Reviews

Ranking Every ‘Batman The Animated Series’ Episode Part 4/5

“Well that was fun, who’s for Chinese?”

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You know the drill by now, here are episodes 42-23!!

42 – Trial. Season 3, Episode 12. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Paul Dini

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So many of Batman’s villains, all in one place! Batman is on trial people, after the new district attorney feels that he is actually a burden on Gotham. He promotes more crime and ends up doing more harm than good. It’s really awesome seeing his entire rogues gallery interacting with one another, and almost working together. They all want one thing, to see Batman go down, but not before finding out his true identity. One thing about this episode is, it sort of feels rushed. Having all these great charters together, you could have maybe stretched this out to be a two-parter. A few episodes in this section suffer from that same fate. Joker playing the judge is actually hilarious, and it turns out that Batman is responsible for a lot of the villains in Gotham. I hope that the writers of The Batman live action take a few notes from this episode, seeing how they want a lot of his rogues gallery to appear in the up coming live action movie! Grade B

“I just wanna say, if there was no Batman, there’d be no Joker, and I’d have never met my Puddin’. Thank you, Batman.” – Harley Quinn 

41 – Catwalk. Season 3, Episode 18. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Paul Dini

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Selina Kyle is bored, she’s got nothing going on in her life. No longer dressing up like a cat and robbing people, Catwoman is no longer a part of her life. Until the Ventriloquist wonders if she still had an itch to suit up. Well guess, she does. So when he asks her to steal something from Gotham socialite Veronica Vreeland, Scarface ends up double crossing her. When she’s stealing one thing, they are doing another job. I just love the interaction between these two villains, and I enjoy watching a vulnerable Catwoman, as she is trying to decide what’s the best life for her. It’s always interesting with the Ventriloquist, because when Scarface usually goes bye bye, it’s a weird and emotional bit. He’s just a puppet, but he’s more than that to his creator. Always found that intriguing. Grade B 

“Now we’re gonna found out if there really is more than one way to skin a cat.” – Scarface 

40 – What Is Reality? Season 2, Episode 20. Director: Dick Sebast, Story: Marty Isenberg

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Another great Riddler story! This time he sends Gotham PD a nice little present. A virtual reality video game, and when the commish gets stuck inside, it’s up to Batman to save him. This is a fantastic episode and one that really showcases Riddler’s intellectual side and his passion for riddles. Watching Batman battle wits with The Riddler is always a pleasure to watch, people can forget just how smart Batman is, he’s more than just a brawler. I always thought this episode would make for a great live action bit, and would be a great way to showcase The Riddler on the big screen. With the Riddler Easter egg we got in BvS, he might show up sooner rather than later! Grade B

“Careful, vigilante, you know what they say. Curiosity killed the Bat”. – The Riddler 

39 – The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne. Season 2, Episode 9. Director: Frank Paur, Story: David Wise

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Man, they really screwed the pooch on this one. This would have made the best two part episode, but instead, sadly they crammed it all into one. Dr. Hugo Strange has built a machine that sees people’s thoughts. When Bruce Wayne goes to visit, well the good doctor finds out his secret identity. I love Hugo Strange, he was so incredible in Batman: Arkham City, and he’s only ever in this one episode, which is another failure on its own. When he ransoms off the video tape to The Joker, Two-Face and the Penguin, they are licking their chops to get their hands on this tape. That’s right, these three villains are in this episode, together, sharing scenes and it’s great. Another reason why I felt that this episode was rushed. You can’t have these three guys come together for only 5 minutes, it’s just a tease. At one point Two-Face and Penguin pull out guns and the Joker pulls out flowers and it’s so funny. In the end, Batman is able to pull one over on Strange, in a really clever way. It’s just a shame we really only get one episode like this, honestly it’s one of my favourites. Grade B+ 

“That’s absurd! I know Bruce Wayne. If he’s Batman, I’m the King of England.” – Two-Face

38 – Sideshow. Season 3, Episode 10. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Michael Reaves

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The start of this episode!!! Croc on a train, chained up and the guards are laughing at him. Well until he tells them, that crocodiles have the strongest jaw and boom he’s free! Batman shows up and it’s pretty awesome how he hunts and tracks Croc through the woods, and well almost gets smashed by a giant rock (hopefully you get that reference). Croc stumbles across a band of misfit circus freaks, and they welcome him in with open arms. Obviously he lies about who he is and what he is doing in their neck of the woods. When Batman shows up, they think he’s the bad guy, until Croc shows his true colours. I remember this episode clear as day from my childhood, the fight on the water wheel at the end is something I’ll always remember from this show. It’s one of the very few episodes I actually remember watching as a child, so it holds a special place in my heart. Doesn’t hurt that it’s also a great episode. Grade B

“You said you could be yourself out here, remember? I guess that’s what I was doing. Being myself.” – Killer Croc

37 – Growing Pains. Season 4, Episode 8. Director: Atsuko Tanaka, Story: Paul Dini

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The final appearance of Clay Face, is also his saddest episode. Such a troubled soul, and has some of the most emotional episodes this show has to offer. This is also a incredible character building episode for Tim Drake’s Robin. The run down is this, Robin meets a girl, who can’t seem to really remember to much about herself. Robin begins to develop feelings for her. But something is off with her, and he can’t seem to figure out what it is. She’s looking for someone, and her “father” is looking for her. Turns out it’s Clayface, and she’s just a part of him. When we last saw Clayface he fell into the water, but managed to create this girl to go off and find a cure. Robin is devastated when he finds out, that not only is she not real, that he can’t save her. It’s just really sad and emotional to see him find out that sometimes in life, things just don’t work out. The quote I attached to his episode sums it up perfectly. Batman knows all too well about being broken, and he can see the pain that Robin is going through, but he can’t do anything to ease his pain. One of the episodes I wish took place during the first three seasons. It’s a shame really.

