Every iconic Batman in the animated series deserves the best episode

Every iconic Batman in the animated series deserves the best episode ...

What is the point of going to Gotham without a rogue gallery?

The Animated Series Batman: The Gotham City (streaming on HBO Max) did a fantastic job of adapting Gotham City's finest bad guys and distilling them to their finest forms or rebuilding them from the ground up? That's where this list comes in: It's chosen not only because it's a great episode, but because it reflects all of the character's features.

This list is intended to cover only villains with multiple episodes to choose from. Sorry, one-offs like Hugo Strange, Calendar Girl, and Maxie Zeus. You will be missed.

Joker: The Laughing Fish

34th episode of Season 1

Joker episodes in Batman: The Animated Series tend to focus on his dissatisfaction with his crimes rather than his desire to murder all of Gotham, whether it's his inability to give up a grudge (Jokers Millions, Mad Love), or his resentment at being placed second (Jokers Wild), all in an attempt to copyright a fish and thus profit from their sales.

Harley Quinn: Mad Love

Season 3, episode 21

With the creation of Harley Quinn, Batman: The Animated Series' head writer Paul Dini might have created the most instantaneously famous antihero comics character of the modern age. Whether shes engaged in gal-pal mayhem with Poison Ivy (Jokers Favor, The Man Who Killed Batman), or forced into more of a solo act (Harleys Holiday, Harlequinade), she has developed a mature enough person to take over the world.

The Penguin: Birds of a Feather

Season 1, episode 47

The Penguin is the most underserved villain in Batman: The Animated Series (Ive Got Batman in My Basement, The Mechanic); he performs better when he plays a supporting role (Almost Got Im, Second Chance). In Birds of a Feather, rich socialites entrust him with his disfigurement and uncouthness, and by the end, you suffer for the little bird man who wants to be liked.

Catwoman: Catwalk

Season 2, episode 9

Catwoman is a one-size-fits-all villain, one that works as a good foil for Batman while also being athletic enough to hold her own in any action sequence. (Stuff like Tyger Tyger, Batgirl Returns, and the two-parter The Cat and the Claw excel when she's on screen, but are simply serviceable elsewhere.)

Two-Face: Two-Face: Part I

Season 1, episode ten

Richard Molls, who plays a gangster in Shadow of the Bat, is hard to find a bad Two-Face episode, whether it's playing a gangster, being forced to reconcile with his halves (Second Chance, Judgment Day), or acting as a sort of straight man against the less cartoonish denizens of Gotham (Almost Got Im, The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne), who eventually falls victim to a blackmail and an explosion that gives him his

The Riddler: Riddlers Reform

Season 2, episode 14

The Riddler's best half-hour is spent in Riddlers Reform, in which the character attempts to go straight, while remaining determined to prove that Batman is just a big ol dummy in contrast to him. Aided by John Glovers' proven ability to play egotistical maniacs, the episode concludes with the Riddler returning to Arkham Asylum.

Poison Ivy: House & Garden

Season 2, episode 5

As the episode progresses, Poison Ivy blossoms into a memorable antagonist with a keen sense of vengeance (Harley and Ivy, Chemistry). In it, Batman sees through her claims that she has now settled down in domestic bliss, and discovers that her entire family is a collection of plant monsters she has created. This is the miracle of Batman: The Animated Series.

Mr. Freeze: Heart of Ice

Season 1, episode 14

The Emmy-winning performance in Batman: The Animated Series that let everyone know, See? Was enthralling, and even though he has never been in a bad episode (Cold Comfort is fun, and Deep Freeze, in which a mega-industrialist seeks to gain Freeze's power of immortality, is slightly underrated), Heart of Ice is undoubtedly the greatest spectacle. His final monologue to the ballerina snow globe that represents his wife (...pray you hear me somehow,

Rupert Thorne: Its Never Too Late

Season 1, episode 12

Rupert Thorne is a crime boss with his hands in everything (Two-Face, Vendetta, Bane, Paging the Crime Doctor), with the late John Vernon always supplying him with the appropriate menace and bluster. Here, an aging rival gangster faces a change of heart, and Thorne is so good as the devil on Gothams shoulder.

Scarecrow: Fear of Victory

Season 1, episode 24, is now available.

The Scarecrow is perhaps best known for changing his appearance throughout the series, starting as a skinny Wizard of Oz cosplayer (Nothing to Fear) before switching to a more threatening design (Dreams in Darkness) and finishing with a haunting Old West undertaker outfit (Never Fear). But Fear of Victory is his finest overall episode. Like The Laughing Fish, it does not feature Scarecrow attempting any massive assault on Gotham.

