BATTASS: The Batman The Animated Series Show Podcast
BATTASS: The Batman The Animated Series Show Podcast
The Pensky File
Hosted by Clay McCormack and Sean Murphy, this podcast examines every episode of Batman: The Animated Series. Utilizing their extensive knowledge drawn from their backgrounds as comic book artists, Clay and Sean dissect the critically acclaimed show with a mix of expertise and humor.
The Lion and the Unicorn & Showdown
This week on The BATTASS Podcast, Alfred heads out on his own to tie up some loose ends of his pre-Wayne life back in merry old England in The Lion and The Unicorn, and Batman gets relegated to a framing device in order to introduce Old West anti-hero Jonah Hex in Showdown! It’s an underwhelming look into the personal life of Alfred Pennyworth, and a good, albeit awkwardly set up, departure for the series. First up, in The Lion and The Unicorn, the villainous Red Claw makes her return to the series as she kidnaps Alfred because he knows the code that she needs to arm a weapon of mass destruction pointed directly at London! Mass destruction is a really relative term here, though, as it doesn’t seem to do much damage once it explodes. Red Claw’s plan is pretty stock, but we get our first look at Alfred’s days as a British Intelligence operative, but despite being a great premise,  unfortunately it leaves a lot to be desired in execution. They leave a lot on the table with this one. Next up in Showdown, While the Dynamic Duo race to stop Ra’s Al Ghul from performing a kidnapping, the wild west story of how he was once opposed by the disfigured bounty hunter, Jonah Hex, is told. We get all sorts of new stuff in this episode, from heavily-armed airships to bright, southwestern landscapes, to Ra’s al Ghul using ninjas to break into a nursing home when he easily could have just checked the guy out during visiting hours. It’s a different kid of episode, but it’s a lot of fun! Join Sean and as they get into the nitty gritty of merry old England, the plot of Wild Wild West, 22 page silent comics where you watch Batman listen to a walkman, what Jonah Hex’s appearance means for the creative direction of the series, and how John Wayne is the worst. Saddle up and hit the trail!
Nov 18
1 hr 11 min
Bane & Baby-Doll
Two brand new big bads hit the scene this week on The BATTASS Podcast, as Bane makes his move from comics to screen, and Babydoll makes her very first appearance in any media ever! One is a high profile comics character brought  to life in animated form, the other is wholly original to the show, and both are characters Batman won’t soon forget! First up, in Bane, Batman is pitted against his most powerful enemy yet, the chemically-enhanced assassin Bane. Originally recruited by Rupert Thorne to kill Batman, Bane plans on taking over Thorne’s criminal empire once he is finished with the Dark Knight. With an introduction that’s fairly different from how he first appears in the comics, TAS Bane is no less powerful, as he’s fueled by the super steroid known as Venom. However, even though he smashes the Batmobile to pieces with his bare hands, he ultimately goes out like a punk, the way Bane always seems to, for some reason, no matter what form of media he appears in! Next up in Babydoll, An embittered actress suffering from a condition that prevents her body from growing to adulthood kidnaps her TV family, who all led much happier lives than her, and holds them prisoner on the abandoned soundstage of her old TV show. The story of a troubled soul that is sure to pull on the heartstrings in its emotional final act, Babydoll is an interesting character who, unlike Bane, has never really made much of a splash outside The Animated Series. In fact, it’s believe that her only appearance to date in Batman comics is actually in Batman: White Knight, from BATTASS’ own Sean Murphy! Join Sean, Clay and special guest Steven Tsai as they get into the nitty gritty of appropriately over the top vocal performances, the anatomy of wrestling moves, mid-90’s event comics, how to draw a smashed up Batmobile, the tragedy of being stuck in a child’s body, and the ever-evolving animation style of the DC Comics Animated Universe. Nobody cared who Bane was until he put on the podcast, so fire it up!
