Batman: The Animated Series 25th Anniversary #51: The Man Who Killed Batman

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The Man Who Killed Batman was first broadcasted on February 1, 1993 with a script by Paul Dini and directed by Bruce Timm.

When small-time gang member Sidney “The Squid” Debris (played by Matt Frewer) seemingly kills Batman by accident, he gets involved with gangs all over Gotham, as well as the Joker and Rupert Thorne, none of whom believe his story that everything that is happening is by preposterous happenstance.

The concept of this episode alone is one that just has so much potential to it, this whole idea that out of all the bad guys in Gotham city, it’s a wimpy little nobody that supposedly takes out Batman. The episode does such a good job of playing around with that concept showing both the positives to being known as the guy who killed Batman but also showing off the negatives to being known as the guy who killed Batman.

Part of what makes the episode works so well is Matt Frewer’s great performance as Sid The Squid, he’s just so perfect for this role as sort of this wimpy but optimistic gang member and his reactions to the events going on screen are just so spot on.

Another reason why the episode works so well, the way they incorporate The Joker into the story. When I was watching a lot of these episodes and even Mask Of The Phantasm the first time around and the Joker would just randomly show up, I always had this fear that they were just throwing him in there to just be there because people love him so much but most of the time, there are legitimate reasons for the Joker to be a part of the story going on.

Case in point, this episode. Right from when he first enters the story and he comes up to Sid and says “allow me to shake hands with…the man who killed Batman,” when he says “the man who killed Batman”, you can just hear the disgust in his voice when he says that line, Mark Hamill has a lot of his best lines in this episode:

By the way, little preview into the abusive relationship of Joker and Harley that would later be revealed down the line in that scene.

The entire last act where Joker gives this funeral to Batman is such a cleverly written and very fun segment to watch.

The Man Who Killed Batman is one of those excellent episodes you never see coming, the animation is great, the writing is top-notch, the voice work is nicely done, the fun levels are all over and it’s just such a great episode that really takes you by surprise…much like the circumstances that take place in this episode.

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