16 September 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Man of Steel: The Animated Series

Yes, as a rule a I agree that Superman should not go around killing people, but I was a bit surprised by the outrage at the end of Man of Steel when he reluctantly killed Zod. Much more blatant was Superman's killing of Zod in their last live action encounter in Superman II. Still, this Man of Steel parody incorporating the animated series designs got a chuckle out of me.

15 September 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - SuperRabbit

Super Rabbit returned in the fun and reverent 2013 series finale of The Looney Tunes Show. Warners has continued its fine tradition with this superb tale including Braniac, Lex Luthor, and Zod.

27 August 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Cry of the Coda

Up third with a character focus episode was Zealot. Not sure I know much more about her other than she is pretty boring. Apparently she formed the Coda to fight the Daemonites, but then a rival,  Artemis, turned them into mercenaries. Sadly, I am having a hard time getting into this series. It just seems like a very poor man's X-Men.

Episode Count: 0618
Series Count: (3 of 12)

26 August 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Heart of Steel

Along with convincing me that the WildCATS civilian outfits were more ridiculous than their costumes, the episode did a decent job of focusing on a single character. Although its doubtful that each CAT will get a spotlight, this adventure told the back story of Spartan the lovestruck cyborg. It wasn't high art, but at least I could remember something about him 5 minutes after the episode ended, which is more than I could say about anyone from the premiere. Up next, Grifter?

Episode Count: 0617
Series Count: (2 of 12)

25 August 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Dark Blade Falling

Being new to the series, it did take a fair bit of the episode to figure out who everyone was. The plot is basically just a good versus bad aliens on Earth, so I don't know if it will get any more sophisticated than than. I do like the Ghost Rider meets Wolverine look of the villain Helspont, but I didn't understand how the CAT Maul was able to catch him so easily or why he just let him go. Didn't seem too menacing to me. Overall, I think the heroes have interesting looks, but the series hasn't blown me away yet with story.

Episode Count: 0616
Series Count: (1 of 12)
First Appearance: Grifter
First Appearance: Helspont
First Appearance: Maul
First Appearance: Spartan
First Appearance: Void
First Appearance: Voodoo
First Appearance: Warblade
First Appearance: Zealot

22 August 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - WildC.A.T.s

Superhero cartoons were all the rage in the early 1990's. The success of Batman: The Animated Series coupled with the explosive popularity of comic books had opened the floodgates for the likes of The Phantom 2040, The Tick, The Mask, and of course the uber-popular Image brand of The Savage Dragon, The Maxx, and Jim Lee's WildC.A.T.s. The WildC.A.T.s.comic was introduced in 1992 establishing the Wildstorm comic universe. A few years later, the property would be purchased by DC Comics and eventually the WildC.A.T.s would be integrated into the main DC continuity like other acquisitions Plastic Man, Captain Marvel, Captain Atom, and many more.

20 August 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero

SubZero is a good movie that plays almost like it was a three part episode of the series but it really doesn't rise to the level of epicness of the Mask of the Phantasm. That's not to say its not terribly enjoyable, because it truly is.

19 August 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

And so we have come to the very first of what would become many animated features and the only one to be released theatrically. This truly is a masterful film which captures the tragedy of Bruce Wayne. It's not just that he lost his parent at such a tender age, becoming Batman and forgetting his own personal happiness was a destiny he was never able to escape.

18 August 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - The Lost Episode

Although its been dubbed by fans as "The Lost Episode" the compilation of animated cut scenes from 1995's The Adventures of Batman and Robin Sega CD game lack a complete plot - as significant story points were covered in the gameplay sections. Still, the 16 minutes of animated segments do contain some fun and in fact violent action scenes that are something any fan of BTAS would want to check out. Poison Ivy, Clayface, Riddler, Harley and of course the Joker are all along for the ride making this a somewhat more gratifying series conclusion than the official one.

