FINAL ToTT REVIEW: The New Adventures of Batman – The Zarbor Saga

Yep, you read the title right. This will be the final article for The Terror of Tiny Toon blog. I’ll probably write a retrospective post as well, but this is going to be the final cartoon review I write for this blog. This doesn’t mean I’ll stop reviewing, or even stop reviewing cartoons, but this blog wasn’t really meant to be a long-term thing or a serious project, and I’ve gotten a bit tired of it and would rather focus on writing stories. Besides, there are some posts on this blog I’m not all that proud of, and I think I should expand my horizons beyond kiddie shows (I have been considering making another review blog with a larger focus on “real movies”, or even a blog for short stories).

Still, I think we should end things on a bang, so I will look at one last cartoon episode. Okay, I lied, we’ll be looking at three cartoon episodes, all of them from a show I haven’t looked at in a while, Filmation’s The New Adventures of Batman.

We all know Batman as a dark avenger of the night from the Nolan movies and Arkham games blah blah, but we also all know that there was a period when his stories were more light-hearted and silly. In fact, he’s still pretty damn silly today – he still fights a blue man with a freeze gun and a man made out of clay. There’s nothing wrong with silliness, however; a recent Batman cartoon, The Brave and the Bold was based off of the Silver Age comics and was one of the more entertaining Batman-related products of recent times. The New Adventures of Batman is utterly terrible and badly-animated, but it’s still entertaining in its surreality.

After the famous live-action Batman TV show with Adam West ended, Filmation made a Batman cartoon in 1968, featuring character actor Olan Soule as Batman and Casey Kasem (best known for voicing Scooby Doo’s Shaggy) as Robin. The show was pretty standard superhero cartoon fare, nothing really memorable except for a villain named Simon the Pieman. In 1977, however, there came another Batman cartoon, this time with Adam West and Burt Ward reprising their roles as Batman and Robin. It was also much more surreal, much more bizarre, much more memorable.

The series was crap, but still managed to be amusing by utilising the same insane logic and storytelling that make the Silver Age comics still a hoot to read in this day and age. It wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops though: this series also featured “Bat-Mite”, a little imp who bugged Batman and the audience to the point where you just wished Batman would sing this at him.

And guess what? Bat-Mite’s a big part in the show’s final episodes! Yay! There’s a two-parter and a follow-up episode that revolves around a villain from Bat-Mite’s homeworld, and Bat-Mite, of course, helps stop him. So without further ado, let’s take a look at “Have an Evil Day” parts 1 and 2, and “This Looks Like A Job For Bat-Mite!” (That last title gives you high hopes, doesn’t it?)

The intro for this show is the ultimate in cartoon corniness, where Batman, in a powder blue costume, pulls a Bob Hope and speaks to the audience, welcoming them to his show. ‘Get set…for thrills and action!’ he says. Guess what two things this show will be lacking.

Right off the bat we can tell this is Silver Age fare, as this is a Batman story without any other superheroes, but begins with a UFO headed for Earth. Granted, we’ll be seeing a Batman vs Superman movie in the future, but when most people these days think Batman, they don’t think him fighting aliens as opposed to regular gangsters and street-level criminals. What’s even more Silver Age is who’s piloting the UFO. “Zarbor” is not only a little green big-headed spaceman, but he has a moustache and buck-teeth that give him a sort of Fu Manchu appearance. If there’s one thing Silver Age comics are known for, it’s racism. He also sounds like he’s inhaled a shitton of helium, yet his voice is still less annoying than Bat-Mite’s.

Zarbor goes into a cave and uses his powers to create a laboratory within. Why he would need a laboratory when he’s apparently omnipotent I don’t know, but let’s roll with it. With the computer he created from thin air, Zarbor tries to find the “four vilest villains the Planet Earth has to offer”. The four the computer comes up with? Well, if these are the four vilest villains on Earth, than Earth must be a bloody idyll.

Two of them are Penguin and Joker, and we’ve covered the show’s versions of them before. Let’s just say this Joker isn’t exactly Heath Ledger. The other two villains Zarbor finds are Clayface and Catwoman. Quick comic lesson: Clayface has actually been the moniker of several Batman villains in the comics, with the first simply being a movie actor mad at a remake of his most famous film while all the others are shapeshifting monsters made out of clay. There’s only one Clayface in this show – Matt Hagen – and in his first episode, he got his Clayface powers from a potion and the effects were temporary (that’s from the early comics too) but in later episodes, he appears to be permanently stuck as a big grey shapeshifting blob.

