Reviews

Ranking Every ‘Batman The Animated Series’ Episode – Part 2/5 

Maybe. Maybe not. When you look into the abyss, the aybss looks back through you.

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The dork knight is back! We have gone through the worst of the worst (in my opinion) of everyones favourite superhero cartoon! The bottom 20 episodes are out of the way and now it’s time to keep this party going! Things are going to get a little bit tougher from here on out for me. This is the grey area where certain episodes could almost land anywhere on my list. I think from here on out, I like every single episode I’m about to rank, but they all can’t be winners now can they, somebody has to be towards the bottom. So without further adieu here are numbers 82-63!

82 -Girls Night Out. Season 4, Episode 20. Director: Curt Geda, Story: Hilary J Bader

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So heres a bad idea, lets not put Batman in an episode of BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES!! I’m not saying he needs to be in every episode, I’m just saying I would have liked to see him interact with Supergirl. The only episode where we really get the “shared universe” experience and Batman isn’t even around. Kind of a kiddy episode, where Supergirl comes to Gotham to help out Batgirl, after Livewire wreaks some havoc on the city, and semi-teams up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. I feel like this should be lower on my list, because I just don’t think it’s a great episode, I merely ranked it higher, due to the coolness factor or Supergirl being in it, and this being the first episode that we really got the idea of a larger universe. Grade D

“Sure. How hard can it be? Two against one, right?” – Supergirl 

81 – Eternal Youth. Season 2, Episode 1. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: Beth Bernstein

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So Poison Ivy turns people into trees……..I can’t even make this stuff up sometimes. She gets all pissy, about some of Gotham’s elite hurting the environment, so she invites them to her “spa” called Eternal Youth, where she feeds them, makes them bathe in this chemical and ultimately sprays them, so they turn into helpless trees. Lucky for Bruce Wayne he ditches the spa retreat but sends Alfred and his friend Maggie instead. They leave the spa, but feel the urge to go back, and when they do, poor Alfie and Maggie get turned into trees. Batman comes and saves the day! This episode isn’t as bad as the premise might suggest, I enjoy episodes that focus a little more on Alfred, because I think BTAS does a fantastic job at portraying the character, and the voice acting is mere perfect. Poison Ivy is so great before the revamp, but I can’t stand her look afterwards, so I can’t even imagine how I would feel about this episode if it came during season 4, it’s the stuff nightmares are made of. Grade C-

“Of course, I have the patience of a redwood.” – Poison Ivy

80 – The Terrible Trio. Season 3, Episode 15. Director: Frank Paur, Story: Alan Burnett

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MAAAAN. I have a big love/hate relationship with this episode. I have a feeling people HATE this one. I almost wanted to rank it much higher, I don’t know what it is. The more times I watch the terrible trio, the more I like it. Simply put, three rich brats have done it all in life. So they decide to turn to a life of crime, just for the fun of it, and guess what – they are good at it! Masters of land, sea and air, these guys are friends of Bruce Wayne (shocker!!!) and when things get a little personal, a few of this trio, might start to think they bit off a little more than they can chew. It’s also hilarious how easily it is for Batman to take these clowns down, always makes me laugh! Grade C+

“Because we were good at it!” – Warren Lawford 

79 – Terror In The Sky. Season 2, Episode 17. Director: Boyd Kirkland Story: Steve Perry

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The Man-Bats back and there’s going to be trouble! Well I guess Woman-Bat, they never really address that situation. I’m a huge fan of this villain and it’s a damn shame he/she are only in two episodes. I’ve always wanted to see this character on the big screen, because even though it’s kind of a B-villain, I just think it would look incredible in live action. So this time it’s Dr. Langstrom’ wife who gets infected and his terrorizing Gotham. Even Batman has a hard time figuring out who this bat is. The biggest downfall for this episode is simply it’s just not as good as the original Man-Bat episode, and it’s not even close, that’s my reasoning for my ranking. Grade C-

“Is this what it’s going to take? Your daughter’s life, before you end this insanity?” – Batman

78 – The Mechanic. Season 2, Episode 27. Director: Kevin Altieri Story: Laren Bright

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This is a weird episode. It’s like not bad, but I’ve seen it before, in Batman Returns and it’s way better in live action. So the batmobile gets smashed to shit no thanks to The Penguin, so Batman needs to repair his precious ride. Penguin gets some inside information from a cars part dealer, so he decides to hunt down Batman’s mechanic and sabotage the batmobile. I like the backstory of how Batman and his mechanic came to be, it shows that he enjoys helping out people with big hearts. But it’s like I said, we’ve seen this already, so it’s hard for me to really enjoy this episode. I’ll admit, the first ever batmobile that they show, is so terrible and hilarious and I refuse to believe billionaire Bruce Wayne would ride around in such a piece of crap. Seriously it’s god awful. Grade C-

(See’s the damaged car) “You been letting the kid drive again?” – Earl Cooper

77 – Jokers Wild. Season 2, Episode 13. Director: Boyd Kirkland Story: Paul Dini

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Boy, does the Joker ever make it seem easy to escape from Arkham. He does it with so little effort in this episode, that I wonder how he even spends anytime in that place. It’s actually funny, just how terrible the security is, for a place holding the worlds craziest villains. So Cameron Kaiser opens a new casino, and he calls it “Jokers Wild” and well Mr. J isn’t too happy about this, so that’s why he breaks out, so he can go teach this guy a lesson. Here’s the thing, that’s exactly what the guy wants. Talk about a serious mind fuck, but the guy sunk so much money into opening the casino, that he’s broke. So he figures that if he builds it, with a joker theme. The clown prince of crime is bound to show up and destroy the place. Therefore he will collect all the insurance money. Smart guy, but Batman is on to this little scheme and kind of works with The Joker to make sure that doesn’t happen. In the end, Mr J goes back to jail and hopefully they kept him there for more than a few days. Overall not a terrible episode, just not one of the strongest Joker stories. I feel like out of the 20 I’m about to rank, this could end up being the one that is the most mis-ranked. Grade C

