We’re closing in on the list. Cracked the Top 25 episodes!
25. “A Touch of Curare” (Batman Beyond) – New foes and old allies clash in this episode of Batman Beyond. We are introduced to the new Commissioner of police, who doesn’t play we nice with Batman. At the same time, the District Attorney is being targeted for assassination, and Batman and the police must form an uneasy truce to capture the assassin before it’s too late. And of course, the DA happens to be the commissioner’s husband!
24. “Sidekicks Assemble” (Batman: The Brave and The Bold) – One of the problems with a lot of DC Animated series is they never allow the characters to evolve enough to see them take on different mantles. Brave the the Bold decided to play fast and loose with its timeline so we’re allowed to get an episode like this in which Robin, Aqualad and Speedy get to usurp their bosses and attempt to gain some notoriety for themselves.
23. “Deathrace to Oblivion” (Batman: The Brave and The Bold) – I’m a huge fan of Wacky Races, and never in my wildest dreams did I suspect we would ever get a Batman episode (or even comic issue) in a similar mold. Not only do we get that, but we get to see an extremely dark side of Batman as he attempts to save the world, but as always things are not what they seem. This is worth checking out for the wonderful set-up.
22. “Harlequinade” (Batman: The Animated Series) – Harley Quinn’s transformation from brainless lackey to a well-rounded and interesting character hits its first major milestone with this episode. As Harley teams up with the Dynamic Duo to track down the Joker before things go boom. Along the way, she gets to sing, prove her intelligence and loyalty to her pudda and friends.
21. “Rebirth Part 1” (Batman Beyond)
– What would actually cause Bruce Wayne to hang up the costume for good? Most would imagine death, but the very first episode of Batman Beyond gives us a whole different answer. Aside from retiring the traditional Batman, we’re also introduced to Batman for a new generation and it is a really fitting origin tale.
20. “Eyewitness” (Batman Beyond) – Batman being opposition to the law is a fun story in moderation. It is more exciting when the Commissioner of police knows Batman’s secret identity. Barbara Gordon, former Batgirl and current Commissioner, sees Batman murder a man and sets a manhunt for him. This is a fun episode to see the Bruce/Barbara/Terry dynamic and of course Batman being hunted makes for a good time.
19. “Growing Pains” (The New Batman Adventures) – Messed up love stories speak to me. I want people to find happiness, but Gotham seems intent on always taking that away. In this case, Tim finds a lovely young lady who is being chased by her apparently abusive dad. As the episode and story unfolds, we get some really twisted reveals that leaves not only Robin shaken, but one of Batman’s most popular foes.
18. “Old Wounds” (The New Batman Adventures) – One of the great things about the jump from Batman TAS to The New Batman Adventures is it allowed the creators to age up characters and evolve relationships. The problem is, at some point, you needed to fill in those gaps, but they were always up to the task. This episode reveals what led to the eventual falling out between Bruce and Dick as relayed to the newest Robin, Tim.
17. “Mad Love” (The New Batman Adventures) – After being a break-out character on the show, it was only fitting that Harley Quinn got her own origin story. It also examines the extremely abusive and volatile relationship between Harley Quinn and the Joker More than anything, this episode showcased that Harley as a standalone villain is capable, cunning and deadly. It’s only the Joker’s ego, and Harley’s fragile state that allows Batman to escape this episode alive.
16. “If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?” (Batman: The Animated Series) – The true villains of the Bat-verse don’t tend to be the ones wearing the colorful costumes. After being shorted his success, Edward Nygma returns to seek vengeance on his former boss in the guise of The Riddler. While the Riddler seeks to cause his former employee pain, he crosses path and then wits with the Batman. Their interactions always make for a fun time because they engage on a level beyond the physical.