This show’s Catwoman is another sign this show is inspired by the Silver Age. Most know Catwoman as a thief with a heart of gold who is also Batman’s most prominent love interest, but she used to be a more traditional villain with a cat motif. In this show, she’s a straight-up super villain with robot cats and a cat-shaped car, and no apparent romantic interest in Batman.

Zarbor wants these villains to work for him so he can get rid of Batman, and he teleports them to his lair. He can create a laboratory out of thin air and can teleport people to him. He could just teleport Batman over to his lair and create an anvil to fall on Batman, but no, let’s get a bunch of less powerful losers to do the job for him. Dr. Evil wouldn’t be this short-sighted. Also, when Zarbor teleports the villains over, they all look like they’re sleeping, except for Penguin, who has his eyes open and a smirk on his face. Is he such a smug prick that he even smiles when sleeping?

Zarbor disappears, the villains talk to themselves among where they are, and I cannot get over Joker’s voice. It does not fit this Joker, or any version of the Joker at all, sounding like a game show host crossed with a donkey. Then Zarbor appears, only now he’s taken on the form of a sumo wrestler for some reason. If it’s to make him look more intimidating, it doesn’t work if he still has that high-pitched voice. It would be like if the Terminator had the voice of Elmo, you know you should find him scary, but you can’t bring yourself to do so with a voice like that.

Sheesh, Buddha, what happened to you?

Sheesh, Buddha, what happened to you?

After Zarbor says he will make the villains rich and powerful if they deal with Batman and Robin, Catwoman asks Zarbor to show his true form. How does she know he has a true form? The first she saw of Zarbor was him as a sumo wrestler. Maybe even she noticed that voice doesn’t go with that form. You’d think with all the power Zarbor has that he could change his voice to something other than “Eric Cartman with a duck in his throat”. Zarbor, again, tells the crew that he wants them to deal with Batman, and really, why can’t he do it himself? The similarly-powered Mr. Mxyzptlk keeps Superman alive so he can toy with him, but Zarbor seems to have no desire to do that. He could kill Batman and catch up on Better Call Saul at the same time with his powers. It’s nitpicking, but nitpicking this series is part of the fun.

We then cut to Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson playing basketball, as in by themselves. When Bruce is doing something like this in more modern adaptations, it’s usually in front of the public so they’ll think Bruce is a lazy layabout and thus can’t be Batman. I love how this show has Bruce and Dick, well, dicking about before the Batsignal shows up, it makes being Batman like some zero-hour contract job rather than a curse that came with his parents’ grave. I’m also kinda glad Bruce finds time to have fun; kinda makes me think of Batman Begins when Alfred is saying that if Bruce pretends to have fun, he might have fun by accident.

Bat-Mite screws up the game as he is wont to do, and then the Batsignal shows up and off Batman and Robin go. As per usual for Batman stories, Gordon tells Batman what’s up and Batman goes to investigate. After that, we cut to Zarbor telling the villains that Batman is headed to Joker’s hideout, and he did it without even looking at his computer. So he is a god. A very bloody lazy god. Get off your ass and kill Batman yourself.

Clayface says ‘I WILL. NOT FAIL’ as if he were some kind of robot, then it cuts to Catwoman and it kinda looks like Clayface is checking her out. This Catwoman may have a hideous orange costume, yes, but I guess she’s still pretty fit. Zarbor teleports the villains to the Joker’s home and then tells the audience his plan. ‘With Batman and Robin out of the way, there is no danger of my identity being discovered.’ What? What “identity”? Are you really the caretaker in disguise? He’s also going to steal nuclear plants, it seems. Bully for him.

"My eyes are up here, Clayface!"

“My eyes are up here, Clayface!”

In most incarnations of Batman, the Joker hides out in an abandoned theme park or an abandoned comedy club or one of the zillion abandoned places in Gotham (I’m pretty sure every damn building in Gotham is abandoned), but here he gets a rather nice-looking mansion, guess from the royalties of The Dark Knight. We then get a scene that’s been seen in every single “villains team up” story since time began: they argue about who’s going to be the boss.

