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"The Batman" Offers Small Improvements in Second Season

by on March 28, 2005

Episode 13: “The Bat, The Cat, and the Very Ugly”

After an opening season that offered glimpses of brilliance but was generally plagued by mediocrity, The Batman returns with its second season, opening with a familiar feline and, just in case you’ve not seen enough of him, The Penguin.

ImageThis is one episode I’ve been dreading. After seeing The Batman‘s horrible train wreck of a Joker, I could only imagine how it would handle The Riddler. He is, after all, a character who is supposed to have actual intelligence, a trait the show has utterly failed give its villains so far. And seeing the design didn’t help. I prepared myself going in for a total butchery of one of my favorite Batman villains.

But after watching the episode, I have to admit it. The Riddler is the best villain in the show so far. The only major problem is that, like all the others, he lacks a motive. Thankfully, we do see his intelligent side. He matches wits with Yin, or, more accurately, he gives Yin riddles that The Batman then tells her how exactly how to solve. She’s ultimately nothing more than The Batman’s puppet for every single riddle. Every. Single. Riddle. She’s still smarter than Chief Ramos, who is still yet to receive a single second of useful development, but needless to say I cannot wait until Gordon shows up.

The Riddler’s design works slightly better in animation than it does on paper, but it’s still not what Riddler should be. His characterization and scripting doesn’t have any real creepiness, so I’m struggling to see why he had the Manson-style design. He’s an intelligent character, and a more intelligent design would’ve suited him better. His voice (Robert Englund) suffers from the same problem Rino Romano does as The Batman. It’s not annoying like Joker or bland like Catwoman, it just doesn’t fit the character.

The episode kicks into high gear when the riddles are answered, with Riddler now determined to use his intelligence to discover who is behind The Batman’s mask. The execution of this scene may very well be one the best The Batman has ever performed, especially The Riddler’s defeat. The Batman’s escape is ludicrous, but it takes nothing away from this enjoyable episode. I for one will be looking forward to The Riddler’s return.

The second season of The Batman is coming soon to Kids’ WB.

For more media from these episodes, check out The World’s Finest sub-section for The Batman.

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