Friday, June 20, 2014

Batman: The Animated Series - Episodes 16-20 Reviews

Into the fourth batch of episodes and there's the debut of a certain Boy Wonder as well as the return of two of the rogues and the debut of two others as well in very different types of stories.

Episode 16: Eternal Youth

It's amazing that in the first 20 episodes of this series, we had some repeat offenders. The Joker managed to bag himself at least three episodes and now Poison Ivy appeared in her second outing under the guise of running the Eternal Youth health spa as a cover to get revenge on those who destroyed the environment. Unfortunately for Alfred and his girlfriend Maggie that meant becoming tree people for a while, even if it later generated a nickname for Ivy (Joan of Bark). As a second outing this one was actually better than the first episode and though I did find Ivy's helpers - Lily and Violet a bit annoying, I did like her and Batman comparing each other's tactics though. 9/10

Episodes 17 & 18: Two Face

We've already met Harvey Dent (Richard Moll) in earlier episodes during the series, so having his transformation into Two-Face during the night of his re-election after Rupert Thorne decided to make the DA's life a misery certainly worked from a dramatic point of view as did the delving into Harvey's attempts of suppressing his anger and his relationships with both Bruce Wayne and girlfriend Grace as well. It's a solid two-parter (though the second half is the punchier of the two) but aside from robbing a few of Thorne's places, we don't get to see enough of Two Face at his worst though but as a debut story for the villain, it's great with a moment that would later be replicated on Batman Forever. 7/10

Episode 19: Fear Of Victory

Now this was a noteworthy episode. Like Poison Ivy a few episodes back, this was a second outing for the Scarecrow but more importantly, it was also the episode that debut Robin (Loren Lester) in a way that felt like he had always been there, even if we hadn't seen him in the previous episodes. Overall, this series depiction of Robin is one of the best for the Boy Wonder with him mostly being resourceful and handy in a crisis, though like Batman  in Nothing To Fear, Robin himself became infected with Scarecrow's fear toxin for a fair chunk of the episode. Also like with Poison Ivy, the second outing for the Scarecrow turned out to be better than his first one as his attacks this time targeted athletes instead of former employees. 9/10

Episode 20: I've Got Batman In My Basement

Another debut and this time around, it's the turn of the Penguin (Paul Williams) to show up in an episode that if this were a live series show, would probably be considered a bottle saving one. It largely revolved around Batman recuperating in a basement with some kids trying their hands to be junior crime fighters/detectives. It's not my favourite of episodes but it's oddly amusing to see a bunch of kids outwit both the Penguin and his goons, though it doesn't do much to cement the former as a dangerous antagonist - though later episodes do a better job with that. 6/10

Next blog will cover Vendetta, Prophecy Of Doom, The Forgotten, Mad As A Hatter and The Cape & Cowl Conspiracy.

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