Oct 21
1 hr 11 min
Time Out of Joint & Catwalk
We’ve got two returning villains this week on The BATTASS Podcast! Clock King’s and Scarface are back for their second go-rounds in the Animated Series universe, and they’ve both brought with them some fun, yet extremely convoluted, head-scratching plans for their villainy! It’s “Time Out of Joint” and “Catwalk”! First up, in Time Out of Joint, The Clock King returns to wreak his revenge against Mayor Hill with the help of a stolen invention that allows him to warp time and travel at super-speed. Why he goes through all that trouble to stay on brand while executing a fiendish execution is anyone’s guess, but that’s what we’re here to talk about! Also, the physics and logistics of a time-frozen Batmobile! Next up in Catwalk, anxious to don the Catwoman suit again, Selina Kyle joins forces with the Ventriloquist to humiliate Veronica Vreeland, but it’s a set-up by Scarface designed to get Catwoman to take the fall for different robbery. Scarface goes out of his way to frame Catwoman for some endangered taxidermy theft, and it’s all sort of a long way for Scarface’s ham sandwich, but sandwiches are great so who are we to complain! Join Sean and Clay as they get into the nitty gritty of time-based logistics, character gimmick infringement, convoluted evil plans, superfluous literary quotes, missing the point of your own episode, and whether or not taxidermied extinct animals are actually even worth any real money! This is sort of an “ok but not great” week of episodes, but honestly even middling episodes of Batman the Animated Series are still great half hours of television! Throw in a couple really fun returning villains, and you’ve got a good time! Get it? Time?
Oct 7
1 hr 15 min
The Terrible Trio & Harlequinade
This week on the BATTASS Podcast, Batman faces off against some truly underwhelming foes in half-assed animal dress up, and Harley gets driven to the brink by her love for the Joker in the episodes “The Terrible Trio” and “Harlequinade”! First up, in The Terrible Trio, Thrill-seeking friends of Bruce Wayne decide to become master criminals. As the Fox, the Shark, and the Vulture (masters of land, sea, and air), the Terrible Trio run riot in Gotham, until that is, they come face-to-face with Batman. Uninspired villains at the very least, they put up way too much of a fight for Batman, and also escalate from theft to straight-up, cold-blooded murder at an alarmingly fast rate! Next up in Harlequinade, Batman and Robin have no time to spare in stopping The Joker from detonating an atomic bomb, so they enlist the help of Harley Quinn to hunt the Joker down. Harley gets to ride in the Batmobile, as well as make sure her darling hyenas, Bud and Lou, are well-fed, all while holding out some hope that the Joker really does love her. And all this despite Joker’s ambivalence at her possible demise, too. What a guy! Join Sean and Clay as they get into the nitty gritty of the episode Bruce Timm considers to be the worst episode of the entire DC animated universe. Luckily everything is evened out by a really good Harley episode with some fantastic animation, a bunch of costume changes, and the fun of watching Harley be an annoying pain in Batman’s ass! We’ve got biplanes and burglary on Batman the Animated Series this week, so find your dearest loved one, attempt to kill them in a variety of over the top ways, and join us for this new episode of the BATTASS Podcast! Thanks for listening.
Sep 24
1 hr 7 min
Avatar & House and Garden
This week on the BATTASS Podcast, Batman has his first encounters with some truly inhuman foes, Ra’s al Ghul makes mouth time with a mummy monster, and Ivy grows her own family and becomes a monster’s mommy with Avatar and House and Garden!   First up, in Avatar, An ancient Egyptian scroll donated to the Gotham museum by Bruce Wayne is stolen by Ra’s al Ghul, and Batman and Talia must work together to stop Ra’s from unlocking the secrets of life and death contained within it. Before it’s all said and done we get some sweet desert-lit Batman, a supernatural mummy monster, and some life-sucking face-sucking!   Next up in House and Garden, Poison Ivy, released from Arkham Asylum, has apparently settled down and married her doctor. It looks as if her criminal days are in the past. But wealthy bachelors are succumbing to an unknown toxin, raising questions about Ivy’s innocence. If you like cactus monsters, creepy cabbage patch children, and plant-based decoy getaways, then this episode is for you!  This week Clay and Sean are joined by special guest, Bloody Hel Kickstarter backer, and DC Comics Red Hood and the Outlaws artist Travis Mercer! Pull up a chair as they discuss the finer bits of desert-lit Batman, Peter Cushing analogs, silent horror movie homages, Batman hanging out in trees, Batman and Gordon driving in awkward silence, Batman hanging out in living rooms, and whether or not real newborns are any less gross than basement-grown cabbage patch monster newborns (they’re not).  We’ve got a bit of a monsterpalooza on Batman the Animated Series this week, and a special guest to help us break it all down! So kidnap and replace your psychiatrist and his family, pucker up for some ancient Egyptian tonsil hockey, and join us for this new episode of the Battass Podcast! 
