One of the many great things about Batman: The Animated Series is the influence it’s had on an entire generation of comic book creators, some of whom would later go on to work on Batman themselves. Knowing that so many of our current Batman writers and artists were fans of the show, we thought it would be fun to reach out to a few of them to see if they could recommend a favorite episode. Here are three must-see eps, as recommended by some fine folks who know a few things about the Dark Knight!
“This is how I'll always remember you. Surrounded by winter, forever young, forever beautiful.”
This was the opening dialogue from my favorite episode of Batman: The Animated Series, “Heart of Ice,” telling Mr. Freeze’s heartbreaking origin. As kids, we all had a basic understanding of love, and what was right and wrong. It was all pretty simple, and black and white. Paul Dini and Bruce Timm challenged their viewers, showing us the gray area rarely portrayed in youth programming. As adults, this episode grows in meaning as we've experienced our fair share of heartbreak. Its exquisite handling of a simple, yet complex story about love makes this an episode that grows with you. That's what I'll always remember.
--Francis Manapul (artist and co-writer, Detective Comics)
My favorite episode of Batman: The Animated Series is “Beware the Gray Ghost”!
Why, you may ask? Two words: ADAM FREAKIN' WEST!
Okay, three words.
What a great story! The way it opens with a young Bruce Wayne captivated by the adventures of an old TV show called “The Gray Ghost” is downright awesome since it's the same way a young Peter Tomasi was captivated by the 1966 Batman TV show when it was in syndication.
I love the way it jumps back and forth to the Gray Ghost show and the crimes being committed in the present day Gotham and showing a disillusioned Simon Trent who played the Gray Ghost on the old show (voiced by Adam West) saving the day and saving Batman himself!
And talk about a perfect ending. Bruce Wayne now getting Simon Trent's autograph at a convention and the shared knowledge that Bruce lets Simon in on—that he's Batman!
Even though this episode is over twenty years old it is truly timeless and feels as fresh today as it did back in 1992!
Excuse me while I go watch it again!
--Peter J. Tomasi (writer, Batman and Robin)
True story—I've never spent longer thinking about a "4-5 sentence paragraph" than this one (laughs). Picking a favorite Batman: The Animated Series episode is impossible for me. The best I can do is offer a favorite... with the caveat that they're all my favorites (laughs). Also, we'll stay away from “Heart of Ice,” “Joker's Favor,” “Laughing Fish,” “Old Wounds” and “Mad Love.” Those are the ones everyone talks about, and rightfully so, but we'll try to make this a little more interesting. So, that said... I'm going to go with “Mudslide.” I was always a big Clayface fan and his second appearance is nothing short of tragic. That last shot, in the rain? With Shirley Walker's score? Oh man. I choke up every time I watch it.
--Kyle Higgins (writer, Batman Beyond 2.0)