Joker is made boss because it’s his house, plus, you know, he’s the villain the general public give the most shits about. Now, given that the Joker is Batman’s most twisted and insane enemy, you’d expect a brilliant yet terrifying plan, something that would bring Batman a fate worse than death, something to make him question his self and heroism…

Joker is going to make Batman and Robin fall down a trap door.

He demonstrates this by making Penguin and Clayface fall down trap doors themselves. I don’t think falling down a trap door will inconvenience Clayface, given he could turn into a bird and fly out. Catwoman then makes Joker fall down a trap door himself and says ‘Now Caped Crusaders, I await your arrival.’ It seems like this is going to set up a story where Catwoman betrays her teammates, but nope, this doesn’t really lead to anything.

Batman and Robin drive up to the Joker’s house and use ejector seats to get themselves on the roof, complete with slide whistle sound effects. That’s way better than using a grappling hook or whatever they do in the Nolan films. Bat-Mite appears in the Batmobile and takes a nap. Good to see him and his planet are such a big part in this story!

We then see Zarbor stealing a nuclear power plant by zapping it and shrinking it, and then putting it in a suitcase that has his name on it. There. That’s what I love about the Silver Age comics and cartoons like them, right there. Over the top ridiculous moments like that. You can keep your gritty, realistic comics.

Back at stately Joker Manor, Joker, Penguin and Clayface have gotten out of the trap doors. Okay, Clayface could as I have said before, but I doubt he’d want to help Joker and Penguin out. If Joker and Penguin could get out so easily, they should be worried Batman and Robin could get out too, given that they have utility belts and everything. Also, when Joker presses a button on his computer to see where Batman and Robin are, you can see his arm is flesh-coloured. So, does this Joker wear make-up as opposed to falling into chemicals…wait, animation error, never mind.

Batman and Robin are in the Joker’s “joke room”, which is full of trap doors. First thing we see of the room, it has furniture in it. Then when the Joker pulls the trap doors open, the furniture disappears. Then the floor turns out to be one big trap door, and the furniture is still gone, which is a shame because you’d think the Joker would want cabinets and stuff falling on Batman. Joker and friends come in to gloat at Batman, and none of them try to kill him or anything. Zarbor didn’t say he wanted Batman alive. Penguin could shoot Batman with his umbrella gun or Clayface could turn into a monster and eat Batman. Then again, this is a problem with darker Batman stories too. Joker tells Batman ‘so stick around, why doncha?’ and sounds exactly like Yogi Bear (!) when doing so.

Joker and co drive off…somewhere, and wake up Bat-Mite. Meanwhile, guess what? Batman and Robin are trapped, find the situation hopeless and admit de…just kidding, Robin pulls out a deus ex machina from his utility belt and they tunnel out. Bat-Mite sees them tunnelling out and gets scared because he thinks Robin’s a giant gopher. Why do they keep him around again?

Batman learns about the nuclear plants disappearing and he goes to an offshore plant remaining. How? By having the Batmobile become Chitty Chitty Bat Bat and grow skis. Meanwhile, Zarbor is gloating to himself over stealing all the plants when he gets a transmission from Joker, who blabbers in CB radio slang, which is something admittedly very Joker of him to do. When Zarbor speaks, however, Joker is left with his mouth hanging open as if he had a lobotomy. I mean, at one point, Penguin tells off Joker and there, Joker’s mouth is closed, but in the very next frame, his mouth is dopily hanging open again.

DUUUUUUH

DUUUUUUH

Zarbor teleports the villains back to his base. I hope the Joker remembered where he parked. Why did they even leave anyway? Wouldn’t it make more sense to watch over Batman and Robin to make sure they didn’t try anything funny? Oh right, the James Bond villains did it, so they must do it.

Zarbor goes to the offshore plant and shrinks it. We clearly saw people on the plant, so are there going to be a bunch of tiny people in Zarbor’s suitcase screaming and begging for help? If so, Zarbor’s more evil than I thought. Batman sees this, and guess what? We get some continuity! Batman thinks this must be Electro, who appeared in an earlier episode. Oh, that was a brilliantly absurd episode, that was.

