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Episode #18 - Pets
Original Airdate - June 18th, 2005

Penguin discovers a sonic device that allows him to turn Man-Bat into his personal slave. Meanwhile, Alfred must deal with a raccoon which has found its way into the Bat-Cave and is wreaking havoc on the electric equipment.

Review by Jim Harvey
Media by Gareb
Credits
Supervising Producer Duane Capizzi
Supervising Producer Michael Goguen
Producer Linda M. Steiner, Jeff Matsuda
Associate Producer Kimberley A. Smith
Written by Christopher Yost and J.D. Murray
Directed by Sam Liu
Animation by Dong Yang Animation
Music by Thomas Chase Jones

Voices
Rino Romano as The Batman
Alastair Duncan as Alfred
Tom Kenny as Penguin
Peter Macnicol as Langstrom

Screen Grabs






Pans


Review

Move over Joker, it’s time for another appearance by The Penguin. I guess the first three times just wasn’t enough. The eighteenth episode into the series and this will be the fourth appearance by The Penguin. Fourth. I realize he has one of the stronger backgrounds of the villains in the show, but do we need to see him this much? Regardless, the episode holds pretty strong, which is a relief.

After stealing a mind control device, which emits a sonic soundwave, to control a vicious vulture, he finds that his device doesn’t entirely work on his feathered friend. Instead, the high pitched sound manages to find its way to Arkham Asylum inmate Dr. Kirk Langstrom, who uncontrollably turns into the Man-Bat and falls under the Penguin’s spell. As you already know, The Batman gets involved to sort this whole mess out.

While not entirely inspired, this episode is better than the Man-Bat’s first appearance in the series. His design is amazing, and seeing him and Batman tussle is something to behold. The animation between these two characters is certainly dynamic. The Penguin pretty much sits on the sidelines the entire time, controlling most of the unfolding events. While his character can be overbearing and annoying at times, he’s handled fine here.

The subplot with the raccoon leads to a predictable moment during a crucial Batman/Man-Bat sequence, but falls flat for the most part. It even spawns a groan-worthy “sidekick” joke towards the end of the episode.

After a bit of a stumble with episodes #17 (“JTV”) and #18 (“Swamped”), this series is starting to get back on track. While this has nothing to do with the quality of the episode (which was good), I really wish they’d cut back on The Penguin just a bit. Why not give the Man-Bat his own episode instead of sharing one with the Penguin? Same reasoning applies to “The Cat, The Bat, and The Very Ugly.”

A host of new villains, including a bad guy created just for this cartoon, are still on the way. With any luck we’ll be able to enjoy the variety without having to peg on the established villains. Give both The Penguin and The Joker a rest for awhile. While the episode didn’t suffer from the inclusion of ol’ Ozzy Cobblepot, it would be nice to see him just keep his distance.

 

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