent speech from Man of Steel. Snyder really pieced this trailer together perfectly.
The whole team gets their moment to shine, really showcasing how the world needs a bunch of new gods to step up and defend Earth or we are doomed. Black Suit Superman is learning how to possibly fly again, with his own rendition of the first flight sequence again from Man of Steel. Bruce Wayne has seen the future and it’s bleak and he knows that the world needs warriors to conquer the threats that are about to arrive.
Now for the motherload. A new look at the Knightmare timeline where we have Batman and the return of Jared Leto’s Joker, working together! That’s right, the Clown Prince of Crime and the Bat of Gotham will be working together. Like Joker says in the trailer, “honor is a distant memory,” meaning it’s time to put the past behind you and let’s save this planet together. I’m so happy Leto gets another chance to play this part and having him and Affleck on screen together is something fans have wanted for 5 years now.
Zack is bringing it all and this was just a small peek inside the curtain we have so much to look forward to. This will be epic.
94 million dollars. That’s what Justice League made its opening weekend at the domestic box-office. Avengers on the other hand made 208 million all the way back in 2008. It’s one of the most successful movies ever made, and highly regarded as one of the best CBM ever made. Fans alike are in an uproar over Justice League as word has been spreading about WB studios completely and utterly destroying Zack Snyder’s original cut and vision. So all in all, not a good weekend for WB and the DCEU. Now is it time for them to seriously consider hitting the panic button and rebooting all of this? Personally, I don’t think so, that would be a terrible move on their part because if you take fragments from Justice League and other DCEU you definitely have something there. Yes, it’s not as concrete as the MCU, but that is WB’s problem. It’s time for them to stop trying to “catch up” with Marvel and just do their own thing. That’s how we got into this whole mess in the first place…..
The Success of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy
Remember back in 1997 when Batman & Robin was released and people said it ruined comic book movies (for the time being) it was a simpler time then, no shared universes, no big summer blockbusters, in 1997 comic book movies just weren’t all the rage they are today. Superman was still dormant after the successful run of the Christopher Reeves movies and Tim Burton’s Batman’s were the talk of the town in the early 90s. When Nolan decided it was time to bring back the Bat in 2005 with Batman Begins, people didn’t really know what to think. I included, but I was young and stupid back then and it wowed critics and audiences alike. The new grittier, darker, grounded take on the Caped Crusader really resonated with people and the start of a trilogy was born. At this time there were no big Superhero franchises really occurring other than the Spider-Man trilogy which fell flat towards the end, and the X-Men trilogy that met the same fate. People didn’t think too much of comic book movies during this time. Teasing us with the Joker at the end of Batman Begins well three years later we got him in what I regard as the greatest sequel ever made, The Dark Knight. It made over a billion dollars at the box-office and Heath Ledger even won an Oscar for his portrayal as the Clown Prince of Crime. This trilogy finally finished in 2012 with The Dark Knight Rises which was another smash hit, these movies were met with the highest praise from fans and critics. So WB decided it was time to cash in on other DC Superheroes. They attached Zack Snyder to bring to life a Superman story in Man of Steel. They thought it would be reasonable to build their own universe and bring the same tone and themes from The Dark Knight trilogy and cast it upon these other DC heroes. Questions loomed whether Christian Bale would come back to play Batman for this universe and when he was out, they decided that Man of Steel would be their jumping-off point for the DCEU, and that’s where it all began…..
The Success of The MCU
“Tony Stark, I’m here to talk to you about the Avengers initiative…..” Are words that I and countless others will never forget. Those words were uttered back in 2008, a time when audiences weren’t too sure what a “post-credits scene” meant. We were unfamiliar with comic book universes, hell most of us were unfamiliar with Iron Man himself. But still, this started the MCU, and well the rest is as you know is history. Billions of dollars and 17 movies later the MCU is stronger than ever and is still going full steam ahead. In the first four years, they released five movies, all leading up to the highly anticipated Avengers. They had built a solid foundation for their shared cinematic universe, something we fans were not accustomed to. Meanwhile, over at DC, they were still going strong with the Batman Nolan trilogy, but they had ZERO plans of following suit and starting a cinematic universe for their heroes. The Nolan Batman trilogy ended the same year the Avengers came out, and once the Avengers dropped, people realized, that all their movie-going experience over the last 4 years had finally paid off! They got to see a real Superhero team-up movie, and not only that, it was quite the spectacle. At that moment, WB knew they needed to follow suit and even other Hollywood studios knew that a “shared universe” was the way of the future. This is where things get messy for DC and Warner Brothers. because well Marvel was already six movies deep, built this incredible vast shared universe, and well DC was at ground zero. Even today, as I’m writing this, the DCEU has only put out FIVE movies, and most of those movies have been met with mixed reactions. The biggest problem with DC is they kind of want to be like Marvel, well here’s the thing, don’t be. Do it your own way, you have so many incredible characters and stories to tell, that you don’t need to follow Marvel’s plan. Just put out great movies, with great directors and tell us those amazing stories we have been reading our entire lives. DC feels the need to play “catch up” well you can’t. When the Avengers came out, WB had no plans for a Justice League movie, that was not on anyone’s mind, no Batman was planned, no Green Lantern, and not even Wonder Woman. The only movie they had coming out of the DC pipeline was Man of Steel. That being said they were so far behind from the get-go that attempting to even do that was so nonsensical and studio heads should have known better. This leads me into my next segment.