“Jumpin’ Jimmy Christmas! It’s a homage to me! I’m kind of sorry I have to blow it up!” – The Joker 

76 – Be A Clown. Season 1, Episode 9. Director: Frank Paur Story: Ted Pedersen

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The Joker is a clown, and in this one, he pretends to be a clown…….Maybe this should be lower on the list. Now that I’m thinking about this episode, there really isn’t any good stuff to talk about. Mayor Hill is throwing a birthday party for his son. His son wants to be the next great magician, and well Daddy isn’t having any of that nonsense. He bashes Joker on the news, so he decides it’s time to teach him a lesson and plans to bring a pretty big party favour, – a bomb. Of course Bruce Wayne is at the party and saves the day, but not before the mayors son hitches a ride with Joker, obviously not realizing it’s him. Again, just not a great Joker story, there’s a decent part where he traps Batman in a tank full of water, but it’s Batman, of course he gets out!! They fight on a rollercoaster, which  is pretty cool I guess, because actually sometimes Joker can go toe-to-toe with Batman, that guy can actually throw some haymakers. Also you know you’re a sick and twisted bastard when you want to go blow up a bunch of kids at a birthday party, man Joker really needed more hugs in his life when he was a child. Grade C

“They don’t make straightjackets like they used to. I should know.” – The Joker

75 – Batgirl Returns. Season 3, Episode 29. Director: Dan Riba Story: Michael Reaves

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THIS EPISODE MAKES ME MAD ALRIGHT? This is the very last episode before the animation revamp and it doesn’t even have Batman in it. You heard me, the last episode with the perfect animation and style doesn’t even feature our guy. And guess what? It’s not even a great episode. It also is the last episode before they ruined Batgirl, she sucks in the revamp, THERE I SAID IT! She teams up with Catwoman and Robin and it’s just not a great episode, trying to take down Roland Dagget, who’s finally back and then is gone, vanishes like a fart in the wind. I get so sad everytime I get to the last episode of season 3, because it’s this episode and I know I have to deal with season 4 afterwards. So maybe I’m letting that cloud my judgement, but it’s just not the best episode. I loved Batgirl during season 3, she was almost perfect and again she’s just ruined in season 4, they change her voice and the way she looks and it’s just really upsetting to me. This episode is just really bittersweet. Actually wait, the opening scene of this episode is so incredible, that it makes what follows even worse. I just wish that would of actually been the climax of this one, instead of some fantasy dream of Batgirls. Grade C+

“Bats are just mice with wings, little girl” – Catwoman 

74 – P.O.V. Season 1, Episode 7. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: Mitch Brian

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This episode is about a sting gone wrong, and three different stories from three different GCPD officers. Detective Harvey Bullock, Renee Montoya and “Wilkes.” Another character created for the show, Renee Montoya (created by Mitch Brian and Bruce Timm), another foil and thorn in the side of Harvey Bullock and another alley for our Batman. She’s a good cop, who thinks Batman is doing good, and wants to help anyway she can. This is kind of the first episode where you see just how Shady Bullock can be, he’s lying to cover his own ass in this episode. Where all three stories aren’t lying up properly, and Commissioner Gordon doesn’t know who to believe. One of the great things about this show, was its understanding of the need for strong female characters, and Montoya is just that. She’s a strong and brave character and they build her character and her story throughout the series. Overall its a pretty good episode, but we are getting to the point where maybe tomorrow I would rank it 20 spots higher, maybe it’s just the mood I’m in..Grade C

“Freeze maggots, you’re all under arrest!” – Harvey Bullock 

73 – The Forgotten. Season 1, Episode 8. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Jules Dennis

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Am I the only one who thinks that piece of cartoon chicken looks delicious? Maybe I should have ranked this episode higher because of it. Also I happen to think this man has style, but thats not the purpose of this list now is it! Homeless people are disappearing and the shelter Bruce Wayne volunteers at, even some of its employees have gone missing. So while investigating and going undercover, BOOM! He gets knocked on the head pretty good, and when he recovers, he’s got a case of old bat brain, or well amnesia. See this fat guy up here in this photo is taking them and making them mine for gold. While trying to get his memory back, he meets a few guys, one who happens to work at the same soup kitchen he volunteers at, and still he can’t remember a thing. He can still kick all sorts of ass, but it’s not until a he hears the word “family” when everything comes rushing back. I will admit, this episode has a classic scene in it. When Alfred is flying the Batwing, and he wants it to land, but it’s refusing to, is some of the funniest stuff from the entire show. Batman shows up, saves the day and everyone at the camp, and even gives those two guys proper jobs at Wayne Enterprises. I love happy endings! Grade C

“Land you bucket of bolts!” – Alfred 

72 – I’ve Got Batman In My Basement. Season 1, Episode 13. Director: Frank Paur, Story: Sam Graham

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Why do I have a funny feeling that everyone hates this episode. You know what. I kind of like it! Wouldn’t it be cool to have Batman hanging out in your basement. Fight he Penguin and drive the batmobile. These are all things I wanted when I was a kid, hell still do today! So Penguin steals a rare jewel and this two kids who want to be detectives happen to stumble upon this. Batman shows up, and he gets gassed, so it’s up to the kids to save the day. They bring Batman home and stash him in their basement. I enjoy this episode, it’s awesome when the kids get their hands on some of Batman’s stuff and fight off Penguin and some of his thugs. I’ve always thought Penguin was done so well in this series, he’s the kind of Penguin I want to see Josh Gad tackle in The Batman! I’m team Josh Gad everyone!!! Grade C-

“Say, Batman, you wouldn’t happen to be single, would you?” – Sherman.

