Batman: TAS – S1 – To Be A Clown Review

Mayor Hill believes in Gotham City, he also believes it’s a safe place to live thanks to his leadership. He believes it until he is nearly run over by two criminals on the run from the police at an outdoor press conference. They crash into a nearby building site and it’s not long before Batman appears swinging on a girder and takes them out. A news reporter asks Hill if he still thinks Gotham is safe. He thinks there are a few rotten apples spoiling it for the rest of the city. He includes Batman and Joker in this and says that they are cut from the same cloth. From his lair Joker is watching the news report on TV and is disgusted that he is being compared to Batman. Joker thinks he has more style, has a smarter brain and dresses better than the caped crusader. He hears Hill declare that he plans to make the whole of Gotham as safe as his mansion. Joker wants to see how safe Hill’s mansion can be.

At Hill’s mansion he is preparing for Jordan’s (his son) birthday party. It appears that Hill is more concerned with making a good impression with Gotham’s brightest and best citizens than with his son’s happiness. Inside Jordan is practicing a magic act. Hill tells Jordan to stop fooling around with the stupid tricks and get ready for the party. Jordan protests that the party is more for his father than it is for him and he doesn’t know anyone who is going to be at the party. Hill assures him that he will have a good time as he has a surprise for him.

The surprise is Joker….I mean Jekko The Magnificent, a clown hired to entertain the children at the party with magic tricks. Jekko introduces himself to Hill and Jordan. He shocks Hill with a joy buzzer (Lucky for Hill it wasn’t the same type of buzzer Joker had in Batman 89). Jekko gives Jordan his three step guide to becoming a great magician, Step 1 Ran away, Step 2 Find a magician with a great act, Step 3 Steal it. Bruce Wayne arrives at the party with a big present for Jordan. Hill wants Jordan to greet a few more guests but Jordan refuses and runs off. Jekko has a big surprise for the party. He makes a “candle” magically appear and puts it on the birthday cake. The candle has a picture of the Joker on it. Jekko lights the candle and it starts to spark. Bruce notices Jokers face on the candle and he realizes the danger everyone is in. He runs past the other guests and pretends to fall over by the cake and he pushes it in to the swimming pool. The candle explodes under the water and everyone is safe.

A short time later the police arrive at Hill’s mansion to investigate the explosion. Gordon finds the real Jekko who had been attacked and tied up down the road by Joker. Bruce asks Hill where Jordan is, Hill doesn’t know.

We see that Jordan has hidden under a tarpaulin in the back of Jekko’s stolen van and Joker is driving it to his lair which is at an abandoned amusement park. Jordan reveals himself to Joker. At first Joker is angry with him but after a moment he sees an opportunity to turn Jordan in to his protégé. Hill wishes he paid more attention to Jordan. Bruce comforts Hill and reassures him that the police will find Jordan. The police and Bruce watch a home movie of the party and they see Jekko/Joker telling Jordan about another magician called the Great Proscuitto. Because of that Batman is able to track them down to Proscuitto’s old place of work, the abandoned amusement park. Joker spots Batman on his security camera and he asks Jordan to help him play a killer trick on Batman. Jordan lures Batman over to Joker’s fun house. Batman manages to avoid Jokers attempt to kill him with razor sharp playing cards. Joker catches Batman out with an exploding knockout gas playing card.

Batman awakes to find himself in a straight jacket hanging upside down in a glass tank which is filling with water. Jordan is concerned for Batmans safety but Joker tells him that the bat will break free. Batman frees himself from the straight jacket but he can’t break open the tank. Jordan hits the tank with an axe and cracks the glass slightly. Joker stops Jordan from hitting it again and chases him away. While this is happening Batman presses his feet against the crack in the tank and the glass finally breaks.

Jordan hides in a rollercoaster car but Joker spots him and starts the ride. Batman pursues in another car. Joker throws exploding dolls at Batman’s car and it blows up. Batman jumps in to Joker’s car just in time. Batman kicks Joker off the ride and he lands in the water below. Before their car drives off the incomplete rollercoaster track Batman uses his batgrapple to swing Jordan and himself to safety.

Batman takes Jordan home and Hill promises things will be different and he gives his son a big birthday hug. Batman watches from the shadows and gives Jordan a thumbs up. The moral of this story is always appreciate what you have because you never know when it may run off to be with The Joker.

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