The Batman Review: Pets (S2E05)

(DISCLAIMER: The author of this blog owns none of the properties depicted below. All images used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise.)

Original Airdate: June 18, 2005
Writers: Christopher Yost & J.D. Murray
 Sam Liu

So. Penguin/Man-Bat team-up, yadda yadda yadda, never been done in the comics (best to my knowledge), probably never should. Let’s just get this over with. It’s gonna take all of my inimitable comedic prowess to make this one bearable.

Bag of tricks
Okay, WHO left that out in the open?!

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The Batman Review: The Man Who Would Be Bat (S1E04)

(DISCLAIMER: The author of this blog owns none of the properties depicted below. All images used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise.)

Original Airdate: October 30, 2004
Writers: Thomas Pugsley & Greg Klein
 Seung Eun Kim

Contrary to popular belief, having multiple writers on an episode does not mean it’s less likely to be terrible. Case in point: almost every new episode of Spongebob Squarepants has three writers attached.

And my word, are Pugsley and Klein facing an uphill battle today. You see, this is a Man-Bat episode, and those of you who paid attention to my first review…


… will likely recall that I don’t care much for Man-Bat. And I still don’t.

Seriously, he makes Bane look like the gold standard of innovation and interesting plot development. In case any of you are unfamiliar with him, here’s a thumbnail biography from Wikipedia:

Dr. Kirk Langstrom, a scientist specializing in the study of bats (chiropterology), develops an extract intended to give humans a bat’s sonar sense and tests the formula on himself because he is becoming deaf. The extract works, but it has a horrible side effect: it transforms him into a hideous man-sized bat. The serum also takes away his intelligence, so he goes on a mad rampage until Batman can find a way to reverse the effects.

Sound familiar?

Image result for Stan Lee Marvel
“My stealing sense is tingling! Excelsior!”


“Yeah, I’ll just bet it is, Stan.”

Even if you don’t particularly give a crap about Marvel (and to be honest, I don’t), Man-Bat is a pretty lackluster villain, mostly because Kirk Langstrom’s consciousness goes lights-out whenever he turns into the guy (which is almost always by horrible circumstance instead of intent). There’s very little emotional or moral stakes to be had – he’s a villain 100% built for action sequences, and incredibly predictable action sequences at that. I’ve seen Batman hitching a sky-ride on his claw about several dozen times now, and it was pretty boring after the first one.

But that was apparently good enough for him to carve out a niche, and he’s been a semi-recurring member of Batman’s rogues gallery ever since. As previously mentioned, That Other Show used him as their first villain, and the episode in question was almost entirely redeemed by how badass Tokyo Movie Shinsa’s Spectrum’s animation was. That might be written off as a chest-beating display of creative independence on their part (please realize that I spontaneously sprouted a beret, goatee, and Starbucks latte as I typed that), but then they did another one.

At this point, it’s probably for the best if we all admit to what his real appeal is:

I have it on good authority that none of these can even *stand* by themselves.

Oh, there’s been a few snippets of more interesting takes – mostly when they tried to play him as a hero who’s in full control of himself as Man-Bat – but those never last long. Let’s see if The Batman can make this bat fly, shall we?

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