“Sometimes there are no happy endings.” – Batman

36 – Sins of The Father. Season 4, Episode 2. Director: Curt Geda, Story: Rich Fogel

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Tim Drake’s origin story. As we find ourselves without Dick Grayson being Batman’s sidekick. For the new Robin, they blended both Tim Drake and Jason Todd, both having unique characteristics, and compelling backstories. So the writers decided to go with the name Tim Drake, but he has parts of Jason Todd inside of him. When Tim’s dad goes missing and Two-Face is looking for him, Batman gets tangled up in this mess as well. I loved how they took a Batman villain and made him be a part of Robin’s origin. Am I fan of Robin being a little kid, absouletly not. It just made the show feel more childish, something I didn’t like about the revamp. But this is a great episode none the less, and one of the better episodes from the final season. Grade B

“Yeah, my dad used to work for old puke-face” Tim Drake 

35 – On Leather Wings. Season 1, Episode 1. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: Mitch Brian

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There’s no better feeling, than when I put in season 1, disc 1, and the theme for ‘On Leather Wings’ starts playing. The start of the journey, and it’s a kick ass start. This is an all around fantastic episode. It certainly feels like the first episode also, with everyone out to get Batman, even Commissioner Gordon is unsure of the Cape Crusader at this point in the show. Harvey Dent is just the DA, and shows no signs of his alter ego, and even Batman feels like the new guy in town. I’ve always been a huge fan of the Man-Bat and they do him serious justice in his first episode. This is a rare episode that almost feels like it could be adaptive to live-action quite easily, just the way it looks and feels. It feels like such a classic Batman story, and there’s honestly no better way to start the show off. From Harvey and his S.W.A.T team attempting to take down Batman, from even the interactions between Batman and Alfred, I just love this episode so much. It’s honestly one of the Batman stories I’ll never forget. Grade B+

“I gather you’ve been reading, How to Make Friends and Influence People”. – Alfred 

34 – Pretty Poison. Season 1, Episode 5. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Paul Dini

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Harvey, Harvey, Harvey Dent. Was totally getting it on with Poison Ivy!!! What a dirty dog. These are the little things I love about this show. Poison Ivy’s first appearance in the show and I just really love this episode. She’s pissed because well Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent destroyed a ecosystem to make room for well a prison. A little ironic if you ask me. But when they did this, they destroyed a very rare plant. So rare that Poison Ivy now holds the remaining one and she’s used it to create a deadly toxin. When she kisses Harvey after a date, he slips into a coma, and it’s up to his pal Bruce/Batman to save him! A few things I love. It shows just how close Bruce and Harvey were before his “accident” and just how good of a person he truly was. The whole Poison Ivy kiss thing too, well that craptastic Batman & Robin movie totally stole that move! I always get a kick out of Bullock interrogating the chef and asking him what he put in the chocolate mousse. Batman also fights a giant Venus Fly Trap, and that’s totally badass! I was always a huge fan of Poison Ivy in this show, they portrayed her so well and this just happens to be her best episode. Grade B+

“Batman. A late night rendezvous? To what do I owe the honour?” – Poison Ivy 

33 – Legends of The Dark Knight. Season 4, Episode 19. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Robert Goodman

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Three different Batman stories in one episode! Different animation styles and voices! This is a very special and unique episode to say the least. It takes all sorts of different elelments from the 80s and the 50s, as we see kids telling their take on the Dark Knight. We they are confronted by Firefly, it’s up to Batman to stop him. My favourite part is by far the Dark Knight Returns part. Seeing how that’s one of the greatest Batman stories of all time. I love his fight with the Mutant Leader. And love the actual animated two part movie that came out a few years ago. They tried hard to make that happen in BvS, but that didn’t turn out too well. Grade B

“Batman! I call you coward! Come out and face your death like a man! I kill you! I eat your heart! I show you who rules Gotham City!” Mutant Leader 

32 – Vendetta. Season 1, Episode 23. Director: Frank Paur, Story: Michael Reaves

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Killer Croc’s first episode! And let me tell you, it’s a real doozy. I can never say enough good things about this character, especially when he’s done right. His appearances in the first three seasons are nothing short of spectacular, and well, they straight up RUINED him in the revamp. So Bullock has been framed for doing a lot of shady things, and no one seems to believe him. Until Batman gets on the case, and starts putting together the pieces to this puzzle. One thing I’ll never forget with this episode, will be the actual introduction to Croc. When Batman finds his underwater cave lair, which is so badass by the way, and hell of scary. When he appears from the water, it was actually really frightening as a child. He wasn’t always the brightest crayon in the box, but physically, he was always a lot for Batman to handle. This is another great Bullock episode, that deals with his past and how he just has so many enemies. That mixed with a great Croc story, makes for one hell of an episode. The fight in the sewer at the end, is one of the best action/fights, this show has to offer. This is the incarnation of Killer Croc I would love to see in live action, because I think it is simply perfect. Grade B+

“Terrific. Just what I need now. The freak job in the cape.” – Killer Croc

31 – Read My Lips. Season 3, Episode 8. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Alan Burnett

