Reviews

Ranking The 22 Best Batman: The Animated Series Episodes

It’s been 2 years, time to put the cherry on the sundae.

22 – Harley’s Holiday. Season 3, Episode 25. Director: Kevin Altieri. Story: Paul Dini

What a power couple. Move over Mr. J. Imagine Batman and Harley Quinn an item? Harley is free and she wants to enjoy her life. The simple things in life you know? What do most girls love to do? Go shopping! So when she decides to have a nice holiday and go on a shopping spree, well you guessed it. Things go horribly wrong and she ends up on the wrong side of the law. Not hard to do when you’re expected to turn to a life of crime in no time, but this was a mere misunderstanding and now Harley is running for her life over a simple security tag. She’s taken a hostage and everyone from a crazy father, Batman and Detective Bullock is on the hunt for Harley. Any episode that features Harley is top-notch, we owe it to Paul Dini for creating her, and she simply doesn’t have enough time to shine in this show. That’s why we can’t take her solo episodes like this for granted. Besides, it’s just an all-around fun episode, and that’s what’s most important. We get to see the more human side of Harley and realize how damaged she is, and that her love for a crime only runs so deep. She’s a complex and complicated character and I wish it was explored more throughout this show. The low key awesome moment is when Harley’s hyenas are barking at Bruce Wayne and Harley is trying to figure out who he is. Just a cute little moment. Also, Robin uses fish has nunchucks, that is worth a ton of credit where I come from. Grade. B+

“I had a bad day too once” – Batman

21 – The Man Who Killed Batman. Season 2, Episode 23. Director: Bruce W. Timm. Story: Paul Dini

Not The Joker, Two-Face or The Penguin. It’s someone no one knew existed until this very show. Sidney or Sid The Squid. Imagine that, some random low-level thug is the guy who offs the bat. Well, that’s at least what he wants you to think. After a botched robbery attempt, up and newcomer Sid wants a part of Rupert Thorns gang. So they give him the “easy” job, the lookout. All is going according to plan until Batman shows up and when the fellow gang members look on as it appears he’s going toe-to-toe with old Batsy, he’s actually tripping and falling all over the place. When Batman falls over a building and into a massive explosion it appears that Sid had killed the Batman. Now the toughest guy in Gotham, Sidney quickly gains a reputation that he can not uphold. Every thug in Gotham wants a piece of him and even the Joker wants him. He can’t believe that Batman is really gone. He’s upset because he wasn’t the one who did it and that crime no longer has any meaning. We get a hilarious funeral scene that encompasses Joker and Harley crying, they soon turn their frustrations onto Sidney. So when Sidney finally ends up at the feet of his boss Rupert Thorn, he can’t help feel a little lucky. He killed Batman and made a fool out of The Joker, no easy task mind you. So of course, it’s no surprise that Thorn doesn’t believe Sidney and thinks he is some criminal mastermind, well he’s not and when Thorn is moments away from putting a bullet in him, Batman shows up to save the day! I don’t know why I love this episode so much, maybe seeing how The Joker would react to the death of Batman, makes you wonder. Without Batman, crime has no punchline, as The Joker likes to say, it’s almost disheartening to see that side of Mr. J. Grade B+

“You really know how to put the “fun” in funeral” – Harley Quinn

20 – Harley & Ivy. Season 2, Episode 28. Director: Boyd Kirkland. Story: Paul Dini

The new queens of Gotham crime are among us. Even if it’s for a short-lived period of time, Harley and Ivy make a spectacular team. After her puddin’ tosses her out of the gang for not contributing, Harley is set on showing Mr. J that she can, in fact, pull off a worthy heist. On that said heist she bumps into Ivy who is pulling a job of her own and it doesn’t take long for the pair of them to realize they make a killer team. They are the perfect mesh of brains and brawn and soon start pulling jobs and realizing that maybe they don’t need men in their lives to be successful. This episode does such a wonderful job exploring Harley’s obsession with The Joker and why she needs and relies so much on him. Ivy also asks her why he loves him so much, and Harley always has the hardest time describing her feelings and giving a straightforward answer. It’s a sickness really, where mere moments after she leaves him, she says “I miss him already.” Turns out that Harley was an important piece in Jokers life, as his hideout and life have turned upside down. Throw in a showdown with Harley, Ivy, The Joker and Batman all on a toxic waste dump, that’s my kind of fun. The dynamic between Ivy and Harley is something I wish was expanded on a little bit more, we do get to see them reunited in “Holiday Knights” but it’s for a brief stint and it doesn’t come across as the same bond or chemistry. This is a duo I really hope to see kick some ass in live-action someday. Grade B+

“Aren’t you that plant lady? Poison Oaky?” – Harley Quinn

19- Nothing To Fear. Season 1, Episode 3. Director: Boyd Kirkland. Story: Henry T. Gilroy.

Remember this classic episode? The introduction to The Scarecrow? It might look familiar because good old Christopher Nolan ripped the incredible ending from this episode and put it in Batman Begins. See even the great Nolan respects his elders, because not only was this a fantastic scene in BTAS, but also one of the most comic book-ie scenes in all of his Batman trilogy. Giving professor Crane a taste of his own medicine only to see Batman appear as large Bat-like gargoyle creature. Batman, unfamiliar with Scarecrows tactics is affected by his fear toxin and soon starts to hallucinate. Mostly about his parents and how they now view him as a failure, and how he has let them down with how he has turned out. We all know that isn’t true, but it’s his worst fears coming to life, letting down the people he loved most, doing the thing that makes it possible for a tragic night like he had to never happen again. Pretty deep stuff, and in the first season Scarecrow is featured 3 times and each episode is so good. Why they stopped having him appear is beyond me because he really sticks out as one of the more memorable baddies from the show. This episode also gives us one of the most iconic scenes in the entire shows run. Batman seeing a giant skull, flames coming out its eyes, his father’s voice telling him he’s a failure. But no, Batman overcomes his fears and shouts – ” I AM VENGEANCE, I AM THE NIGHT, I AM BATMAN!” Grade A-

” I AM VENGEANCE, I AM THE NIGHT, I AM BATMAN!” – how could I not put this as the quote?

18 – Shadow of The Bat. Season 3, Episode 1 & 2. Director. Frank Paur. Story: Brynne Stephens.

