My Batman the Animated Series reviews continue with episodes 16-20! My reviews will use an A(Great), B(Good), C(Ok), and D(Bad) rating system as well as my thoughts on the episode.
16. The Cat and the Claw part 2: I think I would have preferred Catwoman to stand alone in her debut, dealing more with her as a character, and then have her return to battle the Red Claw with Batman. But that’s just my opinion. I think they were trying to have this be a really big story but just didn’t quite make it to that level until this episode. I love Catwoman and thought it was great getting to watch her, but the Red Claw elements made the episode a little cluttered and felt a little disconnected to the Catwoman/Batman dynamic that was building. There were definitely fun elements, like Gordon’s phone for Batman in his desk and Batman/Bruce and Catwoman/Selina’s relationship. The second part of this saga is much better than the first, with a lot more interesting stuff happening and a lot more action and romance. Rating: B+
17. See No Evil: Right away, the first thing that strikes me is the animation. The episode is very beautifully animated with the invisibility effects and the character movements! In this story, we get another original villain in the Invisible Man. A surprisingly good episode with a challenging and sympathetic villain. I love the detective work Batman does with the investigation into the invisible plastic, which was a really cool Gotham-esque explanation for super powers. We also get to meet Lucius Fox which is cool! Overall a very well done real world story about a broken family twisted around a sci-fi plot in the world of Gotham City. Rating: B+
18. Beware the Gray Ghost: This episode is a classic! The newest crime spree in Gotham is at the hands of “The Mad Bomber” an explosive criminal holding Gotham for ransom, inspired by the old television show “The Gray Ghost.” Bruce Wayne, a childhood fan of the series investigates the mysterious connection to the show by teaming up with the actor who brought the hero to the screen. In an episode full of allusions, we have The Gray Ghost famously voiced by Adam West! West plays Simon Trent, a parallel to his real life issue of being type cast as Batman. I do really like the addition of Batman being inspired by a hero, though I think I would’ve toned down how similar Batman ended up being to the character of the Gray Ghost. I also believe the Mad Bomber character was a fun character to a degree too, visually based on Bruce Timm the character embodies the obsessive fan/collector nerd. Overall a pretty great episode. Rating: A
19. Prophecy of Doom: Batman investigating and going undercover to expose a cult led by a false prophet sounds like a really cool concept for a story, but ultimately this episode fell a little short of its potential. While I think that Nostromo, a fake psychic that is robbing Gotham’s gullible elite of its wealth, is a villain worth revisiting, the episode ended on a bit of a soft note. The final battle scene where Batman was swinging on planets was a little too silly for me but the shadow sequences were pretty cool. Overall, an enjoyable episode without a doubt, just not one of the show’s greatest. Rating: C
20. Feat of Clay part 1: Another two-part epic introduction to a classic Batman villain (again split between my reviews). Comic book legend Marv Wolfman pens the origin of Matt Hagen as the shape shifting Clayface! I think this Clayface origin makes a lot of sense and is a really intersting way to go with the character. A desperate actor addicted to a face cream that helps him control his appearance. It coincides with the master of disguise element of Clayface and connects directly to his furthering mutation. Bruce Wayne being framed is an interesting route to take Batman down, and you can tell by how intensely he interrogates the guy that it hits home for him. The end of the episode ends dramtically with Bruce getting arrested and Matt being revealed as the mutated Clayface. Rating: A-
Stay tuned for more reviews and Check out my earlier reviews here: