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A Gallery of Rogues: The Possible Return of Batman: The Animated Series, Part 5
By Joseph Davis

Welcome to Part Two of our review / speculation / fan fic analysis of Batman’s Rogues’ Gallery, and how they may fit into the upcoming, is-it-a-reboot-or-not series Batman: Caped Crusader. In our previous essay we discussed Two-Face, the Penguin, Catwoman, the Riddler, Poison Ivy, and the Mad Hatter; here we’ll look at the rest. Of course, standard release of liability applies—I have no advanced knowledge of the series, I’m not on the creative team, blah blah blah.

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Before we begin, however, I wanted to say a one thing about crime in Gotham City: it must be quite a production. The costumes, the secret lairs, the henchmen, the customized weaponry—not only would these things take a lot of money to produce, but it must take a very specific supply chain, one more reminiscent of a movie studio rather than your average gang or mafia. And while costumed criminals at the beginning of their careers may have to do everything themselves, I would imagine that—once they become a “brand”—they would need to compartmentalize using outside help.

Take the Joker, for example. Arguably the first supervillain in the DCAU (sorry, Penguin), I would imagine that—like McDonalds in the fast-food industry—he is the trendsetter that all others try to emulate and, murderous nature aside, he is the P.T. Barnum of crime. Said Paul Dini of the Joker in Batman: Animated (1998), “Among his other attributes, we saw the Joker as intelligent, theatrical, and in his own warped way, a showman. To him, if a crime isn’t worth pulling off with panache, it’s not worth doing at all.” This is a man who, at times, used a clown robot to fight Batman (“The Last Laugh”), chemicals to mutate fish to feature white scales and red mouths, contaminating God only knows how many nautical miles of water (“The Laughing Fish”); and a custom blimp to abduct Lois Lane and to lure Batman to the Metropolis waterfront (Superman: The Animated Series “The World’s Finest”). Are we to believe the average goon or henchperson has the talent to build a robot or customize a blimp? Even as a genius and jack-of-all-trades, the Joker must have a production crew the size of a blockbuster motion picture to pull off his crimes.

The production side of super-crime is something that has been toyed with in comics, but not really expanded upon. For example, in Spider-Man comics, there is the Tinkerer, a scientist who creates custom weaponry for costumed criminals (in the MCU, this position has been filled by the Vulture). In DC Comics’ Central City, we have Paul Gambi, a tailor who provides the costumes for most of the Flash’s villains, and who is so admired that he is treated as an honorary Rogue. And in Paul Dini’s Batman comics we were introduced to the Broker, a real estate agent who specializes in selling eclectic properties (abandoned amusement parks, wax museums, etc.) to criminals to use as hideouts, and Jenna Duffy who, in addition to working as the Carpenter in the Mad Hatter’s Wonderland Gang, is also a licensed contractor who freelances in renovating those hideouts. In a BTAS reboot (or any upcoming Batman show, for that matter), I’d like to see more of these background characters and how they help the supervillains stage their crimes.

Going back to the Joker, consider: who hires his henchmen? Who sources and buys the chemicals and items needed to prepare for his crimes? Do they work with certain businesses directly, or do they need to be purchased via a number of ever-changing shell companies? Who builds his weapons and props? Who designs his suits and costumes? Does he have a team of writers working for him, helping him create his gonzo crimes and write his jokes? Does he have a team of lawyers who ensure that he’s found criminally insane each time he’s arrested so he goes back to Arkham Asylum and not death row? Who cleans and maintains his teeth? And, considering his perchance for killing his underlings, how does he keep hiring people? He must pay really well. And, even then, are there people in his organization who “aren’t funny” enough to kill? “Sure, he’ll shoot a goon every now and then or threaten an intern, but he’d never harm his dentist.”

Speaking of that last part, it is worth nothing that, with Batman as an ongoing presence, that there must be a certain level of decorum when it comes to the hired help. For example, in Batman: Streets of Gotham #4 (November 2009), when Batman comes to the Broker for information, he realizes the danger he’s in for himself and his family (“[I]f I’m seen on the street unscathed, my clients will know I made a deal”), so he dumps his data and takes a beating from the Dark Knight. I think the idea here is that, even if Batman’s able to retrieve the data from his computers, Gotham’s criminal masterminds would see the Broker’s bruises and think, “Hey, it’s what Batman does. Still, you took one for the team. No hard feelings.”

While this should not be the focal point of the action, I would like to see more of this side of crime in Gotham City. Anyway, back to business…

The Scarecrow
Of the members of Batman’s Rogues’ Gallery, Professor Jonathan Crane—better known as the Master of Fear, the Scarecrow—has the distinction of being the only bad guy to get a costume redesign prior to the TNBA revamp. Making his debut in “Nothing to Fear,” he was hardly imposing in his initial outfit. However, in his second appearance, “Fear of Victory,” he improved upon his visage by adding straw hair, teeth, and—at times—a wicked scythe. This was the look he carried through the duration of BTAS, but when he returned for the Kids’ WB series, he revised his costume yet again. No longer resembling a scarecrow at all, Dr. Crane’s final revision looks more like the killer from a teen slasher movie. Describing his new look as resembling a “hanged corpse,” Paul Dini said in the aforementioned Batman: Animated (1998) that “[t]he design was so cool we resolved to never again show his alter ego, Professor Jonathan Crane, without his mask. In fact, we’re no longer sure it is a mask.”

The reason for the transformation was never expanded upon in the animated series itself, though years later, in the not-quite in-continuity Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures (2016-2017), it was revealed that Scarecrow made the second revision in reaction to coming face-to-face with an alien invasion. However, as recounted in a video from Watchtower Database, writer Ty Templeton revealed that he knew the real, in-continuity origin of Crane’s transformation “from some of the folks at WB.” While reluctant to share at first, Ty would later provide the story on the [now-former] Toon Zone message boards, once the series was over, saying that it “came from a couple of sources:

1. A tragic mistake made when mixing fear potions (a mistake he blames on Batgirl) left a chemical burn on most of his face, which he now makes every attempt to hide.

2. In the intervening years, in an adventure we didn’t see, in a different state [than] the one with Gotham City in it, Scarecrow was found guilty of multiple murders and sentenced to death by hanging. As he fell through the trap door, it wasn’t Crane’s neck that snapped, but the rope itself. The Professor of Fear survived the experience, but what little was left of his mind went completely over the edge and he now believes himself to be a ghost, though he is clearly NOT.

Anyway, the hangman’s noose he wears is a reminder of that event.” I must confess that, even though I love the second incarnation of the Scarecrow, there is something about the TNBA design that just works. Also, with apologies to Henry Polic II (the BTAS voice for the character), I prefer the vocal work of Jeffrey Combs for the fear-based villain, and I hope he would return (all the more reason to bring The Question back as well, even if they sound alike).

At any rate, I could see the Scarecrow as working with Two-Face, as his fear gas would be an excellent tool for intimidation and interrogation. However, I would encourage a far grander story arc for the character:

During Geoff John’s run on Green Lantern (2004-2013), he developed the concept that the green will-based energy used by the Green Lanterns was one of many energies that could be harnessed in ring form. One of those was the yellow energy of fear, which Green Lantern villain Sinestro weaponized to create his own fear-based army, the Sinestro Corps. Early in the storyline, one of the rings—seeking a Yellow Lantern for Sector 2814—attempted to recruit both the Scarecrow and Batman himself. And while I’ve stated previously that the majority of the stories should take place in Gotham City, I believe that this exception would make for a wonderful multi-part story.

I could see a story arc where the Scarecrow is recruited into the Sinestro Corps, requiring Batman to team-up with Green Lantern John Stewart to investigate. However, as the story progresses, it is revealed that Sinestro gave Scarecrow a ring as a ruse, as his main intention is to recruit Batman himself because, as Sinestro might say, “while you, Scarecrow, dabble in fear, Batman embodies it.” The ring abducts Batman, taking him off planet to Qward for training, forcing Stewart (and maybe a few other Leaguers) to bring him back, and leaving Batgirl to protect Gotham City by herself for a while. This would allow Barbara to rise above being Batman’s partner / sidekick, as well as an opportunity to create the Oracle persona and the Birds of Prey as well.

At any rate, whether a walking scarecrow or a hanged ghost, and whether a member of the Sinestro Corps or not, the return of Dr. Crane’s alter ego to Gotham City would be welcome.

The Ventriloquist and Scarface
Of the TNBA redesigns, I would hazard to say that the Ventriloquist had the roughest transition to the Kids’ WB series. Not only is his redesign ugly—going from his original Larry David appearance to having a head like the rubber eraser on the end of a pencil—but Scarface was changed to look less like a ventriloquist dummy and more like a guy in a suit so a little person could impersonate him in “Double Talk.” Anyway, if the Ventriloquist is to return for the BTAS reboot, let’s forget that his TNBA redesign ever happened, okay?