71 – Avatar. Season 3, Episode 13. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: Michael Reaves

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Batman gets bit by a poisonous snake and takes it like a champ!!! That utility belt, it really does have everything. A mystic Egyptian scroll is stolen by Ra’s Al Ghul from a Gotham museum. Ra’s wants to hunt down a sorceress and bring her back to her glory days. See he’s been searching for her, for a very long time. When he arrives, he doesn’t realize what he has unleashed, and she sucks the life from him. It’s up the Batman to stop her, with a little help from his beloved Talia. I like this episode until the end, there’s like this green goo that tries to kill everyone and it’s just super weird. Again after his first appearance, every episode that follows with Ra’s Al Ghul is kind of a letdown, but I will admit, it is pretty awesome when Batman saves Ubu’s life. He is so rattled, yet so grateful, that it makes for a really great scene. Grade C

“You sound like a bad afternoon serial, Ra’s.” – Batman 

70 – The Ultimate Thrill. Season 4, Episode 11. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Hilary J. Bader

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Okay, I know it’s a cartoon, but this chick was all sorts of horny in this episode! It’s kind of weird, I’m not going to lie to you people, and her name is Roxy Rocket, LIKE COME ON! Once the best stuntwoman in the movie business, Roxanne got board, so she turned to a life of crime, with a twist. She loves adrenaline more than life itself, so all of her crimes are crazy and that’s how she is able to pull them off. Working for Penguin, she soon realizes that maybe she’s not in it for the crime, but rather just the adrenaline itself. This was the first time I ever watched this episode, and I enjoyed it, maybe that’s why its not towards the bottom of the list. It’s nothing special, but when it comes to season 4, there really aren’t too many great episodes to choose from. Grade C-

“You missed your calling, Batman. You should have been in the movies!” – Roxy Rocket 

69 – Judgement Day. Season 4, Episode 24. Director: Curt Geda, Story: Rich Fogel

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The last episode ever……It features this guy above……..So many emotions, so many problems, just so many questions. REALLY??? That’s how you wanted to end the show, the worst part about season 4, is there is no final episode, no wrapping everything up nicely, NOTHING! Kind of sad, actually it’s really sad. Like being dumped on your birthday sad. So “The Judge” is going around Gotham and dealing his own type of justice to Batman’s rouges gallery. Turns out that this is just Two-Face! He’s some how developed a third personality, and this is him! So he doesn’t know what’s going on, and man does Harvey really have some deep rooted issues. I liked the Judge, don’t get me wrong here, he’s cool and I kind of liked the idea of Two-Face becoming Three-Face, or maybe Tri-Face, either or, I’m in! But the fact that when you pop in season 4, and this is the last episode you watch, it kind of makes season 4 that much more frustrating. I remember the first time I watched this episode, I actually didn’t know who it was going to be, I thought it was probably Joker, but they really pull one over on you! He carries a sword, so he’s kind of a badass! Also, quick rant. I’m pretty sure this episode features the only dialogue from The Riddler in season 4. Can you believe they went 24 episodes and didn’t give that guy one freakin’ episode! What a joke, and he looks awful, he looks like a Conehead…. Grade C

“Hey, diddle diddle, time for a riddle” – The Riddler 

68 – Off Balance. Season 2, Episode 22. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: Len Wein

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The introduction to the Al Ghul family!! So Count Vertigo is on the loose, and he’s got some crazy eye piece that makes everyone lose their balance. He steals some important sonic drill, and when Batman goes to investigate he mights some of the Secret Shadow gang, and quickly realizes there is more at play here. There he meets Talia, who actually is the first person in the show to discover Bruce Wayne is Batman, when she needs to take off his mask to clean his wounds. There’s such a great scene in this episode, where  Batman and Talia have to walk across a room full of traps, while they are “off balance” and when they reach the other end without a scratch. Talia asks how they did it, and Batman simply tells her, he closed his eyes! Such a badass Batman moment, he let his other senses do all the work, what a genius. In the end Talia turns on Batman, shocker, only to find that Batman had destroyed the drill without her knowing. The ending is pretty cool too, because they set up Ra’s Al Ghul! Grade C+

“One of these days, I’m going to nail his feet to the ground” – Commissioner Gordon 

67 – Holiday Knights. Season 4, Episode 1. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Paul Dini

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Three Christmas stories in one episode! So we got Clayface running around a mall, and this is by far the worst of the three stories, so I’m not going to talk about it, really that’s all it is. Clayface makes a bunch of kids and has them shoplift, what a waste of 7 minutes. Next is the best, Ivy and Harley team up once more, and this time they take Bruce Wayne and his credit cards hostage. It’s actually a really funny bit, they even think they kill him at one point when they anciently make Bruce Wayne fall down an elevator shaft. They seem sad at first, but realize who they are. Lastly is Joker is going to drop a bomb when  the clock strikes midnight on NYE, but not before Batman and Robin can foil his plans. It’s an alright bit, actually this is the first episode of the revamp and they show blood, which they never did before, so I was thrown off the first time watching it. But the best part and one of the best scenes really in the whole show comes at the very end. Batman and Commission Gordon meet for coffee every year after the new year rings in. They sit have a cup of coffee and wish each safety for the next year and hope they will be in the same place a year from now. Batman always bails early, but always pays. What a guy! It’s actually a really touching scene and makes you realize the friendship between these two men, but this one scene alone can’t make it go higher on my list. You can thank the Clayface part for that!

“Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God! We-we killed him!… Oh well.” Harley Quinn

66 – Make Em Laugh. Season 3, Episode 27. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Paul Dini

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Introducing some of Batman’s greatest rogues ever!!! My personal favourite villain of all time, in movies, comics or video games. The Condiment King!!! Kidding guys, but he’s actually pretty jokes, and uses all sorts of food puns, and who doesn’t like a good mustard pun every once and awhile. All Joker wants is to be a funny guy, and when he gets tossed from the Comedians competition, he seeks revenge on the judges. So he steals some microchips from Mad Hatter, and makes these famous comedians commit crazy crimes, and that’s how we get introduced to some of the weirdest villains ever. I don’t know if the year prior, the Joker was in costume or not, and I would love to know if this is part of his origin story kind of. They never really tell you, and that kind of pisses me off! Robin also gets spanked by one of the judges turned bad, and it’s a sight for sore eyes. They really should have put Condiment King in the new Injustice video game! Grade C+

“Now listen Mustard Man, or whatever you call yourself!” – Batman 

65 – Joker’s Millions. Season 4, Episode 7. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Paul Dini

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So one of Joker’s arch-rivals dies and leaves his entire fortune of 250 million dollars to him. Joker was broke, he had nothing, he even fired Harley Quinn, and when he gets this money and is the happiest guy in Gotham. King Barlowe the man who gave him all this money, well lets just say he got the last laugh on old Mr. J. See most of the money was fake, so now the Joker is in even more trouble, and he’s super pissed. At one point he holds auditions for a new Harley and it’s pretty damn funny. He hires some air head girl who turns out to be a real dud. I feel like this is a well respected episode and people really like it. For me, it just gets a mehhhhh. The new Harley bit is hilarious, but other than that there really isn’t too much to say when it comes to Joker’s Millions.

“I may be crazy enough to take on Batman, but the IRS? No thank you!” – Joker

62 – Torch Song. Season 4, Episode 10. Director: Curt Geda, Story: Rich Fogel

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Guess what? This episode isn’t that good at all! Guess what again? I happen to really like the villain FireFly, so that’s why I have it so high on my list! The pyro-maniac Garfield Lynns is super pissed about being dumped by his rockstar girlfriend Cassidy. So he decides, hey I’m just going to set you on fire and watch you burn. What a psycho!!! It’s a bad breakup episode, but with fire! Maybe if Maury came on the show, this could have been easily resolved, and you know, without fire and a crazy person. I like FireFly, he’s a unique bad guy, and I really enjoy him in the Arkham games and maybe that is clouding my judgment a bit when it comes to this episode. But another awesome thing with this episode, is we get to see a pretty kickass batsuit at the end of it. So he can take on FireFly, something we never get to see again in the show! So when I really think about it, it’s all not that bad, because that suit is straight fire. Grade C+

“Hey! You’re the expert on burning people, you little tramp!” Garfield Lynns  

63 – Paging The Crime Doctor. Season 2, Episode 25. Director: Frank Paur, Story: Mike W. Barr

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So Rupert Thorn is kind of fat right? He decides to have himself a little heart attack, and lucky for him, his brother is a doctor. Well used to be, still kind of is I guess. See his brother Matthew Thorn, once was a great doctor but he got his medical license revoked and now is known as the “crime doctor.” He deals with shady people, and criminals and mostly people involved with his brother Rupert, but Matthew can’t do the surgery alone, so he turns to an old friend, Leslie Thompkins. She wants no part in helping, but she must, and when Matthew finds out after the surgery is successful, Rupert planned on having her killed, even he won’t let that happen. Batman is around too, he finds out she’s missing and goes to search for her. You see Matthew is connect to Batman, because he actually went to medical school is Thomas Wayne. This episode does something so special in the last scene. It has one of the best emotional moments in the entire series, everything about it, it’s just perfect. After everything is settled, Bruce Wayne goes to help and talk with Matthew Thorn, and asks him for a favour. Matthew takes this the wrong way and think he wants money, but instead Bruce tells him, he simply wants to know more about his father. He just wants him to tell him what his father is like. The animation of Bruce’s face and you can hear the pain in his voice, Kevin Conroy is brilliant in this scene, all he ever wants is to know as much as he can about his parents. It really is a beautiful moment in Batman mythos, well for me at least. I feel like the more I watch this episode, the more I will come to appreciate all of it and just not that incredible ending. Grade B-

“Your father, God rest him, he called you stubborn from the day you were born. Always used to say you had a hard head. He didn’t know the half of it” – Leslie Thompkins 

Another 20 is in the books folks! We are getting there, slowly but surely! Hopefully have part 3 done sometime early next week! Again feel free to comment below on anything I might have missed or if you care to discuss your favourite episodes!

Check ya later!

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Top Ten Batman Villains

The Caped Crusader has one of the most impressive rogues galleries in all of comic books, so I thought I’d share my top ten favourite Batman villains

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In comic books the hero always needs a great villain to fight. It helps when they have multiple great villains to fight. When it comes to The Dark Knight, his rogues gallery is like no other. The collection of misfits and freaks the Batman goes toe to toe with on a nightly basis is just outstanding, and something that fans have always come to appreciate. In order for a hero to reach their true potential, they need an arch nemesis, someone who will test their limits, and someone who will ultimately bring out the best in our hero. I’ve loved Batman for as long as I can remember, and to be honest what separates him from other heroes is his rogues gallery. They are all so special and unique, and sometimes I find myself liking the bad guys more than the Caped Crusader himself. From the Batman movies, comic books and the beloved animated series from the 90’s, I’m going to go through my top ten Batman bad guys!

