Thursday, March 22, 2012

Awesome-Sauce! It’s “Emperor Joker”!

BEWARE!  There are some SPOILERS in this post. 

Got my copy of BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD Season Two, Part Two on DVD on Tuesday, March 20 – and, as with all previous volumes, I am enjoying it thoroughly! 

With the exception of the episode described in THIS POST, all of these are new to me – due to my giving up on trying to follow the series on (what used to be) Cartoon Network.

Scanning the list of titles, one episode in particular caught my eye… “Emperor Joker”!

If you don’t want any SPOILERS, please exit now!

Emperor Joker”?  Really?  WOW! 

Emperor Joker” was a weekly chapter, multi-part story that occurred in the SUPERMAN comic book titles back in the year 2000, when DC Comics were still the best! 

In it, The Joker steals the vast fifth-dimensional powers of Mister Mxyzptlk and uses them to warp reality in his own twisted image. 

Naturally, I thought:  Here’s where we get both Superman and Mxy to cross over into BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD.   No luck there, alas. 

Instead, we got something just as good – if not better!  Another – and unexpected – appearance of Bat-Mite!!!  (Awesome-Sauce!)  And, it is Bat-Mite’s powers that the Joker wields! 

Bat-Mite was a character that DC Comics fans sort of held in the same regard generally reserved for the likes of Scrappy-Doo!  I get the general idea, but I could never understand why Mister Mxyzptlk was so popular and Bat-Mite was not, as they are essentially the same character – one a prankster, the other a cosmic “fanboy”!  Ya know, I think I might have answered my own question. That seeing yourself in the mirror thing.

Nevertheless, BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD did more for turning-around B-M’s image (…um, can I CALL him “B-M” in a family Blog?) than decades of comic books could ever do.  Same, to a lesser degree, for Aquaman!  We LOVE those guys, now!

Casting Bat-Mite (…I’ve decided not to call him “B-M”, after all!) in the role of Mxy was a masterstroke – because the “transfer of powers” occurs accidentally, and with the best of intentions!

Bat-Mite, whenever he appears (…and the producers ARE very careful not to overuse him), is a riot.  Here, he reads from an ACTUAL copy of DC Comics 1985 “WHO’S WHO” series (Yes, the comic is realistically pictured! See Below!), to get the scoop on an obscure villain Batman is fighting. 

In a line of dialogue that will have amazing repercussions in the future he refers to Batman’s “reality” as a “show”!   Stay tuned a few months down the line for more on that! 

…And he releases The Joker from Arkham Asylum, just so Batman will have an A-List villain to fight!  

Bat-Mite’s “shrine” to the great Batman / Joker duels of the past includes images of  a Golden Age cover battle with playing cards, “The Laughing Fish”, “The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge”, “The Joker’s Utility Belt”… and even Batman holding the dead body of Jason Todd Robin to represent “A Death in the Family”!!!  (“Guess how *I* voted!”, Bat-Mite remarks!)

In the ensuing fight, The Joker inadvertently becomes all powerful – and, as in the original comic book story, devises ways to kill Batman… over and over again without end.  He kills him (!), resurrects him, and keeps killing him again! 

He also creates a “Joker-Mite” (picture a mash of The Joker and the sinister doll of the cinema: “Chucky”) to bedevil the now-powerless Bat-Mite! 

There’s only one way to end this reality-molding madness and, as only he can, Batman figures it out. 

Along the way we get Joker henchmen that resemble Black-and-White versions of Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, and Fatty Arbuckle… I’ll assume it’s Fatty Arbuckle, and not Oliver Hardy, because there is no “Stan Laurel” and he does not have Hardy’s trademark mustache! 

There’s also a “Silver Age” version of Harley Quinn!!!  Yes, we know there was NO Silver Age version of Harley Quinn… but that’s what Harley WOULD have looked and acted like in the Silver Age.  She is also reminiscent of Jean Harlow in THIS CLASSIC GANGSTER FILM! 

The Joker, himself, is a magnificent Dick Sprang inspired model, with a perfect voice by Jeff Bennett (Johnny Bravo) to match the visual!

This version of “Emperor Joker” is yet another triumph for BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD!  And an unusual one because it uses a contemporary DC comic book story (…and a GREAT ONE, at that) for its base – and still manages to instill it with the series’ signature Silver Age sensibilities! 

 Emperor Joker” is a MUST-SEE for all fans of any era of DC Comics lore! 

It’s probably even in Bat-Mite’s collection! 


Pete Fernbaugh said...


Wait until you see the *brilliant* Paul Dini-penned series finale...

That's all I'm sayin'...

Pete (...doesn't want to be known as a SPOILER after his infamous LOST post...;-))

Joe Torcivia said...

Ah… But, Pete… I DID see the series finale, as reported in my post of March 15.

It’s everything you say it is and THEN SOME!

But, NO SPOILERS – at least until June, when it’s released on DVD! Maybe not even then!


Pete Fernbaugh said...

Sorry, Joe! I've just started catching up on all of my blog reading and missed that post.

In any event, I haven't watched BRAVE AND THE BOLD straight through, but every episode I've seen, I have thoroughly enjoyed.

BTW-Have you seen this website? I'll refrain from reciting its name since you run a family site, but here's the truncated URL. It sheds new light on Superman...

Fun stuff.

You have any initial thoughts on "Beware the Batman"? I kinda like the idea of Alfred packing heat, lol. Although I don't know how that jibes with Batsy's "no-gun" philosophy...

Pete (, the website is not a dirty porn stop...)