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Honestly, this show really waited a long time to introduce this awesome villain. I know, it’s a doll, I know the concept seems so stupid. But this show did this character right. This is such a fascinating and complex episode, and it’s such a shame it takes so long to introduce this guy. The Ventriloquist is actually quite the badass, and honestly one of the more impressive villains the show has to offer. He’s smart, has the best muscle, Rhino is the biggest goon this show has to offer. When Batman finally understands what is going on, it’s so cool for him to be kind of impressed with a bad guy, and Arnold’s ventriloquism skills. He’s the best he’s ever seen, and he was once trained by one of the greatest. It’s just such an interesting concept, the audience never really knows who is fully in control, is it Arnold Wesker or is it Scarface? When Batman uses some ventriloquism of his own, Scarface points a gun at Arnold’s head, when he thinks he is the rat among their group. It’s one of the most intense scenes, that ends with one of the more violent acts the show ever produces. Scarface gets riddled with bullets, and I know it’s just a doll, but it’s very violent and it symbolizes a ton. The back and forth between Scarface and his creator is incredible, and the vote acting is so perfect. It also has a very dark ending, with Arnold supposedly healed in prison, but when he is crafting another doll head, and stabs a knife into its wooden face, and starts dragging the knife down its face, makes for a very haunting moment. This episode really has everything I want in a Batman animated cartoon, it’s damn near perfect. Grade B+

“Now, Mr. Scarface, remember your blood pressure!” – Ventriloquist 

30 – Time Out of Joint. Season 3, Episode 17. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Alan Burnett

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Temple Fugate, what a name. Actually in Latin it means ‘time flies’ now that’s pretty neat.  This should be a stupid, terrible, hilariously bad Batman villain, but guess what? He’s actually a smart, sophisticated and worthy opponent. Again, I can’t say this enough about certain characters, that just never got enough screen time in this show, and the Clock King is one of them. This is his second and last appearance in the show, and it’s a really fun and interesting episode. Time obsessed, Clock King is back on the scene, but this time, he literally has the power of time on his side. Stealing a device from a scientist, he is now able to manipulate time itself, and he is committing crimes using this very device. He’s full of hatred for Mayor Hill, but I’ll save that for his other episode! He wants to kill the Mayor this time around, and well, lets just say he wants him to go out with a bang. There’s an awesome part in this episode, where Clock King attaches one of these time devices to the bat-mobile, and Batman and Robin get stuck in time for a brief moment, and when they are able to break free a few days have past, and I just always thought that was really cool. Batman gets to show off his brains in this episode too, because well the show always did a great job, showing us that he’s more than just a brawler. I just never would have expected to enjoy this villain as much as I do, so I give tons of credit to the writing staff of this show, for making this guy interesting and giving us great stories, for who is honestly, a C level bad guy. Grade B+

“A trial run, and it went like clockwork!” – The Clock King 

29 – Mudslide. Season 2, Episode 24. Director: Eric Radomski, Story: Alan Burnett

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Its a shame he wasn’t in more episodes, but before the revamp apparently Clayface was super expensive to animate and thats why he wasn’t in more episodes. Sad episode, about love and wanting to be loved. Stella, who once worked with Hagen on set, is misguided and loves Matt Hagan, not Clayface. She knew him before the accident and even still watches his movies (creepy, right!) she wants him to return to normal so they can be together once more. A lot of movie and popular culture references in this one. Batman wants to help Clayface, but he’s deranged and insane, so he assumes the worst of him, but he wants to give him the same treatment the Stella is using. Always loved when Clayface absorbed Batman and tried to suffocate him to death, and when Batman bursts out of his body, it makes for an awesome moment. The ending is really sad, when Clayface falls to his apparent death, he was such a tortured character. It’s just a poetic episode, with a  lot of meaning behind it, I’ve always had a soft spot for Clayface, he’s a fantastic character, I really loved his appearance in Arkham City, again he was used to perfection. He’s one of those villains that deep down you are somewhat rooting for. He never asked to be Clayface, and now he just wants to go back to his normal ways, he just has a misguided way of going about it.  Grade B+

“Too late, curtains going down” – Clayface 

28 – Perchance To Dream. Season 2, Episode 2. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Laren Bright

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Bruce Wayne vs. Batman! Honestly what more can a Batman fan ask for? This episode is a rollercoaster of emotion, with so much going on. Batman is in pursuit of a few petty criminals, and all of a sudden he sees a bright light. When he wakes up, well lets just say there are a few changes to his life. The biggest one being that well his parents are alive, and oh yeah, he’s no longer Batman. Shocked by this revelation, Bruce Wayne can’t really explain what is going on. He is thrilled to have his parents back in his life, but he is confused. When he goes to see Leslie Thompkins, she tells them that he has created an alternate reality, one in which he is Batman and his parents were murdered that fateful night. He’s even set to marry Selina Kyle, who is no longer Catwoman. Bruce couldn’t be happier with his new life, and he believes that his nightmare is finally over. Until he tries to read the newspaper and well can’t make out a single word. When he realizes he is in a fantasy world, and this is not real, he is full of rage and anger. When he discovers that Mad Hatter is behind all of this, because of how he ruined his chance with Alice, Bruce Wayne is so full of rage and anger he does the only thing he can do. He kills himself inside this dream world so he can awake in real time. This episode for me asks so many questions. What if his parents never died, would he still become Batman? What does he truly want out of his life? What makes him happiest, having his parents or being Batman and protecting people. But Batman decides he would rather have his parents be dead, then live in a world that is a lie, no matter how attractive that lie or dream may be. It’s a really powerful episode, that leaves Batman and Bruce Wayne searching for answers, and you realize just how much being Batman means to Bruce Wayne. Grade A-

