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Episode #25 - The Laughing Bat
Original Airdate - June 4th, 2005

Donning the costume of his greatest rival, The Batman, Joker terrorizes all of Gotham. When the real Batman tries to stop him, Joker injects him with a poison that will cause him to laugh to death, unless he can come up with an antidote.

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 Michael Jelenic
Directed by Seung Eun Kim
Animation by Dongwoo Animatino Co., LTD.
Music by Thomas Chase Jones

Voices
Rino Romano as The Batman
Alastair Duncan as Alfred
Kevin Michael Richardson as Joker
Tom Kenny as Penguin
Adam West as Mayor Grange

Screen Grabs






Pans


Review

This episode had stink written all over it. It was yet another Joker-centric episode, this time taking Batman's place as Gotham's vigilante? I could only imagine how this was going to turn out: a half hour of Batman chasing the Joker, ducking Bat-whoopie cushions and Bat-fart machines. Remarkably, this was yet another solid episode of The Batman.

"The Laughing Bat" opens with Batman chasing down and eventually capturing a thug. As The Batman wraps him up, we see a pair of headlights in the background, causing Batman to bolt. Out from the car jumps....Batman? Wait - wasn't he just there to capture a thug? And wait, why is the apprehended crook...Joker-fied? he camera pans up and we see a twisted distortion of the Dark Knight, with that obvious white chin and voice. "I'm...The Batman!" says Joker.

Now that...was cool!

To my surprise, the brisk pace of the episode allows for some of the glaring plot oversights, but allows for maximum enjoyment of the episode's predicament. Once The Batman is injected with the Joker's laughing venom, the episode speeds along, but does get a bit sidetracked. The Penguin is introduced in the third act to provide more problems for an already complicated night. He's an unnecessary addition that's given a quick, rushed conclusion to his storyline. The main focus remains on The Batman and The Joker.

What really impressed me about the episode was the design for The Joker's Batman costume. It costume was clearly inspired by comic artists Tim Sale and Vince Giaranno. The way the mask looks, the emblem, the overall looks just seems like a perfect coming together of those two artists. It's a great design and it provides a sharp contrast to the Matsuda-designed Batman costume.

The episode even pokes fun at their obviously bad puns that we are usually saddled with every episode. Even the final duel between Joker and The Batman centers around a classic "Man walks into a bar..." joke.

Overall, the second season continues to roll out enjoyable episodes, making me wonder just what show I was watching in season one. A fun premise, some great design work on Joker's "Batman" costume, a nice cameo by Adam West, and a fun, fast-paced chase through Gotham, this episode does deliver. With beautiful animation and an excellent final battle, the punch line is delivered flawlessly.

 

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