The Reaction To The DCEU Movies So Far
The year is 2013, Nolan’s TDK trilogy is no longer with us, and DC is using Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel as the launching point for the new DC world. I remember at the time, I wasn’t the biggest Superman fan, I really didn’t know a whole lot about the character except for what I had read in some comics. The trailers started pouring in and I was hooked instantly. I was intrigued with the new outlook and take on the classic character. Don’t get me wrong, Superman is a very difficult character to bring to life on the big screen. He’s essentially unstoppable so anyone you pin against him, is no match, his powers are unlimited. Henry Cahill was tapped to play the Man of Steel and he looked like he was literally ripped from the comic books. The rest of the cast was incredible with Michael Shannon, Amy Adams Diane Lane, and Kevin Costner. They were trying a new take, and it wasn’t met with the best reactions. They went with the TDK template, and they changed his mythos and overall character and it was met with some serious backlash. They wanted to ground his character as philosophy and Snyder certainly had a vision for him. Man of Steel just kind of fell short of expectations and more importantly didn’t do what Iron Man did all the way back in 2008, which was beginning a “shared universe.” Personally, I loved Man of Steel, from the cinematography to Hans Simmer’s epic score, I fell in love with this Superman, just it wasn’t the start to the new DC universe WB wanted. After the slow start with Man of Steel, WB decided to kick things into high gear and announced Batman v. Superman and everyone lost their goddamn minds. I remember it was at Comic-Con and they gave the Batman speech to Superman at the end of The Dark Knight Returns, and I thought to myself, “if they pull this thing off in live-action, it will be the greatest thing ever made.” Shortly after, they pinned Ben Affleck to play the Caped Crusader, and the internet was very torn. From the get-go, I have always believed Affleck would kill it as Batman, and he has honestly been the best thing in the DCEU so far. Later they grabbed Gal Gadot to play Wonder Woman, and no one was on board with that decision. Only being in a few Fast and Furious movies, people didn’t know if she had the acting chops to play this role. That’s all in the past now, because Gal was born to play the warrior princess. Everything behind Batman v Superman, from the trailers, the ads, posters, seemed like this was going to be a home run. Then it was released………..
Shortly after the release of Batman v Superman fans were divided, critics were firmly set in place and executives over at WB were dumbfounded about their situation. They just released a movie with both Batman and Superman and even Wonder Woman, and boy it was not met with a positive reaction. I think this was the start of the downfall for the DCEU. Now we had another DCEU movie coming out in 2016, Suicide Squad, which was put together with duck tape and glue. Script was written in 6 weeks, and this movie ended up being a complete and utter disaster. The trailers for this movie were incredible, I couldn’t wait and I haven’t watched Suicide Squad since opening night. The biggest takeaway was obviously reintroducing The Joker, making Jared Leto a soccer hooligan. Stick to what you know, don’t drastically change this iconic character, especially after what Heath Ledger did in TDK. Leto was just okay, there wasn’t enough of him, and now his future in the DCEU is up in the air. Harley Quinn was the best part of the movie, Margot Robbie was born to play her, and I really hope she comes back because I think in a better movie, under better direction, she could probably give a Ledger-type performance in a future DCEU movie. So 3 movies in a row for WB and the DCEU and three strikes. You’re out right? Well, thank the lord for Patty Jenkins and Wonder Woman, because they were up next. We waited almost a year for the next DCEU movie to hit theatres and it was worth the wait. Wonder Woman, the most successful film of the year (so far), 92 percent of Rotten Tomatoes, the highest prior to that was 55% for Man of Steel. People thought this could be the turnaround WB needed, Wonder Woman felt fresh, felt like Patty Jenkins had passion behind this project, that it wasn’t rushed and it was just a simple origin story movie. It’s exactly what the doctor ordered. The DCEU was saved! Or so we thought. Well then the marketing campaign started for Justice League and well we all know how this turned out. I already wrote a ton of Justice League, I’ll say this, it’s a bummer what happened to Zack’s movie, that isn’t right, I hope we see his cut of the movie because it does sound amazing.
What I think WB Needs To Do Going Forward
Batfleck is out, it sucks, but I have come to terms with it. The worst part is, I think Matt Reeves is going to make a special Batman solo movie and only Ben Affleck should star in it. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe he will stick this thing out for one last movie, his solo movie, and if that day comes and he’s in the Matt Reeves solo Batman movie. MY GOD.