“Oh, but it is! It’s a beautiful story! You have love, wealth, a family, all you ever wanted! Your own private Wonderland!” – Mad Hatter

27 – Bane. Season 3, Episode 19. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: Mitch Brian

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BANE!!!! Remember when they tried to make Bane cool in Batman & Robin? Remember how they failed miserably, but at the same time, they kind of had the right idea? Then The Dark Knight Rises came around, and they grounded the shit out of the character? Both time, they just couldn’t find a common medium for Bane, one of my all time favourite Batman villains. But you know who did? The creators and writers of this show, because in my personal opinion, Bane from BTAS is the best representation of the character outside the comic books. Sadly, like usual, he really only appears in one episode. Until the revamp and they change his look so much, that he kind of looks like a dominatrix. Bane shows up to Gotham, after Rupert Thorn pays him to kill the Bat. He wants to get his attention first, and there’s a great scene when he crosses paths with Killer Croc in the sewer, you don’t see anything go down, just the shadow of Bane becoming bigger after his venom injection. It’s a really great scene, but I would have loved to see, Batman’s two biggest physical foes go toe-to-toe. The way he looks, the way he talks, his accent is perfect, and for me, they made Bane the perfect size. He’s not so big, that it looks fake, and he’s not so small, that he doesn’t tower over Batman. They have a great fight scene, and there’s actually a pretty scary part when Bane chases down Robin. Can’t say enough good things about how they represented Bane in this show! Grade B+

“You can’t do this to me, I am invincible, I am Bane!” – Bane 

26 – The Clock King. Season 1, Episode 25. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: David Wise

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The Clock King is back! This time around, it’s his origin story. See Temple Fugate was a simple man, and he kept a very strict schedule. One day he just so happens to be sitting beside the soon to be Mayor Hill. When Hill tells him to change up his schedule and not be so tight, Fugate listens. When that backfires on him, and he loses everything, he goes into hiding. Resurfacing as the Clock King, out for revenge on the Mayor. He’s such a simple villain, but like I said during his previous episode, he actually is a challenge for Batman. Time obsessed can really come in handy, and he just always knows what he is doing, and always seems to be one step ahead. The battle at the end between him and Batman, in Gothams clock tower is pretty awesome, and actually Kevin Conroy gives one of his best Batman war-cries during this encounter. I also really enjoy Batman having a great MacGyver moment, when he’s stuck inside the bank vault and somehow is able to escape using only a cassette tape, pretty awesome Batman moment. It seems like Fugate goes out like a boss, and crumbles with the tower itself, but we all know that’s not the case. One of the best origin episodes for any villain in this show, big fan of the Clock King! Grade B+ 

“The 9:15, is always 6 minutes early” – The Clock King 

25 – His Silicon Soul. Season 3, Episode 7. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Marty Isenberg

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Imagine Batman mixed with The Terminator. Because that’s pretty much what this episode is about. Remember H.A.R.D.A.C? The giant computer that made robot copies of the important people of Gotham? Well right before it got blown sky-high, it made one last copy, of Batman. The start of this episode is pretty awesome, as we see some petty thugs inside a warehouse, where they are trying to steal some goods. When they come across a box and open it, it appears Batman has come to save the day. You don’t really know what’s going on because they make such good use of shadows and the lightning that’s occurring outside. But when Batman is shot, well turns out he’s a robot. There’s a pretty deep emotional message with this episode, see this robot Batman as programmed so well, that it thinks its real. It has memories, and feelings and knows people, but when Rossum tells him it’s only data, well he flips the hell out. It’s also been programmed so well, that just like the real Batman, it cannot take a life. It has a soul, so when Batman is fighting the robot Batman, and it appears the real Batman falls to his death, the robot is so disgusted with itself, it blows itself up essentially. All the robot wanted was to be human, but that was an impossible task, but it also couldn’t tell the difference between certain human emotions. Here’s a great interaction between Batman and the robot Batman. Grade A-

BD: Why do you resist? HARDAC’s goals are identical to your own.
Batman: How do you figure that?
BD: Picture a world completely free of crime, free of suffering, free of frailty.
Batman: You mean free of choice, compassion, free of humanity?
BD: Yes.

“Could it be it had a soul, Alfred? A soul of silicon, but a soul nonetheless.” Bruce Wayne

24 – The Cape and The Cowl Conspiracy. Season 2, Episode 3. Director: Frank Paur, Story: Elliot S. Maggin

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For those of you, who are still reading, did I rank this episode way to high? I feel like people dislike this episode a lot, but I think it’s genius, and one that continues to grow on me. It’s got no great villain, none from his famous rogues gallery, but it just has a really great story, and Batman just being a straight up boss. So Wormwood is a guy who is pretty much Jigsaw from the Saw movies, except like not so extreme. He uses death traps to get information out of people, so when Batman is on his trail, Batman sets out on a mission to take this guy down. Wormwood has also been hired to get Batman’s cape and cowl from him. So there is a ton of back and forth between the two, and Wormwood actually ends up getting his cape and cowl. In a really awesome trap I might add. But here’s the kicker, the guy who hires Wormwood to get it, WAS FREAKING BATMAN HIMSELF. Talk about a mindfuck, am I right? Batman was playing him for a fool the entire time, and it’s just such a great reveal at the end, and then they even have a awesome fight involving workout equipment, which is cool. The cherry on top of the sundae is Batman mails Wormwood his cape and cowl when he’s locked up in Arkham, with a little riddle attached to it, freaking awesome stuff! Grade A

This is an episode I feel like people hate, but i think its genius and one of the greats.