Sep 9
1 hr 2 min
Clay and Sean React to “The Batman” Trailer
We’re taking a quick break from our regularly scheduled Batman The Animated Series coverage to bring you some quick thoughts from Sean and Clay on the first trailer for Matt Reeves’ upcoming flick The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Jeffrey Wright, Paul Dano, and Oliver Sto-uh…i mean Colin Farrell! It’s dark, it’s red, it’s moody, it’s Batman!  Details are scant about the plot right now, but from what we can surmise, there’s a killer on the loose in Gotham who has an affinity for questions, dare I say RIDDLES, and it’s up to Batman to pause his nightly viewing of The Crow, and get on the trail to catch him. In the process he bounces off many of Gotham’s criminal underbelly, all while looking like he’s on his way to a concert by The Cure.  Sean and Clay are nothing if not men of opinions when it comes to Batman, especially Batman MOVIES, so join them as they discuss the finer points of gritty Batmen, grittier Riddlers, ideal collar height, and why Batman looks silly hanging out with cops, on this very special episode of The BATTASS Podcast! 
Sep 2
26 min
A Bullet for Bullock | Trial
This week on the BATTASS Podcast covers A Bullet for Bullock and Trial! Sean and Clay also get into how Sean lifted his idea for White Knight DIRECTLY from the Animated Series. First up, in A Bullet for Bullock, After surviving several near misses, Gotham’s toughest cop Harvey Bullock realizes he needs Batman’s help to discover who is behind the recent attempts on his life. Bullock gets a front-row seat to all the crappy ways he’s treated people in his life, and Batman helps him follow the clues to the mystery assailant, but the real culprit can be found looking back at Harvey from his own mirror! Will Bullock change his ways? Fat chance! Next, in Trial, Gotham’s new DA is out to arrest Batman, but they both end up captured and put on trial by a gang of criminals instead. From there on it’s a cavalcade of costumes in a kangaroo court as a jury of Arkham’s craziest inmates throws the book at Batman! Forced to watch the proceedings chained to a seat in a straight jacket, Batman better hope his DA defense attorney has what it takes to make a sensible case to villains with no sense at all! Join Clay and Sean as they discuss the finer bits of Joker’s costume changes, how hard it is to draw cars, Harvey Bullock’s creep-factor, a distinct lack of fire-lit Batman, and whether or not Sean stole all his Batman ideas straight from Batman: The Animated Series! Batman the Animated gives us one really good episode and one ok episode this week, as Harvey’s story doesn’t fully live up to its potential, while Trial is so much fun it’s hard not to like it! So be a jerk to your neighbor, put on your best old-timey judge’s wig, and join us for this new episode of the Battass Podcast!
Aug 26
1 hr 21 min
The Worry Men | Sideshow
This week on the BATTASS Podcast, Mad Hatter goes a really long way for a racist ham sandwich, and Killer Croc comes oh so close to turning over a new leaf with The Worry Men and Sideshow! First up, in The Worry Men, Veronica Vreeland has bought dolls for her friends which, once placed under a pillow, are supposed to relieve the sleeper of stress, but the Mad Hatter has implanted a microchip in them which transmits hypnotic suggestions into the sleepers’ brains. Batman fights Mad Hatter’s really culturally insensitive goons, manages to escape a guillotine just in the nick of time, and almost loses a fortune in the process! Next, in Sideshow, Killer Croc flees from his prison transport and leads Batman on a chase through the wilderness. After throwing Batman off his scent, the reptile-man takes refuge with a group of retired circus freaks and persuades them to help him. We get a train-top fistfight, the cutest half seal, half boy you’ll ever see, and some beautiful forest landscapes along the way too! Does Batman ruin Croc’s one chance at turning over a new leaf? Or is Croc just a jerk through and through? Join Clay and Sean as they discuss the finer bits of guillotine escape strategy, drawing Batman in the rural day time, freakshows, when a face turn is really a face turn, and the continuing question over how smart or dumb Killer Croc really is! Batman the Animated series takes us to the great outdoors this week, giving us probably the most heartwarming story you could tell with a giant crocodile man at the center of it, as well as a story featuring the Mad Hatter where his goons’ gimmick is so racially insensitive they feel right out of a 1940’s cartoon, so take out all the money in your bank account, get your ticket for the freakshow and join us for this new episode of the Battass Podcast as they discuss The Worry Men and Sideshow!