Bat-Mite deduces it must be Zarbor, as his dimension is having an energy shortage. Bat-Mite has unlimited power, Zarbor has unlimited power, so it’s safe to assume everyone in Bat-Mite’s dimension has so too. Why would they have to worry about an energy shortage? Robin then sees Zarbor picking up the shrunken power plant with a fishing net (!) and they decide to dive after Zarbor when Zarbor’s submarine submerges. Why is Zarbor travelling in a submarine when he can bloody well teleport everywhere?

Zarbor sees Batman and Robin are free and decides to have a go at the villains for screwing up. Before he does, Joker says ‘I’d stake my reputation on [Batman and Robin being trapped]’ and Penguin replies, ‘Your reputation’s not a steak, Joker, it’s a hamburger!’ Wow, where did that come from, Penguin? You’re awfully impolite for a ruthless villain. Zarbor does what he could have done ages ago, and brings Batman and Robin to his lair, frozen in place. He decides to leave Batman and Robin for the villains to do with what they will and takes the power plants back to his home planet of Ergo. Part one ends with Zarbor yelling ‘Have an eeeeevil day!’ (place Peter Griffin ‘He said it’ video here) and teleporting back to his planet, even though he used a spaceship to get to Earth in the first place.

So, you think that now Joker, Penguin et al have Batman in their power, without Batman being able to do anything about it, that this is curtains for the Dark Knight. He’s going to be tortured, tormented, teased, and we’re going to find his body at the bottom of the ocean.

Well…

The second part opens on the villains trying to follow Zarbor back to Ergo and leaving Batman and Robin alone. Talk about wasting an opportunity. I know they feel upset that they feel cheated, as Zarbor left without rewarding them, but you’d think they’d kill Batman first then go to Ergo, just to make sure they could get revenge without anyone stopping them.

When Zarbor went back to Ergo, he left the laboratory he created as it was. You’d think he’d turn it back into a regular cave now that his work on Earth is done; if he needed to go back to Earth, he could easily create another lab. Nonetheless, the villains use the machines to get to Ergo themselves to get back at Zarbor. Robin says, ‘I’d like to get my hands on those four clowns.’ Only one of them’s a clown though, get your facts straight, Robin.

The machine goes haywire right as Bat-Mite decides to check on his buddies. Bat-Mite tries to turn off the machine but ends up sending Batman and Robin to Ergo. Ergo is pretty nice-looking, has this nice surreal sci-fi feel to it, with tentacle trees and everything. Like what HP Lovecraft would see if he took acid. Batman and Robin have a run-in with Audrey II then go to Generic Sci-Fi City where they’re sure to find Zarbor, along with, as Robin says, ‘Penguin and the others’. Why give special attention to Penguin? He barely did anything. Joker’s the one who did that trap door thing.

Zarbor is in the city, and, oh boy. He has a robot sidekick, this whiny little nuisance named Chugg. Zarbor tells Chugg to put one of the power plants on top of a building, and Chugg moans that he’s tired. So I guess they just put him in to make Bat-Mite tolerable.

A racial stereotype and a flying handheld vacuum? Ergo is DOOMED.

A racial stereotype and a flying handheld vacuum? Ergo is DOOMED.

Using his magical wizzy powers, Zarbor regrows the power plant and gives the city power…if the twat could make a laboratory appear out of thin air, surely he could do the same with a power plant. The villains go after Zarbor, and Batman and Robin do so as well. Batman suggests getting a ride to Zarbor’s and Robin says ‘Alright!’ in the most forced way possible. He even frowns while saying it. It’s like he’s trying to humour Batman.

Batman and Robin get in a tram and Chugg gets a lot of energy and zooms about the sky like a bee on crack. Zarbor then tells the city they’ll only get the power if they make him their king, and shuts off the power. Bat-Mite said Zarbor was the most powerful person on his planet, so he really should have taken over years ago if that were the case.

After Zarbor traps the four villains (also Penguin’s umbrella can make magic beams bounce back apparently), Bat-Mite figures out that Batman and Zarbor are in Ergo. How? He sees a label on Zarbor’s machine that says ‘Made in Ergo’. No, Zarbor conjured the machine himself, on Earth. And isn’t that like having ‘Made on Earth’ on toys rather than ‘Made in China’ or even ‘Made in the Solar System’, given that Bat-Mite sometimes talks about Ergo like it’s the name of the whole dimension?