Episode Count: 0613
Series Count: (79 of 81)

15 August 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - The Lion and the Unicorn

I suppose its somewhat fitting that Batman: The Animated Series should close like it opened, with an adequate but underwhelming adventure featuring Red Claw. While this episode did offer some interesting insight into Alfred's past, it was a sub-par series finale and not one of the series finest. In fact, although I am pretty sure I had seen all of the episodes prior to the Infinite Episodes experiment, this is the one episode that I had no recollection of  upon the most recent viewing. Thankfully, the series isn't quite over yet...

Episode Count: 0612
Series Count: (78 of 81)

14 August 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - A Bullet For Bullock

Its fitting that before series end, Bullock (who Alfred described as looking like an unmade bed) and Bats got a team up. For not including any sort of super villain this was a surprisingly enjoyable adventure with an emphasis on solving a mystery. I'm not sure it made Bullock any more likeable, but you got to give the guy credit, at least he is trying to be on the right side of the law.

Episode Count: 0611
Series Count: (77 of 81)

13 August 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Catwalk

Catwalk gave us the team up that no one asked for in Catwoman and the Ventriloquist.  And yet, this episode worked surprisingly well and just may be my favorite Catwoman spotlights. Although it was fun seeing Batgirl and Catwoman team up, its also nice seeing Selina being a bit villainous as the puppet master pulled her strings.

12 August 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Showdown

The series gets points for creativity by introducing  Jonah Hex through this weird western tale via Ra's al Ghul flashback. That being said, this portrayal of Hex didn't do much to win me over as a fan of the bounty hunter or his ugly mug.

11 August 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - The Terrible Trio

 This one has a reputation for being one of the series worst, but that's not really fair. While it may not be a great episode due to the lackluster villains, a trio of bored frat boy 1%ers, this is not Batman in My Basement. Its just a fairly mediocre tail.

08 August 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Deep Freeze

 From the return of the cold and calculating Mr. Freeze to the interesting Easter eggs and homages peppered throughout, this was a massively entertaining episode.Who would have thought that anyone would crave Mr. Freeze's curse? But I suppose some would rather live forever than enjoy the life they have. Kind of funny given urban legends that it was a Walt Disney look-alike who wanted to cryogenically freeze himself. The portrayal of Freeze was once again solid. Yes, he is a villain, but only so far as his actions would help save his wife.

07 August 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Lock-Up

The title character, Lock-Up just wasn't terribly interesting and consequently, I found the episode to be a bit forgettable.  I guess the idea of a cruel warden is a good contrast to Batman who wants justice rather than vengeance. But overall, this was kind of a dud.

06 August 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Batgirl Returns

Trouble in paradise? The episode opened with a slightly inappropriate fantasy in which Barbara rescued and then seduced Batman. Guess sidekicks just didn't cut it for her any more. Being a huge Batgirl fan, I loved this episode which truly gave Babs the spotlight.

05 August 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Make 'Em Laugh

I wasn't really feeling this episode about Joker's bid for the "King of Comedy" in Gotham City. Seems like he wouldn't concern himself with something so petty. But introducing Hatter tech did give it a modest boost in enjoyability.  

04 August 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Harley's Holiday

Probably the best Harely episode, at least from the original series pre-revamp even though t did get a little ridiculous - what with Robin using fish as nun-chucks and Veronica's dad attempting a rescue with a tank on a freeway. But you get to see that underneath the craziness, Harley wants to be a better person than she is. She just had a bad day.

01 August 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Time Out of Joint

Not quite as good as the Clock King's debut, this follow up was another delight. Time manipulation is the perfect ability for the royal keeper of minutes and seeing Batman infused with Flash-like abilities due to his time accelerator was a bit of fun. Too bad Clock King never really caught on.
Episode Count: 0602
Series Count: (68 of 81)

31 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Baby-Doll

On the one hand, Baby Doll had all the makings of a classic Batman rogue. Tragic backstory? Check. Psychological issues? Check. Semi-creepy physical appearance? Check. On the other hand, she was a little too Looney Tunes for my tastes. So, basically one and done was about right for her.

