08 May 2012

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - The Adventures of Batman Recap


And thus ends not only the Adventures of Batman AKA Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder, but the entire epic run of 1960's DC Filmation animation.

One of the strengths of this particular series was that it relied much more on established villains than generic villains of the week. It would have been easy for the writers to use stereotypical bank robbers or thugs as Superman and Superboy used various alien invaders. In all, I believe this series was for the most part a success, for its time. It carried on where the live-action show left off and provided a nice companion series for the other Filmation heroes. As I have said before, watching the Filmations shorts back to back to back gets tiring, but I can imagine being a kid a watching a DC heroes hour of with Batman, Superman, and Aquaman mixed together being incredible. 

Sadly, the series does not hold up well today. Compared to the dark and sophisticated 90's Batman series this is much too frivolous. On the other hand, it pales in comparison to the vibrant characters on Batman: The Brave and the Bold. I really could not recommend dusting this series off to anyone but animation enthusiasts, Batman aficionados, or grandpa Joe looking for a bit of nostalgia.

Essential Five:
1. The Jigsaw Jeopardy - The Riddler was one of the series most compelling characters and this captured his spirit the best.

2. Beware the Living Dolls - The series was at is best when playful, but not inane. Dollman was silly, but still fun. A shame he only appeared once.

3. The Joke's on Robin - I enjoyed the twist of breaking Robin's spirit. Kind of an interesting idea that I haven't seen played to death.

4. Crime Computer - Not sure what it was about this one. I just really liked the crime computer's personality and it was one of the few tolerable Penguin outings. 

5. The Great Scarecrow Scare - I am not sure why Scarecrow didn't appear more. I thought he was an interesting diversion from the usual suspects.

6.* From Catwoman with Love - I feel like Catwoman was such an integral part of the series that she deserves at least one appearance on the essential five. So, even though her episodes were not my favorites, this was the most memorable.

Series Stinkers:
He Who Swipes the Ice, Goes to the Cooler - Mr. Freeze showed up a lot, but this episode is the best example of why that was a bad thing. 

A Perfidious Pieman Is Simon - Simon's first appearance was okay, but his second was awful. The show frequently used alliteration, puns, and bad jokes, but this pushed it to ridiculously annoying levels.

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