Debuting in Detective Comics #583 (February 1988), Arnold Wesker was still a new invention when he was adapted for the original BTAS series. Debuting in the May 1993 episode “Read My Lips” and voiced by George Dzundza, this adaptation went a long way in terms of cementing the character as a major player in Batman’s Rogues Gallery. However, in the TNBA episode “Double Talk,” it was revealed that Wesker was cured of his multiple personality disorder and was attempting to live a normal life. But what if a BTAS reboot was used as an opportunity to debut a new Ventriloquist?

In the past twenty years, there have been two subsequent Ventriloquist characters. The first debuted in Detective Comics #827 (March 2007) during Paul Dini’s run on the title. Created during a period when Wesker was murdered by another villain, the puppet was picked up by Peyton Riley, the daughter of an Irish mob boss who was shot by her husband, a rival mobster who was seeking to wipe out her family. Finding the abandoned Scarface puppet in the same building she was left to die in, she heard the puppet talk to her, and it offered to help her get her revenge. Taking on the role of the new Ventriloquist, Peyton (or Sugar, as Scarface calls her—no relation to the Two-Face henchperson) started a gang and, using Scarface’s existing reputation, sought to carve out her own piece of Gotham’s turf.

(The third Ventriloquist character was unrelated to Arnold Wesker or Peyton Riley. Created as part of 2012’s New 52 reboot, this character was Shauna Belzer, a woman with telekinetic powers that went on a killing spree with Ferdie, her ventriloquist dummy. Created by Gail Simone in Batgirl #20 [July 2013], this character eschewed the mobster motif in favor of a more horror movie-vibe. However, for the purposes of this exercise, I’m sticking with Riley).

A new Ventriloquist would certainly shake up the status quo, leading some to question whether it is Riley calling the shots, or whether Scarface is something more sinister. Several stories have suggested that the Scarface puppet is possessed by the ghost of a dead gangster or, at the very least, possesses bad mojo. In addition, her presence could also cause some controversy among the main Rogues as, in Dini’s run in Detective Comics, some saw her as a knock-off (Harley Quinn considered Peyton a thief for stealing Wesker’s gimmick). Speaking of which, how would Arnold Wesker react when confronted by a new Ventriloquist? Would he be relived, or might he be motivated to confront this plagiarist? Could we see a Ventriloquist versus Ventriloquist duel?

Killer Croc
For all his strength, for all his menace, Batman destroyed Killer Croc’s fearsome reputation with one sentence: “I threw a rock at ‘em!” With that line, said in “Almost Got ‘Im” while the Dark Knight was impersonating Croc during a sting, turned him into a joke, both among fans and his fellow Rogues. Add to that a thrashing delivered by Bane in his debut episode, and the mutant Waylon Jones found himself reduced to supporting roles, comic relief appearances, and—worst of all—teaming up with a redesigned Baby Doll in the worst episode of TNBA, “Love is a Croc.”

This reduction is a shame, considering what a powerful villain Killer Croc can be. Debuting in Detective Comics #523 (February 1983), this carnival-attraction-turned-pro-wrestler-turned-criminal was born with an extreme form of Epidermolytic hyperkeratosis, giving him reptilian traits allowing him to resemble a humanoid crocodile. His mutation proved to be beneficial, however, gifting him with enhanced strength, jaws that could bite through chains, and formidable swimming ability. And while he may not be as educated as his fellow costumed criminals, he certainly isn’t stupid, as he’s been shown to be capable of framing Harvey Bullock for murder (“Vendetta”), using subterfuge to gain the confidence of others (“Sideshow”), and planning a heist (“Bane”). That said, I suspect that the injuries sustained during his fight with Bane may have been a turning point with Killer Croc. Until then, in the fairly normal, non-superpowered world of BTAS, he was one of the strongest characters. However, the debut of the Venom-enhanced Bane served as the first, with more super-strong characters coming out of the woodwork, as characters like Superman, Blockbuster, and Doomsday suddenly put his reptilian strength to shame. Suddenly he was the weakest strongman in town. What’s a crocodile man to do?

My guess? Splicing.