Warner Brothers. here’s the thing. STOP, stop trying to be like Marvel. Stop trying to play catch up, just go out at your own pace. Stop trying to force these things on us. Great stories take time to tell, just like in the comics. The best comic writers didn’t pile so much shit into each issue, they took their time and flushed great stories out over many issues. It’s time to shift focus not on team-ups but solo movies. We have Aquaman coming out next December. Let James Wan do his thing with this movie. Don’t mettle, don’t interfere, you don’t bring on a brilliant filmmaker like Wan and then make him follow a strict guideline. Maybe sprinkle in a cameo of some sort. Cyborg? Here’s my thing with Cyborg, he was great, I wanted to see more. Does he need his own solo movie? No! But he can be the League member who pops up in everyone else’s solo flicks. Ray Fisher is the least famous cast member and probably the least expensive, so use that to your advantage. Cyborg is the jack of all trades, he can do so much, so why not have him come help everyone out. That makes so much sense to me. If he sticks with fans and the audiences after a few cameos then yes, green light that solo movie. Find directors and people that are super passionate about these characters and want to tell their stories, that want to bring these characters to life in a grand fashion. You have one year to figure all this out because you are back at square one. There are so many great stories out there about these characters, more stories than you could imagine, pick one and adapt it, it’s not rocket science. Personally base most of these solo movies of the New 52 comic book run. Don’t make a Joker origin story movie, we don’t need that. We don’t need a Suicide Squad 2, or Batgirl film. Stick to the basics, stick to the basics, stick to the basics. Also, call in the big guns, and I mean Dwayne Johnson. Get that man in the Shazam movie, make him badass, and make him a big part of Justice League 2. He doesn’t need a solo movie. Black Adam and Shazam are like peas and carrots, they belong together. The Rock saves franchise, use him while you can and before he bails. I would rather wait a little longer and get great stories, incredible movies, and successful ones, than have WB rush all of this out and make the DCEU as forgettable as it’s slowly becoming. DC fans deserve much better than what has transpired thus far, I know and I think deep down WB knows it.
You know a trailer is pretty dope, when you have to watch it on your phone a few times and it still tickles your fancy. Been waiting a long time for the newest JusticeLeague trailer to drop, and it didn’t disappoint. Pretty much perfect if you ask me. a
First things first, the past few days, it’s been rumored that my boy the Batfleck is leaving the cape and cowl. He’s got some serious personal problems, so at the end of the day, it’s just a movie and fans should understand if he wanted to step away. But today at San Diego Comic-Con, he nipped those claims in the butt himself and promised fans that he isn’t going anyway. That’s a huge sigh of relief for me anyways. He’s the best part of the DCEU, and it really needs him to stick around.
Back to the trailer, everything about it was really well done. I’m glad they didn’t show too much or ruin any big surprises. Still no Superman, and they haven’t really shown off the villain Steppenwolf either. The less we know going into this movie the better. The Flash is hilarious, the little gag at the end of the trailer about everyone just vanishing was fantastic and it’s so true. He’s got a great sense of comedic timing and will give the DCEU a much-needed comedic boost. Aquaman continues to be a rock-star, he actually came on stage today at SDCC playing his trident like a guitar, so Jason Mamoa remains to be a beauty. Like he surfed on a Parademon, what more do you want from the man. Even Cyborg looked way better than he did in the first trailer. So hopefully that will shut some people up that were complaining about the CGI months ago.
Happy we got to see Alfred in this. He seems to be playing a vital role in the movie and well I’m going to come out and say this, he’s the best Alfred we’ve ever had. He didn’t nearly have enough screen time in BvS. His Penguin reference was also interesting, that’s two Batman villains the DCEU has teased now, with The Riddler and now The Penguin. Commissioner Gordon appears again, in what seems like his only scene of the movie, but it’s shaping up to be one hell of a scene.
Listen WB has a ton riding on this movie. But it feels and looks so much different than anything that has come before it. I mean that in the best way possible. I think Zack Synder and company really listened to fans and changed up not only the tone of the movie but added in some colour as well. I’m sure we will get one last trailer in the upcoming months, but I’m sold on this movie and I’m sure everyone else is too. Let’s just hope Ben Affleck isn’t pulling a fast one on us because I need the Batfleck in my life.
“Sometimes, old friend, I wonder if I’m really doing any good out there”
Let us keep this party going! We’re almost in the top 50 here folks! Hopefully you have enjoyed reading this so far, and are coming back to each part! Here are numbers 62-43!