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The introduction to Batgirl! Took the show long enough to finally feature Barbara as the new trusty side-kick. They teased her skills in earlier episodes, showcasing her talents at getting into places and her all-around toughness, but it wasn’t until dear old Dad gets locked up she decides to take matters into her own hands. With mob bosses being caught and prosecuted left and right, the man responsible is the new right-hand man to Commissioner Gordon, Gil. When Batman decides to go undercover himself as Matches Malone and finds out that Two-Face is partially responsible for these events, it’s up to Robin and Batgirl to get him out of a pinch. Whenever Two-Face is involved with an episode it’s always a doozy. Batgirl is a worthy addition to the Batfamily, where we see that it takes more than just a costume to be a hero in Gotham city. You can see the instant chemistry between Dick and Barbara when they are under their respected masks. Another reason why I like this show so much, it’s a cartoon but yet they touched on mature matters and it just didn’t feel like this was for children. We only ever get to see Batgirl once more before the animation change and it’s a real shame. She never gets to share the screen with this Batman ever again and I think that’s a major flaw in the show. Grade B+

“Funny, I don’t remember a girl being invited to this little club” Robin

17 – Jokers Favor. Season 1, Episode 22. Director: Boyd Kirkland. Story: Paul Dini

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Imagine having a terrible day, one of the worst days of your life and you take all that frustration and anger out on The Joker? Well, for Charlie Collins that exactly what happens. After being cut off in traffic, he’s had enough and finally for once in his life decides to stick up for himself. Little does he know, driving that car is Mr. J himself. So instead of you know doing the usual killing thing, Joker tells Charlie that he owes him a favor and leaves. Years pass and Charlie has moved away and even changed his name, but Joker knows him all too well. The real reason why this episode is so great and honestly so memorable? The creation and the very first appearance of none other than Harley Quinn! That’s right the man who wrote this episode along with so many others Paul Dini is the creator of this iconic character. Now, creating a character in a cartoon show that goes on to get her own comic, show, and be the star of a live-action movie is one incredible feat. Throw in the fact that in the end Charlie pulls one over on Joker and that is such a rare sight to see. Seeing him scared that perhaps he had managed to create a monster more deranged than him. Charlie, of course, is just joking and this is just one of the more all-around polished episodes. There’s also a very clever make-shift bat-signal that Charlie cooks up, another reminder of how ingenious this show was. Grade B+

“Jumping Jiminy Christmas! Charlie Collins. It’s been forever. How are you man” – The Joker

16 – Mad Love. Season 4, Episode 21. Director: Butch Lukic. Story: Paul Dini & Bruce Timm

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The last episode that ever aired, and what a beauty she was. A true romance story. Joker and Harley, destined to be at each others throats and destined to be together forever. Still can’t believe how far she has come from being created in this show, to where she is now. Mad Love shows the nasty side of this relationship and how twisted Harley is. Her mind has been mutilated by Joker and she doesn’t even know it. It explores the origin of their relationship and how in moments these two can be completely different. Once a respected psychiatrist turned one of Gotham’s most notorious criminals. It’s sad to see someone take as much abuse as Harley does, but her sickness is the Joker. Her love and affection for the man are what keeps her both sane and insane. The thing is, she can’t tell the difference between the two. It’s their most personal story told within the series and feels the most authentic and rich. Something that fans have wanted to be adapted into live-action for a long time. Grade A-

15 – Beware The Gray Ghost. Season 1, Episode 18. Director: Boyd Kirkland. Story: Dennis O’Flaherty.

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The man who started it all really. Adam West, the first actor to portray Batman in live-action. An icon, one of the all-time greats. So when Batman The Animated Series decided to do an episode about The Gray Ghost, Bruce Waynes hero growing up as a kid, it was a no brainer to hire Adam West to do the voice. Perhaps the best voice works from someone outside the main cast. He nails the role perfectly, and it’s such a heartwarming episode. When someone calling themselves the Mad Bomber is blowing up half of Gotham City, Batman is having a hard time solving the case. Until he realizes that this has happened before, not in his past life, but in his favorite television program, The Gray Ghost. There he hunts down Simon Trent, the man who portrayed The Gray Ghost in the show, only to find out, he’s now a has-been actor, who can’t find any work. When he needs to find a copy of the episode, Trent is the only person left with a copy, and soon enough the pair team-up. Batman is dark, he broods and keeps to himself. He keeps his emotions in check and doesn’t let anyone get close. Tables turn in this episode, where we see the kid come alive in Batman, as he gets to work alongside his hero, a side that is rarely seen. Grade A

“Thanks, Mr. Trent. You know, as a kid I used to watch you with my father. The Gray Ghost was my hero.” – Bruce Wayne 

14 – The Laughing Fish. Season 2, Episode 6. Director: Bruce W. Timm. Story: Paul Dini

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Okay, first things first here people. Batman fights a shark. That’s right, Batman fights a shark. Obviously, that should be enough to be the best episode ever, but not in my books. The darkest episode ever produced perhaps. It’s almost like a mini horror movie, the way people are attacked by The Joker. It can most certainly be scary and quite shocking for the younger viewers. I always wanted to see this adapted in live-action, I think we’ve never really seen The Joker use his laughing gas, and other means of making people go insane with some sort of chemical and I think that would be awesome. The interaction where Batman and the man swap places always throw me for a loop, such great writing throughout this episode. The best Joker story? There’s a fun side story with Bullock as well, a conflicted character to say the least, but he’s such a good cop, but believes in his way and his way only. Another character I would love to see come to life in the upcoming Matt Reeves Batman movies. James Gordon needs that cop that he can lean on and someone for Batman to butt heads with. The commercials for Joker Fish are downright hilarious. Making Harley eat this disgusting fish after she sings the jingle. This is an episode that I feel Hitchcock would be proud of. They simply just don’t make ’em like they used to, you would never see an episode like this for a Superhero cartoon anymore. Grade A- 

“See Batsy, I think of everything!” – Joker 

13. Old Wounds. Season 4, Episode 17. Director: Curt Geda. Story: Rich Fogel

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The episode where we finally get to see Dick Grayson snap! He even punches Batman in the face. One of the many things that change when the new animation rolls out for the Animated Series, is the time jump. Where we see Dick Grayson don his new persona as Nightwing. How did we get here? How did this friendship come to such a chaotic ending? When Dick sees the new Robin Tim Drake and decides to tell him the story of what happened between him and his new mentor, it becomes clear that the old Robin and Batman always had a hard time seeing eye-to-eye when it came to crime-fighting. I can’t preach this enough, but this is another classic episode that would have best been suited in the old animation format, but that just wasn’t possible. One of the most mature episodes in the show’s history, where things finally come to literal blows between former crime-fighting partners. This ultimately leads to one of the best and more memorable scenes the show has ever produced. Grade A-