Making its debut with Man-Bat in the first episode of BTAS, splicing has existed throughout the DCAU, from the early attempts in “Moon of the Wolf” and “Tyger, Tyger” to the more sophisticated attempts in Justice League (Copperhead, Cheetah) to it becoming a so-called “lifestyle choice” in Batman Beyond. Thus, it doesn’t take much to imagine someone like Killer Croc turning to it as a way to stay relevant in a changing supervillain landscape. In fact, it would go a long way to explain his design change from BTAS to TNBA - consider the drastic transformation of the slightly animalistic, gray-skinned reptile man with five fingers and toes (voiced by the late Aron Kincaid), to the more feral, green-skinned reptile man with reptilian eyes and four clawed fingers and toes (voiced by Brooks Gardner). Also, for Croc, this type of mutilation has roots in the comics: in the 2002 Batman storyline Hush, Killer Croc was mutated by the villain Hush, forcing him to resort to kidnapping to get money to repair himself.

In the proposed BTAS reboot, this could be Killer Croc’s arc—seeing splicing as a form of performance enhancement, he could be committing crimes for the previously mentioned Drs. Emile Dorian and Abel Cuvier in exchange for the splicing doses to transform him into a stronger, more bestial, more savage crocodile man, perhaps this time with a tail (as many forms of media like to depict him). This could also be a way to introduce his perchance for cannibalism (from the comics) and, in a roundabout way, this could also explain why Croc has been returned to the Arkham Asylum crowd, despite being declared sane in the BTAS episode “Sideshow.” Perhaps, after his experiences, he now sees himself as more animal than man.

Bane
The tragedy of Bane is that his greatest moment in the DCAU never actually happened, and I’m not talking about the classic scene from the comics, where he snapped Batman’s spine across his knee. I’m referring instead to his fight with Batman in “Over the Edge,” with the knowledge of the Dark Knight’s secret identity and the casual taunting of his foe. That battle across the skyline of Gotham, culminating to their showdown on the rooftop of police headquarters, was his greatest scene, but it only happened in Barbra Gordon’s mind. Comparatively, his appearances in the BTAS episode “Bane” and the STAS episode “Knight Time” were predictable filler. And while the Bane from the comics is a phenomenal fighter with a cunning and intelligence that rivals Batman, his DCAU counterpart has never been shown to have that pedigree. Here, he’s just a strongman with a mask and a Venom addiction.

Introduced in the one-shot Batman: Vengeance of Bane (January 1993), Bane debuted during an interesting time in DC Comics’ history. Published the same month as Superman #75—featuring Superman’s death at the hands of Doomsday—Bane was designed to be Batman’s Doomsday, the supervillain newcomer who would destroy the longstanding status quo character and, hopefully, generate sales figures and press comparable to the Death of Superman story arc. And he did, not only in the 1993-1994 Knightfall story arc, but also 2019-2020’s City of Bane arc as well. In the twenty-five-year interval he’s been a reliable supporting character—sometimes an enemy, sometimes an ally—to the Dark Knight. Speaking personally, my favorite appearances occurred in the ongoing Secret Six series (2008-2011), written by Gail Simone, where he left Gotham City to become a mercenary and explore themes such as family, addiction, and—in his own way—submission and dominance with his new team.

(Speaking of which, considering his obsession with prisons and imprisonment, I think it’s rather telling that Bane traded his luchador mask for BDSM-fetish gear in the interim between BTAS and TNBA. He strikes me as a masochist who sees physical combat as a form of pain play.)

In the DCAU, Bane was a mercenary who was hired by Rupert Thorne to kill Batman, but his aspirations to replace Thorne as a mob boss were cut short by the Dark Knight. Then—later, in the aforementioned “Knight Time”—he attempted a partnership with Riddler and the Mad Hatter, but that fell apart as well. His only other actual appearance—outside of the forgettable Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman—was in the Batman Beyond episode “The Winning Edge,” when the future Batman discovers that the older criminal needs Venom now to simply survive (this matches what Paul Dini had to say in ToyFare Batman Special: Batman Beyond—What You Didn’t Know About the New Batman (1999), where he said that Bane “is now an old, old, withered man in a wheelchair and basically has several IVs and a gas mask full of nothing but Venom. That’s the only way he lives. Bane is alive technically, but he ain’t no threat”). Based on his official appearances, I see Bane as someone in the reboot who not only “could’ve been a contender” in Gotham City, but also, considering the toll Venom takes on the body, may also be struggling with crippling addition. And while I would welcome the introduction of a more comics-accurate Bane, I could also see Bane taking his mercenary act to other venues…

As I’ve previously said, Bane had a memorable stint as a member of the Secret Six, a mercenary team that also functioned as a sort of surrogate family and support group for freaks and criminals. Imagine a Secret Six line-up featuring Bane and Deadshot, along with debut appearances for Catman, Scandal, Rag Doll, Knockout, as well as possibly Jeannette and King Shark (I know that would be eight, but the team rarely kept it at six members in the comics). Not only would this be another reason to bring back contributing writer Gail Simone for this adventure, but perhaps here, among fellow assassins, he might use what I consider to be his best line of dialogue: “It’s been an honor to fight and kill with you.”

