September 16, 2010


Of all the villains to appear on the Batman Animated Series, Bane was one of the biggest surprises. First appearing in Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 (January 1993,) Bane's first ever animated appearance occurred not long after in the episode titled simply "Bane," which aired in September of 1994.

As if the animated appearance wasn't surprise enough, Bane even made Kenner's action figure roster!

Bane comes complete with his signature Venom tube, which is attached to the back of his head and runs to his wrist gauge. The wrist gauge can be removed, but the tube doesn't come out of the back of his head.

Bane has an action feature - his arms lock upright and with the flick of a switch he can "throw" objects, like the plastic girder he came with (not shown,) or Batman himself.


September 8, 2010

Harley Qwednesday is here!

I recently started a new feature called Harley Qwednesday on my Toyriffic blog because darnit, I love Harley Quinn! Harley Qwednesday posts are weekly posts (on Wednesdays, silly!) that highlight our favorite card carying red and black harlequin Harley Quinn.

And as everyone knows (or ought to know,) Harley Quinn got her start on Batman: The Animated Series. It occurred during season one, in the episode "Joker's Favor" and it was, for me and millions of Bat-fans the world over, love at first sight.

So what better way to honor Harley Qwednesday on this blog but by re viewing and then reviewing the episode Joker's Favor?

Okay, I'm glad we all agree. So without further ado, here it is:

The episode Joker's Favor begins with your regular Joe Nobody, Charles Collins, who ends up cussing out the wrong driver on the freeway... namely the Joker!

The Joker then decides to...hey, who cares about all that jazz - this is Harley Qwednesday, not MonJokerDay; let's get to the meat (or should I say cheesecake) of the episode - Harley Quinn!

We first glimpse Harley sitting on the edge of a desk painting her nails, as the Joker threatens to destroy the Commissioner or some other nonsense. But we aren't paying attention anymore to his old song and dance, because we are in love.

In this first scene Harley acts as little more than a brightly clad goon cheerleader; we next see her cutting Joker's hair as he calls on Charles Collins for some reason or another, completely irrelevant to our dollface Harley.

Harley's value as more than just another goon is then evidenced briefly as she is seen sans make-up/costume, dressed as a limo driver in order to pick up Charles Collins from the airport. We also discover at this moment that Harley is a blonde. Rawr.

Harley continues to pretty up the background as Joker unveils his nefarious scheme. Which includes stuffing Harley in a hot cop outfit and infiltrating Jim Gordon's award ceremony. Her personality shines early on as she is stopped by Bullock, who asks her to read him his rights. Spinning her billy club, Harley responds "You have the right to remain silent" before cracking Harvey on the shin and sashaying away, muttering "jerk" under her breath as she continues on. Rawr again!

Paralyzing gas freezes everyone in their place, Joker pops out of the cake, and Harley plants a bomb on the Commissioner (and a kiss on each cheek too - Rawr again again!) Batman saves the day (yawn) Harley gets a couple good lines (Joker: "Looks like I need a new hobby." Harley: "Macrame's nice." Batman handcuffs Harl to a pipe (Rawr rawr rawr rawr!) Batman stops the Joker. The end.

The amazing thing about Harley Quinn's debut is the subtlety with which it happened. No huge fanfare or origin story (although that did come later.) Just a deranged cutie in a costume and domino mask with some great lines and a very distinct and lovable voice characterization by Arleen Sorkin. And ironically she spends more screen time dressed in civilian clothes than in her now legendary harlequin get-up.

So there you have it. The debut of Harley Quinn. The rest, as they say, is history.