Bat-Mite arrives at Ergo and sees a power plant grow. But didn’t Zarbor say that he would only give them the power back (which involves making the power plants bigger) if they made him King?  So I guess Ergo’s fucked then. Sorry, Bat-Mite, pack it in. Robin sees Chugg flying about and throws a magnet on a rope at him, so now when Chugg flies, he takes Robin with him. Is Chugg really strong enough to do that? Seems like Robin should be pulling him down. Batman chases after him, but then some alien policeman try to arrest Batman. Batman runs away – hey, Batman, you’re supposed to be a superhero and a rolemodel for the kiddies, you shouldn’t resist arrest, naughty naughty – but the police aliens freeze him with their powers. So the other people in this dimension have magic powers like Bat-Mite and Zarbor, and they don’t use them to solve the energy crisis, why? Also, Zarbor captures Robin and does what the four villains probably should have done and steals Robin’s utility belt.

The police think Batman is working for Zarbor, but Bat-Mite appears and tells them that Batman is, as Electro said in a previous episode, the goody-goody Batman. Batman also finds Zarbor’s location, for when Robin’s belt was removed, it set off an alarm. Now that must be annoying when Batman and Robin are getting dressed. ‘Alright, time to hit the h-‘ BEEP BEEP BEEP ‘Oh for the love of.’

Chugg sees the police and Batman headed towards Zarbor, and Robin bellows triumphantly, ‘Tough cookies, Zarbor!’ I just had to laugh at that. Zarbor then uses the power plants to activate an army of robots, and then Chugg demands some more power, because he’s got to have that power, man. Zarbor tells Chugg to go fuck himself (however robots do that), and Chugg cries. Oh dearie me. The whiny robot didn’t get his power. Zarbor is such a meanie.

Zarbor sends out his robots, and it seems he’s been binge-watching The Prisoner, as the robots shoot out bubbles. Bat-Mite gets trapped in one of these bubbles – yay, I mean, oh noes – and Chugg, pissed that he didn’t get his fix – releases the villains from their prison. Zarbor could easily zap another cage around them, but instead, he chooses to vamoose. Chugg then gives the villains an escape vehicle, and because the Big Book of Superhero Cartoons says “all villain team ups must have the villains argue like three year olds”, the villains argue over who gets to drive.

Batman gets into Zarbor’s lair and turns off the robots, and also frees Robin because that little asshole Chugg couldn’t be bothered to free him. Then Batman, Robin, Bat-Mite and the alien police are headed for Astroland, the deserted…so in the Batman universe, even alien planets have abandoned theme parks? Doesn’t surprise me.

The villains go into the theme park and Zarbor captures them with a giant robot clown. A giant robot human clown. Since this is Ergo, shouldn’t it be an Ergoian? Well, the Ergoians acknowledge the existence of humans, so hooray for representation, I guess. Batman saves the villains from being crushed by the clown and of course, goes to fight Zarbor. Now this should be a battle of epic proportions, Batman against a godlike being…it’s gonna be over quickly, isn’t it?

Is that you, Pennywise? Or is it Toy Master?

Is that you, Pennywise? Or is it Toy Master?

Yup, Batman just gets Zarbor to zap beams at him and Robin ties up Zarbor’s arms while Zarbor is distracted, and then they slap on cuffs that rob him of his powers. Also, it seems Zarbor did a good deed after all, as Ergo scientists have been able to duplicate the power plants Zarbor stole. Good boy, Zarbor, you get a cookie.

You think it’s over? Well, here’s what’s more or less Part 3 of this story, and the show’s final episode, “This Looks Like A Job For Bat-Mite”.

Now, when Zarbor was arrested, they put on cuffs that robbed him of his powers. Given that those powers are what made Zarbor so dangerous, you’d think they’d keep those cuffs on. Well, no. Zarbor is in an Ergo prison, and he’s so easily able to escape, it’s ridiculous. A guy comes into the cell with food – you’d think they’d have a slot on the door or something- and Zarbor makes himself invisible so the guy will think he’s escape and react in shock, giving Zarbor enough time to flee through the open door. Andy Dufresne’s got nothing on this guy. Given the powers of this species, you’d think they’d have better security measures, but no. Zarbor teleported from Earth to Ergo in the two-parter, but here he gets to Earth by hijacklng a rocket.