“I’m nothing like him” Nightwing 

12- Over The Edge. Season 4, Episode 11. Director: Yuichiro Yano. Story: Paul Dini

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This episode hits heavy. The big “what-if” of the Animated Series. What if someone close to Batman were to die? What if that person was none other than Barbara Gordon, also known as Batgirl and the daughter of Commissioner Gordon. When a typical night trying to deal with Scarecrow turns into a nightmare, that ends with Batgirl falling off a rooftop and dying in her father’s arms. All hell breaks loose on the Batfamily, where we see Batman and Robin running for their lives inside the Batcave and a swat team setting a trap for Nightwing. This episode is the real deal because we’ve always wondered what would happen if someone close to Batman were to die. Especially on his watch, where he feels responsible. It’s the only episode in the entire series that deals with death, where throughout the shows run, they would go out of their way to depict that death really wasn’t on the table in this show. So to open an episode up with the death of Batgirl, really makes your head turn. This is just the first half of it! How far would you go if your own child died in your arms? Gordon felt that Batman was someone he could trust, someone he relied on for so many years, and not only did he keep this secret from him, but he didn’t do the one thing he should have done, protect his daughter at all costs. So when a man breaks, when his spirit is ripped in two, he will go to unspeakable lengths to try to seek revenge. So Gordon turns to one man who could take down the Bat, Bane. Seeing how this episode deals with such mature content, it’s a shame that it’s not in the old animation style because it feels less mature than it should because the new animation makes everything seem more childlike. Another classic episode that would benefit from the old animation style in my opinion. Bane’s design was flawless, it was walking perfection and they turned him into a dominatrix. Way to much leather and spikes if you ask me. After an epic battle on a rooftop that leaves Bane dead after using his last bit of energy to catapult Gordon and Batman from the roof. Thank god this was all a dream and Barbara was another victim of some classic Scarecrow fear toxin. You know that this is the case pretty much the second the episode begins but you can’t help but go along on this incredible journey. Grade A

“You would fight to the death?” – Bane   

11 – Riddler’s Reform. Season 3, Episode 23. Director: Dan Riba. Story: Paul Dini, Alan Burnett.

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Riddler’s Reform really explores the genius of The Riddler and how like every villain of Batman, their greatest strength usually is their greatest downfall. Pretending to go straight but the whole time is actually still committing crimes. It’s a fantastic end to The Riddler’s arc, truly standing out as one of Batman’s greatest foes in the shows run. The last little bit of this episode, The Riddler not being able to understand and solve the riddle of how Batman escaped his “perfect” trap, just sums up how unique and smart this show was. One of the things I loved about this version was how they made him kind of a bigger guy like if he had to come to blows with Batman he would be okay with it. He’s just not some scrawny guy hiding behind a computer screen. He is the embodiment of what I want to see for Paul Dano in the upcoming live-action Batman movie. Without a doubt the smartest villain amongst the rogue’s gallery always trying to be one step ahead. His biggest flaw, he almost wants to be caught, he’s always leaving cookie crumbs for Batman follow. He loves the thrill of the chase, even with making millions of dollars by going straight, he loves trying to be the smartest man in Gotham. He no longer needs crime, but can’t help himself, that’s the problem, these villains can’t truly be happy unless they are dealing with Batman. He’s addicted at trying to stump Batman, at trying to one-up him. The show also explores Batman’s genius, how he always finds a way to figure out whatever The Riddler is scheming. He really is the world’s greatest detective in this show. For once in this episode, The Riddler does get the best out of Batman and flexes on him at a party, which was odd to see. But in the end, it’s The Riddler’s own creation that is what Batman uses to finally put an end to him. Grade A+

“Those were things of the past Batman, ancient history that’s gone now. I’m a new man” – The Riddler

10 – HarleQuinade. Season 3, Episode 16. Director: Kevin Altieri. Story: Paul Dini

btas-season-2-header The defining Harley Quinn episode in my opinion. It sums up her character to a tee and perfectly depicts not only her relationship with the Joker but with herself as well. Incredible writing, tons of action, and it even as a great Cruel Intentions moment in the car. I guess this would have inspired that classic moment in that movie, where Harley is making funny faces at Batman while he drives the Batmobile, just a beautiful moment. Again, this show could have provided inspiration to another movie, you may have heard of it, The Dark Knight. The Joker entering the gang meeting at the beginning of the episode, strap with a bomb, turns out it’s fake, but it reminds me so much of that memorable scene, where Heath Ledgers Joker walks in on Gotham’s most dangerous criminals and puts them all to shame. Harley and Batman do make a unique but effective team, you get the sense that deep down maybe Harley is an anti-hero, she’s just always so internally conflicted about who she is because of her relationship with the Joker. Because on the opposite side of the coin sits Joker and this episode demonstrates truly just how evil that man is. He is willing to blow up the entire city of Gotham, with no remorse. He was willing to leave everyone behind including Harley, all of their friends and even Harley’s babies, her hyenas. She might be sick and twisted but she still has a heart and it really shows, and it’s a sweet and heartwarming moment. You finally understand what makes her tick and what exactly makes her so attracted to Mr. J. He was the first person to stop telling her their problems and start listening to hers, and that was the turning point in her life. Again for a kid’s show, they can go deep with the lessons and themes of an episode and explore things best they can. Lastly, this episode has a fantastic casino sequence that is freaking hilarious. Grade – A+

“We’re blowing town, literally” – The Joker 

9 – Dreams In Darkness. Season 1, Episode 28. Director: Dick Sebast. Story: Garfield Reeves

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A complete acid trip. The only way to describe one of the best overall episodes of this show. Batman Begins, where the Nolan trilogy all started. Well, we can thank this very episode for being one of the building blocks to its foundation. The plot of this episode poisoning Gotham’s water supply with a fear toxin by the Scarecrow, well Nolan clearly liked what he saw and improved on it just a little bit. But when Batman himself is exposed he wanders down a rabbit hole at almost lands him in Arkham forever. Scarecrow really is the MVP of villains for the first season of the show. 3 for 3 on his episodes, all classic stories being told, all executed to perfection. That’s why it’s such a let down that he’s never really seen again, not until they transform him into the Grim Reaper and change his entire design. Watching Batman trickle down slowly but surely into darkness, into madness is so bizarre to watch. Slowly watching him become what he fights every night, a crazed lunatic that can’t tell reality from fiction. The strongest minded superhero that DC has to offer, can’t grab a couple of power cords, it’s crazy to see Batman so weak-minded, afraid of anything that moves. One of my all-time favorite sequences in the show’s history occurs in this very episode. Batman descends further into madness literally and figuratively, as he ventures into the caves beneath Arkham Asylum. His mind racing as giant, larger than life versions of his most formidable foes, Poison Ivy, Penguin, Two-Face and the Joker come looking for a fight. The animation is just so beautifully crafted as each villain morphs into the next. Grade A+

