Featured Screen Shot
Joker: More powerful than a locomotive and just about as subtle.
Superman: Thank you. I couldn’t have saved Lois without your help.
Batman: I’m aware of that.
Joker [on the Batman's rocket back]: Copybat! Copybay! Suffering from propulsion envy Batboy?
Synopsis "World's Finest Part Two"
Previously in “World’s Finest Part One”: A cash-strapped Joker has convinced Lex Luthor to pay him to kill Superman. Bruce Wayne is publicly in Metropolis to inspect a joint venture between his company and Luthor’s Lexcorp, but he is actually there on the Joker’s trail. Batman and Superman’s first meeting is tense – Superman disapproves of the Batman’s methods and the Batman (as Bruce Wayne) has just started dating Lois Lane. The Batman then makes a point of showing that he doesn’t need x-ray vision to deduce that Superman and Clark Kent are the same person.
Bruce Wayne surprises Lois Lane at the Daily Planet – to the obvious annoyance of Clark Kent. Bruce and Clark briefly discuss their mutual inability to find the Joker, before Bruce and Lois leave for dinner at a rooftop restaurant. Bruce asks Lois about her relationship with Clark, but they are interrupted by the sudden appearance of the Joker who warns Bruce that he’s moving in on “Superman’s main squeeze.”
The Joker shocks Lois unconscious. Bruce is furious, but is forced backwards over the rooftop’s railing as he tries to dodge the Joker’s henchmen. A handy inspection-cradle and a solid ledge save Bruce from certain death, but he is unable to stop the Joker escaping in an illuminated-pink blimp. Later, Dan Turpin tries to reassure Bruce that the Metropolis Police are on the case, but Superman has sharp words for Bruce about Lois’s kidnap.
Lois proves to be a spirited captive and Harley Quinn is forced keep her gagged. The Joker shows-off his kryptonite statue to Lois before he divides it in two. He then contacts the Metropolis Police with a map showing the location of a Lexcorp chemicals laboratory. However, only Superman can see the map. Superman is aware that it’s a trap so he stops off at STAR Labs to retrieve his lead-coated spacesuit before bursting into the laboratory.
The lead suit protects Superman from the kryptonite radiation and he forces the dispirited Joker to show him where Lois is being held. However, the Joker’s compliance is a ruse and he squirts Superman with an acid that dissolves his suit. The Man of Steels collapses to the floor in agony as the kryptonite radiation overwhelms him. The Joker takes delight in kicking and shocking the weakened Man of Steel while the helpless Lois Lane watches on. Batman uses the Batplane to follow Superman to the laboratory and his arrival forces the Joker to leave Superman.
The Batman finds Superman and Lois, but the Joker seals them inside the laboratory’s strong room. He is inspecting the acid stored in the strong room when Superman manages to call out “the kryptonite.” Batman understands and used the acid to dissolve the kryptonite statue. He then helps Superman to his feet and growls at him “Snap out of it Kent or Joker gets the last laugh”. Superman then breaks through the strong room’s metal door and they search for the Joker. The Clown confounds them by releasing a bag of explosive marbles to cover his escape. These set off a chain reaction that demolishes the laboratory and force Superman and Batman to retreat.
The following day Lex Luthor has to reassure the press about the seriousness of an explosion at his laboratory. A surprised Clark Kent overhears Lex questioning Mercy on why he ever trusted the Joker. The Joker is depressed at blowing a billion dollar deal and takes his frustration out on poor Harley. Their argument is interrupted by a hail of gun fire as Mercy and Lex arrive. Harley tries to defend “Mister J”, but finds herself in a knockdown brawl with Mercy as Lex and the Joker discuss their business deal. The Joker still has half the Kryptonite so Luthor gives him one last chance.
Lex is furious that the Joker’s activities had brought another costumed do-gooder to Metropolis, but he initially dismisses the Batman as a threat. Bruce Wayne learns about Luthor’s involvement with the Joker after Clark briefs Lois Lane on his discovery. Unfortunately, they can’t prove the link to the police. Bruce just smiles and tells Clark that he’ll ask Lex about it personally. Later that night the Batman bursts into Luthor’s bedroom and demands to know about his deal with the Joker. Batman is forced to retreat without answers when Lex’s security arrive. He then tells Mercy “Contact the clown immediately. It appears that we’ll have to deal with his friend after all.”
Luthor and the Joker are now aware that they’ll have to deal with both costumed do-gooders so they decide to divide and conquer. Lois is telling Clark that she is transferring to the Planet’s Gotham City bureau to be nearer Bruce when Perry White interrupts them with news of a cruise liner in distress. Clark changes into Superman and rushes to the liner’s aid. However, the distress signal was a dummy signal transmitted by a model boat floating next to the liner. It is only after Superman has arrived that the model boat explodes blowing a hole in the liner.
Back in Metropolis, Bruce Wayne’s workout is interrupted when he sees the Joker’s blimp cruising past his hotel window. Bruce changes into his Batman costume and uses a rocket powered wingsuit to follow the blimp. The Joker then uses himself as bait to lure the Batman into striking range of an attack robot – the very same type of robot that Bruce Wayne’s company has been developing with Lex Luthor.
- The scene in the Joker’s hideout with Lex and the Joker talking as Mercy and Harley scrap around them.
- What is it with supervillains and blimps?
This episode, the middle of three, could have been left with the usual second-act lull – the fun bit establishing everything is done and the big action finale is still left to do – but it manages to be engaging and strong in its own right. The inclusion of the Lois/Bruce/Superman triangle is an interesting twist and keeps the tension in the Superman/Batman partnership that could quite easily have slipped into bland team-up.
This is most assuredly the Batman of Superman’s Universe. He is broader in characterisation, tougher in action, and a bit more James Bond in tech. Most of that is necessary to keep the balance between the two characters (as the Producers talked about in last episodes DVD commentary), but there are just moments where it strains credibility. Bruce Wayne’s fall from the sky scraper is the most noticeable of these. Some of this breadth carries over into the general animation – or it may be due to the style of animation – as things just seem a little more cartoony at time. It’s odd little things like the manic Luthor hauling the Joker up or the Batman’s huge chin then fighting the goons in the laboratory.
An odd thing to mention, but I really like the recap at the start of this episode. It was completely jumbled up, but worked so well with Lois’s phone call acting like a narration.
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