Saturday, June 07, 2014

Batman: The Animated Series - Episodes 7-10 Reviews

With the first six episodes introducing the likes of Catwoman, ManBat, Mr Freeze and Clayface, the next four also didn't rest on their laurels and several more members of the Rogues Gallery got their introductions too.

Episode 7: It's Never Too Late

Technically the first episode (remember these reviews are on transmission, not production order) to introduce recurring gangster Rupert Thorne and this one focused on his rivalry with ageing gangster/drug peddler, Arnold Stromwell. Initially, this wasn't one of my favourite episodes but having watched it more recently, it's a lot better than before and while Thorne doesn't get better until later appearances, this episode did draw some sympathy for Stromwell as his son fell victim to his own drugs and the gangster's past with a priest (childhood friends) was nicely explored here. 7/10

Episode 8: Joker's Favour

And there's this episode. Never mind the fact that it introduced arguably the best take on the Joker ever with Mark Hamill being an utter delight but let's also focused on the fact that one of the last big icons from the whole Batman franchise debuted in this series with Harley Quinn (Arleen Sorkin). For a debut story though, it's a bit of a low key number with the Joker getting poor Charlie Collins in his debt as he schemed to ruin Commissioner Gordon's testimonial dinner and while there could've been more interactions between the Clown Prince and the Dark Knight, this was still a great way to introduce the character and his delightfully bonkers sidekick/right hand woman. 8/10

Episode 9: Pretty Poison

Poison Ivy (Diane Pershing) without a doubt will always be one of the best female villains that any franchise will have introduced and not because the femme fatale aspects of her character (which, okay, this series did play on a bit) but because unlike some of her fellow villains (Catwoman and Freeze aside), she genuinely has a pet cause - protecting mother Earth and while she takes that to extremes, I kind of admire her determination to protect the planet and a bunch of rare and deadly roses as well. Okay, she probably didn't need to try and murder both Harvey Dent and Batman and her love for saving the rare rose might have scuppered her plans but as a debut story for the character, this was a blooming fantastic one. 9/10

Episode 10: Nothing To Fear

Keeping with the debuts, this episode debuted the Scarecrow (Henry Polic II) and he wasted no time not only trying to get revenge on the University that fired him for his fear experiments but also wasted no time in hitting Batman with a little bit of fear as well. It didn't take much to realise that Batman's fears were feeling like he failed his parents but his way of snapping out of it ("I am vengeance! I am the night! I am Batman!"). The fight as well on the zeppelin and Bullock's disdain for Batman, only to be wrong about him and the Scarecrow were also highlights in an otherwise solid episode. 7/10

Next blog will focus on Be A Clown, Appointment In Crime Alley, P.O.V., The Clock King and The Last Laugh.

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