“The great Batman scared out of his mind. How does it feel?” – The Scarecrow 

8 – The Demon’s Quest. Season 3, Episodes 4 & 5. Director: Kevin Altieri. Story: Dennis O’Neil

the-demons-questHas Batman finally met his match? It only took 3 seasons, but the world’s greatest detective finally meets his greatest foe, Ra’s al Ghul. When his trusty side-kick and Ra’s daughter are both apprehended on the same night, the two must work together in order to track them down. Ra’s has honestly one of the better introductions of any character in the show, surprising Batman in the Batcave alongside his own trusty side-kick Ubu. Batman can’t believe what he is seeing, someone not within his inner circle knowing the truth about his secret identity. Suspicious from the beginning, Batman agrees to tag along and join them on their journey as they try to locate the people that mean the most to them. Turns out, Ra’s daughter is none other than Talia al Ghul who Batman had once previously met, and the two took a liking to one another. This episode just has so much to offer, from Batman going outside Gotham city, and seeing him do Batman things all over the world. Being the great detective that he is and always knowing that Ra’s was full of shit, but playing his cards right. It sets up this vast world, where Batman realizes that he will face threats just no within Gotham City, that he will be needed all over the globe. Perfect voice casting again, by David Warner, it really makes the character of Ra’s come to life. The epic showdown in part two, both men shirtless sword fighting above a Lazarus Pit sticks out as one of the best scenes the show has to offer. Batman knows that Ra’s is his greatest enemy, yet his love interest for his daughter stands in the way of truly defeating him. This interpretation is something I would love to see in live-action and hope we maybe get to see someday down the line. Even the opening scene of Part 1, where Robin is entering his dorm building, climbing the side of the building in the pouring rain, really sticks out to me as just some top-notch beautiful animation. Grade A+

“The Demon’s Head, I thought you were only a legend” – Batman

7 – Feat of Clay. Season 1, Episodes 20 & 21. Director: Dick Sebast & Kevin Altieri. Story: Marv Wolfman.

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Without question, the best piece of animation this show has ever produced. Some of the best animation I can ever remember seeing in a cartoon. Considering how old this show is and how well this stands the test of time, really encompasses how much effort and heart went into making this show. Clay-Face a man who can become anything he wants, imagine trying to draw all these different designs and shapes and forms, must have been hours of work. Not only that, to produce such ingenious animation but also give us a beautiful story? Now they are just spoiling us! Clay-Face is such a Shakespearean character. He’s a tragic figure, one who you can’t help but feel sorry for. A lost cause who had to turn to crime because of a freak accident. A man of a thousand faces,  one of the few foes that Batman feels sorry for. He always tries to help his enemies, make them see the proper way, to believe that they can be saved, but Clay-Face hits a soft spot for our hero. There’s something poetic about him, the way he speaks, remember before his transformation, he was Matt Hagan, the once-great actor. He knows a thing or two about the dramatic side of things. That’s why he’s so appealing and such a worthy foe for Batman. The episodes are a ton of fun, introducing Roland Dagget, giving us numerous Batman vs. Clay-Face showdowns. One thing I love about this episode, Clay-Face might be grotesque and gross, but it’s Roland Dagget who is the true monster. Grade A+

“Hmm, Crimson Fever. Lousy way to go. No cure, you know.” Batman 

6 – I Am The Night. Season 2, Episode 21. Director: Boyd Kirkland. Story: Michael Reaves.

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This episode hits hard. Batman learns how important the people in his life are, and how valuable a single life can be. Batman is a lone wolf, he keeps his inner circle close, so when one of those people who are closest to him James Gordon is shot on the job, Batman can’t help but feel responsible. He respects and admires everything he stands for, he’s one of the few good cops left in Gotham, and he is the same age his own father would have been if his life wasn’t tragically taken. Batman asks himself one of the most important questions he will ever ask. “How much good has he really done in Gotham?” Because no matter how many times he stops the Joker, or Two-Face or Poison Ivy, he can’t help but see them back on the street. There is so much bad within Gotham, and he is just one man. Does being Batman creates a vortex for those closest to him down a darker path. Batman is just one man, he can’t be everywhere at once, and when he sees Gordon lying on the ground, it shatters his entire existence. Never give up, that’s something that Batman teaches Robin, and a phrase uttered back to him by Jim Gordon. Gordon looks up to Batman so much, what he stands for. The mutual respect between the two is palpable. The most mature episode ever made and gets better with each new viewing. This is summed up in a heartfelt and tear-jerking moment between the two men, in one of the best-written scenes in the show’s history.  The cherry on top of the sundae is the kid at the end of the episode telling Batman that he saved his life. Reminding Batman once again that he is doing good in this crazy world, and that he is, in fact, doing good in Gotham. Grade A+ 

5 – Second Chance. Season 3, Episode 24. Director: Boyd Kirkland. Story: Paul Dini. 

