My Batman the Animated Series reviews continue with episodes 61-65! My reviews will use an A(Great), B(Good), C(Ok), and D(Bad) rating system as well as my thoughts on the episode.
61. The Demon’s Quest part 2: Batman saves Talia from Ra’s, allowing her to be able to snap her father out of his madness. After Batman refuses Ra’s al Ghul’s offer to be his heir again, Ra’s decides that if he is not with him, he is against him and attempts to kill Batman, allowing him to escape. Ra’s continues with his plan to destroy humanity in order to create a new world order in preservation of the planet by flooding the world in Lazarus pits. Batman tracks down Ra’s, and defeats him in a duel, allowing him to save the world! The epic conclusion to the Demon’s Quest. The scariest/coolest part of the episode is how in a very twisted way, Ra’s al Ghul’s plan seems noble. He’s fighting for the preservation of the planet. Batman and Ra’s’ duel is exciting and fun and a great translation from the comic. The terrific score and animation do this episode a solid favor in creating one of the most dramatic episodes of the series. The only minor complaints for the Demon’s Quest saga I can come up with would be Talia. She could be a lot more interesting if she was a bit more of a femme fatale and less of a damsel wannabe bride of Batman. No wonder he leaves her in the desert. I like that Helen Slater voices Talia because it’s cool that Supergirl was involved in the show, but Olivia Hussey (when they recast her for Batman Beyond) has a much better suited voice for the character. The Demon’s Quest could honestly be a great adaptation for a feature length movie, especially if they fleshed some bits out a little more. Overall, an epic tale that cannot be missed. Rating: A
62. His Silicon Soul: Batman stops two thugs in a robbery, only to be revealed as a cybernetic imposter. The real Batman investigates his mysterious doppelganger, leading him back to Karl Rossum, who gets a visit from the Batbot seeking answers to his existence. Eventually, Batbot recovers the H.A.R.D.A.C. software, allowing him to continue the twisted replacement of humanity scheme from Heart of Steel. Batman and the Batbot duel, but after the Batbot seemingly kills his human counterpart, he feels terrible guilt, destroying the H.A.R.D.A.C. infected Bat computer and saving humanity, destorying himself in the process. A very underrated episode! This episode was full of heart and mystery and just really cool elements that made it a great story! The Batbot character was really interesting. As he provided a physical challenge to Batman, while questioning his existence and his humanity. The internal struggle between robot and computer was very well done, and very emotional. He proves that even though he was a machine, he may have had a soul. We also got to watch Batman fight Batman! The fight scenes were epic and well animated, the distinction between the Batmen with the red eyes was a clever touch, and the battle in the Batcave was pure awesome. Overall, a really good episode that deserves more attention than it gets. A
63. Fire From Olympus: Shipping mogul, Maximilian “Maxie” Zeus believes himself to be the Greek God of the sky, Zeus, due to his good fortune. The mentally unstable Zeus steals a lightning cannon, planning to burn the world with the Fire of Olympus to make the world remember the Gods of Old. With the help of Maxie’s girlfriend, Clio, Batman is able to sneak into his Olympian stronghold and defeat Maxie Zeus. This is one of the blandest episodes of the series. It’s just not a good story, the villain is too crazy and delluded to be compelling. There was no real mystery or depth to the plot beyond, go fight the bad guy. The only fun part of the episode was when Zeus referred to Batman as Hades, Batman fought the snake and the boar, and when Zeus paralleled the Arkham Villains to other Greek Gods. The animation was pretty good, especially with the lightning. Overall, though the episode is still watchable it’s forgettable and boring and doesn’t stack up against the rest of the series. Rating: D
64. Read My Lips: A new crime spree from a shadowy new crime boss has Gordon and his men baffled, leading Batman to investigate. After identifying one of the henchmen, Batman is lead back to their hideout in an abandoned mannequin factory where he learns the crime lord in question is Scarface, a wooden puppet! After further investigation, Batman is captured by the Scarface gang and is able to escape and defeat them by turning the two personalities of the Ventriloquist and Scarface against each other! A great episode that introduces Scarface and the Ventriloquist! The whole episode has a 40’s gangster feel to it that really vibes well with the story. The music, plot, dialogue, and sequencing are all very well combined to really push that pulpy noir feeling. The Ventriloquist/Scarface is a really interesting character, because he’s so psychological. I’m terrified of creepy puppets, and I attribute Scarface and his dominant personality to my pupaphobia. The episode also references Batman’s training with Zatara, which gives the episode continuity and a logical explanation for how Batman knows about ventriloquism. It’s also a clever parallel to how Zatanna has pupaphobia in her solo series years later. All the characters had great personality, from Gordon being scared of Batman’s sudden appearance, to Scarface and his gang. The animation was only so-so. I loved the use of shadow but the movements were choppy and stiff. I did feel like the finale seemed a little anti-climactic because it was so rushed. If it had been a longer episode it could’ve been a little more exciting. I did love the final epilogue scene where Scarface is being reborn. Overall, a great psychological gangster story. Rating: B+
65. The Worry Men: The obnoxious Veronica Vreeland returns to Gotham with “Worry Men” for all her friends, little trinkets to keep under your pillows to rid yourself of worries. But when the elite of Gotham are suddenly giving away all their money with no recollection as to why, Batman investigates. Using the devices found in the Worry Men, and the fabric ripped from the mysterious Jungle men stealing the money, Batman tracks down the culprit, The Mad Hatter! Batman battles theatrical dummy versions of his foes and is able to free the Hatter’s henchmen of the mind control and turn the tides on the Hatter. This episode is surprisingly great! The Mad Hatter is a tricky villain, because he’s so gimmicky and can be a little cheesy, but this episode does him a solid justice! The plot has an interesting mystery that ties into the mythology of the series, while adding the jungle elements. The battle scene in the theater with all the theater-prop versions of the Bat rogues was awesome! It was just so clever and fun! And the Joker-in-the-box was a nice homage to the old Batman cover. The Guillotine scene was great and very intense! The animation was decent too. Overall, a fun and enjoyable Batman episode! Rating: B+