Kind of like a toned down Jigsaw, less blood and death, more just fear of dying

“Alright. I’ll get you the Batman’s cape and cowl. That won’t be difficult. He is only human, after all.” – Wormwood

23 – Day of The Samurai. Season 2, Episode 16. Director: Bruce W. Timm, Story: Steve Perry

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Without doubt, this episode has the most intense moment in the show. Bruce Wayne’s and Batman’s enemy Kyodai Ken is back and this time he means serious business. He’s pissed at what transpired the first time they had an encounter, so he sets off to find some legendary scroll, that teaches you “the death touch”. He kidnaps a student at the dojo that they once trained at, so Batman must travel overseas to help. The ending to this episode is just so incredible and that moment I talked about, well actually now that I think about it, it really has two of these moments. The first is when Ken successfully applies the death touch to Batman, and it appears that he has died, but then you realize that, well he’s Batman so that’s not going to happen. But as a kid, you are more than likely freaking out. Secondly, and I just love this moment so much, after Ken realizes Batman is okay, they fight some more, and well they are fighting on an active volcano, I know, so badass! When Ken is corner and standing on a rock with no where to go, Batman throws him a rope so he can jump across to safety, and this fucking guy just kicks the rope away like a boss and goes down with the ship. There’s no way he survives this, not a chance and it’s just so a real moment for a cartoon, and something that really sticks with me as a Batman fan. Batman could not save him, and that really crushes him, but Ken did not want to be saved, and it’s just the look on his face before he literally goes up in smoke, that makes you realize just how incredible this show truly way. Grade A

Ken goes out like a champ, but Batman feels like its another death that must rest on his shoulders. He feels the burden of his actions.

“Kyodai, the rope!” – Batman.

News, Reviews

Ranking Every ‘Batman The Animated Series’ Episode – Part 1/5

I am vengeance! I am the night! I am Batman!

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Everyone has their favorite television show; they can be a great place of escapism and can bring hoards of people together. I have fallen in love with many great shows throughout my life; Mad Men, Parks and Recreation, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and The Wire but for me one show trumps them all. Batman: The Animated Series, created in 1992 by Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski who at the time were working on Tiny Toones for FOX, Warner Bros. Animation decided it was time to venture into an animated Batman series due to the success of Tim Burton’s Batman movie. They pegged these two to shoot a short pilot episode, which ultimately ended up becoming the opening credits for the show. From the get go this show was praised for its quality of animation, which to this day is still considered to be top notch. The darker tones and overall thematic complexity of the show, which again dealt with some mature situations and subjects for being a kid’s show. It had a very film noir look to it, bullets fly (but they never hit anyone, terrible aim those bad guys!) the villains are out for blood, and in certain episodes a lot is at stake. I know people may think, this is just a cartoon, how can that be? For being a kids cartoon, it certainly has an adult feel to it and it’s one of the main reasons I fell in love with it from the very start. All of that makes the show feel timeless, and again the show was praised for its modernization of its titled character. For me, the thing I love most about this show, aside from the storytelling has to be the cast. The voice acting is some of the best to ever be in animation, and as the casting director Andrea Romano put it, they wanted to cast voices with character. Not just people doing cartoon voices. Kevin Conroy (Bruce Wayne/Batman) and Mark Hamill (The Joker) for me will always be those two iconic characters, and have been providing their voices in animation and video games for almost 30 years now! The show works so well, because in the end it wasn’t made with a younger audience in mind and I think that’s the main reason why I think the show still holds up so well today. Considered to be one of the greatest cartoons ever produced, actually only The Simpsons is held in higher regard. They produced 109 episodes, all unique and special in their own way. This show is responsible for some of the best Batman stories ever told, which is quite the feat, considering you are working with almost 80 years of Batman mythos and history. Batman: The Animated Series is actually responsible for the creation of Harley Quinn, and we can thank one of the shows writers Paul Dini for that. My only gripe with this show was how they changed the animation up after season 3. It never resonated with me, and when I stop and think about it, it honestly makes me angry. I understand why they did it, they wanted to have a more kid friendly show, but it almost ruins the experience. That’s the only problem I’ve ever had with Batman The Animated Series. I have a yearly tradition where I sit back and watch every episode, and I thought this time, I would rank every single one. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do, all the two part episodes will be considered as one, so in total I’ll be ranking 102! This show has a special place in my heart and I consider it to be the greatest representation of The Dark Knight outside of the comic books. So sit back, relax and enjoy this, because I know I’m going to enjoy writing it. I’m going to break it down into 5 parts! Here are the numbers 102-83! The grades don’t reflect the rankings; they are just there so you can get a better sense of the episodes

102- Prophecy of Doom. Season 1, Episode 19 – Director: Frank Paur, Story: Dennis Marks

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This guy was the villain of the episode need I say more? Starting off the list was the very forgetful episode, in which we see Batman take down a cult. The Brotherhood is run by the mystic Nostromos who has the ability to “predict the future.” Turns out he’s just a con artist who rigs near fatal accidents so he can warm up to Gotham’s elite and later take their money. One of the few episodes I will actually skip in my yearly run through, it’s just that bad. Grade F 

“Do not apologize. She will believe. They all will believe….after the great fall” – Nostromos

101 – The Underdwellers. Season 1, Episode 6 – Director: Frank Paur, Story: Tom Ruegger

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Batman wrestles a few alligators in this one, and that’s the only highlight or memorable moment. Premise on the other hand, it deals with some wackjob taking kids underground and essentially make them his servants. They go up to the streets of Gotham at night and rob its citizens, when one of them gets taken away by Batman, he brings him home to Alfred to care for the boy. Early on in the series, the show was still trying to get its feet wet. I just can’t take an episode seriously when the episodes villain was the Sewer King… Grade F

“You play chicken long enough, you fry” – Batman

100 – Critters. Season 4 , Episode 14. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Steve Gerber

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So when a farmer goes crazy, I guess it’s up to Batman to stop him. Farmer Brown is his name, and after his failed attempt at creating bigger livestock, he becomes the laughing stock of Gotham, which leads to him losing all of his money. A year later, Gotham City is terrorized by giant animals and bugs. Farmer Brown plans to fire a rocket with all these “critters” into Gotham and watch it fall apart. All I can really do is shake my head at this episode, like this isn’t Batman, not at all. Just one of the many horrible episodes from season 4. Batman vs. a couple of hillbillies, come on Warner Bros. you can do better. Grade F

“That’s a lot of bull” – Tim Drake

99 – Mean Seasons: Season 4, Episode 13. Director: Hiroyuki Aoyama, Story: Rich Fogel

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Honestly, it’s like they weren’t even trying for parts of season 4. Look out folks, Calender Girl is on the loose!! Some has been actress is kidnapping the people responsible for her apparent “botched” surgeries. Turning the dirty 30, once the brightest star of the film industry, now just a thing of the past. These botched surgeries aren’t true, she’s still the same beautiful woman she’s always been, but she cannot see that anymore. She just sees her flaws. Another painful episode to sit all the way through, because there’s just nothing exciting happening what’s so ever. Like one of her henchmen is a knock off Fabio, give me a break…. Grade F

“Beware the Ides of March!” – Calender Girl

98 -Cat Scratch Fever: Season 2. Episode  8. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Sean Catharine Derek

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Stray cats, this episode is about stray cats…. I might as well just end this review right now. Roland Dagget is planning on using the stray cats of Gotham and infecting them with a new viral plague. He will be the only person with the means to cure this new disease, for a quick and easy money grab. So When Isis goes missing (not that Isis, Catwoman’s cat) she investigates the matter and stumbles upon his scheme. When she becomes infected herself, it’s up to her beau Batman to save the day. Grade F

“Tonight on the news they called you a hero. You keep this up and they’ll start making Catwoman dolls” – Maven

97 – Beware The Creeper: Season 4, Episode 23. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Rich Fogel.

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A knockoff Joker, in an episode with the Joker. News reporter Jack Ryder, falls into the same vat of chemicals that made the Joker who he is. But Jack was also covered in Joker’s laughing gas, makes for a weird combination. We get The Creeper out of it, all I can say is wow. Pretty much just a horny Joker, I’m not even kidding. They leave the episode open-ended and that’s the worst part, because as an audience we never get to see The Creeper again. So that makes it even worse, just another terrible villain season 4 managed to pump out. Grade D

“They call me, Yellow-Skinned Wacky Man!” – The Creeper 

96 -Birds of A Feather. Season 2, Episode 19. Director: Frank Paur, Story: Chuck Menville

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I feel like people might enjoy this episode much more than I do. Penguin gets out of the slammer and still thinks he’s high society.  Until no one comes to pick him up or throw him an extravagant party for his return. Veronica Vreeland is also feeling the heat with her recent struggles to throw a great party. So she whips up the idea to invite the Peguin to her next bash. It works to perfection, actually too good, because the bird starts to fall for Ms. Vreeland. It’s not until he overhears her telling someone she’s just using him, that everything goes to complete crap. The Peguin is usually involved in great episodes, but this is by far the worst. Just rich snobs being rich snobs. Grade D+

“I guess what they say is true: society is to blame. High society” – The Penguin.

95 – Showdown. Season 3, Episode 22. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: Kevin Altieri.

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Again another episode that I think would be higher on other people’s lists. It involves Jonah Hex, and this episode just never clicked with me. I’ve never liked it, maybe it’s because I’m salty about this being the last episode we get to see Ra’s Al Ghul and he is completely WASTED! One of my favourite villains from the whole show, and this was his swan song, honestly it’s somewhat heart breaking when you think about it. He tells this story to Batman about Jonah Hex and how his son, who is part of the story as well is still alive today. He was also exposed to the Lazarus Pits and is very old. So when Batman finds him at a retirement home and they chase them to the nearby airport, Batman actually lets him walk free. Shows that deep down Batman actually has some feelings. Fun fact about his episode though, Robin straight up dick punches a guy, the one and only punch of its kind in the show! Grade D

“Come now detective, I still have a few good years left. We will cross swords another day” – Ra’s Al Ghul

94 – Love Is A Croc. Season 4, Episode 9. Director: Butch Lukic, Story: Steve Gerber.

