Yesterday on Batman: The Animated Series: Revisited I crossed over from the first season of the show into the second season – aka The Adventures of Batman & Robin. Today I’m continuing my way through this second season with hopefully a little more Robin.

First up, a great episode, but still no Robin. Ah, well.

Trial

Image: ©Warner Bros. Animation

*Clicks play*

1min – Back to the original credits. Not that I’m complaining, but it’s odd that the show has switched back to the original credits so soon.

1min 30secs – Janet Van Dorn, Gotham’s new District Attorney, makes her second appearance in Trial. Van Dorn is voiced by Stephanie Zimbalist – daughter of Alfred voice actor, Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

5mins – The premise of this episode is as follows: Batman’s most famous villains take over Arkham Asylum, capture the Caped Crusader and put him on trial. They believe Batman created all of the villains in Gotham and want him to be prosecuted. 

7mins – Trial features the largest number of villains in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series. Riddler, Two-Face, Mad Hatter, Joker, Harley Quinn, Scarecrow, Killer Croc, Scarface, Poison Ivy and The Ventriloquist all appear in the story.

9mins 30secs – “Guilty!”

11mins – The Joker is HILARIOUS in this episode.

11mins 30secs – Details of Harley’s origin have just been revealed. The full details will be discussed in the episode, Mad Love.

13mins – Poison Ivy has just made a reference to the episode, Pretty Poison.

14mins – “The truth is, you created him.”

15mins 30secs – The villains find Batman not guilty, but decide they want to bump him off anyway. 

*Clicks stop*

Trial is one of my favourite episodes of Batman: The Animated Series. When I watched it originally I loved seeing all of the villains appearing in the one episode and to this day I still get a kick out of seeing them team up together.

The HD transfer really helps to make this episode shine too. There are quite a few dust spots, especially towards the end, but they don’t detract from what is a perfect 20 minutes of Batman.

Avatar

Image: ©Warner Bros. Animation

1min – Still opening with the original credits. So far, three of the four episodes that fall under the banner of The Adventures of Batman & Robin have opened with the old credits.

3mins – Lucius Fox puts in another appearance in the series. Fox’s involvement in Batman: The Animated Series is spotty at best and he’s never really given room to develop as a character, but his importance in the Bat-mythology remains. Without Lucius, Bruce Wayne would need to spend more time at the office. 

5mins – Avatar is a Ras al Ghul episode. Ghul was last seen in the two-part episode, The Demon’s Quest.

13mins – As this is an episode set outside of Gotham, the colour palette is different and takes on a sepia tone. 

18mins – At times, specifically during the final act, Avatar heads into Indiana Jones territory. I can’t say it works, but visually it is very appealing. 

*Clicks stop*

Not a great Ras al Ghul episode, or even a great episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It’s not bad, it’s just a bit slow.

Moving on…

House & Garden

This episode falls into the category of ‘villains attempting to reform’ – a plot point used in Riddler’s Reform, Second Chance and Harley’s Holiday. Each episode uses the idea of a villain reforming, always with the same results – the villains simply can’t reform.

*Clicks play*

1min – Original credits again.

3mins – Poison Ivy is out of Arkham, is married and is apparently moving on with her life.

4mins – I love it! Ivy is giving her best performance, trying to convince Batman and Commissioner Gordon that she is on the straight and narrow. I’m totally buying this, even though I know she’s lying!

5mins 40secs – Robin finally makes an appearance! Five episodes into The Adventures of Batman & Robin and the Boy Wonder turns up. 

9mins 30secs – Batman isn’t convinced that Poison Ivy is telling the truth, so he’s keeping tabs on her.

13mins – A Batsub/Batski vehicle is introduced in this episode.

14mins – Ivy’s lies are starting to unravel. 

15mins – The animation in this episode is superb, by the way.

21mins – Ivy has a back-up plan and it’s a doozy to ensure she gets away. She has made a plant replica of herself.

21mins 30secs – This episode could have easily finished with Ivy going back to Arkham, but this final twist with the fake Ivy adds real depth to this tale.

*Clicks stop*

House & Garden is my favourite Poison Ivy episode. I love the mystery and the creepy plant monsters, but more importantly I like the insight we get into Ivy’s mind. She wants to live a normal life, but only on her terms.

Right, one final episode for today and sadly, it’s terrible in more ways than one…

The Terrible Trio


Image: ©Warner Bros. Animation

*Clicks play*

1min – The credits have switched back to the The Adventures of Batman & Robin credits. For those wondering what makes these credits different, apart from the name change, these credits are composed of clips from the show, interspersed with clips from the original credit sequence. The clips are taken from Robin’s Reckoning, The Demon’s Quest, Shadow of the Bat and Fear of Victory.

1min 30secs – The premise of this episode is as follows: Three spoiled college students commit a series of robberies for kicks. In order to disguise themselves, the students adopt personas of Vulture, Shark and Fox. That’s it. Nothing more.

2mins 40secs – Robin has just used a R-style Batarang. There’s a reason this is a rarity – it looks rubbish.

2mins 45secs – Hands down, this episode features some of the worst animation in the entire run of Batman: The Animated Series. At times, the character designs are off, the proportions are all over the place and… oh, it’s just crap.

10mins – Oh for the love of… this episode just looks so bad.

11mins – It doesn’t help that the story is boring too.

18mins – Is it still on?

20mins 40secs – How odd. This episode switched to the right credits to open, but has switched back to the old style end credits to close. I really can’t keep up!

*Clicks stop*

A dreadful episode to end on and one of only two real duds in Batman: The Animated Series – the other dud is yet to come. But we’ll worry about that when we get to it.

That’s all for today. Lots more to come when Batman: The Animated Series: Revisited returns!