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Emperor Joker!
Original Airdate - October 22nd, 2010
The fifth-dimensional fanboy Bat-Mite wants to see a showdown between his idol and his arch nemesis - the Joker! In an attempt to save Batman, Bat-Mite inadvertently gives Joker his limitless power allowing Joker to warp reality to his most twisted fantasies.

Written by Steven Melching
Directed by Ben Jones
Review by Andrew
Media by Warner Bros. Animation
Cast
Diedrich Bader as Batman
Jeff Bennett as The Joker / Joker-Mite
Robin Atkin Downes as Ten Eyed Man / Firefly
Paul Reubens as Bat-Mite
Jeremy Shada as Robin
Meghan Strange as Harley Quinn

Music
Theme Written and Performed by Andy Strumer
Music by Michael McCuisition, Lolita Ritmanis, Kristopher Carter
Media



Video Clip

 


Review
Although they may be long gone from the limelight or even from the canon history of the Dark Knight, elements from the Golden Age of Batman’s history continue to remain within fans’ conscious as they’re perpetuated by internet meme fame. There has been a slight influence in pop (meme) culture over Brave and the Bold’s writers who like to sneak in easter eggs, but for this episode’s teaser they really broke any withstanding subtlety and just went for it. Batman and Robin are teamed up against the color-casting villain Firefly (not the pyro version). In order to defeat him Batman dons a different colored suit each night because it makes him immune to Firefly’s color-based weaponry. It’s a goofy and fun romp through a reinterpretation of Batman’s sillier past, but I can only say it was enjoyable - to an extent. It feels as though they tried to put too much into it with focusing too much on the internet trend, and then littering it with various “easter eggs” for homages to various other things. It was a lot to take in, without any real substance to tie it together. In the end, I laughed, but with the feeling that I don’t really ever want to watch that teaser again.

For the main story our favorite pint-sized fanboy, Bat-Mite, returns to bring his mentor even more zany antics. Though, oddly, no mention of his Green Arrow fandom from the end of “Legend of the Dark-Mite.” As last time, Bat-Mite decides to be an interruptive little imp due to Batman not doing anything exciting enough at the time. For the most part, this part is very enjoyable even though it does feel like a reuse of the beginning of “Legend of the Dark-Mite,” but it was different enough to be entertaining in its own right. It was great to see Bat-Mite read from the “Who’s Who” comic, providing decent information about the Ten-Eyed Man. It’s ultimately pointless since the Ten-Eyed Man has nothing more to do with the episode, but still cool even if he is far from any potential realism. From there on the episode takes a turn into the titular (in)famous story “Emperor Joker,” based around the Joker acquiring powers from Superman’s annoying imp, Mr. Myxzptlk - who has so far only been alluded to in Brave and the Bold. Instead, it has been changed to the Joker gaining Bat-Mite’s powers. The only bit I didn’t like from Bat-Mite’s recollection of the Joker and Batman’s epic fights was the involvement of Jason Todd.

Usually when Jason Todd is brought up it’s for a dramatic impact since it is to solely illicit an emotional reaction from Batman, but this entire bit was pointless. Not only because Dick Grayson only became Nightwing earlier in the season, but also because Bat-Mite simply makes a mockery of it. It’s recalled in a lighthearted tone, and then he even alludes to the idea that he voted towards Todd’s death; Batman has no reaction. That’s why, in the end, it is simply pointless. It serves no benefit to the story, is only vaguely related by the Joker connection, and it has no emotional impact on Batman. Why bring up such a dark moment? It was so uncomfortably shoehorned into this episode. Maybe due to its premature cancellation, it won’t allow them to eventually feature him as an actual character?

The story itself is changed from a decades-old graphic novel to a half hour fairly well it seems, obviously taking several liberties to change elements to make it more related to the show itself. I was actually very wary of the idea of the Joker gaining Bat-Mite’s powers because I had no idea how they could possibly do it without it feeling just too convenient, too contrived, or both. Surprisingly, however, they managed to really pull it off in a way that actually felt completely natural for this show. Unfortunately, the rest of the episode felt very rushed. Much like the teaser, it seemed as though they placed too many references/jokes/homages without being able to polish them and it results in an episode that is difficult to really get in tune with. This was especially difficult with the spontaneously crossing over into a much darker tone with Batman continually being killed by the Joker and resurrected. Of course, this was part of the original story but it actually got to a point where it felt like overkill (pun intended). I’ve loved this show for not being afraid to get dark, but it actually felt like it crossed a line into gratuity when it came to the disturbing deaths that were shown for Batman.

Overall, it was an enjoyable episode. It felt rushed, and it has elements that I actually will say I hate such as Jason Todd’s post-mortem cameo, and yet I still really enjoyed it. The introduction of Harley Quinn took some getting used to, and she’s definitely far different than how we have perceived Harley, but she wasn’t bad. I feel that Joker’s musical number could have been cut out as it lacked the charm that was present in nearly song from the Music Meister episode, but it didn’t take much away from the episode.

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