Joker: The Vile and Villainous!
Original Airdate - April 15th, 2011
Joker teams up with the Weeper to stop Batman!
Written by Jim Krieg Directed by Ben Jones
Review by klammed
Media by Bird Boy
Diedrich Bader as Batman
Jeff Bennet as The Joker
Tim Conway as The Weeper
Theme Written and Performed by Andy Strumer
Music by Michael McCuisition, Lolita Ritmanis,
Teaser: We start off with yet another teaser in the world of Kamandi. Due to the changes in airing dates in the USA, this might seem slightly repetitive at the start, with Mr. Misfit there again, though we see Kamandi in new armoured gear. Having gone back to the past before, now it seems Batman is coming to the future, though the shadow looks a bit skewed and off. I did not expect the Joker to pop his head out, despite the hints in the title, so that was a surprise there. Now we also know who’s going to be responsible for the Earth’s final destruction (‘Ooh, what does this do’ has never had such massive implications). The title sequence itself was taken over by the Joker, and his swinging into the screen was a nice touch.
Main Episode: The reason for the title sequence being the Joker instead of Batman is revealed from the start of the episode. Batman delivers heroic lines in a villainous tone, and the roles all seem reversed. He’s not actually evil, he’s just portrayed as such, from the viewpoint of the villains. Joker and Fisherman make a heroi- make a vile (?) escape. We might have seen the villains being portrayed as the heroes in Justice League Unlimited, but this one from the Joker’s point of view, with him as the main hero, is novel.
I found it amusing how this Batman, who we’ve come to know as a relatively light-hearted, less grim and gritty version than most modern incarnations, was presented as always grim, and always angry from the view of the villains. Their watching of the news feed made for some great visual gags, such as Joker’s reaction and side reaction to Batman’s statement about criminals being “superstitious”. The Weeper as a contrast to the Joker was also intensely funny. Their team up was interesting, as the Weeper was a Golden Age villain, and BATB’s Joker design is very Golden Age. At some point though, you start wondering if you should root for anyone. I found my sympathies going more to the Weeper than either Batman-turned-autocratic-dictator or the Joker-turned-avenging-hero (everything’s a matter of perspective), as he seemed the only one with a real internal conflict.
That weepy face probably helped too. I mean, “someone’s got to make the world safe for the criminals of tomorrow!” Speaking of criminals, lots of cameos and shout outs in this episode. Villains like Copperhead and Babyface make an appearance, along with a whole range of rogues who appear in the bar. On the other side of the law, Commissioner Gordon appears on Television during Batman’s announcement. The Joker even mentions Garfield while reading the dailies.
Acting wise, with the main cast of just three characters, they all held their own very well. Bader delivered a constant over sinister, gritty Batman, the absurdity of which provided ample humour. I’ve got to say as well, I think Jeff Bennet tops his ‘Knights of Tomorrow’ performance in this one. Together with visual and audio gags such as his Whoopee cushion jet pack, lines such as “what a revolting development this is” were gold. Joker’s hideout front was well decorated with toilet humour. A set of cards with a sign saying ‘Busted Flush… Plumbing’, anyone? But yes, every line that Bennet delivered felt right and spot on, and Tim Conway as the Weeper matched him, providing a perfect contrast.
The last punch-line with a reversal was excellent, with the Weeper finally getting to smile. I’d give this one a full five stars. It was fun and quirky, it was novel, and it did have some sort of mini character arc in it on the part of the Weeper. Excellent story and episode overall.
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