Honourable Mentions

Clayface

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“No. No! You broke my concentration. It won’t work. Don’t you see? It’s too hard. It’s like tensing a muscle. I can’t keep it up for long! MY CAREER, MY LIFE, IT IS GONE! AND I CAN NEVER GET IT BACK! I’M NOT AN ACTOR ANYMORE! I’m not even a… man.” – Clayface

The shape shifting clay guy! Things got pretty messy when Batman went toe to toe with Clayface, who first appeared in Detective Comics #40, in 1940! Throughout the years he has had many aliases but the one I know him for the most is Matt Hagen, an A-List Hollywood actor who was getting too old to be getting parts anymore. When a pharmaceutical company offers to help by offering him a new “aging cream” it soon consumes Hagen, and he turn into the blob you see in the picture above. All around cool villain, with his shape shifting abilities, he is able to turn into anyone or anything for that matter. So he was quite the handful for old Batsy to take on. He has two really fantastic episodes in Batman the Animated Series titled Feat of Clay!

Killer Croc 

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 “All my life people been screamin’… ever since I was a kid — just cuz I was born different… just cuz I look different, but lemme tell ya… you people ain’t no joy to look at neither!” – Killer Croc

Waylon Jones was born with a rare disease called atavism, which gave him reptile like features. From the moment he was born he was different from everyone else, and he’s always felt like an outsider. As he grew older so did the disease, and it consumed him. Turning him into half man half crocodile. He is one of Batman’s toughest opponents, and first appeared in Detective Comics #583 in 1983! Before turning to a life of crime, his backstory usually involves him being a side show at a circus or a pro-wrestler turned baddie.

Black Mask 

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“Know that the mask destroys one identity while creating anoter. Know that the mask recreates its wearer. Know that, through the sublimation of personality, inhibitions die and the nature of the wearer is altered–so that deeper drives and more primitive instincts rise to the surface.” – Black Mask

Roman Sionis aka Black Mask, originally a business man who had a hatred for Bruce Wayne rather than his alter ego. Jealous of the life a young Bruce Wayne had, Roman also came from money, but his parents didn’t use it to help others like the Wayne’s, nor did they care for Roman like the Wayne’s cared for their son Bruce. Black Mask, then set his sights on the criminal underworld of Gotham, where he led the group known as the “False Facers,” he wears a black wooden mask to scare his enemies, much like the Batman himself. First appearing in 1985, Black Mask has been a worthy opponent of the Batman, and a few years ago, he appeared in the Batman: Arkham Origins video game and I thought that was a really great portrayal of the character.

10.) Penguin 

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 “I’m Cobblepot, you cretin. Do you think my parents named me “The Penguin”?” – The Penguin

Born Oswald Cobblepot, he is one of Batman’s many super villains, and was first introduced in 1941, in Detective Comics #58. Known for his love of ornithology, and trick umbrellas, that double as deadly weapons and fancy gadgets. Penguin is a criminal mastermind, who uses his club The Iceberg Lounge as a front for all the shady criminal dealings and other nefarious operations he is involved with. Usually a short, cubby, well dressed man, who was always seen sporting a tuxedo, monocle and top hat, the Penguin does have a sense of style. Usually surrounded by beautiful women, to remind people just how powerful a man he is, despite his grotesque appearance. Physically he is no match for Batman, but intellectually he can manipulate Batman, and their relationship isn’t as intense as with other villains. At the end of the day, Penguin is a businessman, not a killer, so Batman is usually stopping bad business deals, and making sure the Penguin is kept in check.

9.) Poison Ivy

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“You’re not my enemy, Batman. I used to think defeating you was my main objective in life. No. You’re merely a hindrance. My main goal now and forevermore will be a better world. If that means we cross swords, so be it, but… I’ve changed.” – Poison Ivy

Dr. Pamela Isley, she was once one of the most promising young botanist minds, when a horrible accident, which nearly killed her turned her into something evil. Poison Ivy was born, and it was that very accident that she acquired an immunity to all natural toxins and deadly diseases in the world. Introduced in 1966, in Batman #181, she has been around in the comics for over 50 years now. Obsessed with plant life, botany and environmentalism, she wanted to save the world, one plant at a time, but now she uses them as her most dangerous weapon. Using toxins from not only plants by her own poisonous bloodstream for criminal activities, and harming her enemies. Known to create love potions, those have been used on Batman, Robin and even Superman to help her with her schemes. She still wants to save all her precious plants and the environment but now she goes about doing it in a much more sinister and evil manner.  Depicted in the comics as the most formidable eco-terrorist, her abilities make her a worthy advisory to Batman, and anyone else standing in her way. She has also been known to team up with Catwoman and Harley Quinn, in the comics and cartoons. We can all just try and forget her on screen performance in Batman & Robin, I know I have

8.) Hush 

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(Warner Bros)

 “A master strategist would have killed me when he had the chance. It’s clear you lack the foresight… or the nerve. So I’m your prisoner. You know I’ll escape.” – Hush

One of Batman’s greatest enemies might also be one of his lesser known to casual Bat fans. That doesn’t mean this guy is a push over in any sense, making his debut in 2003, in Batman #609, Hush is both a physical threat, as well as a mental threat for our hero. Thomas Elliot was Bruce Wayne’s best friend growing up; they did everything together, as their parents ran in the same social circle. Growing up wealthy, much like Wayne, Tommy had it all, except for what Bruce valued the most, which was love and support from his mother and father. When Tommy’s failed plan to murder his parents backfired, due to Thomas Wayne’s incredible surgical skills, he then vowed to himself that he would seek revenge on Bruce, as he took it upon himself to blame Bruce for everything. When Thomas grew up, he became a masterful surgeon himself, and used those skills, to seek revenge on his once childhood friend. Wearing bandages to cover his face, he took on the persona of Hush, and in some cases he would take pieces of his murdered victims faces and use it to create a replica of Bruce Wayne’s face where he use it to not only destroy his reputation, but to lure out the Batman. He’s such an interesting villain and I hope we get to see him in the DCEU, maybe played by Ben’s real life best friend Matt Damon.