We then go to Wayne Manor, and see Robin wailing on an Zarbor punch clown, with punch clowns with the likenesses of Joker, Penguin etc. in the background. Where can you get one of those, did they have them custom made? Or is there some shop in Gotham who hates the criminals so much they sell punch clowns of them? Robin punches an inflatable Zarbor, and as Batman and Robin respond to a distress call, they joke about Zarbor being behind bars. You had to pick tonight, didn’t you?

It ain't about how hard you hit...

It ain’t about how hard you hit…

Zarbor’s first malevolent deed on Earth is to take city hall and flip it upside down. It isn’t very successful an evil act because, in true kiddie show fashion, Barbara Gordon tells Batman ‘luckily no-one was hurt’. It’s hilarious how the show says Zarbor is so EVIL and POWERFUL yet he makes Ten-Eyed Man look like a credible threat. Then again, the darker comics have that problem too; sometimes Batman comics will have a new villain who the writers say is THE MOST EVIL VILLAIN BATMAN HAS EVER FACED HE IS COOL BEANS and yet he turns out to be lame (*cough*Hush*cough*).

Zarbor does have some competence as he is able to make away with Robin, but not before he gets some water splashed on his head. Batman goes off to ask his Bat-Computer (his sentient talking Bat-Computer, if you remember previous episodes) what’s up, and then we see Zarbor has taken Robin to the ship he stole. What about that laboratory in that underwater cave? Is that still there? Zarbor says as soon as he gets Batman, he will brainwash both Batman and Robin into being evil. Zarbor could easily teleport Batman to his “mind machine” but no, he decides to dick around some more.

Batman asks his Bat-Computer where Zarbor is, and BC replies, ‘NEG-A-TIVE! ZARBOR COULD BE ANYWHERE! HE HAS AMAZING POWERS.’ I love this guy. Bat-Mite acts like an annoying little prat again, Batman is called into action again and BC has a jolly good laugh at Bat-Mite’s expense. As I said, I love this guy.

What is Zarbor’s latest evil ploy? Making a building float. Now when a villain says something like this, he usually makes a pun about it. Guess what Zarbor says when Batman comes onto the scene? For making a building float, you’d expect something like, ‘Looks like I’m on top of the world,’ or ‘I’m reaching new heights’. What he says is even worse. Wanna know what Zarbor’s one-liner is? Get ready…

‘Pardon me for being so up-pity.’

Bat-Mite says the joke is bad but it’s so bad it’s utterly brilliant. Before that Commissioner Gordon had ‘Half of Gotham City is up and I’m fed up,’ which isn’t bad a line, but doesn’t have the charm of ‘up-pity’. Zarbor threatens to drop the building, and Barbara Gordon, who happens to be on the scene, slinks off, and re-appears from behind a fire engine dressed as Batgirl. So she got changed right in the open behind a fire engine, not even in a toilet or phone booth or anything? Where was she even keeping her costume? Hope no-one was watching. Anyway, she distracts Zarbor by calling him though her changing out in the open should have been enough to distract him.

The floating building is brought gently down by some rocket thingies from the Batmobile, and Batman grabs Zarbor, only for Zarbor to disappear. Well, duh. What were you hoping grabbing Zarbor would accomplish? That he’d come along quietly, saying ‘I’m sorry for being so mean’? Hey, Zarbor wanted to capture Batman, why didn’t he just capture him there and then?

Bat-Mite finally acknowledges his purpose in life as Batman’s pet and decides to track Zarbor down with his nose. Seems Zarbor’s also been watching North by Northwest as he is currently hiding in Mount Rushmore. He finally does what he should have done ages ago, and takes Batman to his rocket. Bat-Mite could easily teleport in himself and save Batman, but he just bangs on the rocket until it takes off, and Zarbor activates his brainwashing machine.

Wow, this series certainly has a lot of variety. One episode had Batman and Robin brainwashed by Electro, they pretended to be brainwashed by Penguin and now they’re brainwashed by Zarbor. Such originality.

Now that Batman and Robin are evil, they, along with Zarbor, interrupt a meeting the President (yep) is having and Zarbor makes everyone at the meeting float. Well, I’d rather have Zarbor as a leader then Nigel Farage (Farage wouldn’t like Zarbor though because Zarbor’s not from here). Bat-Mite decides ‘This looks like a job for me’ and has a ride in the Bat-Boat. He fucks that up and then runs into Batgirl, who he has a boner for, let me remind you. Just hope he didn’t see Batgirl changing earlier.

