Without question, when Paul Dini, Alan Burnett, and Bruce Timm collaborated on bringing Batman: The Animated Series to life; the trio gave fans one of the greatest shows of all time - Bat-oriented or not, cartoon or not. From the very first episode, “On Leather Wings,” it was clear that this show would be vastly different than your ordinary afternoon kids cartoon. Since Batman exists in a world of grey, the show would work to present that style. The “Dark Deco” style that the series popularized has carried over to just about every Bat-animated project since.

The show not only was able to take what Tim Burton did in the movies and Frank Miller did in the comics and add to that, Batman: TAS was also able to sprinkle in homages to Batman ‘66. The series made use of just about every member of Batman’s Rogues Gallery, plus the mob, the police, and introduce a few new characters along the way to round out the world of Gotham City.

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10 Poison Ivy

Pamela Isley isn’t your run-of-the-mill supervillain. She’s actually just a very misguided eco-friendly spokesperson for the planet. So, if you’re messing with plant life, Ivy’s going to get you.

That does put her squarely in The Dark Knight’s crosshairs. She had several standout episodes over the course of the series, but one has bled over into comic books as well. The two Sirens went out on the town in “Harley And Ivy,” and the duo’s on-again / off-again relationship has been part of the comics ever since.

9 Ra’s Al Ghul

You can admit it yourselves right now, you had little to no idea who Ra’s Al Ghul was, or the League Of Assassins. The Animated Series showed us who the Head Of The Demon was in a big way.

Related: 10 Villains that Batman: The Animated Series Got Better Than The Comics

Dini and Timm didn’t shy away from any of the fantastical elements. The Lazarus Pit, his daughter Talia, and trying to make Batman his heir. It’s all there for the Dynamic Duo to deal with.

8 Harley Quinn

No one could have guessed the impact Harley Quinn would have made when she debuted in “The Joker’s Favor.” She quickly became a popular character on the show. Then she became a pop icon in her own right.

Since her debut, Harley has become part of the comics, as well the video games and movies. Whether she’s depicted as the Joker’s brainwashed girlfriend or his willing accomplice, Harley is one of the craziest villains Batman has to contend with.

7 Two-Face

A lot of non-comic fans at this time had only experienced Batman through the sixties TV series. That only made the fall of Harvey Dent that much more heart-breaking, and pretty scary for a kid’s cartoon.

To see Bruce Wayne’s best friend and Batman’s ally in the courtroom give into the darkness and turn into one of Batman’s nastiest villains, over the course of several episodes was a bold move in storytelling and one that showed the series creators weren’t just marketing to kids, but to Batfans of all ages.

6 Mr. Freeze

 

 

For The Animated Series, artist Mike Mignola was requested to take a stab at designing Mr. Freeze. Once the design was set, the writers set forth and crafted a Mr. Freeze story for the ages, “Heart Of Ice.”

The episode not only introduced Freeze’s beloved Nora - encased in Gotham’s version of carbonite, but also completely ret-conned Freeze as well into the terrible threat he has been ever since.

5 The Joker

No matter the iteration of the Batman, it almost always has to pay homage and tribute to the Man. Batman against the Joker brings out the best in both characters and it’s no different in The Animated Series.

Related: Batman: 10 Best Changes BTAS Made To The Comics

Mark Hamill’s iconic interpretation of the Joker has left fans clamoring for almost thirty years to actually see him in the suit. Perhaps with the Arrowverse’s “Crisis” event looming, we might finally get the chance. But if not, we’ll always have hours of the best take on the character, period.

4 The Riddler

After making his debut in “If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?” it was clear that the series was going to take a more nuanced approach to the Riddler instead of a cackling Joker rip-off.

The Riddler was actually released from Arkham at one point on good behavior. But Nygma couldn’t control himself and devised a nearly inescapable death trap, that Batman of course finds his way out of. When he won’t reveal how he got out (diving into a nearby safe), the Riddler gets carted off again, back to Arkham.

3 The Mobsters

The mob element has always been a huge part of Batman. It’s no different on The Animated Series. Some were involved directly in some of the best episodes of the series. Rupert Thorne was heavily involved in a mob war for control of Gotham in “It’s Never Too Late.”

Thorne was at his most aggressive when he went after Harvey and set forth the events that turned him into Two-Face. Even more menacing was thug, Tony Zucco; the movster responsible for the murder of Dick Grayson’s parents, setting the stage for the two-part, “Robin’s Reckoning.”

2 Clay Face

In the world of Batman: The Animated Series, fans got to see several tragic villains as opposed to the usual bad guys. Matt Hagen was one of these, and his fall from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to the grimy Gotham underworld as Clay Face provided some of the best episodes of the series.

Related: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Things To Happen During The Justice League Cartoon Series

They also showed an empathetic side of Batman that most fans always know is there, but it’s still nice to see. He wants to help Matt find a cure, but sadly, the failed actor’s psyche is too fractured to allow that to happen.

1 The Mad Hatter

Appearing in several episodes of the series, always obsessed with mind control and Alice, Jervis Tetch is always good for a battle of wits with the Dark Knight. None more prominent than “Perchance To Dream,” which is also Kevin “Batman” Conroy’s favorite episode of the show.

Batman wakes up to find a pretty decent life - he’s engaged to Selina Kyle and his folks are alive and well. Alfred and anyone else that would know about Batman and Robin all have no idea about the detective, leaving Bruce to question his own sanity until he starts to think he might just be as mad as a hatter.

Next: 5 Alternate Origins Of Batman That Are Better Than The Original (& 5 That Are Worse)

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