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Okay, quick rant before I breifly talk about this episode. How bad does Croc look in the new animation style? My god, it’s painful, he looks so bad and they even changed his voice and the new guy just sucks. He was so good in the first three seasons and they completely ruined him and made him be involved in this putrid episode. Baby Doll is back (yay – that’s sarcasm) she feels for Croc for being an outsider, as she’s always felt that way. So they team up and become a common law couple and live in the sewers and the whole thing is just a disaster and it turns out chicks dig guys who look like crocodiles, who knew. Just the weirdest pairing of two rogues from Batman’s famous gallery that I can remember and truthfully it just didn’t work out. Croc straight up beats Baby Doll also, which I found to be a little disturbing. Grade F

“Ordinarily, I don’t approve of spanking but in her case…” – Batgirl

93 – The Demon Within. Season 4, Episode 18. Director: Atsuko Tanaka, Story: Rusti Bjornhoel

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Without question one of the weirdest most out of place episodes. When you compare it to all other episodes, it just feels so out of place, so far from the realm of what the original feel of the show was. Also they have the creepiest villain, Klarion the Witch Boy, who possesses Jason Blood’s alter ego Etrigan the Demon. I know that was a mouthful to take in. I don’t even know what I’m talking about when it comes to this episode. It’s weird and certainly not the BTAS I grew to love. Grade D

“Whoa! So all of this is what I think it is, right? Magic? Sorcery?” – Tim Drake.

92 – The Lion and The Unicorn. Season 3, Episode 21. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Diane Duane

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A call back to British spy films – this episode focuses on Alfred. When he gets a mysterious phone call from his “cousin” Alfred drops everything at Wayne Manor and heads across the pond to London.  I really try to like this episode but I can never really get into it. The one thing, I do enjoy though, is how they dive into Alfred’s past. Even Dick doesn’t know about how much of a badass Alfred used to be back in the day working as a British government spy. His cousin, who turns out to be his old partner and Alfred have the secret launch codes for a nuclear mission silo. They showcase his skills throughout the episode, but it’s biggest downfall has to be having Red Claw. She’s a terrible villain and we never really get to understand why she’s a terrorist or why she does the things she does. Her voice is also incredibly annoying. Grade D-

“There’s only one London Master Bruce” – Alfred

91 – Moon of The Wolf. Season 2, Episode 15. Director: Dick Sebast, Story: Len Wein

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So this episode is hilariously bad, but I don’t hate it as strongly now as the first few times I watched it. It kind of grows on you to be honest, but that doesn’t excuse it from being laughable. Batman is suppose to be the worlds greatest detective, yet he thinks this werewolf is just a mugger in a mask. I don’t like when the writing dumbs down our Batman and makes it appear that he’s not so smart. Anthony Romulus was a star athlete, but wanted to be the very best. So he’s offered a chance of a lifetime, to experiment with a new drug provided by Dr. Milo. Turns out that there’s some timber wolf estrogen in the steroids, so it ultimately turns him into this wolf man. Just a classic filler episode, with little to no story, and just making Batman seem weak and stupid at times. Bruce Tinm once said that it was a “Tuesday” episode. Whatever that means. Grade D 

“Do me a favour, Shaggy!” – Batman

90 – Tyger, Tyger. Season 2, Episode 14. Director: Frank Paur, Story: Michael Reaves

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I don’t know what the producers of this show were thinking when it comes to Catwomans story arc. She’s such an incredible character, yet she’s apart of some of the most bizarre and quite frankly some of the worst episodes. Like she gets turned into a cat this episode… that’s right. Dr. Dorian has other pet projects, a giant ape like man, and Tygrus. Another giant cat, Tygrus serves as another love interest for Selina Kyle in this episode, and it makes the whole thing even stranger.  She has such a complex relationship with our hero, and that’s kind of explored, but she’s just always part of some half-assed story. We just never get that great Batman/Catwoman story, like again SHE GETS TURNED INTO AN ACTUAL CAT.  Grade D+

“Tyger, Tyger, burning bright. In the forests of the night. What immortal hand or eye. Could frame thy fearful symmetry?” – Batman

89 – Chemisty. Season 4, Episode 22. Director: Butch Lukic, Story: Stan Berkowitz

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Another fine example of the writers making our Caped Crusader look kind of stupid. Bruce magically falls for a women and decides pretty easily that it’s time to hang up the cape and cowl for good. Really Batman? Just like that, regardless if she is the one, something seems off and Batman really doesn’t take notice, until it’s almost too late.  Susan is her name, well that’s the name Poison Ivy gives her, see she’s one of her newest creations. Where she makes the perfect match for the wealthy of Gotham and poor Bruce can do nothing to stop the affection he has for dear old Susan. I just could never believe Bruce Wayne would fall that hard for someone, even if it’s out of his control somehow. He’s Batman, his mind control is like no other, and the fact that they just make him seem pretty weak and stupid in this episode bothers me a bit. Grade D + 

“Everything’s changed for me in the past few weeks. The pain of my parents deaths…it’s still there, but it seems smaller” – Bruce Wayne

88 – The Cult of The Cat. Season 4, Episode 15. Director: Butch Lukic, Story: Stan Berkowitz

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Another episode involving cats….I get it, she’s Catwoman and all but come on. Some original ideas would be nice. Here we find Selina stealing a rare cat statue from a cult, to only find out she has a lot in common with these people. Like a lot of episodes in the final season, we see Batman square off against larger than life animals, this time around it’s a saber-toothed cat. For this being the last time we ever get to see her in the animated series, it was just overall a lacklustre episode to say the least. In the end we realize that no matter how much Selina loves Batman, her true loves lies with her cats and well stolen jewellery. As we see her living in Paris, with those two things I just mentioned. Grade D+

“You can’t get rid of them. They are like old boyfriends. Or warts.” – Catwoman.

