26 March 2014

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Batman: The Animated Series

Holy perfection Batman, today is the day! Really, what more can be said about Batman: The Animated Series? The series originally ran from 1992 to 1995 and basically set the standard by which all other superhero series are judged; more than 20 years after its debut, it holds up amazingly well. In fact, my desire to set down and watch the complete series all the way through was one of the primary motivators for this Crisis of Infinite Episodes feature. I am very glad this day has finally come (it only took me nearly three years to get here).

Each episode opens so dramatically with the amazing title sequence which all by itself is a masterpiece. silhouetted action and iconic score perfectly set the mood for something special.  Of course, the sequence was reworked in 1994 when the series was retitled The Adventures of Batman & Robin, but it is that original sequence that everyone remembers. And as if that wasn't enough, every episode began with an artistic title card with a hint at what the episode would be about. It was little touches like those cards that made every episode special, like its own stand alone feature film.

For the purposes of these reviews, I will be covering the episodes in air-date order which does not match up with the DVD order which follows instead the production order. As I have done in the past, I will combine multi-parters into a single review. I will also be covering the first DC animated movies! Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero are both in the Batman: The Animated Series continuity and will be included along with the rest of the series giving a total series count of 81 episodes. The New Batman Adventures will not be covered until a later point. Of course, don't expect a straight run through. There are still plenty of diverting detours to be had along the way. This should be fun!

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