Aug 12
59 min
Fire From Olympus | Read My Lips
This week on the BATTASS Podcast, the villains get weird as a rich guy with delusions of godhood thinks he’s literally the Greek god Zeus, and a foul-mouthed, gangster puppet has designs on putting Batman in cement shoes in Fire From Olympus and Read My Lips! First up, in Fire From Olympus, Believing himself to be the reincarnation of Zeus, Maxie Zeus steals an experimental, government-developed weapon which he wants to turn on the people of Gotham City, and Batman must put a stop to Maxie’s mad plan. Batman rides the lightning, and takes on a huge asp, in a true clash of the titans! Next, in Read My Lips, Gotham Police are baffled by a series of crimes executed with clockwork-like precision. Batman investigates and discovers that the crimes are planned by a mob boss known as Scarface. He traces Scarface to his lair – a deserted mannequin warehouse – and discovers, to his astonishment, that the crime czar is a wooden dummy, manipulated by a mild-mannered man called the Ventriloquist! Join Clay and Sean as they discuss the finer bits of Greek mythology, creepy dolls, gangster epics, classic 90’s comic covers, and those times when the villains are even too weird for Batman. Batman the Animated series welcomes two of the more unique villains of Batman’s rogues gallery to the show in the form of Maxie Zeus and Scarface/The Ventriloquist! Both relatively underutilized characters, Scarface is definitely the more memorable and dynamic of the two, but they are both equally fun and weird, so get your lightning staff and put on your best tiny pinstriped zoot suit and join us for this new episode of the Battass Podcast!
Jul 29
1 hr 3 min
The Demon’s Quest
This week on the BATTASS Podcast, the Demon comes to Gotham, and then goes to the middle east, and then goes crazy as Ra’s Al Ghul makes his grand entrance onto the Batman the Animated Series stage in “The Demons Quest”! In Demon’s Quest Part 1, Batman investigates the mysterious kidnapping of Robin, when he’s asked for help by a shadowy figure named Ra’s Al Ghul whose daughter Talia has also been captured. Ra’s appears to be an ally, but he’s not all that he seems as he’s revealed to be the very one who set the kidnappings in motion! After Batman rejects Ra’s offer to take over as the Demon’s Head, he and Robin are trapped inside a crumbling cave! In Demon’s Quest part 2, Batman travels to the middle east in order to confront Ra’s al Ghul and his plan to annihilate half of all life on earth in an attempt to create a utopia where nature is once again the dominant force on earth. Batman grabs a sword and loses his shirt as he and Ra’s have an epic sword fight on the lip of a roiling Lazarus Pit, and a timer ticks down toward Ra’s ultimate goal of global destruction! Join Clay and Sean as they discuss the Batman’s chest hair (or lack thereof), fluctuating bust sizes, Ra’s penchant for waiting in corners for hours at a time, and when is a giant panther TOO giant? Batman the Animated Series’ episode “The Demon Quest” welcomes a classic villain to the fold this week, one who will prove to be a recurring thorn in Batman’s side, and whose villainy spans millennia. Plus, Liam Neeson! So pull on your favorite Anubis mask, take off your shirt, cue up the Lawrence of Arabia soundtrack, and join us for this new episode of The BATTASS Podcast!
Jul 15
1 hr 4 min
Load more