Also, before I begin the list proper, I’d like to bring attention to the fact that there was also a comic book tie-in to the show that was much freer in which characters it could, and did, use. Specifically, I’d like to honorably mention the top two team-ups from that series.
Batman, Brother Power, and Super Hip
|Hello, Sixties. Glad you're back.|
All the Robins
|Spoiler Alert: He doesn't die at dawn.|
And now, on with the list! Let's go!
10: Batman and Robin
|Ah, the yellow pants. I miss yellow in superhero costumes. Is that so wrong?|
9: Batman and Enemy Ace
Batman convinces Hans to help him destroy Germany's evil WW1 lasers that Germany isn't supposed to have. Two enemies on different sides teaming up to fight a common enemy simply from a sense of honor.
It’s one of my favorite teasers, and it’s one of my favorite team-ups. It’s different, it’s cool, and sometimes that’s all you need.
8: Batman and Felix Faust
So, Batman was stuck in a woman’s body, and he needed a spell to reverse the process, so he went to the villain who provided the spell to the woman who used it, a sorcerer named Felix Faust. …it’s complicated.
Anyway, the cross-gender bodyswap is a bit of a hackneyed writing trick, having been done in Star Trek (twice), Farscape, and other works and is generally recognized as a trite plot. In fact, I wasn’t too thrilled with the stereotypes used in the episode regarding a woman in Batman’s body, but I can leave that for a review.
Felix Faust, as is the standard for these stories, falls in love with female-bodied Batman and their back-and-forth works really well. Batman’s no-nonsense attitude with the lovestruck Felix is the reason why this is on the list. Batman ain’t got time for pretending he’s a woman, he’s just going to be Batman. He’s really not hiding the fact that he’s really a man… and Felix doesn’t care. In fact, when all is reversed, Batman goes ahead and tell him that “that woman” was Batman in a woman’s body.
Felix Faust: “Nobody’s perfect!”
Well, I guess some like it hot.
7: Batman and Ted Kord
But the scenes that Batman has with Ted (voiced by Wil Wheaton himself) are pure greatness. They don’t so much banter, but just shoot the sh*t with each other. You can tell that these two admire and respect one another. Their scenes together will warm your heart, and Ted’s sacrifice will break it. More than a team-up, these two were friends, and that was something different and special.
6: Batman and Vigilante
Yes, please! The ballad’s nicely catchy, and the scene is just perfect, with Vigilante even shooting down a sniper with a secret gun in his guitar. Nothing else to be said; it’s just a great team-up.
5: Batman and Batman of Zur-En-Arrh
The rest of the episode was a great one, too, with plenty of in-jokes (like the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh’s reporter alter ego, and the voice cast from the DCAU reprising their roles, in a way), action, and awesome. It was a real treat to see this team-up taken straight from the Silver Age comics brought to life.
4: Batman and Space Ghost
3: Joker and Weeper
Tim Conway himself guest-starring as the Weeper was a nice touch and, much like the next team-up on the list, the banter between these two simply made the episode. Then again, it is the Joker. All of his jokes are real killers.
2: Atom and Aquaman
I think that’s been demonstrated already. And I must say that the Atom works better with him than Batman does. Don’t get me wrong, Batman’s great, but Batman’s no-nonsense attitude doesn’t work as well with Aquaman’s personality as the Atom’s straightlaced uptightness. It’s the classic comedy routine; you need a straight man to bounce jokes off of. Batman doesn’t so much let the jokes bounce off of him as he does dodge them and throw batarangs at them. It’s his standard response.
The banter between Atom and Aquaman was so good that I had to stop myself from just transcribing the episode in that Recap. And more than humor, the many episodes that the two appear in provide insight into their growing relationship. By the end of the show, when Ryan Choi gives up being the Atom, it takes not only a teammate but a friend to bring him back to doing what he loves. And that’s why this is so high on the list; it’s a fan-favorite breakout character, and the character that lets them bring out the best in each other.
1: Batman and Joker
The only thing better than a Joker/Weeper team-up is a Batman/Joker team-up. When Batman went undercover to an evil universe, he was aided by the Joker’s heroic counterpart. When he came back to find his own evil counterpart framing him, he was forced to team-up with the Joker himself to stop him. After all, when you need to take down a Batman, you’re going to need a Joker.
The two work surprisingly well together, and bring out the better parts of each other. But when push comes to shove, they’re still on different sides of the law. It’s more than a novelty team-up like one might expect; there’s a genuine sense that these two work well together, despite the animosity between them.
This episode was also the first real appearance of the Joker in this show, and it’s the episode where he shines the most, in my opinion. The frienemy dynamic between the Dark Knight and the Clown Prince of Crime elevates this reluctant partnership to the top of the list.
Well, that's my Top Ten list! There may have been better episodes, but these are the team-ups I like the best. What about you? Feel free to share a comment on your favorite TBATB team-ups!