Earlier in the week, one of my favorite cartoons from when I was younger turned 25. That's right, folks, Batman: The Animated Series is now old enough to rent a car.
Now, I may get flack for this, but I've always thought that out of all the comic related animated shows in the 90s, B: TAS was far superior. Yeah, X-Men was good and TMNT was fun, but to me, nothing compared to Batman. The animation itself is still some of the best around, the art-deco noir style really meshed well with the theme of the Dark Knight. Bruce Timm is just a genius. Even though it was a cartoon, it was still a pretty mature portrayal of the story and Kevin Conroy just knocks it outta the park as Bruce Wayne.
So in honor of the Dark Knight, here are five of my favorite episodes from the series. Enjoy!
1. Joker's Favor: This episode really goes to show how one tiny moment can ruin your whole life. It also showcases just how sadistic the Joker can be. While driving, the Joker gets cut off by just your run of the mill average guy named Charlie Collins, which then leads into a pretty dangerous cat and mouse car chase and the Joker eventually lets Charlie off as long as he promises to do a favor for him which the Joker can cash in on whenever he wants. The episode jumps two years and we see Charlie has a whole new life, new name, lives in a new town but not even that can stop the Joker from tracking him down and redeeming his favor, basically pushing poor Charlie to his psychological limits. This episode also introduces Harley Quinn for the first time, and everyone knows she's my favorite Batman character.
2. Almost Got 'Im: This episode always reminded me of those paintings that were in every home in the 90s of the dogs playing Poker at a card table. Except in this case, in lieu of dogs it was a who's who of Batman's Rogue gallery. As Joker, Poison Ivy, Penguin, Two-Face and Killer Croc play cards, they all try to one up each other on who has the best story about the time they almost got one over on the Bat. It's weirdly touching to see them all reminiscing like some crazy little family and it sort of makes you realize that none of them would be here if it wasn't for Batman.
3. Harley and Ivy: Like ice cream and sprinkles, peanut butter and chocolate, Harley and Poison Ivy just go together. After getting ditched by the Joker, Harley joins up with her BFF and set out to become Gotham's Queens of Crime. It was a fun episode if nothing else and pretty much help lay the groundwork for Gotham City Sirens, and definitely goes to show that a bunch of girls kicking ass is just what everyone needs to see.
4. Two-Face: Harvey Dent's whole progression into Two-Face and all his madness has been told over and over throughout the years and by various different artists, but I don't think anyone does it better than Bruce Timm. When I think of Two-Face, the first thing that pops into my head is his portrayal on B:TAS. It's so iconic. And I love how the show broke down his story into two different episodes, a very Jekyll and Mr. Hyde vibe. Tommy Lee Jones, eat ya heart out.
5. Heart of Ice: Now, I'm sure when you think of Mr. Freeze, the first thing that comes to your mind is Arnold Schwarzenegger making ice puns, but this brought a whole new facet to the frosty character. Here you saw Victor Fries as a pitiful man who had no choice but to turn to a life of crime in order to save his terminally ill wife. His actions eventually lead to not only the death of his wife, but leaves him unable to exist outside sub-zero temperatures. It almost makes you feel sad for the character, and it really goes to show how ahead of the game B:TAS was, especially for being a kids show.
There were so many other great episodes throughout the series, I had such a hard time choosing only 5. What were some of your favorite episodes? Lemme know!