62 – The Last Laugh. Season 1, Episode 4. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: Carl Swenson
It’s April Fools Day in Gotham, and you know what that means. Joker is going to try and kill a bunch of people, by making them laugh to death! Talk about a punch line! It’s got one of the greatest April Fools jokes ever, remember when Alfred “drew Batman a bath” and shows him a picture of a bathtub, classic Alfie! But when poor old Alfie gets infected by this laughing gas, Batman has a little more incentive to stop Joker. It’s weird, but I really dig the background music in this episode, it’s pretty catchy, and overall it’s a great Joker story. It’s got a giant clown robot that Batman fights, and just a boatload of puns, and who doesn’t enjoy a good pun. It’s even got Batman smiling and cracking jokes, and that is a super rare thing to come across. Seriously though, look at Batman in that picture, isn’t it adorable!!! Grade C+
“Oh, that’s a joke, right? Batman finally told a joke!” – The Joker
61 – Lock Up. Season 3, Episode 26. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Paul Dini
Lyle Bolton is his name, get it BOLT-ON, and his alter ego is Lock Up. Wow, I don’t know if that’s extremely clever or corny. This guy is a grade A psycho, I’ll tell you that much. See Lyle was a prison guard, one of the best, but he wanted more, he wanted the prisoners to fear him, and he felt like they were all the scum of the Earth. When the inmates complained, they get Lyle fired, and boy does he not take that lying down. Some time passes and he is now, Lock Up, and is kidnapping some of Gotham’s finest (Summer Gleeson, Commissioner Gordon, Mayor Hill) and wants to punish them for creating a poor justice system. He’s even got some cool lock gadgets that are pretty handy. I kind of wish this guy was in more episodes, he’s huge and pretty damn smart, but when he gets stopped by Batman in the end, since he’s so psychotic, he can now watch all the criminals inside Arkham. Maybe this guy is just a pure genius who knows! Grade C+
“Just what this town needs, another psycho in a Halloween costume.” – Harvey Bullock
60 – Fire From Olympus. Season 3, Episode 7. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Maxie Zeus, just another wack job in Gotham. See he believes he is the reincarnation of Zeus himself, and thinks he can wield thunder bolts. When he wants to steal an experimental weapon from Gotham and use it to destroy the city. I’ll admit, if I did these rankings years ago, this might be a bottom 10 episode, but there’s something about it. It grows on me with each new watch, and I don’t know if its because I’ve come to know the character more, or because I’m realizing it’s actually just a great episode. The ending of this one, when Zeus is being taken through Arkham and he’s comparing all the rogues to well know Greek Mythology characters is actually so brilliant, and it’s just a really cool scene. Grade C+
“To the depths of Tartarus with you!” – Maxie Zeus
59 – Deep Freeze. Season 3, Episode 28. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: Paul Dini
Awe, imagine if Walt Disney, had gone batshit crazy and wanted to be immortal. Well I guess, he did freeze himself, and I don’t know if this episode has anything to do with that, but it reminds me of that, so back off! Grant Walker a billionaire with way to much free time on his hands, breaks Mr. Freeze out of Arkham, so he can help him become just like him. Not only that, Walker wants to turn the world into a skating rink, and start the next ice age, man Gotham really has some sick people in it. Maybe I’m to hard on this episode, but anything that’s not Heart of Ice, has a lot to live up too. This episode just doesn’t really do it for me, and to be perfectly honest, I was always so pissed they waited like 60 episodes to bring Mr.Freeze back. So in the end Freeze helps Batman and Robin, so he can help get his wife back. I just wish we would have gotten a few more Mr. Freeze episodes, but there’s just something about this episode that doesn’t feel right to me. Grade C+
“She’ll wake up in a dead frozen world, that you helped destroy. She’ll hate you for that!” Batman
58 – You Scratch My Back. Season 4, Episode 5. Director: Butch Lukic, Story: Hilary J. Bader
Boy, is there an awful lot of sexual tension in this episode. Hilary wasn’t holding back on this one. Nightwing wants to get out of Batman’s shadow, so he decides to take down a smuggling ring all by himself. Or so he thought, because Catwoman joins in on the fun, and wants to help the boy wonder. She also seems to want to make Batman jealous by having a somewhat of a sensual relationship with Dick (see what I did there). Meanwhile Batgirl and Nightwing got their own thing going on, and it’s just a cluster of emotions going on. Being the double crosser Catwoman is, she is just using Nightwing, to get to some rare antique. He ends up double crossing her, by secretly working with Batman the whole time, he even pulled one over on me the first time I watched it. Pretty mature episode for being a kids cartoon, so I’ll give it props for that. It’s also just an enjoyable episode! Grade C+
“The only cucumbers in there are .38 caliber” Nightwing
57 – The Cat & The Claw. Season 1, Episode 15/16 Director: Kevin Altieri, Dick Sebast, Story: Sean Catherine Derek
We made it, to the first two-part episode! It happens to be Catwoman’s origin, and it happens to feature Red Claw (BOOOOO). If I’m not mistaken these were the first two episodes ever aired, but I go by the box sets, but that’s a fun little fact! So Batman is dealing with this new cat burglar in town. And it just so happens Bruce Wayne has been swept off his feet by the new gal in town, Selina Kyle. Coincidence, I think not! So Selina is pretty pissed because this mountain lion exhibit is being destroyed, by The Red Claw, so both Catwoman and Selina are doing everything they can to stop it from happening. Bruce Wayne is falling for Selina, and Catwoman is falling for Batman, it really is quite the conundrum. When things start to go wrong for Selina, Bruce is there to help, and Batman is also trying to protect Catwoman. When Red Claw steals a deadly plaque on a military train, it’s up to Batman and Catwoman to stop her. Once Batman finds out who Catwoman really is, he has a hard time controlling his emotions and knowing what the right thing to do is. The Catwoman origin stuff, and her arc with Batman in these two episodes are so fantastic, but they get penalized because of the Red Claw. She’s such a horrible villain, and she just was such a buzz kill for these two episodes. The dynamic between Batman and Catwoman is compelling to say the least, and they arguably have the most intriguing relationship in the show, it’s just to bad they couldn’t of had a better baddie to go up against in their first episodes together. Grade B-
“I’m an equal opportunity crime fighter!” Batman
56 – Christmas With The Joker. Season 1, Episode 2. Director: Kent Butterworth, Story: Eddie Gorodetsky
One of my all time favourite traditions. Watch this episode on Christmas Eve! This episode gives us a lot of good moments, I feel like I’m screwing up majorly by putting it this low on my list. We get the Joker rendition of ‘Jingle Bells’, which is an all time classic. Him riding through the roof of Arkham on top of that christmas tree is something special. But overall it’s just not the best of episodes. So it’s Christmas Eve, and Batman is not satisfied with his nightly patrol with Robin. When Robin finally convinces him to head home and put on “It’s A Wonderful Life,” Joker interrupts the broadcast, to declare madness on Gotham! He has capture some people, and it’s up to the dynamic duo to stop him. I feel like if it were December this would be higher on my list, I don’t know what it is, I think I’ll regret putting this episode here. Grade C+
“They don’t call ya Batman for nothing!” Robin
55 – Zatanna. Season 2, Episode 26. Director: Dick Sebast, Story: Paul Dini
Talk about a little sex pot. Zatanna and Batman have all sorts of tension and chemistry between them. When Bruce Wayne visits with Zatanna’s father to learn the ways of illusion and to become a great escape artist, he meets his daughter Zatanna. When he learns all that he can, he leaves and never sees Zatanna again. Until she comes to Gotham, as she grew up to become a great magician. When the final act goes horribly wrong, and she is framed for stealing a lot of money, Batman will stop at nothing to prove her innocence. It doesn’t take her long to figure out that Batman is “John Smith” the man from her past, when he uses an old nickname. They work together to bring down an evil illusionist Montague Kane. I like Zatanna, she’s a great character and I thought she was well portrayed in this episode. I just wanted a little more from the episode. She’s another character they bring into the show and never come back to, which was a total bummer. Batman also cares deeply for this girl and cared for her father, and I love the bond they share, and how close they still are, despite being away from one another for so long! Grade B-
“What do you care about some leggy dame in nylons- or have I just answered my own question?” Zatanna
54 – Appointment In Crime Alley. Season 1, Episode 26. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Gerry Conway
One of the more emotional episodes of the entire series. Batman’s yearly tradition of visiting the site of his parents tragic murder. Crime Alley, a place that Batman hates, yet holds so close to his heart. Well it’s that time of the year, but Roland Daggett is doing everything he can to stop Batman from making that appointment. Daggett is planning on burning Crime Alley to the ground, with or without its residents still living there. He needs the land to build his empire even greater, and will stop at nothing to do so. Batman is also getting held up with various other crimes going on around Gotham, and his head and his heart are not in the right mind frame. The ending to this episode is just so powerful, they really don’t have cartoons like this any more. Like not even close. Once the day is saved, finally Batman and Leslie Thompkins head to Crime Alley, so he can deliver his roses to his parents. He kneels over and Leslie puts her arms around him and it’s just such a powerful scene, that sometimes even Batman is vulnerable and needs compassion every so often.