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Two-Face flipping his coin and having it land on edge sums up his character arc to perfection. He can’t decide what to do, his whole life is through chance and only does what the coin says, so it works out beautifully. Not only is this the crown jewel between Batman and Two-Face, everything that the show has built comes down to this. Two-Face has decided that he wants a clean slate. He’s going under the knife for surgery to fix his split personality disorder. The first step in his rehabilitation, first he fixes his body, then his mind. Unlike all other villains, Two-Face has a close personal connection with Batman. Before his accident, Harvey Dent and Bruce Wayne used to be the best of pals. So Batman has to come to grips with the fact, the person he once knew is no longer inside the mind of his friend. It’s an emotional dynamic between them, that is encapsulated so well in this episode. There is another relationship at play here. Batman and Robin, where Batman is trying too hard to help Dent, that he is blinded by how he treats Robin. One of the best interactions between them happens when Robin fails to stop a car and Batman says “he tried his best.” Robin says “yeah, I’m just the kid in tights.” One of the last few potential straws that break the relationship between these two. This is just a vital scene for what’s to come. It shows that no matter what happens Batman will always be there for Harvey and Robin will always be there for Batman. Even Penguin has a nice cameo, that shows that one rogue will never ever hurt another, it’s just not practiced in Gotham crime. Grade A+

“Good old Bruce, he’s never given up on me. He’s always been my best friend” Two-Face

4 – Robin’s Reckoning. Season 2, Episode 2 & 3. Director: Dick Sebast. Story: Randy Rogel

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By far my favorite “two-part” episode in the whole series. Robin was taken so seriously in this show, I loved how they made him a young adult who had problems. He wasn’t just some goofy kid like later on in the series. He had issues with how Batman conducted himself some times and would often struggle to navigate his decision making. When Tony Zucco, the man responsible for the deaths of Dick’s parents returns to Gotham, it’s a race against time in to see who tracks him down first, Batman or Robin. Another episode that dives deep into the mythos of Robin and it’s basically his origin story, not to mention it encompasses everything we know about their relationship. Just having Robin being older makes for better story-telling, it can be used to tell more mature stories and really hit home some meaningful messages. Robin has been waiting his entire life to get the revenge he thinks he deserves. So when Zucco arrives back in Gotham he can’t help but feel betrayed by Batman when he lies about it and asks him to sit this one out. When everything unfolds and Robin realizes that Batman in-fact does not have a stone-cold heart, but rather he was protecting him, is an emotional moment. Robin never realized that Zucco took so much from him that Bruce couldn’t fathom what it would be like if Zucco someone managed to take him as well. This whole time Robin thinks Batman is treating him like a little kid still, while he is protecting him from doing something he will ultimately regret, and something that might cause him to go down a dark and dangerous path. Robin gains even more respect for his crime-fighting partner and finally realizes that it’s not about revenge but doing what’s best. This is the Robin story I would like to see adapted in live-action. Grade A++

“He shuts me out, man, treats me like a kid!” – Robin

3 – Almost Got Im.’ Season 2, Episode 18. Director: Eric Radomski. Story: Paul Dini.

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There aren’t many more iconic shots in the show then the one right here. Five of Gotham’s most notorious baddies all sitting around playing cards. Just this interaction alone has to be enough to slot this episode into the top 3. For a short instance, these rogues seem normal, it’s poker night in Gotham, and besides trying to rip one another off, they have all decided to tell war stories about Batman. Like any card game, stories are shared and tempers are flared and each one of these people believe that they have come to closest to nabbing the Batman. Another episode that would surely pop as live-action, because seeing all these characters share the same screen together is simply a treat each time I watch it. Personally, I love how for once the bad guys aren’t doing bad guy things, just gathered around having a stick measuring competition. It makes them feel more human if you ask me. That’s the beautiful thing about this particular cartoon, the realism. Why wouldn’t Gotham’s most sought after criminals get together every once in a while? Here’s the thing, the greatest minds that Gotham has to offer, all sitting around, and not a single one of them realizes that this whole thing is a trap. Batman, much like his counter-parts is always pretty good at setting traps himself. Even the Joker, someone who thinks he knows Batman better than anyone is sitting across the table from him and doesn’t even realize it. Between that, and introducing the origin of the giant penny and how Two-Face used it to almost kill Batman, and how it now sits in the Batcave is one of my favorite Easter Eggs from the show. Finally, this episode delivers the most comedic sequence in the show’s history. Joker and Harley pump laughing gas into a room full of people and Batman is hooked up to a device that generates electricity when there’s laughter. So Harley starts reading the phone book and once they begin to laugh, the device starts to shock Batman, so Joker does the only logical thing, takes a hot dog and starts to roast it over his body. Jeeze, this show was perfect. Grade A++

“I threw a rock at him!” Killer Croc

2 – Heart of Ice. Season 1, Episode 14. Director: Bruce W Timm. Story: Paul Dini

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The episode that literally changed the game. The way we see a villain and the way cartoons could be actually taken seriously. Heart of Ice remains the most famous episode ever produced and some believe it’s one of the best pieces of Batman literature ever created. The way this show was able to transform villains who were often seen as joke and turned them into some of the best versions of bad guys this world has ever seen, is beyond me. Take Mr. Freeze, before this episode the world didn’t think twice really about him, but there approach to him. To make him cold as ice, as cheesy as that sounds, was such a unique spin that it changed how we viewed him forever. Lost of all emotion, he is unable to quantify not only his own but those around him. After the tragic accident, like most of Gotham’s villains, he had to turn to a life of crime. Another classic example of a person who was created by someone who Gotham believes is a well-respected member of their society. I love how throughout countless episodes, the true villain was always the person being rewarded or someone the city thought was a hero. As episodes go, they just don’t get much better than this, the only short-coming of Mr. Freeze was the lack of appearances from him. He’s in two episodes before they decided to totally destroy his character and that my friends is the biggest tragedy of the entire show. Grade A++

“That’s Mr. Freeze to you” Mr. Freeze 

1 – Two-Face. Season 1, Episodes 10 & 11. Director: Kevin Altieri. Story: Alan Burnett

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From the very get-go, you know this episode is special. How they deal with Harvey’s personality disorder, that really hadn’t been seen before when tackling his alter ego. Much like Mr. Freeze, this show decided to take a realistic approach to these characters and in my humble opinion, besides Batman, Two-Face is the crowning achievement of this series. The flipping of his iconic coin, the way he is slowly slipping further into the darkness, and his character design. The voice work, the design, his origin, it’s all so damn flawless. The way they explore the relationship between Bruce and Harvey, how their past friendship is clouding Batman’s judgment on how to handle the situation. It all leads to the greatest two episodes the show has ever produced. It breaks Batman that for the first time in his life he failed at protecting someone, not only as Batman but Bruce Wayne as well. The scream that Harvey lets out the moment he sees his reflection for the first time is the most haunting moment of the show, then Grace seeing him, her disgust and fear is what finally drives him away. It’s one of the best endings to any episode. When the show picks up for part two, it opens with a robbery, and the address is 222, clever. How the only muscle Two-Face uses are a set of identical twins, the show was just so ahead of its time, it just fit so well together. He is now Two-Face but can snap out of it whenever Grace’s name is mentioned, it’s always an inner battle going on inside his mind. Even the sound effects of the coin flipping through the air is perfect. All the little tidbits, when Thorne throws the newspaper in the fire, it burns the bad side of Harvey’s face first, when he cries at the end, it’s Graces face and his good side, making it seem like maybe he isn’t lost completely. Even Batman Forever stealing the coin-tossing trick, that Batman uses in order to stop Two-Face in the end. How without it, he doesn’t have control. His entire life is now based on chance, and the man and the friend that both Batman and Bruce Wayne knew, is gone. Grade A++

“This is my world now. A dichotomy of order and chaos, just like me” – Two-Face

The show was beyond anything we had ever seen before, and with every rewatch, which is two times a year, reminds me how lucky we are to have it in our lives.

