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SEASON ONE (1992-1993)

Joker's Favor - September 11, 1992
Written by Paul Dini; Directed by Boyd Kirkland

The Joker stalks and tracks down an average joe that "owed him a favor." In order to protect his family, he must help the Joker plan the murder of Commissioner Gordon and the rest of the Gotham P.D.!

Comments: An interesting story, with a good amount of "Jokerisms" ("I arranged another 'early parole'..."). The opening scene, in which the Joker constantly taunts someone on the freeway by continuously driving behind them so that he can grin at them in their rear-view mirror, is eerily priceless....and this episode introduced the world to one of Batman's most popular supporting characters, Harley Quinn.

Video: Batman: The Animated Series - Volumes 3, 4, 5, 6 Bumper Collection (UK)

Be a Clown - September 16, 1992
Written by Ted Pedersen and Steve Hayes; Directed by Frank Paur

The Joker kidnaps Mayor Hill's son and tempts him with the "jovial" life of a circus clown, which just so happens to include the proper way to kill a snooping bat!

Comments: Of course the Joker is nothing more than a side-story to the real message of the episode about how one's children should be more important to them than anything else, but still an above-average Joker outing. In an ideal scene, the final showdown between Batman and Joker takes place on a runaway roller coaster!

Video: Batman: The Animated Series - Volumes 3, 4, 5, 6 Bumper Collection (UK)
Video/DVD: Batman: The Animated Series: Tales of the Dark Knight

The Last Laugh - September 22, 1992
Directed by Kevin Altieri; Written by Carl Swenson

On April Fool's Day, the Joker and his henchmen (including a killer robot named "Captain Clown") hold the entire city ransom by poisoning everyone with a fatal dose of the Joker's laughing gas...including Alfred!

Comments: Contains some great dialogue, from both the Joker ("You killed Captain Clown!") and other characters, but sadly one's teeth grind while watching the ridiculous "worried" look on Batman's face during the fight scene with Captain Clown. Kevin, I know you were trying to give Batman some emotion through his blank eyes, but you kinda went overboard.

Video/DVD: Batman: The Animated Series: The Legend Begins

Almost Got 'Im - November 10, 1992
Written by Paul Dini; Directed by Eric Radomski

The Joker, the Penguin, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc, and Two-Face trade stories about how they each almost killed Batman. The Joker's story is the most recent, since it ends with him kidnapping the Catwoman!

Comments: One of the best Batman episodes ever, no question. Paul was able to include as many characters as possible without making it seem gratuitous. The opening scene has a wonderful 1930s gangster movie feel to it, setting the mood for the rest of the episode. The Joker has some choice lines, but no scene surpasses the "unmasking" at the end.

Video: The Adventures of Batman and Robin: Batman's Greatest Villains (UK)

Christmas with the Joker - November 13, 1992
Directed by Kent Butterworth; Written by Eddie Gorodetsky

The Joker jams the Gotham City TV signals with his own "Christmas special," in which he holds Commissioner Gordon, Harvey Bullock, and Summer Gleeson hostage. Includes a classic scene of the Joker singing "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells."

Comments: The show's animation has been better (hey, this was an early episode, after all), but this was a fun enough episode without making it seem goofy. The wonderful "toy planes" scene unconsciously foreshadows the showdown in Mask of the Phantasm.

Video: The Adventures of Batman and Robin: The Joker
Video/DVD: Batman: The Animated Series: The Legend Begins

Joker's Wild - November 19, 1992
Written by Paul Dini; Directed by Boyd Kirkland

A billionaire uses the Joker's image and incorporates it into his brand new casino. When the Joker (at his all-time goofiest in this episode) hears that his likeness is making someone else tons of money, he decides to arrange an "early parole" and destroy the casino...which is exactly what the billionaire is hoping for.

Comments: The opening sequence alone saves this episode, as the Joker taunts Poison Ivy over who can control the rec room TV....and then uses a bedpan to help break out of Arkham!

The Laughing Fish - January 10, 1993
Written by Paul Dini; Directed by Bruce W. Timm

Based on two classic Batman comics ("The Laughing Fish" and "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge"), the Joker wants to copyright fish that he has altered with his famous toxin to look like his grinning face.

Comments: What can I say? From the opening dialogue between Joker and the first pencil-pusher to the stormy, windy fight on the roof of the aquarium, this is one of the Joker's best episodes. Extra kudos to Paul and Bruce on faithfully adapting both of the two, very different comic book stories. How can one NOT love an episode in which the Joker dresses up as the Gordon's Fisherman?!

Video: The Adventures of Batman and Robin: The Joker

Harley and Ivy - January 18, 1993
Written by Paul Dini; Directed by Boyd Kirkland

After getting fed up with the way she's treated by the Joker, Harley Quinn teams up with Poison Ivy to start a spectacular crime wave, which infuriates the Joker.

Comments: Even though this episode is clearly meant to spotlight Harley, it's interesting to look at how close the Joker and Harley's relationship resembles an abusive marriage. And come on....Harley and Poison Ivy in nothing but nite shirts? Rrrrowwr!

Video: The Adventures of Batman and Robin: Batman and Robin Bumper Collection (UK)

On to Season Two - Back to Animation index

This page was last updated August 5, 2003.

The Joker, Batman, and all related characters are the exclusive trademarks and properties of DC Comics, a Time Warner company. ©2003 DC Comics. Batman: The Animated Series, The Adventures of Batman and Robin, and The New Batman/Superman Adventures ©1992-2003 Warner Bros. All rights reserved.