Then we get one of the creakiest clichés of all time which I bet was even creaky back then; Gordon calls up Batgirl (‘Hey, Batgirl, why is your phone number the same as my daughter’s?’ to use a joke from Brickman) and tells her to turn on the TV she has with her motorbike, and as soon as she turns it on, Zarbor is on, just beginning his speech. He shows off his powers by making the Empire State Building float and the Washington Monument spin around. Could this be seen as iffy to anyone post-9/11? I dunno. Bat-Mite says Washington is four hours away, because it’s not like he can teleport there or anything. Is this also a hint for where Gotham is located in America? Apparently Pennsylvania’s four hours from Washington, so is that where Gotham is? Batgirl’s bike can warp space and time, as her ‘jet boosters’ will get her and the Mite to Washington in ten minutes.

Zarbor then asks Batman and Robin to rob banks for him. Why the hell an omnipotent alien would want money doesn’t matter to me, as West and Ward are hilarious to listen to when they’re robbing the banks.

BANK DUDE: Why are you doing this, Batman?
BATMAN: Two reasons: wealth…and power. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA

zarbor7

Then we see Batgirl zooming to the rescue with Bat-Mite lovingly grabbing onto her ass, and Bat-Mite sees Batman and Robin robbing from the 2nd National Bank. Dude, that’s Two-Face’s territory. Batgirl chases Batman, but Batman deploys a smokescreen. Wow, that was as thrilling as the car chase in The Dark Knight, let me tell ya. Bat-Mite teleports into the Batmobile and tries to talk some sense into the Caped Crusaders, but Robin insists they be called ‘THE CRIME CRUSADERS’ and Ward’s read is absolutely hilarious. Batman then does what you’d think he’d do more often and ejects Bat-Mite from the Batmobile.

Bat-Mite’s been reading the Book of Superhero Cartoon Clichés as much as the villains have, and sees that the only way to break the mind control is to remind Batman of his past capers. All Bat-Mite has to do is just show Batman pictures of his villains, and the brainwashing is undone. That’s a solution that’s actually dumber than reversing the polarity.

Bat-Mite says the only weakness Zarbor has is a steel box, and the Green Lantern sighs in relief knowing someone has a stupider weakness than he does. So off they go to try and trap Zarbor, who is sitting in the White House surrounded by bags with dollar signs on them and a nameplate reading “Zarbor Ruler of Earth”. You couldn’t look more cartoonishly evil if you wore a top hat and monocle. In comes Batman and Robin, pretending that they’re still evil and that they captured Batgirl. Zarbor seems strangely eager when they announce Batgirl’s capture. His expression is a ‘She’d be the perfect host for my eggs’ expression. They also state they’ve captured Bat-Mite, and invite Zarbor to look inside a steel box. Bat-Mite tries to push Zarbor inside and given the writing quality I wouldn’t be surprised if it worked, but it doesn’t.

Then Zarbor steals the Batmobile. Why would he want it if he can teleport? Maybe because ‘chicks dig the car’, I dunno. How do Batman and co give chase? Why, by throwing hooks at the Batmobile and roadskiing without skis! And what is the grand finale for their final episode? Remote controlling the Batmobile to throw Zarbor in a rubbish truck. Thrilling. This makes “Felina” look like shit. No, actually the final scene is Bat-Mite begging Batman to teach him how to drive the Batmobile.

So what’s the verdict on these three episodes? They’re terrible, but a good kind of terrible. West and Ward as criminals is just so amusing to listen to, Zarbor is such a corny villain he’s hilarious, and you keep watching to see how insane it can get. The stuff that’s meant to be funny is groanworthy and what’s not meant to be funny is absolutely hysterical.

And you can’t really hate it. When you watch it, you just imagine the kids who did so on the Saturday mornings of yesteryear, marvelling at the adventures of Batman while munching on sugary cereal. We were all like that when we were kids. Maybe that’s why I’ve grown tired of this blog; a lot of the stuff I’ve slammed are loved or have been loved by kids and thus I’ve been a bit harsh on some of these cartoons. The New Adventures of Batman is still hilariously stupid, though.

So, this is the last one of these things I’ll be doing. See ya.

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About jabberw

A writer of short stories and reviews, who likes to dabble in other creative media as well.
This entry was posted in Comics, Episodes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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