“Good people still live in Crime Alley” Batman
53 – Blind As A Bat. Season 3, Episode 3. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Mike Underwood
Imagine Batman was like blind. Bats are blind, so why shouldn’t Batman be blind. Well in this episode, that’s exactly what you get. Penguin steals some military badass helicopter from the Gotham airshow, and Bruce Wayne happens to become blind, when he gets caught up in some cross fire. But you know Batman, he never quits, so he uses some sweet technology to give himself sight, but it has a few problems. Watching Batman be completely blind and trying to fight people, is actually hilarious, and I can’t help but laugh every time he falls into those barrels! His glowing red eyes, actually make him look more terrifying and menacing as The Dark Knight. Just kind of a meh episode for me, obviously he gets his vision back….. Grade C
“You’re blind as a bat. Sightless and helpless.” Penguin
52 – Heart of Steel. Season 2. Episode 10/11. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: Brynne Stephens
Seriously, Bruce Wayne really knows how to pick em. Imagine going on a date with a woman, to only find out she’s a robot, and wants to kill you. Robots! Lots and lots of robots. So these episodes are kind of all over the place. So there are a ton of robberies going on around Gotham, and Batman discovers it to be a mechanical briefcase (I’m not kidding). So he tracks down his old pal Karl Rossum, who is an expert in robotics and has lived a sheltered life, after his daughter was killed in a car crash. There he meets the lovely lady/robot assistant Randa Duane. He doesn’t know she’s a robot, and now that I’m thinking about it, why would Karl even let that go on for a second? He must be a sick guy. Any who, he also shows Batman his most prized possession, H.A.R.D.A.C a super computer capable of incredible things. Things that even Rossum doesn’t know. Like make robotic duplicates of some of Gotham’s most important people! I almost forgot, we get introduced to Barbara Gordon in these two episodes, and she’s awesome. When her Dad gets taken away and replaced with a duplicate, she knows something is wrong right away, there’s also a moment when she thinks she has killed Bullock, but it turns out to be a duplicate also. Imagine that wasn’t the case though, and she straight up just killed a guy! So when Bruce Wayne goes on a date with a robot lady, she sneaks into the batcave and tampers with the bat-computer. When Batman investigates he gets attacked, and realizes something is severely wrong in Gotham. With the help of Barbara, they head back to Rossum, to confront him, but he doesn’t even realize what’s happening, and together they free all the kidnapped citizens, and destroy H.A.R.D.A.C once and for all. This is a two parter that I find myself disliking with each viewing, I’m not sure why, so that’s why its so low on the list! Grade B-
“His human imperfection endangers the plan. He must be improved upon.” H.A.R.D.A.C
51 – A Bullet For Bullock. Season 3, Episode 11. Director: Frank Paur, Story: Michael Reaves
Thee Harvey Bullock episode! Finally, one of my favourite characters from the whole show. A tortured soul, a good cop, but simply misunderstood. He believes we don’t need Batman, and in this episode, Bullock finally comes around to the idea of Batman, and hell even thanks the man. Someone is trying to kill Bullock, and wants him dead bad, and well he doesn’t have the slightest of clue as to who it is. So like any desperate man, he turns to Batman for help. This is a really character driven episode, and us as the audience and even Bullock himself learn a lot about this guy. He realizes that his demeanour and his behaviour has created some of the unlikeliest of enemies. He becomes self aware of how he treats people, and maybe realizes it’s time for a change. They scour Gotham, and pinpoint someone from his past as the culprit. That wasn’t the case, it was Bullock’s landlord who wanted him dead, and even pulls a gun on him at the end of the episode. He had driven this poor guy mad, and you just learn to really love the guy by the end of the episode. I really want to see this guy in The Batman movie. Grade B
“You wanted my apartment? You mean, this whole thing was about rent control?” Bullock
50 – It’s Never Too Late. Season 1, Episode 12. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Tom Rugger
There’s a crime war going on in Gotham, between Rupert Thorne and old timer Arnold Stromewell, and it is sweeping through the city. When Thorne wants a “truce” Stromwell shows up thinking that this is really happening, meanwhile it’s a trap! You gotta know better old man, but Batman is on the case and saves Stromwell from an exploding building. He needs Stronwell’s help, and needs him to testify against Thorn. He pulls out all the stops, Batman tracks down his son, who is a drug addict but is getting the attention he needs. See Arnold had a trouble upbringing, when he was a boy, is brother lost his leg, when the pair of them were playing on the train tracks and he’s never forgiven himself for it. Now a priest, with the help from his brother and Batman, Arnold swears off crime and even helps bring down Thorne. This is another emotional episode, with all sorts of emotional baggage and layered story telling. Dealing with some serious subject matter for being a kids cartoon. An episode that honestly only gets better with time. Grade B-
“Stay away, Michael! The last time you tried to help me, you lost your leg!” – Arnold Stromwell
49 – Never Fear. Season 4, Episode 6. Director: Kenji Hachizaki, Story: Stan Berkowitz