Reviews

‘Birds of Prey’ Review

The first trip to the movies in 2020 was not ideal. Turns out the Birds of Prey doesn’t have much wind beneath their wings, as DC continues to find their footing.

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After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.


People will do drastic things to fit in with the popular crowd. Change their hair, wear different clothes, even adapt to a new speech. The same can be said for the movie industry. Dating all the way back to the beginning of the DCEU, and even at that time, WB didn’t really know what they were doing. It wasn’t until they decided to go ahead with BvS and I truly believe that was never their original plan before the release of Man of Steel. Since then it’s been a rollercoaster, to say the least. Sure, they’ve made plenty of money, but the reception from not only critics but fans has been divided. There were a few standouts, mostly surrounding the casting of key characters in this rich and diverse universe. One, in particular, was none other than Harley Quinn herself, with the casting of Margot Robbie. So after Suicide Squad came and went it was only a matter of time before she got her own solo flick, and I’m going to be perfectly honest, WB once again dropped the ball.

Birds of Prey. Say that to any random moviegoer, and they will shake their head with curiosity and slight confusion. Unless you are a major DC fan or know the deep lure of the comics, it’s hard to put people in seats, when the average ticket buyer doesn’t know who the Birds of Prey really are. Sure they were marketing the shit out of Harley Quinn, but the movie was about so much more, and I thought they did a poor job at executing a well-put-together game plan on how to market this film. Harley Quinn has big as she is, well, she’s not Batman, or Superman or even Wonder Woman, DC’s biggest star at the moment. So if you’re going to center a film around a team of female super-heroes, why not let us all know who exactly we will be rooting for when we go purchase our tickets.

I’ll admit, BOP can be a ton of fun in moments, and the chemistry between all of the ladies is terrific. Quinn (Margot Robbie) Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) Black Canary (Jurnee Smollet-Bell) Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez). When they are all finally teaming up and kicking some butt, it’s entertaining, but it’s certainly not enough to save the entire film. One of the big issues I had with this film, is the lack of backstory we get for any of our characters. Mostly Black Mask (Ewen McGregor) and Black Canary. This movie just expects you to know who these people are and give us very little insight into how they arrived at their place in Gotham. For instance, Black Mask is a pretty great Batman villain, and McGregor is a terrific actor, but they give us no explanation to his name, or why he likes to wear masks, and most importantly, why he dawns his iconic “black mask.” That is a little scene they needed to shuffle into the film. Much like Black Canary, who does, in fact, have a superpower, and when she finally uses it, they don’t explain how or why she is able to do that. fans that know the character, sure, but for the people meeting her for the first time, might be a little confused. It’s just things like that, for me, that bogged down the film.

The film takes a while to get going. Slowly introducing our new female heroes. Huntress really steals the show, and she’s barely even in the thing, which shocked me, to be honest. It just feels all over the place, where random circumstances are leading all these ladies to finally meet up. This wanted to be Deadpool so badly, they decided to go with an R-Rating, which was a massive mistake in my mind. This is a film that wants to be hardcore but doesn’t need to be. That wants to drop ‘F-Bombs’ throughout and they didn’t have to. Harley is breaking the 4th wall, and that’s fine, but the cursing was so forced and just felt awkward at times. It could have benefited more with a lesser rating and kept the action pretty much the same. There is one sequence inside of Gotham Police Headquarters that was the highlight of the film, featuring a really cool fight in one of the cell blocks with Harley.

This just wasn’t the proper next movie for this important character and not having Joker involved was weird. I know Jared Leto might be done, but you got to slip him in for one scene. Because if he doesn’t exist anymore in the DCEU, then I’m not sure why this movie needed to be made? The whole concept and idea behind the film are based on the fact that she and Mr. J just broke up.

I’ll leave it with this. It’s fantastic that a movie like this gets to be made in 2020. An all-female lead comic book movie. Directed by a woman (Cathy Yan) who crafted a pretty unique experience and written by a woman (Christina Hodson). That doesn’t mean it gets a free pass and shouldn’t be criticized. I just didn’t really like the direction that they took Harley in. This for me isn’t the Harley I want to see in live-action. There’s no reason for her to be foul-mouthed the way she’s portrayed here. Again, I think WB thought the R-Rating would benefit this character, wherein all reality, I think it just dumbed her down. For me, go back and watch Batman The Animated Series, where it all began with this character. That’s the true Harley Quinn and the one we deserve on the big screen. Can we get her in the traditional Jester outfit already?

Birds of Prey = 60/100

 

News

‘JOKER’ Trailer Drops!

And here we go…..

Funny world we live in. Finally after what feels like an insane amount of time waiting for something, anything really for the much anticipated Todd Phillips Joker movie, we have a trailer. I’ve fully been in the camp of, how can there be a Joker movie without Batman? How on Earth can that possibly work? How can you have one without the other, it just doesn’t make any sense. So I was so curious to see some sort of footage.

I already know, we will have the DC fan boys raving that, well since this is Joaquin Phoenix that this is already better than Nicholson and Leto. Some might even say it’s better than Ledger, I’m serious there will be people that think this will be the second coming of Jesus. I’m sure this can be a great film, but I don’t think a Joker movie without Batman can surpass any Joker performance that has had that, that’s just my opinion. The biggest concern I have going into Joker is the director. Phillips really isn’t known for any sort of visual style really, he’s made a few great comedies but that’s it. So it will be interesting to say the least

So, what are my thoughts on the trailer. I get a Taxi Driver meets The King of Comedy vibe. Interesting, that was interesting to say the least. It’s more of a character study then trailer. This looks dark, twisted and pretty creepy. Phoenix is going full tilt here, he’s all in and it he looks great. Again it’s weird he won’t be battling The Dark Knight, but this is a good first trailer. With Aquaman and the upcoming Shazam, DC seems to be going back in the darker direction, which is fine with me. As long as it’s handled right, that’s how I would want a Joker film. Hope this turns out great. If you’re going to follow up Heath, you need to find your own spin on this character. Phoenix has done just that. An interesting psychological, gritty thriller. Who knew we needed this.

