One of the few episodes of the animated series in which Batman is forced to face his guilt and shame over the deaths of his parents. And though a little undefined, I preferred this initial design of the scarecrow. The one used from episode Fear of Victory onwards looks like a masked skeleton with rabies.
Here she blooms, considerably more human than she is portrayed in the comics, but certainly no less psychotic. A deadly customer, perhaps, but nowhere near as menacing – or wickedly cool – as her giant Venus fly-trap, complete with jawed tentacles.
Joker has always been my favourite villain – how original, I know – but it wasn’t until this episode that his animated version had cemented its place in my heart. Like The Killing Joke his new lair of choice is a disused fairground and the final chase sequence takes place on a rollercoaster, complete with exploding baby doll grenades. What more could you want? Though intentionally harmless, it has that extra creepy factor as he has the mayor’s young son in tow.
The series’ first dedicated origin story. With Nolan’s convoluted and almost kismet interpretation as well as Schumacher’s less than satisfying 5 seconds or archive news footage, this is one of the better portrayals of Harvey Dent’s tragic transformation, from his psychosis to the accident. Still, the animated series never really found the right groove for Two-Face as a main villain, mostly implementing in small doses, which is why you won’t find Part 2 on this list.
Part 1 I like because it establishes the dynamic between Batman & Catwoman perfectly. The feisty feline is also shown as agile, resourceful and cunning. Part 2, however, only showcases why she could never truly be a villain as she is pretty shit at one-to-one combat, as was evident in Batman Returns. She gets her ass kicked a lot in the comics, too. I’m pretty sure her writers have some sort of beating fetish…
One of very few examples in which Part 2 actually tops Part 1. Not only do the team do a stellar job of the many transformations of Clayface, but the actor voicing this shape-shifting monster delivers quite a heart-wrenching emotional performance
Believe it or not, this was the first ever appearance of Harley Quinn, and she actually spends most of the episode in various disguises, from chauffeur to policewoman. While it’s all good fun, admittedly this Joker caper makes very little sense. Why would a museum reconstruct a temple complete with all its extremely deadly booby-traps?
The Clock King is the kind of villain that is perfect for a one-shot storyline as he uses time to wreak havoc in Gotham and outsmart the caped crusader. The clock tower is the ideal setting for the episode’s final showdown in which he and the dark knight do battle amongst the giant cogs and gears.
A firm favourite of mine in which the Riddler brings an entire video game to life. This includes a life-sized maze, a giant robotic minotaur, deadly traps, a flame-throwing griffin and a flying palm called the hand of fate. Can never go wrong when you add a bit of Greek mythology into the mix.
This episode boasts my favourite death-trap, in which the Batman is set a-spin on a giant roulette wheel in a casino based on the Joker’s looney likeness. Except the ball that lands on either red or black is replaced with a live grenade. It is also my favourite great escape as the Batman uses his grappling gun to fire the grenade into the mouth of the giant Joker dealer presiding over the wheel and blowing everything to shit.
As the evil elite of Gotham sit down for an evening of poker, we are regaled with a handful of entertaining Batman vs. villain stories. The episode features not 1 but a total of 6 villains, and a Catwoman thrown in for good measure.
This has to be Harley Quinn’s best episode of the entire series as she is thrown out on her ass by the Joker and decides to team up with Poison Ivy. Their chemistry is electric and their hatred for the opposite sex is explosive.