87 – Cold Comfort. Season 4, Episode 3. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Hilary J. Bader

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Remember when Paul Dini came up with the idea that Mr. Freeze shouldn’t be a joke anymore. That they created one of the best Batman stories ever told with “Heart of Ice” which we will get too later. Mr. Freeze is one of the more sympathetic characters in the animated series, he’s lost all emotion, and you feel for the guy after he loses his wife to a rare disease (Well she’s frozen, but you knew that already!). That being said, this character probably gets the biggest change in the animation revamp and I HATE IT. He was literally perfect in the few episodes he appeared in with the old animation style, and now he just looks stupid. On top of that, he’s just a head, just a human head now, with a robot body, are you kidding me? They ruined his character completely, and the only saving grace is that they didn’t change his voice actor (Michael Ansara) who does such a terrific job at portraying this heart broken and completely loss man. This episode deals with Freeze being pissed off after his now cured wife has moved on with her life and she has remarried, so he’s going around Gotham destroying a bunch of things. Move on buddy and find another gal, I guess that’s hard to do though, when you are just a head I guess. He’s even got two stupid lady sidekicks and the whole thing makes me mad, so I’m going to stop writing now. Grade D

“You don’t have to do this. Wayne Enterprises helped save your wife’s life, and we can help you” – Bruce Wayne 

86 -Animal Act. Season 4, Episode 16. Director: Curt Geda, Story: Hilary J. Bader

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Man I don’t know who Mad Hatter pissed off, but wow, just wow. Mad Hatter is a terrific villain, and is feature in some of the best episodes this show has to offer. Why on Earth is this his last appearance? Why did they make him take control of circus animals as his final insane plot? So Robin’s old circus is back in town, and just like that, crazy robberies involving animals is going on in Gotham. This is straight up one of the more childish episodes we ever see. Not a single dark tone, or adult vibe to it, and that was the big concern for the revamp. I hate to throw people under the bus, but Hilary J. Bader is responsible for writing some of the worst and more immature episodes ever. For having Dick Grayson re-visit the place where he lost everything, you would think this episode would pack a little bit more of an emotional punch, No! Talk about a missed opportunity, and for a life long Batman fan, thats something us fans want to see. Grade D-

“You sure it’s locked this time? We’ve got enough yahoos running around this city without having to deal with Yogi and Boo-Boo too.” – Harvey Bullock

 

85 – Double Talk. Season 4, Episode 4. Director: Curt Geda, Story: Robert Goodman

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The good old Ventriloquist, another great villain ruined by the revamp. Yes, he’s a little strange, but that’s the best part about him. I don’t mind that its a puppet, and to be honest it’s kind of scary that a man can get to be that insane. So Arnold Wesker is out of jail and got a sweet hook up by Bruce Wayne himself to start working at Wayne Enterprises. He’s “cured” of his aliment of being control by his other half Scarface. Well little does he know that’s not the case, and he plans a little robbery at his newly acquired workplace. Just not a great episode, they made Arnold look like a low budget grown up Charlie Brown. They even made Scarface look worse and he’s a puppet, just so not cool Warner Bros. animation. Grade D

“He’s not coming back! He’s gone!” – Arnold Wesker

84 – The Worry Men. Season 3, Episode 9. Director: Frank Paur, Story: Paul Dini

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Veronica Vreeland, one of Gotham’s rich girls heads overseas for a vacation and comes back with some little dolls. These dolls are suppose to take away all of your worries. When she was in Central America, these dolls according to legend were put under your pillow at night, they would take away your worries for you. Little did she know, each doll had a tiny microchip placed inside by the Mad Hatter, and he was making the wealthy give him all of their money. Sneaky guy that Mad Hatter, I’ll give him props for the genius scheme, but the episode just kind of falls flat, and I want to like this episode every time I watch it, I just can’t AND I DON’T KNOW WHY!!!! Grade C-

“As the great Lewis Carrol himself once said, ‘One, two, one, two, through and through. And then the rope went snicker-snack. He left it dead and with its head, he went galloping back!” – Dr. Jervis Tetch/Mad Hatter 

83 – Baby Doll. Season 3, Episode 20. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Paul Dini

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I need to say this first. I don’t hate this episode, any episode written by Paul Dini isn’t bad. I understand the meaning behind it and why some people think this episode is freaking genius and really good. I feel that way about it too. The emotional punch and baggage that come along with this episode is pretty haunting. It’s different and unique and I totally understand that part. For me, it always boils down to the fact, that I just can’t ever picture Batman running around Gotham chasing a little girl. Yes I know, she’s actually 30 and she’s born with a rare disease that makes her not age or grow. But there’s something about Batman, the freaking Dark Knight chasing this little girl and I just laugh, because that just doesn’t happen, or maybe that’s just me? Baby Doll a once bright star, had herself a hit TV show, until well someone stole the spotlight from her, and when that happened, Baby Doll got super upset. She tried other methods of acting, but nothing worked, so her career ended pretty quickly. 10 years later she’s out for revenge, and starts kidnapping all her ex cast-mates, and well essentially wants to kill them all. I’ll admit the last few minutes of this episode are spectacular but that can’t justify putting it higher on the list. Baby Doll just never clicked with me as a villain. Grade C+

“Remember that time when Poison Ivy nearly smothered us in those vines?” – Robin

 

Well there you have it, the first 20 episodes are in the books! That took a lot longer than I expected, so hopefully the next part will be ready in the next week! Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know how you feel about my rankings!