7.) Scarecrow 

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(Warner Bros)

 “Do you know why you always catch us? It’s because we want to be caught.” – Scarecrow

The professor of fear himself Dr. Jonathan Crane aka Scarecrow. Introduced in World’s Finest Comics #3 in 1941, Scarecrow remains one of Batman’s toughest mental challenges. Obsessed with fears and phobia’s, an ex professor of psychology at Gotham State University. He was experimenting on students in an unorthodox way and pushing the limits on these experiments, and soon was fired from the university. Using fear toxins to subdue is opponents, Scarecrow commits his crimes not for money but rather as a form of research, in his never ending quest to bring Gotham to its knees in the form of fear. Remains one of my favorite Batman villains to date, I wish he would get a proper onscreen representation. He was fine in the Nolan trilogy but it could be way cooler and much more scarier. His scarecrow appearance and lanky demeanor were inspired by the fable tale of Ichabod Crane in “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”

6.) Bane

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(Warner Bros)

“I am Bane and I could kill you… but death would only end your agony and silence your shame. Instead, I will simply…BREAK YOU!” – Bane

The man who broke the Bats back. Bane is without doubt Batman’s greatest physical threat and in the comics one of my favorite villains to read. Seriously though this guy broke the goddamn Batman, and the only man to do so. The Knightfall comic story arc where this happens is simply incredible and a comic read for any nerd. Bane an escaped convict is a super-villain/assassin who gained his strength from an experiment gone wrong. He gains his powers by pumping “venom” into his veins which causes him to have increased size, strength and speed. Introduced in 1993, in Vengeance of Bane, he has been a formidable foe ever since. Not a whole lot is known about Bane’s background or even his true name, but not only does Bane possess immense power, but he is also one of Batman’s most intelligent bad guys. Even though, Bane is one of Batman’s greatest foes, he is also known to take down drug lords, and help fight crime as well. Recently he even took over the mantle as Batman, when the Caped Crusader was out of action, that didn’t work out well in the end for Bane. Loved Tom Hardy as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, but would love to see a more comic book take on the character in the movies, he’s just not the same without the classic venom serum running through his veins.

5.) The Riddler 

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(Warner Bros)

“Life’s full of questions, isn’t it, Batman? Though, naturally, I prefer to think of them as riddles.” – The Riddler

Riddle me this, riddle me that, who’s afraid of the big black bat? The Riddler also known as Edward E. Nigma, is a without doubt Batman’s most intelligent foe, and that in the end is always his downfall. He first appeared in Detective Comics #140 in 1948, and is known for his signature purple domino mask and green question mark-covered costume, that varies in appearance. It can either be in the form of a skintight cat suit or what I prefer a business suit, with a bowler hat and his special question mark shaped cane, that usually doubles as some sort of weapon. Ever since he was little The Riddler has been obsessed with puzzles, games, word games and most importantly riddles. When he does commit a crime he usually leaves behinds clues for the police and Batman, solving them usually lead straight to him or help them solve the case. Always complex, but the Batman has never been stumped by The Riddler, and with his obsessive compulsion to ask riddles, having them constantly solved by the Dark Knight, drives him ever more insane. Again, The Riddler is a troubled person, who commits crimes because of his obsession, and does not do so for money or to kill, but rather because he cannot help himself. Recently the Batman comics had a really good Riddler run, and it made me realize how much I love this villain. Early on, Riddler was a campy villain, but in recent years has shifted towards a more darker tone, which somewhat suits the character more. There was a Riddler easter egg in Batman v. Superman, so I would love for him to be introduced into the DCEU, and my personal casting choice would either be Jim Parsons or Eddie Redmayne, I think he could do a really good job.

4.) Two Face

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(Warner Bros)

“Why are we doing this? Because we are now two faces. One good, the other bad. Half-and-half. Fifty fifty. Opposite and equal. And we’re deadlocked. When that happens… we let the coin decide.” – Two Face

Two Face has one of the saddest stories in all of Batman lure. Harvey Dent once the promising young DA of Gotham, and best friend to Bruce Wayne, he had everything going for him. Serving as one of Batman’s greatest allies before the horrible accident, where mob boss Sal Maroni threw acid in his face, scarring him for life. That was just the beginning, see Harvey suffers from split personality disorder, and once his face was burned it unleashed the bad side in Harvey, and from there Two Face was created. Two Face, obsessed with duality and the number two, relies on the flip of his good luck coin to make all his decisions for him. Everything he does is calculated, and relies solely on luck, he doesn’t make any decisions without flipping his coin first, and this is always his biggest flaw. Introduced in 1946 in Detective Comics #66, Two Face has been on the big screen twice and is a prominent figure in the comics today. Batman, feeling for his old friend is always trying to help save Harvey, and to try and cure him of his disease, but Two Face is always set on is fixation with chance and his lucky coin and his crimes are always planned and schemed in design of these fixations. Growing up I loved Two Face in the animated series, I thought his character design was so cool, and I was so excited for him to be on the big screen. It just never really panned out the way I wanted it to. Also if Two Face enters the DCEU and it’s not Jon Hamm, we riot!!