Imagine Batman without fear. His deepest fear is becoming what fights every night in Gotham. He never wants to cross that line, and become one of them. Well we kind of get that in this episode, when Scarecrow makes a new toxin that eliminates fear as we know it. So when Batman gets exposed to the gas, he thinks nothing of it. Until he starts acting radically and is being more dangerous and reckless. Sensing this, Robin decides he must do this on his own. Knowing Batman is a threat to not only Gotham city, but to himself as well. Probably the weakest Scarecrow story, but the idea behind Batman losing control is a really neat idea, and something that should be taken seriously. Doing this again, but making it a little more edgy could be awesome to see, because Batman without limits, is a scary man to think about. There is a great exchange between Robin and Batman in this episode. Where Robin knows, that Batman is now such a threat that he needs to stop Scarecrow alone, it’s just a really powerful scene between the two. Considering Tim Drake is just a kid, and he’s not afraid of Batman, even when he is unhinged. Grade C+
“Untie me, you little… UNTIE ME!” – Batman
48 – House And Garden. Season 3, Episode 14. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Paul Dini –
This episode is just straight up creepy. Poison Ivy is a broken woman in this one. We see her “building a new life” becoming free of crime and Batman is in shock. She’s turned a new leaf (plant pun!) and decided it’s time to settle down and start a family. She meets a nice professor that teaches at Dick’s school and together they raise his two sons. Batman at first is skeptical, and starts to spy on Ivy, but when he comes away with nothing, he even feels bad for pressuring her so much. Meanwhile, a giant plant like man is terrorizing Gotham, and it would appear that all fingers lead to Ivy, but Batman simply can’t connect the two. At one point in the episode Ivy tells Batman “She’s the happiest, she’s ever been”, and Batman tells her that he believes it. When it turns out, that Ivy is in fact making “people” and that her family isn’t real, Batman and Robin are able to put a stop to her insane plot. She eventually flees Gotham and is seen on an airplane, looking through photographs of her family, with tears in her eyes. Just an emotional episode, showcasing that even though her family and life weren’t real, it was in fact the happiest she’s ever been. Sad stuff. Grade C+
“She’s done nothing more incriminating than return an overdue video – even paid the late fee.” Batman
47 – If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich? Season 2, Episode 12. Director: Eric Radomski, Story: David Wise
The Riddler! One of my all time favourite Batman villains, and guess what? They do him such proper justice in this show! The episodes before the revamp that The Riddler is in, are just quality stuff. His origin story episode however, is my least favourite. The way he looks, speaks and intellect are all so on the money, it’s not even fair. So kudos to the guys for really nailing this character. So Edward Nygma creates a world famous game called “The Riddle of The Minotaur,” and is on top of the world. But when his boss, Daniel Mockridge fires him, so he can keep all the profits of the game for himself, Nygma vows revenge as he leaves the building. Fast forward two years, and Mockridge is getting riddles all across Gotham, and he knows it can only be one man. The Riddler ends up kidnapping Mockridge, and swears to put an end to Mockridge. Batman even feels a little for Nygma, knowing he was the creator of the game, and got screwed over. But they have to stop him from killing Mockridge, who he has hidden in the middle of a life size replica of the game he created. This is where the episode takes a downturn for me, I’m not a fan of the life sized game, it just seems so unrealistic (I know it’s Batman, but you know what I mean). It feels so out of place, and this is when we learn that Batman is a terrific riddle solver, and it damn near pisses Riddler off every time. Mockridge is saved, but he ultimately ends up living in fear for the rest of his life. Side note: I love how they got a guy who’s last name is Wise to write this episode…… Grade B
“My, my, my, can we actually have a brain beneath that pointy cowl of ours?” The Riddler
46 – Mad As A Hatter. Season 1, Episode 27. Director: Frank Paur, Story: Paul Dini
Jervis Tetch, a Wayne Enterprises scientist, is madly in love with one of his secretaries Alice. You know where this is going, he eventually snaps, and becomes his alter ego Mad Hatter. I like this character, I enjoy the play on the whole Alice in Wonderland thing. Jervis is a broken man, who just wants to be loved. When he can’t have that, he makes it happen, by mind controlling those around him. He can actually be a pretty worthy advisory to Batman, with his mind controlling devices, seeing how anyone can be targeted. So when Alice gets engaged to her boyfriend, Jervis doesn’t like that one bit, and sets off on a rampage to win her back. I’m a big fan of the end to this episode, with all the characters from Alice in Wonderland being involved, and I just think Mad Hatter is a really interesting and unique Batman character. Just an overall, really well done episode in my mind. Grade B
“You’re mighty in Gotham, Batman, but in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter reigns supreme.” Mad Hatter
45 – Fear of Victory. Season 1, Episode 24. Director: Dick Sebast, Story: Samuel Warren Joseph
Imagine being afraid of just about everything and anything. Well Scarecrow’s newest toxin does just that. When he’s intoxicating star Gotham athletes and making a fortune off their poor performances, he thinks he has it made. He even gets Robin’s roommate, quarterback of their universities football team, and at the same time Robin becomes infected. He doesn’t know until he’s on patrol with Batman, and finds himself, afraid of heights all of a sudden. This episode is all about facing your fears, and being master of your own mind. In the first season, Scarecrow is involved in 3 incredible episodes, and I really wish they didn’t go away from that character in later seasons. He is always testing Batman’s limits, and in this episode, Robin feels like he is a burden to Batman. Once Batman finds the connection between the athletes and Robin, he knows it’s the professor of fear behind it, and when he goes to confront him in Arkham, well guess who broke out. There’s a great part, when it appears he’s in his cell, just rocking back and forth on his rocking chair, but it’s just an actual Scarecrow. Like just how bad is security at this place? Grade B-
