Holidays are not always fun. Eventually they end up being boring. With the new season of Game of Thrones still 2 weeks away and Captain America: Civil War still a month away from arriving in theatres, I couldn’t get hold of something new or exciting. So, with the recent memory of the awesome batman in the not so awesome movie, Batman v Superman, I decided to watch the best Batman ever, Kevin Conroy, again in Batman the animated series. The show was an anthology series which gave it a childish tone.So I thought what if it was serialized like young justice (will always hate you cartoon network for cancelling it!) and lo and behold the internet never disappoints. I found an amazing watching order by a great guy on comicbookmovie.com which gave the show an amazing new feel by giving it a new serialized order. Things which were kept in mind while making this list were good enough reasons to make me watch the show again:
1.Escalation. Like the Nolan films, It starts with the crime lords and street level bad guys, then work up to the super villains and freaks, then it introduces more and more science fiction elements, along with more frequent appearances by Robin. This creates a progression in the scope of the show over time.
2. Arkham Asylum. It’s not that important, but only to give some order to certain villains and their escapes from prison. For example, if Riddler gets away at the end of one episode, the next time he will be seen, he’s still on the loose.
3. The calendar. It was tried to keep in mind the passage of time from one episode to the next. If one episode is clearly during winter or Christmas, the next episode shouldn’t skip to summer.
Here is the awesome list:
It starts things off with Batman fighting street level criminals:
031The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy
012It’s Never Too Late
026Appointment in Crime Alley
–‘POV’ gives some background on the recurring cop characters and ‘Cape and Cowl Conspiracy’ introduces the Bat-signal. ‘Underdwellers’ is filler, while ‘It’s Never Too Late’ gives insight into Gotham’s criminal underworld. ‘Appointment’ gives us Leslie Tompkins, and its placement here creates an open-ended resolution where Batman’s one-man battle against crime nearly overwhelms him, culminating in a hollow victory against Dagget.
–There are other episodes with ordinary bad guys and no sci-fi elements, but these are the ones that can fit into Batman’s early days. Now it’s time for the supervillains! From here on, the episodes are grouped into normal-sized seasons.
064Read My Lips
–Despite airing much later, this episode is placed early due to Gordon’s behavior around Batman. He doesn’t seem used to the disappearing act yet, suggesting an earlier point in their relationship. Plus the Ventriloquist is a great bridge between the street-level crime-lords and the full-blown freaks.
003Nothing to Fear
015-16The Cat and the Claw
013I’ve Got Batman in My Basement
004The Last Laugh
–Scarecrow, Catwoman, Penguin, and Joker. Certainly not their best episodes, but all make decent introductions for the long-running characters.
035Night of the Ninja
–Obviously not Robin’s first time out, but the Boy Wonder comes off as relatively new to the game, enough that this works as the first time we might see him in action.
001On Leather Wings
–Now it’s time for the sci-fi. ‘On Leather Wings’ is the first episode in production order, but placing it later does create some shock at the prospect of an honest-to-god monster on the show. Also, in these two episodes we meet Harvey Dent! Between here and ‘Two-Face, part 2’, there are plenty of episodes to break up his appearances.
018Beware the Gray Ghost
020The Joker’s Favor
019Prophecy of Doom
010Two-Face, Part 1
–Ah, nice to see Harvey got his love life worked out after that last one. Oh, wait…
009Be a Clown
036Cat Scratch Fever
034The Laughing Fish
017See no Evil
043Moon of the Wolf
011Two-Face, Part 2
–Because events pick up months later, it made sense to break up this two-parter. They really work better as two separate episodes rather than as one continuous story.
059Blind as a Bat
040If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?
002Christmas with the Joker
–This one is epic. If this show were live action, I imagine they’d really have to earn a Xmas special of this scale.
044Day of the Samurai
051The Man Who Killed Batman
–Joker is still on the loose at the end of this episode, and won’t get nabbed until the next one.
037The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne
–The first team-up between the bad guys! Naturally we’d spend all season building up to this.
025The Clock King
056Harley and Ivy
Mask of the Phantasm (present)
024Fear of Victory
–Dick’s in college!
014Heart of Ice
021-22Feat of Clay
027Mad as a Hatter
–Now that it’s season 2, more science-fiction-y bad guys are introduced into the mix, like Freeze, Hatter and Clayface.
028Dreams in Darkness
032-33 Robin’s Reckoning
030Perchance to Dream
046Almost Got ‘im
038-39 Heart of Steel
–This ep eases into the premise of evil robots amazingly well. Batman’s assessment of the destroyed robot being “more advanced than anything he’s ever scene” needs to hold water, and there’s plenty of key episodes that follow from it. Plus, it’s high time we met Barbara Gordon.
045Terror in the Sky
047Birds of a Feather
048What is Reality?
063Fire from Olympus
049IAm the Night
–This is everyone’s favorite “I’ve been Batman a long time and it kinda sucks” episode. There’s nothing particularly special about its placement here, but checking in with Barbara means we’re between ‘Heart of Steel’ and ‘Shadow of the Bat.’
–This episode is pretty weak on its own, but it introduces a host of elements that will be important later. Plus, the League of Shadows creeping into Gotham sounds like a big deal at this point.
053Paging the Crime Doctor
–Time for the big bad guy mashup! It works as a lead-up to the finale.
060-61The Demon’s Quest
–What better way to end the season than by saving the world, right?
–The last “season” is almost entirely “The Adventures of Batman & Robin” episodes. By this point, just about all the important characters and gizmos have been introduced, and there are many references to events from past episodes.
057-58Shadow of the Bat
–This of course was the season premiere, and it’s a great way to kick things off.
062His Silicon Soul
065The Worry Men
067A Bullet for Bullock
070House and Garden
–By this timeline, we haven’t seen Ivy since ‘Trial’, giving plenty of time for her apparent reform. This season finds a lot of villains trying unsuccessfully to turn over a new leaf.
071The Terrible Trio
073Time Out of Joint
077The Lion and the Unicorn
–We’ve seen Selina struggling throughout the series to stay on the straight-and-narrow. This ep completes her arc back into the full-fledged criminal that she really should’ve been all along.
083Make ‘Em Laugh
–This originally aired long before ‘Catwalk’, but it really needs to go after. It’s the last one on the production order, and it works as the lead-up to SUB-ZERO and the end of this phase of the show.
And to finish things off:
Even if you have seen the show before. You have to try this guide! Comment if you do 🙂