I actually first saw this episode of BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD
this past Summer when it was screened at Comic Con in San Diego. I loved it then -- as did the large crowd I saw it with -- and felt like that it was one of this show’s best. But that was three months ago and I did wonder if it would like it as much when I saw it on TV as opposed to seeing it with a big crowd of Batman fans?
“Emperor Joker!” is simply flat-out insane! How else would you describe a plot that has The Joker getting Bat-Mite’s powers?
Yes, Bat-Mite is back and causing problems yet again for The Dark Knight. In this case, he accidentally transfers his powers to The Clown Prince of Crime while attempting to “help” Batman. Of course, The Joker goes hog-wild with his newly acquired abilities by “killing” Batman over and over again.
Despite the absurdity, the episode’s theme is rather interesting: Without Batman, there would be no Joker. Of course, this ends up being a rather tough predicament for The Joker. Killing off his archenemy may not be as much fun for The Joker as it’s cracked up to be -- especially when his own existence is at stake.
So, can The Batman defeat a Joker with infinite powers? Of course he can…he’s BATMAN! And the way he does it shows just why he IS Batman.
“Emperor Joker!” is also chock-full of nods to all sorts of Batman history. I’m talking “A Death in the Family,” BATMAN ‘89, THE DARK KNIGHT, “The Laughing Fish,” the 60s BATMAN TV show and several other Easter Eggs. Fans of Batman’s Silver Age will certainly get a kick out of the show’s opening which pays homage to “The Rainbow Batman” story in DETECTIVE COMICS #241.
Only this show could take one of the most ridiculous Batman stories of all time and turn it into something rather clever -- and funny without making fun of the character.
“Emperor Joker!” may end up being my personal fave episode of BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD. This series has put out some stuff that will be considered animated Batman classics and this one certainly will end up on that list.