30 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Riddler's Reform

I always forget about this episode. I don't know why. Its not quite the stand out that the previous two Riddler episodes were, but its still solid and it has a classic ending with Batman stumping the Riddler and it driving him mad.

29 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Second Chance

Despite a fairly unnecessary appearance by Penguin in which he proves far too formidable, this episode builds to a superb twist and proves to be yet another excellent outing for Two-Face. For the record, the dude has issues. Not sure how Batman made a coin that always landed on its side, but if such a thing were possible, it would be a good way to mess with Two-Face’s mind. Well played Bats.
Episode Count: 0599
Series Count: (65 of 81)

28 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special

For years, Aquaman has been the butt of many a joke at his expense. Well, finally the King of Atlantis was pushed too far, proving what a liability to the League he truly could be. This RCDC special did have some pretty funny sketches, among them the "That's Bane" gag where Batman's back was broken over and over again. High art this was not, but full of cheap laughs it was.

25 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Bane

Although Bane was still a brand new villain, he got a fairly serviceable introduction here. Sure it wasn't the instant classic like the introductions of Freeze or Two-Face, but Bane's brains as well as brawn were introduced giving the baddie more respect than he would get on screen for years to come. 

24 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Harlequinade


By this point, Harley had already cemented herself as a star, but her musical solo was the icing on the cake. It was a ton of fun watching Batman team up with the Clowned Queen of Crime just waiting for her to double cross him, because you knew it was coming.

23 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Trial

Easily the best part of this episode  was seeing so many villains together and interacting, but lets be honest, the premise of a trial for Batman in Arkham was sort of weak. 

22 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Avatar

If Ra's last episode was a tribute to classic Bond movies, this episode paid homage to Indiana Jones. Once again, seeing Bats and Talia team up was a lot of fun, even if I never quite understood what the grand plan really was.

21 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Sideshow

 He's no Penguin, but Killer Croc is still pretty lame. Having said that, Sideshow is one of Croc's better outings.

17 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Batman Villain Tiptoes

No, these aren't shows, but these gifs of Bat-foes tip toeing are mighty mesmerizing.

16 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - CG Justice League Designs

There never was an actual plan to bring these design to life in any official capacity, but artist Daniel Araya really demonstrated the potential for a CG Justice League with these designs. Here is what he had to say:
Just for fun I started doing concepts for a faux Justice League CG movie. I've always been a huge fan of Bruce Timm and the DC Timmverse he helped create, and I thought it would be cool to basically design the JLA movie that I would direct if given the chance. I didn't do any huge drastic changes because I didn't want to betray the characters in terms of who they are and what they're about.

See some of my favorites below.

15 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - 70's Justice League

Unfortunately there isn't too much to say about this one, but apparently around 2012 a 70's style Justice League movie was in the cards - very briefly. A little info is posted on artist Shannon Tindle's blog. The designs are pretty slick and I must say, I wouldn't mind seeing Batzarro in action some day.

14 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Target's New 52 Justice League

This ad was pretty historic in that it was the first time that the Jim Lee designed New 52 versions of the Justice League were seen in animation. I have to say, they didn't look half bad. When I initially saw this ad, I hoped these designs were planned to be used for something more than just a TV commercial.

11 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - House and Garden

 And this just may be Poison Ivy's signature episode featuring its own creepy take on "cabbage patch kids." It was also nice to have Robin back. It feels like its been a while since he has been in the fray,  and though I don't care for him to be in every episode, his presence added little je ne sais quoi this time around, pardon the french.

10 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Paging the Crime Doctor

 Not being a huge fan of the Dr. Leslie Thopkins character, I was not a huge fan of this geriatric thrill ride. That said, the fact that it was a fairly generic mob based story didn't help either. There was nothing terrible here, except for the opportunity cost associated with not getting a better episode instead.

