By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Jake’s Take’s Batman 75 celebration continues with a look back at several crucial episodes in Batman media!
For this celebration article, I looked back at several episodes from five crucial series: Batman: the Animated Series, The Adventures of Batman & Robin, The New Batman Adventures, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited and Batman: The Brave & The Bold.
“Heart of Ice” (Batman: The Animated Series; 1992)
Bruce Timm and Paul Dini brilliantly brought Mr. Freeze to life in this landmark Batman: the Animated Series episode. The duo showcased how Dr. Victor Fries became Batman’s cold-hearted foe and introduced fans to Nora, Freeze’s beloved wife. In addition, the late Michael Ansara gave one of the best vocal performances in the Batman: Animated history.
“Almost Got ‘Im” (Batman: The Animated Series; 1992)
It was always a joy to see one or two villains together in one action-packed episode! “Almost Got ‘Im” brought together several of Batman’s classic foes together as they reminisce on the time they almost defeated the Caped Crusader! Several of the episode’s best segments included Batman’s showdowns with Poison Ivy, Two-Face and the Penguin.
“The Demon’s Quest” (Batman: The Animated Series; 1993)
Introduced in the 1970s, Ra’s Al Ghul quickly become of Batman’s arch-foes for both his insidious world domination plots and his knowledge that Batman and Bruce Wayne are one in the same! Emmy-winning actor David Warner’s vocal performance gave fans chills and made Ra’s Al Ghul a household name.
“Trial” (The Adventures of Batman & Robin; 1994)
Gotham’s anti-Batman DA Janet Van Dorn must collaborate with her hated foe when both of them were kidnapped and taken to Arkham Asylum against their will! Throughout the episode, Van Dorn’s swift insults and Batman’s strategic thinking outsmarted a bulk of Batman’s infamous Rogues Gallery.
“Harley’s Holiday” (The Adventures of Batman & Robin; 1994)
Near the end of Batman: the Animated Series’ original run, Harley Quinn was finally able to get her own solo episode. “Harley’s Holiday” showcased what happens when Harley tried to go straight. Unfortunately, the annoying Veronica Vreeland played a huge factor in Harley’s relapse and when the clown kidnapped the socialite, they began a wild-and-crazy journey that ended with a surprise kiss.
“Holiday Knights” (The New Batman Adventures; 1997)
When The New Batman Adventures made its debut on Kids WB in 1997, it kicked off with an adaption of the classic Batman Adventures Holiday Special. Longtime readers of the animated comic were excited to see Batman, Batgirl and the new Robin (Tim Drake) tackle Ivy, Harley, Clayface and the Joker respectively in an action-packed half-hour.
“Cult of the Cat” (The New Batman Adventures; 1998)
It is a shame that this was the last episode in the DC Animated Universe to feature Catwoman! It would have been interesting to see Adrienne Barbeau voice Selina in Justice League. Besides sharing a hot kiss with the Caped Crusader, the Feline Felon tackled Thomas Blake (Catman) and his vile cult!
“Injustice For All” (Justice League; 2002)
Batman was out of his element during the Justice League as he was the non-powered hero that was featured in the line-up. To prove himself worthy, the Caped Crusader found the Injustice Gang’s hideout and was almost able to take down Joker, Lex Luthor and the rest of his crew!
“Wild Cards” (Justice League; 2003)
The Clown Prince of Crime’s final feat in the DC Animated Universe was his massive Las Vegas caper that involved Joker placing 25 bombs in the Strip. As the League fought off Harley Quinn and the Royal Flush Gang, Joker used the bomb as a disguise to make everyone mindless zombies! This would be the final time both Mark Hamill and Arleen Sorkin would voice the clowns in the DCU.
“This Little Piggy” (Justice League Unlimited; 2004)
During the Justice League & Justice League Unlimited series, Batman was romantically paired with Wonder Woman! When Wonder Woman’s arch nemesis, Circe, transformed the Amazon into a pig, Batman teamed up with Zatanna to save his girlfriend. One of the best moments was actually hearing Kevin Conroy sing “Am I Blue?”
“Epilogue” (Justice League Unlimited; 2005)
This episode might have been the best way to end the DC Animated Universe as it tied multiple years of storylines together. Batman Beyond (Terry McGuiness) visited Amanda Waller to learn more about his past and her opinion on the Caped Crusader. We also saw a tender moment between the Dark Knight and Ace. It was one of the few times in Batman animation where death was not only talked about…but also shown.
“Chill of the Night” (Batman: The Brave & The Bold; 2010)
“Chill of the Night” was probably the best post-Dini & Timm Batman episode of all-time! For the Caped Crusader’s 70th Anniversary, the Batman: the Brave & the Bold creative crew invited several important members of the Batman family (Adam West, Julie Newmar, Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill and Richard Moll) to voice several important characters to Batman’s origin. Also, fans got to see cameos from several A-list villains from Batman’s Rogues Gallery: Joker, Penguin, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze and Solomon Grundy.
I do not own any of the clips that are featured in this article! They belong to Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment.