I wanted to start my first post here off with a bang and write about a show everyone watched no matter what race, gender, or sexual orientation. It wasn’t until I realized through other means I have already pretty much excluded everyone from my life other than straight white males so I figured I should write about a guy’s show, Batman: The Animated Series.
(Batman appears very shy in this photo)
Batman: The Animated Series, not to be confused with Batman: The Live Action Series or Batman: The Marionette Puppet Series, was a big part in shaping me into the person I am today. I was raised on television as everyone from a broken home born after 1980 was and in a way Batman was like a father to me. The only time Batman ever disappeared was after telling his plan to Commissioner Gordon. My biological father would disappear on Two For Tuesdays and Thirsty Thursdays.
My first recollection of watching Batman was when I was in kindergarten. After school I was waiting for the bus when my teacher told us my bus had broken down. Kids began to talk about the different things they were missing by their delay in getting home. We were like WWII soldiers reminiscing about our past lives when really the bus was only 10 minutes late. I said how upset I would be about missing Batman. Fortunately for me this was on a half-day thanks to our Jewish friends and Batman didn’t come on until 4 which was the normal time I would get home. Things worked out and I got my fix.
This Batman series was wonderful because I have always said a comic book hero is only as good as their villains. Batman always had the best villains and this cartoon version was no exception. Guys like The Joker (who in one episode while paying his rent was called Joe Kerr which my mom thought was genius), The Penguin, Two-Face, The Riddler, Scarecrow, Mr. Freeze, whatever the Clay dude’s name was*, and many other incredibly evil men helped push this show over the edge.
At times the show was really dark and I even remember a few scary images. I remember Mr. Freeze leaving one of his minions behind after accidentally getting his legs frozen. I would have done the same. The man needs to learn his lesson not to shoot your own legs with the freezy guns. I also remember Scarecrow hypnotizing people, a football player in particular, and him having the scariest images appear before him. My scariest image involving Scarecrow was at Lucas McGuire’s 8th birthday party. We were at a bowling alley opening up presents and Michael Barbera got him the same exact Scarecrow action figure I got him. Lucas opened up Michael’s first so I was asked to leave the party for my faux pas in not being able to have an original gift idea. Revenge came later on when Michael Barbera got me the board game Battleship when I already owned it. It felt good to get back at him.
(Many Batman villains. I totally forgot Jeff Dunham got his start on this show. Can you guess which one he is?)
The most notable voice on the show was Mark Hamill, you know, Luke Skywalker, who voiced The Joker. After reading the International Mark Hamill Fan Club page I have learned he still does The Joker’s voice for video games and a few other things. I’m lying, I already knew that but I wanted to let you know Mark Hamill was internationally known.
(Mark Hamill, internationally known, probably colorblind based on his hair choice)
From 1992-1995 Batman had 85 episodes air. I didn’t actually know that off-hand and thought it would be appropriate to at least give you some fact you can dish out to your nerd friends. This is an all-time kid’s show and with the fact Batman has been around as long as he has already been it would be wise to buy stock in Batman: The Animated Series.
*I looked it up, his name was Clayface and Ron “I Always Play Monsters, Even In Real Life” Perlman did the voice.