(On a final note, it is worth mentioning that it appears that the original voice actor, the 93-year-old Henry Silva, has apparently retired from acting. And while he was voiced by Hector Elizondo in Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, I must confess that his performance lacked the gravitas and playfulness of Silva. Perhaps a new Latino actor can be found to voice the Venom-enhanced mercenary moving forward.)

Clayface
Good ol’ reliable Clayface. Voiced by character actor Ron Pearlman, Matt Hagen has made several memorable appearances in the DCAU, including as one of the few BTAS villains to appear on Justice League (and, pre-Bat-Embargo, he was apparently in an early draft of JLU’s “The Greatest Story Never Told” as well). Now, I’ve already said my piece about Clayface previously, so let’s consider how he might factor into a BTAS reboot.

Not one to mingle with the Gotham criminals in the BTAS days, he did pick up on the value of networking when he was the seventh member of Grodd’s original Secret Society, so it’s not impossible to see him taking odd jobs for Two-Face’s criminal empire. His raw strength, along with his shape-shifting abilities, would make him a valuable asset. And, of course, if I may make a humble suggestion for an episode…

I would request that the team consider an adaption of the two-part story “A Piece of You,” from Wonder Woman #160 and #161 (September and October 2000) where Clayface, aware that Wonder Woman is a construct made of clay (which has been alluded to in DCAU continuity), attempts to absorb her clay into his own to increase his powers. Not only would it be quite a fight, but it would be a reason to have the Amazing Amazon make a return visit to Gotham City, allowing for a continuation of her flirtation with the Dark Knight.

Mr. Freeze
If any one character benefited the most from their appearances on Batman: The Animated Series, it was Mr. Freeze. Prior to his animated debut in September 1992, he was—at best—a minor footnote from Batman comics, with only five noteworthy appearances to his name since his debut in Batman #121 (February 1959). In fact, he was so obscure and underused that his last pre-“Heart of Ice” appearance was a cameo in Grant Morrison’s Animal Man #25 (July 1990), where Freeze, trapped in the limbo where comic book characters abandoned and forgotten by their creators and publishers go, bristles that he—a Batman villain—could be so easily forgotten (see below). Then his story is retooled as a frozen tragedy penned by Paul Dini and, suddenly, Mr. Freeze was immediately catapulted to the A-list of villains, finally becoming a major comic book presence.

Despite this, it’s worth remembering that Mr. Freeze only actually appeared twice in the original BTAS series—in “Heart of Ice” and, at the end of the run, “Deep Freeze.” Next came the 1998 direct-to-video film Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero, which was no doubt made because Warner Bros. wanted a media tie-in for 1997’s Batman and Robin film, where he was played by then-box office draw Arnold Schwarzenegger. That movie was a bomb—poisoning the Dark Knight’s film career until 2005’s Batman Begins—but the animated film debuted to mostly positive reviews and sales (it’s worth noting that Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero was postponed by Warner Bros. until 1998, presumably because the animated film made Batman and Robin look so much worse by comparison).

After this trilogy of stories came TNBA and his redesign, where he became a bodiless head (no doubt a play on the science of cryonics, where scientists can merely freeze a severed head rather than the whole body), most likely due to cellular damage from his body being frozen, though I wouldn’t rule out his walking around the Arctic sans suit in Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero, what with climate change and all. In addition, if Freeze requires food, that could also have been a culprit, as digestion causes an increase in body temperature. At any rate, it also appears that the cellular damage may have affected his mind, which would explain why he went from simple revenge in “Heart of Ice” to trying to destroy Gotham City with a “reverse fusion bomb” in “Cold Comfort.” He later met his end in the Batman Beyond episode “Meltdown,” where the story of his rebirth and potential redemption was shortchanged in favor of the debut of the new villain Blight.

Any potential return by Mr. Freeze to the DCAU has two major issues that would need to be addressed. First, we’ve already seen the entirety of his story play out—his birth in “Heart of Ice,” his reunion with and resurrection of Nora in “Deep Freeze” and the 1998 DTV film Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero, his second life as a severed head in “Cold Comfort,” and his future return and death in “Meltdown.” As we already know his eventual fate, there isn’t much there in terms of personal stakes. No matter what might happen, he’ll inevitably end up in that Wayne-Powers’ freezer unit in “Meltdown.”