“I need the money, Batman. You know the cost of chemicals these days.” Scarecrow
44 – Night of The Ninja. Season 2, Episode 7. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: Steve Perry
Kyodai Ken, man this guy was so cool! For being a lesser known rival to Bruce Wayne and later Batman, this guy was pretty badass! He’s only in two episodes of the show, but honestly they are two of my favourites. The reason I have it only at number 48, is well, remember what show we are talking about here. So when Bruce Wayne goes to Japan to learn the ways of a samurai, he meets Ken, who is a formidable foe. He is better than Bruce in the dojo, but he has his heart on a rare sword, and tries to steal it. When he is stopped by Bruce and their master, Kyodai Ken swear revenge. Some years later, robberies are happening all over Gotham, and to Wayne Enterprises subsidiaries, he comes face to face with a worthy opponent. When trying to get away, he notices a back tattoo, the same one that Kyodai Ken has. Fearing that he might not be able to beat him, like he could never do in the past, Batman is a little on edge. One of the reasons I love this episode so much, is there’s also a great Robin story in here too. That Robin sometimes feels like Batman isn’t proud of him, or that he isn’t grateful to have him around. Towards the end of the episode, it is Bruce Wayne that defeats Ken, but needs the aid of Robin, due to the fact that he’s fighting him in front of Summer Gleeson. He can’t defeat him with her watching, because it might start to raise unwanted questions. I think I’m really screwing up by making this episode 48, but the truth is, the next time Kyodai Ken comes around, it’s even better! Grade B+
“I have to be the best there is, no matter what it takes!” – Batman
43 – See No Evil. Season 1, Episode 17. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Martin Pasko
This episode for me at least, has it all. A great story, animation and a really good character. Lloyd Ventrix is a fresh out of jail father, who can no longer see his daughter. So he makes a suit, that’s made up of a special plastic that can bend light. He’s therefore invisible, and when he’s invisible he can see his daughter. See she thinks it’s her new best friend Mojo, and there’s something about this, that’s both sweet and creepy. He’s also using the suit to commit various crimes around Gotham, and when Batman goes up against him, and realizes what exactly he is going up against, he digs deeper into this matter. When he finds out the plastic is toxic and will eventually kill Ventrix, he tries to console him about losing his daughter. All the animation with him being invisible is incredible for the 90’s and they have some stellar fight sequences in this as well. Towards the end when Batman uses a dripping water tank to see Ventrix, and it’s just really well done. He’s only ever in one episode but man I just love that character, it’s a real mature story for a kids show. It really only gets better with each viewing in my opinion. Grade B
“See you ’round, Batman! Too bad you can’t say the same!” – Lloyd Ventrix
The DCEU is looking for someone to take over the Superman franchise. Matthew Vaughn is the perfect choice
Warner Bros. is going ahead with a Man of Steel sequel, and they’re eyeing their man for the directing job. Back in 2013 the DCEU officially launched with the release of Man of Steel, and it was met with mixed reviews by both fans and critics. Helmed by Zack Snyder, the “godfather” of the DCEU as some would put it, is taking a back seat for the sequel, and Warner Bros. have been in hot pursuit to find his replacement. They might have found the man for the job and his name is Matthew Vaughn.
Matthew Vaughn, is on a little bit of a role lately, with hits such as; Kick-Ass, Kingsmen: The Secret Service and X-Men First Class, he knows his way around a comic book franchise. He even pitched a Superman movie to WB back in the day, and had this to say about the titled character. “I think that’s the one thing not to do with Superman, trying to do the serious ‘The Dark Knight’ version. Superman is about color and fun, or it should be, for me.”
His movies are all colorful and fun, and he’s no stranger to approaching a comic book movie, with already 3 hits on his resume. This seems like a match made in heaven, but the problem with WB is, they like to meddle in peoples work, and that has showed in their last few movie releases.
Now this approach would seem the polar opposite of the Superman the DCEU fans have come to know in Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman. Their Superman is brooding and a sad character, and maybe Vaughn could breathe some new light into this iconic hero. If that’s the case, this could be the best thing that could happen to Superman, bring back the character to its original roots in the Christopher Reeves era, and making him a fun hero to root for once again.
With the DCEU universe stumbling out of the gate with their first 3 movie releases, some fresh blood might be the best thing for it. With the sizeable hit that was Batman v. Superman, but not meeting the fans expectations and having serious tone problems. Following that up with the lackluster Suicide Squad, WB is praying that Wonder Woman this summer can finally turn this sinking ship around. Justice League is set to hit theatres this coming November, and with the apparent death of Superman in Batman v. Superman, he is looking to make a serious comeback in Justice League, and hopefully he might have awoke with a new and improved funny bone.
I’ve been a fan of all of Vaughn’s work, and super stoked about the Kingsmen sequel, that I could only get excited of the news that WB might be bringing in another fantastic director for one of their projects. Patty Jenkins who’s doing Wonder Woman, everything we have seen so far makes it look promising, and adding James Wan, and Matt Reeves into the mix, could make for some serious blockbusters down the line for Warner Bros.
So I’m on board with this potential hiring of Matthew Vaughn, I really hope he doesn’t want to bring back the underwear over the pants. That can stay with the Christopher Reeves era.