Batman: The Animated Series (1992) -P.O.V., The Clock King and The Last Laugh

 

The next three episodes up for review from this much loved Batman series originally aired on the 18th, 20th and 21st of September, 1992.

First up is P.O.V., which is a fun episode, as three different versions of the same story are told when a drug bust goes terribly wrong. Relating the evening’s events, including the arrival and intervention of Batman (Kevin Conroy), are Harvey Bullock (Robert Costanzo), Montoya (Ingrid Oliu) and a rookie officer, Wilkes (Robby Benson).

Each of them relates a similar but skewed personal version of events to Commissioner Gordon (Bob Hastings), and some, more than others are willing to admit that Batman helped out, no matter how badly things turned out on the sting operation.

Ron Perlman lends his voice to one of the crooks, Driller, as Bullock weaves a version that tries to make him look like a hero, though the viewer gets to see the true way events played out; which sees Bats saving each of the officers and the suggestion that Bullock may be a dirty cop (which he’s not in the series, just a little loose with procedure).

The only real problem I have with the episode is that all three are questioned together, as opposed to separately, as would no doubt be actual procedure.

The series continues to tell unique stories that explore the characters and city of Gotham, instead of simply making formulaic stories all about Batman. And I love that the writers keep the characters and their motivations consistent while also willingly exploring dual natures, and the darkness that inhabits so many of the creations in this universe.

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The Clock King sees an efficiency expert, with a unique sense of timing, Temple Fugate – get it?! – (Alan Rachins) planning on taking revenge on Gotham councilor Hill (Lloyd Bochner). It seems , several years ago, Hill advised Fugate to shake things up a little, but he is loathe to change his schedule. But that doesn’t stop him from trying it out, just this once. And it makes a whole new man out of him.

He snaps, taking on the persona of the Clock King, and seeks out his perceived vengeance on the now, Mayor Hill who is on the re-election trail. But Fugate has plans to embarrass and then destroy Hill.

Unless Batman can stop him. And it definitely seems that Fugate doesn’t neccessarily cover his tracks very well, as it just takes a few moments for Bats to track down his location, and investigate his lair.

Fugate lures Batman into a trap, but he gets more than he bargained for when he takes on the Dark Knight. Batman outwits the villain, but will he be in time to save Mayor Hill, from Fugate’s wrath? Especially when it seems that Fugate may know every move (and how long they’ll take) that Batman can make?

Poor Fugate… time is not on his side.

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The Joker (Mark Hamill) is back in The Last Laugh. This time around the Clown Prince is planning on releasing his Joker-gas through all of Gotham, driving the city insane. His plan to do this involves a garbage scow navigating the waters around the city, and he just may get away with it.

It seems the gas is already spreading through the city, all while Alfred (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) laments the fact that Bruce Wayne doesn’t seem to have a funny bone in his entire body.

The Joker is using the pandemonium as an opportunity to rob the entire city, smashing and grabbing wherever he takes a fancy. But it can’t last, Batman is tracking the gas, and will soon be able to hunt the Joker himself, and hopefully it will be before the effects of the gas are irreversible.

The Bat-boat gets pulled into the action, and things get aquatic as the two nemesis confront one another. Things look dire for Batman as he confronts the Joker’s robotic captain, and ends up in danger of drowning…

This is classic Batman fare, as the the two confront one another, all intertwined with a sly sense of humor. Great episode!!

More next time, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!!

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