The other issue with Mr. Freeze is that any appearance in a potential reboot would need to be an event. “Heart of Ice” is considered the best episode of BTAS, if not the entire DCAU. Expectations would be high. We would need a special story to bring back Freeze, but I believe one exists.

The continuation of Mr. Freeze’s story, following the restoration of Nora Fries, has appeared in the comics, most notably in Batman: Gotham Adventures #5 (October 1998), Batman: Gotham Adventures #51 (August 2002), and Batman Adventures #15 (August 2004), the latter two written by writer Jason Hall. It was in that final tale where we actually got to see a story featuring an unfrozen, active Nora, who sought to reunite with Freeze the same way he attempted to do with her. Until that point—save for a cameo in Batman: Gotham Adventures #51—she was merely an unspeaking female victim whose “death” existed to motivate a male character—a literal woman in a refrigerator. It would be nice to, finally, see Nora Fries have a story arc and agency of her own.

That said, it’s worth noting that the story that appeared in Batman Adventures #15 was severely truncated, as revealed in a message post by Hall on the old Toon Zone message boards (the post can be read here). To summarize, the story features Nora Fries investigating a series of murders using Freeze’s cold technology, eventually leading to her reunion with Freeze in his hideout in the Arctic. This coincides with the rise of Powers Technology, the company that will eventually take over Wayne Enterprises in Batman Beyond, who has purchased Gothcorp’s patents and is seeking out Freeze himself, as they claim his head is Gothcorp property. While some tweaking might be needed (does she really have to marry another cryonics scientist?), I think this story could be a way to give closure to Freeze, as well as set him up for his final tale in Batman Beyond.

(On a final note, it is worth mentioning that it appears that the original voice actor Michael Ansara passed away in July 2013. No doubt he will be difficult to recast.)

Ra’s al Ghul
Debuting in Batman #232 (June 1971), the near-immortal Ra’s al Ghul is Bruce Wayne’s dark reflection, a driven, powerful man lacking empathy and compassion, thereby allowing him to commit horrible acts “for the greater good.” And whether he’s always been a bad guy, or whether the weight of centuries has worn down his moral compass, “The Demon’s Head” exists as an equal to “The Dark Knight” in a way that the Joker or Two-Face will never be. Unfortunately, compared to the two-part “The Demon’s Quest” episode, where he attempted to depopulate the planet using the Lazarus Pits, his other appearances have been anticlimactic by comparison. Still, it would be fitting to see the villain one more time in the potential BTAS reboot, before his inevitable return in the Batman Beyond episode “Out of the Past.” And while it’s a little late for the “Near Apocalypse of ’09,” the DCAU has always did have a floating timeline. The only question is this: what event would be big enough to live up to the hype?

My suggestion? A war with Vandal Savage.

Consider: the majority of Ra’s al Ghul episodes are about him trying to extend his lifespan, as the Lazarus Pits are becoming less reliable, by stealing someone else’s energy (Thoth Khepera’s in “Avatar,” Superman’s in “The Demon Reborn,” and Bruce Wayne’s body in “Out of the Past”). Well, what if, after millennia, the meteor that granted Savage immortality was either rediscovered at an archeological dig or stolen from a storage facility owned by Savage, leading up to a war between the two immortals for possession of the rock? Hell, it would be worth it simply to hear David Warner (the DCAU voice of R’as al Ghul) and Phil Morris (the DCAU voice of Vandal Savage) verbally spar.

Of course, an appearance by Ra’s al Ghul will require a return of his daughter Talia (preferably voiced by BTAS voice actor Helen Slater, rather that Olivia Hussey, who voiced the character on Superman and Batman Beyond). Of course, her return doesn’t merely have to be as a subordinate, she is more than capable of being a criminal mastermind in her own right, having been a part of Lex Luthor’s inner circle during Infinite Crisis (2005-2006) as well as the head of the criminal organization Leviathan, from Batman Incorporated (2010-2013).

***

So that’s it for the old guard. Next time, Gotham City’s new blood…

Click here to discuss this editorial!

Previous installments of "The Possible Return of Batman: The Animated Series":
-Part 1: Why So Reboot?
-Part 2: Rebooting Gotham
-Part 3: The Usual Suspects
-Part 4: Bring on the Bad Guys

Joseph Davis is a long-time contributor to the community, having run the Justice League Watchtower website and posting on WF forums under the name "Karkull" over the past 20 years.


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