News

Some DCEU News

Matt Reeves The Batman will drop June 25th, 2021. Only problem is, he’s going to have to find another Caped Crusader

Well this is the definition of bittersweet. It was just announced that after what feels like a lifetime, we will he getting another Batman solo flick. Here’s the catch, it will be without the greatest person to ever dawn the cape and cowl…..

That’s right. Ben Affleck after about 8 months of speculation is finally stepping away from the DCEU and that role will be going to a much younger man. After all the hype and the great moments we got with Bat-fleck, it’s a crying shame that we will never get to see him in his very own movie. It’s preposterous if you ask me. I’m not saying it was a waste, but what a major misstep by the people over at WB. I’m sad to see him go, I even made “Team Bat-fleck” shirts.

But when god closes a door, he opens a window. Or something like that. We are still getting a Batman solo flick in a little over 2 years. Now THIS NEXT PART IS VERY IMPORTANT. Get a man who is committed to the role. Who can take the criticism, who wants to be the Batman we all deserve. I have no clue who they want, who they are eyeing. We just know that they want someone younger. Some many choices, I’m not even going to name any people, because who knows which direction they will go in. Okay, I will. Oscar Isaac, would be a terrific Batman. He wouldn’t be as buff, but Batman doesn’t need to be that big, just look at the comics. He’s a fantastic actor who is used to be part of a large franchise and universe. I’m excited, Reeves wants to pull out the Rogues Gallery for this one, so expect to see many Batman foes. I pray we get to see, The Riddler, Two-Face and maybe Clayface. It’s just a depressing ass day. The DCEU, after trending upwards for so long, falters big time here.


In other news. James Gunn, the man behind Guardians of The Galaxy is making The Suicide Squad, also slated for 2021. A reboot of sorts, I dunno. I don’t care.

News

Final ‘Aquaman’ Trailer

God bless you James Wan.

This movie is going to be bonkers. Lucky individuals have already be fortunate enough to see it. Apparently these trailers don’t even scratch the surface of just how epic James Wan’s Aquaman is going to be.

So we are officially just over a month away from the newest DCEU movie to hit theatres and for the most part, DC fans are sitting on pins and needles. The trailers have been great, it’s getting some early positive feedback, but with everything else that has been going on within the structure of the DCEU, fans just want this to be a home run. After the news of both Affleck’s and Cavill’s apparent departure from the DC Universe, that is just added pressure on Jason Momoa’s shoulders.

If Aquaman becomes the smash-hit I think it will be, that pressure for the time being will be forgotten. But they still have to address the potential new casting of a Superman and Batman, that is frankly a very tall task. But that is not why this blog is going up. I’m here to give my feed back on the new and final Aquaman trailer. I feel like there was only a tad bit of extra new footage. Some quick new shots, I feel like they are really saving it all for the big screen, which I am TOTALLY fine with. No need to go overboard with the trailers, because this is going to be massive. Maybe not opening weekend massive, but if Aquaman turns out great, this movie with have serious legs.

They are really keeping Orm (Patrick Wilson) and Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen) a secret. Very little footage of either villain has been present in the trailers. Again, not complaining because I think both are going to be fantastic. Black Manta hasn’t even spoken a word yet in any of the three trailers. Hopefully they aren’t trying to hide something is all. The imagery and landscapes are incredible and the visual effects keep getting better with each new trailer. James Wan has really created his own little world with Atlantis and he’s really putting his stamp on the DCEU.

This looks so promising and I just hope it doesn’t fall flat of my expectations. WB looks to have a home run on their hands and I hope they don’t screw this one up is all.

Check ya later.

https://youtu.be/2wcj6SrX4zw

News

‘Aquaman’ Looks Stunning

The world will finally now see Aquaman can more than just talk to fish. Also Black Manta for the win.

Everyone. Say hello to Black Manta. The coolest villain not named Joker in the DC universe. Get use to him because he’s going to be around for a long time to come. Just so we are clear. You will learn to love him as much as I do, and you’ll soon understand why he’s one of the biggest badasses in all of comics.

Just needed to get that out of the way first. HOLY SHIT!!! James Wan, just when you thought the DCEU was down and out. Boom Shazam trailer than this breathtaking, underwater spectacle gets dropped in our laps. The world has been waiting for this, it’s finally here and I have water in my eyes. Aquaman truly doesn’t deserve us. Years of insults, and thinking he’s weak. Now the world will know.

Again Geoff Johns reinvented this character in the New 52. Currently rereading his masterpiece and boy this movie looks like his story ripped from the comics. Aquaman, Mera, Orm, Black Manta. All the big players are here and it’s time for Aquaman to take back his throne. Orm played by Patrick Wilson is Aquaman’s half brother and he wants to take the surface by storm. It will be up to Aquaman and Mera to take back Atlantis and make sure all is right in the seven seas.

Star Wars under water? Something along those lines right? It’s just incredible. So happy for everyone involved and more importantly us fans. We never gave up on you DC!

News

‘Shazam’ Trailer Hits

This looks like a laugh a minute. Tons of heart. With the right bit of edge. DC crushed it.

What happens when a 10 year old becomes a Superhero? Well Shazam wants to tell that story the world.

David F. Sandberg is about the tell the story of Billy Batson. The unexpected kid who happens to become a real life Superhero. Shazam is a great story and a terrific character, and I’m so glad that DC is telling it to the world. A lesser known DC hero, when compared to Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman he is considered second tier.

When DC comics reinvented themselves with the New 52, Geoff Johns tackled Shazam’s origin and it blew up. He reintroduced this character in a way that no one had seen before. DC jumped on the opportunity to make this movie and he’s know a frequent member of the Justice League. He’s a hero, with the heart of a child. And what better person to play and represent this than Zachary Levi himself. Talk about a home-run.

Being part of the Justice League means we will see him interact with Batman and Superman at some point. And from what we just saw in this trailer, that is shaping up to be something unique. I’m really hoping Superman makes a cameo in this, maybe to teach Billy how to use his powers.

There’s one last thing. Shazam’s arch-nemesis is Black Adam and that role is being filled by none other than Dwayne Johnson. You heard it right. He’s joining the DCEU and first up will be Shazam.

