[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Director: Shaunt Nigoghossian
Writer: Paul Dini
Starring: Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Tara Strong, P.J. Byrne, Jason J. Lewis, Jasika Nicole, Stephen Tobolowsky
Poison Ivy takes control of Swamp Thing using his vegetative powers to overwhelm Gotham with dangerous plants.
There is so much goodness about this episode, but the biggest thing I’d like to talk about first is the Batman: The Animated Series reunion that we got here. As always, we have the iconic Kevin Conroy voicing the Dark Knight, but in this particular episode he was joined by none other than his legendary counterpart, Mark Hamill, voicing Swamp Thing. Now, this isn’t the first time Hamill and Conroy have been in this series together, as Hamill also reprises his iconic role as The Joker. But what makes this reunion special is that not only do we have Conroy and Hamill, but we also see the very talented Tara Strong reprising her role of Harley Quinn made famous in the Batman Arkham video game series. Strong, of course, voiced Batgirl/Barbara Gordon on BTAS. Then to top it all off, this episode was actually written by one of the masterminds behind BTAS, Paul Dini. We even got to see the return of Harley’s and Joker’s pet hyenas, Bud and Lou. All of this got me pumped for this episode before I even started watching it.
I loved seeing the use of Swamp Thing here, as his abilities showcased just how much of a badass he really is. Same goes for Poison Ivy, who, in my opinion, was voiced perfectly. It was great to see a female-heavy episode like this, as most of the time, women get a bit short changed in comic book properties. But not here. We got Vixen and Harley Quinn going toe to toe, which was cool. And the way they showed Ivy’s powers was great.
I also want to take a quick minute to talk about Firestorm. I’ve noticed that throughout this series, he seems to have become a fairly central character, and I love it. His character in this show, coupled with P.J. Byrne’s voice work, is absolutely fantastic. I hope to see more Firestorm-centric stories in the future.
The only real negative that I could find was that I wasn’t really a fan of the voice of Vixen. The character herself was pretty badass and was well portrayed, but I just wasn’t feeling the voice. Maybe this is because I recently watched the Vixen animated series from CW Seed, by either way, I wasn’t a fan.
Overall, this was a really fun episode. It had some serious stakes, as Poison Ivy was trying to essentially destroy Gotham, and the resolution felt satisfying. It had a good mixture of action and humor, and the BTAS reunion was wonderful. Definitely give this episode a watch, and if you haven’t started watching this show, do so now.