Mad Hatter: Perchance to Dream

Season 1, episode 30

The Mad Hatter is a lovelorn creep who begins his career as a Lewis Carroll fetishist and ends his career as merely another member of Batman's assembly line of goons (The Worry Men, Animal Act). In it, the Mad Hatter puts Batman in a sort of coma in which he is able to fall in love, and he never has to be Batman again. Bruce eventually wakes himself up, an act that reveals the mad Hatter's despair: I

Killer Croc: Sideshow

Season 2, episode 1

Many Batman: The Animated Series villains are victim of their own obsessions, incapable of coping with their own tragedies in any other way than by yelling out in violence and manipulation. Croc is a funny, simple person, whether he's trying to retaliate (Vendetta) or serving the devil in "Love Is a Croc"

Clayface: Feat of Clay: Part II

Season 1, episode 21

Clayface, a tragic character who has gone on to be an animated legend, gets the lowest rating from Feat of Clay: Part I, mainly due to poor visuals (Mudslide, Holiday Knights, and Growing Pains) for a villain that is so well-suited for cartoons, the best performance is in Feat of Clay: Part II, which delights in every blob, fold, drip, and stretch of his muddy body. The end, which renders Clayface unable to

Ras al Ghul: Avatar

Season 2, episode 4.

Ras al Ghul, who was voiced with conviction by the late David Warner, is a surprising addition to Batman's usual inner-city adventures. He is especially interesting in The Demons Quest and provides an interesting hook to Showdown, a series that takes place more than 100 years before. However, the greatest Ras adventure comes in Avatar, where the immortal Egyptian queen seeks her supreme supremacy over life and death.

Man-Bat: On Leather Wings

Season 1, episode 1

On Leather Wings, the official first episode of Batman: The Animated Series, offers a near-perfect balance of crime fiction, noir humor, and monster movie scenes. Man-Bat would reprise his role in Terror in the Sky, but he's not the first character to set the tone.

Scarface and the Ventriloquist: Read My Lips

Season 1, episode 64

Scarface and the Ventriloquist were a welcome addition to Batman: The Animated Series, combining crime-themed horror-themed comic book psychosis with superhero derring-do (Catwalk, Double Talk), with the best part coming from their debut episode, Read My Lips. It's a delight to watch Batman work through it all, as Scarface is blown apart by machine guns, which the censors would never allow to happen to anyone else.

Roland Daggett: Appointment in Crime Alley

Season 1, episode 26

Roland Daggett is a crooked capitalist who is always engaged in some moneymaking scheme that may seem too low in comparison to Batman's more colorful foes. Hes great in the Feat of Clay two-parter and Batgirl Returns, but the episode that shows him off his pure Daggett-ness the best is Appointment in Crime Alley, where he plans to destroy a low-income section of Gotham for his new renovation project. He does not get punished at the

The Clock King: The Clock King

Season 1, episode 25

The Clock King is a 60s Adam West style hed show up there, played by Lifeboat villain Walter Slezak, that works very well for Batman: The Animated Series brand. The first episode, in which we get to see all of the Clock Kings little anxieties and needs for discipline regarding time, is one of the finest examples of the Batman system of one bad day being the turning point for someone on the edge.

Baby Doll: Baby-Doll

Season 2, episode 11

Baby Doll is a former child star who has difficulty in realizing her potential beyond the age of five. The second episode, Love Is a Croc, features her alongside Killer Croc, which is fun, but fails to really explore the disturbing and ultimately heartbreaking arc of her debut, Baby-Doll. Having kidnapped her former co-stars and now planning to forever link them in TV history with a murder-suicide, she is eventually stopped by Batman and Robin.

Bane: Over the Edge

Season 3, episode 12

Bane is difficult to distinguish from the Knightfall comics plot in which the villain breaks Batmans back over his knee in a panel that jumped straight into prominent Batman iconography. He returns in Over the Edge, wearing a leather-daddy gimp mask, an all-black outfit, and a spiked choker chain, which is all you can really ask for.

Firefly: Torch Song

Season 3, episode ten

Firefly never gets a place among the most notable antagonists in Batman: The Animated Series. So we are left with Torch Song, which depicts Firefly as a spooky pop star who turns to mass arson. All of the flames and explosions make for impressive visuals, and without a true masterpiece, we can take what we can get.

Achilles Milo: Cat Scratch Fever

Season 1, episode 36

Professor Achilles Milo is a popular scientist for his excellent episodes when a plot calls for some unsavory medical work. He is also a good actor for one enjoyable episode, Cat Scratch Fever, and one exhausting one, Moon of the Wolf. Milo is a devious coward who is hired by, you guessed it, Roland Daggett to infect stray animals with a virus in order to make money off the cure.

Kyodai Ken: Day of the Samurai

Season 1, episode 44

Kyodai Ken, a ninja who studied martial arts with Bruce Wayne, is a very cool villain who is redeemed with Day of the Samurai, a moody action epic that concludes with him and Bruce colliding on a volcano. Instead of allowing Batman to save him, Kyodai lets an explosion from the volcano take him.

Red Claw: The Cat and the Claw: Part II

Season 1, episode 16

The rooftop flirting between the Cat and the Bat is far more enjoyable than the other terrorist leaders in The Cat and the Claw: Part I. She was primarily around to threaten Gotham while Batman and Catwoman resisted the temptation. Sometimes you just need a loud person with a bad idea in superhero movies.