This trailer blew my expectations out of the water. They nailed the tone and style down perfectly. Congrats to Zachary Levi, because no one thought this was possible.

News

Michael Bay In Talks To Direct Lobo

This is something I didn’t think I needed in my life, but something I totally need in my life.

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People HATE Michael Bay movies. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really love his work, but he’s made some pretty damn entraining movies in his life. Now, I go to his movies because they are a guilty pleasure. The last few Transformers have almost been unbearable to sit through in the theatres. Incoherent, and mass destruction everywhere, Michael Bay loves his explosions.

News broke today that Warner Brothers. is eyeing him to direct a Lobo movie. Well fans everywhere were losing their minds, and not in a good way. They don’t want to see him anywhere near a DC property and I guess there’s some merit to their complaints. He really hasn’t made a good movie in a long time, and the DCEU is already on thin ice as it is. Why bring in a guy to direct that most movie goers already despise and loath? Here’s the thing, Michael Bay is a ridiculous and bonkers director, and guess what? Lobo is a ridiculously crazy and bonkers character that this could actually be a match made in heaven. If there’s one person that could tap into Lobo, it could be Michael Bay. He knows how to make a big blockbuster, and if WB cracks down on him just a little bit, this could turn out okay. Another thing, this needs to be rated R. If this movie happens, Lobo is a rated R kind of guy. He swears, and kills and enjoys his pleasure. So again Michael Bay is perfect for the job.

This thing could also turn out to be one of the worst comic book movies ever made, but again this is just “in talks” so even if it happens we are looking at a 2021 release date, at the earliest. I’m all for it, because like I said, I go to every single Michael Bay movie, I loved Pain and Gain, and I’m not afraid to say it. This will most likely end up being a complete and utter disaster but I stand by my guilty pleasures and so should you. The biggest make or break for the movie, who they cast as the titled character. Maybe Mark Wahlberg? Probably not because Lobo is 6’4, so that wouldn’t exactly work out. Who on Earth could play Lobo?

Check ya later.

 

News

Joaquin Phoenix + The Joker = Magical

If you’re like myself and you love movies and basketball, well today was better than Christmas. Between LeBron James firing his team mates off in the trade cannon one by one. There was a TON of movie news. !

Joaquin Phoenix is being eyed to star in Todd Phillips Joker Origin movie.

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According to someone over at Variety, Joaquin Phoenix is possibly in line to tell us how he got these scares. The guy behind Old School and the Hangover trilogy is looking to bring the Clown Prince of Crime to life. The Martin Scorsese produced movie has been “rumoured” for quite some time, and Todd Phillips was hand picked to direct. Now, do we really need a Joker origin movie? I don’t think so, not with everything already going in within the DCEU, and we already had Jared Leto take a crack at it in Suicide Squad. So my mind immediately goes, yeah, I don’t really think we need another person playing the Joker within the DCEU. It just seems like a little too soon, and WB should focus on getting out movies the fans really want to see, and course correcting the broken DCEU.

Now having said all of that………I really think Joaquin would absolutely crush this role. He has incredible range, and is such a talented actor. He’s one of the few actors that I could see tackling this role, and really diving deep into the character. I can see him as a The Dark Knight Returns Joker, more broad shouldered, classy, but at the same time insane. This is an interesting take, and if it’s true, only time well tell I guess. We didn’t even get to see Ben Affleck’s Batman have a showdown with Leto’s Joker. Even if Joaquin’s Joker exists outside of the DCEU, I think it may confuse the fans, seeing how Leto is suppose to pop up in the upcoming Suicide Squad 2. When you say Martin Scorsese and Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie, you kind of have my attention. Suppose to be a throw back movie, taking place in Gotham in the 1980’s. Replace Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver, and you will probably end up with the Joker origin film.

It’s just a crazy leap for a guy who hasn’t appeared in a Hollywood blockbuster since 2000, when he squared off against Russell Crowe in Gladiator. You can’t have a Joker movie with Batman, they can’t exist without one another. Remember one is the unstoppable force and the other is an unmovable object. Batman creates The Joker, so I’m not sure how they will get around that? Will they have the new Batman in this movie? There are so many questions looming over this project for me, I don’t really know how I feel. I love the Joker so much, so seeing someone has talented as Joaquin would be dream, but if he’s not going toe-to-toe with The Dark Knight. Then I’m just not sure how I feel.

Check ya later.

 

 

 

News

Where Does WB and DC Go From Here?

Who did it better? Answer is pretty simple.

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. Myself 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 hear 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 the the highly anticipated Avengers. They had built a solid foundation for their shared cinematic universe, something us fans were not accustomed too. 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 payed off! They got too see a real Superhero team up movie, and not only that, it was quite the spectacle. In 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 Marvels 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 anyones 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. Which 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 has the launching point for the new DC world. I remember at the time, I wasn’t the biggest of 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 i n 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. His 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 TDK template, and they changed his mythos and overall character and it was met with some serious backlash. They wanted to ground his character is 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 begin 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 has 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, they had this “masterpiece” and they just really blew it. They tried to cram 10 pounds of shit into a 5 pound bag. Essentially they tried to tell, “The Dark Knight Returns” “Introduction to Wonder Woman” and “The Death of Superman” all in one movie. The last 40 minutes of BvS is just a straight up cluster you know what. The movie needed to be Batman vs. Superman, you have so much source material for this epic showdown and I think they really blew it. It wasn’t a great fight, nor lived up to the hype. That could have honestly been 15 of the greatest minutes in cinematic history. I personally think they let us fans down with this movie, I know there are a ton of people out there that love this movie, that love Zack Snyder’s vision. There’s nothing wrong with that, I just think we deserved a much better showdown between Batman and Superman. Not to mention they shoehorned Wonder Woman into this movie, because again WB was trying to play “catch up.”

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. Biggest take away, 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 turn around WB needed, Wonder Woman felt fresh, felt like Patty Jenkins had passion behind this project, that is 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. But other than that, it’s honestly just water under the bridge at this point, nothing us fans can do, except bicker and complain on the internet.

What I think WB Needs To Do Going Forward

Batfleck is out, it sucks, but I have come to terms with it. 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 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 film maker like Wan and then make him follow a strict guideline. Maybe sprinkle in a cameo of some sorts. 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 off the New 52 comic book run. Geoff Johns wrote a ton of it and he’s the man over looking the DCEU, this isn’t hard to figure out. 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 dines’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, then 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.

Check ya later.