Episode Count: 0592
Series Count: (58 of 81)

09 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - The Worry Men

This decent, if not forgettable mystery pleasantly revealed The Mad Hatter as the mastermind, armed with mind-control inducing dolls. Seeing the Hatter again is always a treat even if the use of Mayan costumed goons was a tad unconventional. 

08 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Mudslide

Between Sandman and Clayface, I've always been solid (pun intended) in the Clayface camp. Gotta love a dude that looks like a giant poop. In all seriousness though, BTAS made Clayface a legit villain, which I love. Penguin aside, its wonderful that the "core" villains were expanded beyond Joker, Riddler, and Catwoman. By the end of this series run, Clayface, Freeze, and Ra's al Ghul had been given credibility as worthy foes of the Bat.

07 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Shadow of the Bat

 "What's next, weasel woman?" In truth, I am a sucker for Batgirl and this origin story is one of her best onscreen adventures, very much earning her a position in the Bat Family.

04 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Wrong Umbrella

Oh that Penguin and his trick umbrellas - always a hoot.

03 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - The Arkham Redemption

This Robot Chicken parody of The Shawshank Redemption is actually pretty funny and has its own surprising twist ending. Poor Batman. "Buffalo wings, do your thing."

02 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Riddler's Home Life

In this ubershort, the Riddler proves he would be one annoying dude to live with.

01 July 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Bat-Monkey

Its no secret that I love monkeys and Batman, so the combination is pure gold. I loved joker-monkey, the monkey signal, the Banana-mobile, and pretty much everything else about this Robot Chicken short... except for maybe the poo eating.

30 June 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Bat Cleaning Service

Yes, its true. There are about a bizillion DC themed Robot Chicken shorts (not even including the RC/DC specials) and while I may not cover them all, a diverting detour through chicken land every now and then may be just what the doctor ordered. Since we are in the throes of Batman right now, I thought might as well hit some of the Bat-themed shorts first. Up first, why Batman doesn't hire a maid.

27 June 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Fire From Olympus

 Whereas the Ventriloquist is one of my favorite psychologically rooted, under utilized Bat-villains, Maxie Zeus is one of my least favorite. I suppose the idea of someone thinking they were actually Zeus could be interesting, Maxie Zeus is just incredibly cheesy. From his attire, to his name, to his living in a wannabe Percy Jackson style Mt. Olympus skyscraper, this one was mostly a miss for me.

26 June 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Read My Lips

The Ventriloquist / Scarface is one of my all time favorite Batman villains and while he has great potential to come off as campy and ridiculous, this episode stuck the landing once again. Although there are no supernatural elements at play here, the way Scarface is presented, you almost aren't quite sure. Of everyone, the Ventriloquist seems the most fearful of Scareface which does a lot to sell his menace.

25 June 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - The Demon's Quest

 This epic two-part globetrotting tale introduced Ra's al Ghul not only to me, but to the animated world of DC. True, he did appear in Off Balance, but this outing cemented his status as a worthy A-list villain for the Dark Knight. In many ways, Ra's engineered test played out like a James Bond movie, full of thugs, traps, exotic locales, Talia as the Bond babe, and even a great score. The episode even featured skiing assassins, a Bondian trope.

24 June 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - See No Evil

Just a couple episodes ago, Bats was blind. Now we get an invisible villain that Bats can't see. I wasn't really feeling this one, maybe it was the ordinaryness of the villain, but the episode just seemed unBatmanny. 

23 June 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Day of the Samurai

Night of the Ninja was better than I remembered setting me up to be slightly disappointed by its sequel. This is another one I did not really remember, but watching it now I just kept thinking of Kung Fu Panda. Not this episode's fault, cleary, but I just wasn't blown away. But at least, no Penguin!

20 June 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Year Three, Yipee

Its been another year and I've taken it another decade of DC's finest -as well as DC's worst - this time spanning the outrageous 80's.