3.) Ra’s al Ghul

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(Warner Bros)

“Welcome home, Bruce Wayne — or shall I address you as the Batman?” – Ra’s al Ghul

No no, they just didn’t make this guy up for Liam Neeson to play in Batman Begins, he’s actually been around for a long time. 1971 to be exact, in Batman #232, Ra’s al Ghul is Arabic for “The Demons Head,” and he is one of Batman’s greatest enemies, and he has great admiration for The Worlds Greatest Detective. Little is known about his background, as it varies, but one thing is certain, he is very old. You see Ra’s is immortal, due to his use of the “Lazarus Pit” which turns the dying into new life. These pits have helped him live for hundreds of years. He wants to conquer the world, and his ideal perfect world is one that is in environmental balance. He wants to rid the world of most of humanity seeing how he believes this is how he can achieve his ultimate goal. He considers Batman to be his worthiest opponent and at times as asked him to be his successor, seeing how he wants to leave this world, because he has lived for so long, but Batman does not share the same beliefs, so they have a serious conflict. His biggest achievement is deducing that the Batman is in fact Bruce Wayne, something that very little criminals have been able to achieve. Sworn enemies, but things get complicated between the two, due to Bruce’s love for his daughter Talia. She shares the same beliefs as her father, but she is also madly in love with Bruce Wayne, and they end up having a child together Damian Wayne, who ends up becoming the forth Robin.

2.) Mr. Freeze 

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(Warner Bros)

“Have you ever seen a flower die? Watched something that was once so beautiful, so full of life, collapse and rot from within”. – Mr. Freeze.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know this guy, really? Arnold really screwed this incredible character over after Batman & Robin. Just look at that photo! Mr. Freeze is in my all time top 5 comic book characters, I think he is such an interesting person. There is no other Batman character I want to see more in the DCEU than this guy, I think they could just do this character the justice he deserves. Since Patrick Stewart is done with Professor X, how about he jumps ship and comes over to WB to play Mr. Freeze for us. Go back, and watch Heart of Ice, an episode of the animated Batman series, and you’ll see and finally understand that this guy is more than just a meathead who talks only talks in ice puns. You got to go all the way back to 1959, in Batman #121 when he first appeared in comics. Victor Fries, once an accomplished cryogenicist, he was on a mission in life to save his wife Nora who was stricken with a rare disease. Growing up Victor used to freeze animals so he could study them and preserve their life, so he decided to do the same with Nora, freezing her until he could fine a cure for her disease. Everything was going fine, until the lab he was working at found out and shut it down, and when a struggle ensued, it caused Victor to be transformed into a cold-blooded human that must always be kept at a subzero temperature in order for him to survive. When he turned cold, so did his heart, and he is no longer able to feel any emotion, which makes him a deadly and complicated villain. Wearing a kick-ass cryogenic suit, that keeps his body cold as ice, and wielding powerful freezing weapons is a formidable foe for Batman. Again driven by the obsession to save his wife, he stops at nothing to find the cure for her so they can be reunited once more, and no one, not even Batman will stand in his way. You always feel for Mr. Freeze, because he just wanted to save his wife, and now he’s a monster, and the comics and animated series really make you feel for his character. I just think he’s just Batman’s coolest villain, and I just wish they wouldn’t have screwed it up back in the 90’s.

1.) The Joker 

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(Warner Bros)

“All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That’s how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. You had a bad day once. Am I right? You had a bad day and everything changed.” – The Joker

 The Clown Prince of Crime himself, The Joker comes in at number one (duhhhh). Introduced in the first ever Batman comic, Batman #1 in 1940, he is Batman’s greatest foe and his archenemy. Honestly what can I say about this guy? He’s one of literatures greatest characters, a dead guy won an Oscar for portraying him (RIP Heath), and he’s the classic ying, to Batman’s yang. Origin mostly unknown, name is also unknown. See that’s the brilliant thing about The Joker, you don’t know anything about him, a few things here and there have been talked about in the past, but for the most part he is a mystery. That’s the coolest thing about this guy; he has no super powers, nothing. He is simply bat-shit crazy; he’s the opposite of Batman in almost every way. Yet they are destined to be together, to always come toe-to-toe with one another, because at the end of the day, neither one of them can bring themselves to kill the other. There have been so many great Joker stories; it’s hard to even count, from comics, to the movies, hell to even the Arkham video games. Recently in the comics he cut his own goddamn face off, it was an incredible comic book run in the New 52, and that’s the thing, there will always be amazing Joker stories to tell. The guy dresses up like a clown, and wrecks havoc on Gotham, that’s about it. He’s insane in the membrane, he loves to terrorize Gotham and he loves to get his ass kicked by Batman. It’s hard to even talk about the guy because I don’t even know where to start, I almost like The Joker, more than I like Batman. He’s the greatest comic book villain ever; I wish we got to see Heath portray him once more, easily one of movies biggest what-ifs. He’s killed a Robin (Jason Todd), he’s paralyzed Barbara Gordon, he’s done some horrible shit and to me it’s incredible that still to this day, Batman has never killed him in the comics. It’s implied somewhat in The Killing Joke, arguably the greatest Joker story every told, the last few frames of the book show Batman potentially strangling Joker to death, after he makes Batman laugh after telling him a funny joke. I’m really curious to see where they take Jared Leto’s Joker in the DECU, because I love Batflecks portrayal and he needs to be in a scene with The Joker, and I didn’t mind his performance in Suicide Squad, but he just wasn’t in it enough for me to get a full grasp on it. I’d like to see him play The Joker again, because he needs to be a part of this universe, so we will see where they go with that. Meanwhile do yourself a favor, Google top Joker stories, and go pick one out and read it, I swear you won’t be disappointed.

So there you have it, my list of my favorite Batman villains. Did I miss anyone? Was I too high on certain ones? Let me know!

Check ya later.

 

Reviews

The Lego Batman Movie Review

“DC, the house that Batman built. Yeah, what, Superman? Come at me bro. I’m your kryptonite.”

