Saturday, September 23, 2017

Batman Day: Top 5 Batman Animated Universe Moments

Sup Weird Science! This is Batman Beyond Mark and today is Batman Day! Batman is one of my favorite Superheroes of all time, and I’m not just talking about my boy Terry McGinnis. I’m talking Bruce Wayne here. Growing up I watch Batman the Animated Series, Justice League and all of the other shows in the old DCAU/Timmverse. When I think of Batman. That’s the Batman I think of. And seeing how today is Batman Day I thought I would share some of my favorite Batman scenes from the old DCAU/Timmverse in the format of a Top 5 List! I did however, set a couple of rules when coming up with this list.

1. All of the moments have to involve and be about the Bruce Wayne, Batman. Terry might a Batman and my favorite character but this day is really about Bruce Wayne.
2. The scenes need to have Batman as the focus. So, you won't be seeing stuff like the ending scene to the episode Baby Doll, since while Batman comforting Baby Doll is a fantastic scene, Baby Doll really steals the show.

This list WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS! If you haven’t watched much from the DCAU/Timmverse *cough* Jim *cough* Please go watch the shows in it! You have been warned!

5: “Never Again” and “Batman sitting with Ace”

Five is a tie for me between two scenes, the Never Again Scene from Batman Beyond Season One Episode One "Rebirth Part 1" and Batman sitting with Ace while she dies from Justice League Unlimited Season Two Episode Thirteen "Epilogue". While both of these scenes are very emotional they are on very different ends of the spectrum.

In the Never Again scene we see an aged Batman on a mission to save a woman who has been kidnapped and held for ransom buy a group of thugs. He fairly effortlessly fights them off until he has a heart attack. One of the thugs takes advantage of his incapacitation and beats Batman with a large wrench. Out of desperation Batman is forced grab a gun that is laying on the floor next to him and threaten the thug with it to get him to stop and flee. Bruce is disgusted with himself. He goes back to the batcave puts his suit away says, ”Never Again” and turns off the lights. The thought of Bruce Wayne especially a version of Bruce Wayne that we have seen for years giving up the cowl for really anything other than his death seems so foreign. This was a man who even with heart problems was still doing what he had to in order to protect Gotham. However the second he made the choice to pick up that gun he realized he had betrayed everything he stood for, and it could never happen again. It’s a Batman Retires story that doesn’t feel forced or contrived, and was a heck of a way to open the series.

At the end of a fight with a new Royal Flush Gang, Amanda Waller informs the Justice Leaguers present that Ace’s powers have evolved and she can now warp reality, however she is also hours from a massive aneurysm and that the psychic backlash could kill everyone in range of her powers, which to quote the episode, “ a distance measured in miles”. Waller gives them a device that will safely kill Ace. Batman volunteers to do it since Ace knows him and might let him get close enough to use it. He goes to confront Ace. They talk and Ace reveals the reason she let him through was she read his mind and knew he had no intention of using the device. She also says she knows he was going to try and convince her to fix what she changed before she dies. Batman sits with her, holding her hand until her time comes. Despite how intimidating and at times impersonal he can be, Bruce Wayne very much cares about people and this scene illustrates that perfectly. 

4: Am I Blue?

Throughout Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, there had been a running subplot of Batman and Wonder Woman flirting with each other. While their relationship at least on the show didn’t go much farther than their flirting. This was one of the times Bruce’s feelings for Diana really came to the front in the famous Am I Blue Scene from Justice League Unlimited Season One Episode Five "This Little Piggy". Circe has turned Diana into a pig. Despite getting help from Zatanna they can’t beat her, so he makes a deal with Circe to turn Diana back to normal if he gives her something. He ends up performing the song, Am I Blue, for a packed house at the Amphitheater and it is an impressive performance. Later, Wonder Woman asks him what happened saying she doesn't remember much, Batman says that the important thing is that she is safe. She responds that it isn't the only important thing walking off humming Am I Blue. Leaving Bruce with the best look on his face.

3: Batman Good Cop

In an interrogation Batman is always the Bad Cop. It’s kind of his thing. But, what if he played Good Cop? And who in the Multiverse would he play Good Cop too? This scene gives us the answer. From Justice League Unlimited Season One Episode Thirteen "The Once and Future Thing Part Two: Time, Warped". A villain named Chronos has polluted the time stream and after chasing after him, Batman and Green Lantern have found themselves in a future controlled by Chronos. Most of the Justice League has been killed save for, Terry McGinnis Batman, Warhawk, Old Static and old Bruce Wayne. Batman decides to go capture one of Chronos’s henchman in order to find out where Chronos is. They capture one and Batman hangs him over the side of a building to try and get information out of him. This is a Batman who has at least two decades of experience. Old Bruce promptly comes up commenting that he can't believe he was ever that green and takes the henchman and interrogates him. He is wildly successful with the henchman spilling everything he knows. Batman ends up playing the Good Cop to Old Bruce’s Bad Cop. It’s a fantastic scene and I smile everytime I see it.

2: Batman vs Lord Batman

This is the one that contains the biggest spoilers. From the Justice League Season Two Episode Twelve "A Better World Part 2". The two part episode, A Better World, is probably the most important event in the Justice League series other than the team forming. The events of these episodes define the rest of the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited series. I am going to be as vague as I can, but the conflict concerns another universe’s version of the Justice League the Justice Lords, interacting with the versions we are familiar with. Both episodes contain some of the best writing the series had and it’s crowning achievement is the confrontation between the Batman we know and Lord Batman. The writing was so powerful and well done that the writers changed their plans for parts of the script because they couldn't think of a way for Batman to win against Lord Batman’s argument as they had originally intended.

1: Bruce and Terry vs Guards

This is without a doubt my favorite Batman scene in the entire DCAU/Timmverse! While the episode it’s from, Batman Beyond Season Three Episode Five "Out of the Past", might creep Eric out, this scene oozes epicness! What we get here is a de-aged to his 50s ish Bruce Wayne and Terry McGinnis fighting off some guards. Two Batmen that’s pretty cool. The fight is visually interesting and well paced. Also good. But it’s the music that really pushes the scene over the edge. It’s the Batman the Animated Series theme played on the Beyond guitar! The scene while short, is a perfect meshing of the old and the new. I can’t praise it enough.

And that’s it! I’ll be completely honest this list was tough for me. So many great moments to choose from. What are some of your favorites? Share in the comments below. Thank you all for reading and have a great Batman Day!

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