Batman - The Animated Series, Volume Two
Bruce Timm 2005 Amazon
The early-'90s Batman series was probably the best animated superhero show ever, mixing stylish animation with a dark tone appropriate for the Dark Knight. The second volume, comprising four discs of 28 episodes and vastly preferable to the many single-disc releases, features familiar characters the Joker, Catwoman, the Penguin, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, as well as the first appearances of the Riddler, and Ra's Al Ghul and Talia. The episodes are highlighted by the Emmy-winning two-parter "Robin's Reckoning," which recounts the origin of the Boy Wonder and his chance for revenge years later. In "Perchance to Dream," Bruce Wayne finds his parents alive and another Batman patrolling Gotham City, the two-part "Something" pits Batman against Miyazaki-styled robots, and Batman revisits the samurai training of his past in "Night of the Ninja" and "Day of the Samurai." Give the series credit for not talking down to kids--Japanese characters spoke in Japanese with English subtitles, and one episode, "Almost Got 'Im," was styled after a '50s black-and-white variety show. It employed smart humor and characterization even to the point where it could let villains carry an episode. Certain stories were based on comic books, and the series involved comics veterans such as Denny O'Neil and Len Wein. Also camp-master Adam West appears as the voice of the Grey Ghost. --David Horiuchi Tags