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Back in 2008, when the greatest Batman movie ever made, The Dark Knight came out I saw myself going to the theatres EIGHT times to watch it. It’s more than just a Batman movie; it’s a cinematic masterpiece. Since then WB has had a hard time topping it, with The Dark Knight Rises, and last years Batman v. Superman. Who knew that the latest installment in the Batman franchise, The Lego Batman Movie, would not only be the best Batman since The Dark Knight, but one of the best Batman movies ever made. There is a long-standing debate among hardcore nerds, who is the best actor to play the beloved Caped Crusader? One thing is for sure; we can all agree that George Clooney is the worst. Sorry George, but remember the Bat-nipples? Christian Bale is probably the best, but Ben Affleck is nipping on his heels right now, unless he decides to be a coward and leave the DCEU all together. Well now there’s a new name on the list and he seems to fit somewhere near the top and that’s Will Arnett who voices the aforementioned Batman in The Lego Batman Movie.

Critics and fans alike praised The Lego Movie, the 2014 blockbuster that grossed around 470 million dollars worldwide. WB knew they had a smash hit on their hands, and decided to milk this cash cow for everything it’s worth. Batman was one of the many standouts from The Lego Movie, and WB felt it was only fitting that he got his own standalone movie.

So here we are, The Lego Batman Movie is out and I’ll be the first to say that this movie is awesome! It’s fun, warm-hearted and I loved it to pieces (yeah, that’s a Lego pun). This movie is cool, if you’re a true Batman fan, and get every little easter egg and reference then you will only enjoy it more. Like the return of Batman’s greatest enemies, actually one of comics greatest villains, The Condiment King! (Google him, so you know I’m joking) But even if you don’t there are so many laughs to be had in this movie, which is why I wish I hadn’t be sitting in a theatre with 3 other people, because funny movies work best when you are in a packed house. There’s a scene towards the beginning of the movie, where Batman comes home after defeating some bad guys. So he does what I guess Batman does, he microwaves’ his leftover lobster thermidor, and watches it spin around and around in silence (there’s a great bit where he puts in 20 minutes instead of 2 and he calls himself stupid). He eats it alone, in silence yet again, and then when he’s done he takes out his electric guitar and shreds a nasty solo. Did I mention he’s sitting on a jet ski, floating in his pool; man Batman is just so cool. It was at this exact moment I knew I was going to love this movie. You might be thinking, “Cool, but what does it all mean?” It means this scene kind of summed up what this movie was all about. It’s about how alone Batman is, how he is afraid to reach out to others, he’s afraid of starting a new family, because of the tragic way he lost his mother and father at such a young age.

The moral of this story is simple. That teamwork always trumps working alone. It takes Batman the majority of the movie to figure this out though. Even after the new police commissioner, Barbara Gordon points out that Batman has been fighting crime in Gotham for decades now and that it’s actually worse off now then when he started fighting crime. That was kind of a WHOA moment for me, because I never really thought about Batman like that, he’s Batman, a bonafide badass. The Dark Knight, The Caped Crusader, The World’s Greatest Detective! When Commissioner Gordon calls out Batman for basically being bad at his job, it made me look at Batman in a whole new light. Speaking of fighting crime, this wouldn’t be a Batman movie, without his best pal Joker (Zach Galifianakis). Essentially the premise of the movie is this; Joker is pissed at Batman, because he refuses to tell him that he is his greatest enemy, and that he doesn’t even care for the Joker. It’s kind of like one person in a relationship saying “I love you,” and the other saying “Thanks.” All the Joker wants is for Batman to say three simple words, “I hate you.” He just can’t do it, because Batman doesn’t feel that way towards him, he doesn’t feel anything, he’s Batman, and he simply does not have any emotions. Batman’s and The Jokers relationship can be complicated, and it’s been beaten to death in the comics and movies, so this new interpretation of it was just really refreshing. So Joker ultimately gets fed up with repeatedly getting his heartbroken by Batman, time after time. So he unleashes hell on Gotham, to seek revenge on Batman, you know, that old chestnut. The Joker trying to destroy Gotham and defeat Batman chestnut.

Now lets talk about the best part of this movie, ROBIN! Voiced by Michael Cera, I found myself laughing at pretty much every line he had. Robin is a little flamboyant to say the least, and Michael Cera’s voice casting worked to perfection. From him picking out his costume, which he settles on ‘Reggae Man’ to only rip off the tight pants, and declares “Now I’m free, now I’m movin’, come on Batman, lets get groovin’!” Reluctant at first to bond with his new adopted son, Batman pushes Robin away whenever he feels that he is connecting with him on any level. Much like Batman, Robin is alone and just wants to be loved. He’s been an orphan from a young age, and now his dad is Batman. One thing I thought was hilarious, Robin was calling Batman Pedro (Spanish for Dad) the entire movie, and it was just so out of place, yet it worked so well. Seeing that relationship grow was cute to watch over the course of the movie. It’s tough to be a 28-year-old man, watching a Lego movie pondering life and tearing up over life lessons these Legos are trying to teach us.

Listen, this flick is just so endearing, there’s so much love in it. While this is a Batman movie, it’s not dark and brooding. The first 15 minutes of this movie will actually amaze you, considering it’s a Lego movie. Tons of action, loads of laughs, just an all around great time at the movies. The people behind it, understood the mythology behind the character, and were able to translate that onto the screen in a way that’s just not for kids, but for adults too. I was never laughing at Batman, or any of these other characters for being stupid, or out of place, but rather laughing with them on this incredible journey that this movie takes us on from start to finish. This is the best DC movie since The Dark Knight, and with everything that is going on over at WB right now, they needed this for their morale. Go see this movie, and if you have kids bring them, this is a batastic time!

Check ya later,

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews — The Lego Batman Movie = 93/100