DCAU #310: Joyride

IN THIS ONE... The Jokerz steal an experimental warship and take it for a ride.

CREDITS: Written by Stan Berkowitz; directed by Butch Lukic.

REVIEW: Is this the definitive Jokerz story? It does include a hint at the kind of initiation they reserve for new members, including a visit to the Joker's apparent remains. Brrr! But if it is that ultimate Jokerz episode, it shows them not as major threats, but as at-risk youth who commit crimes and mayhem for the fun of it. Not villains, but listless delinquents who think a colorful psycho from the past is "cool", and who have no more ambition on any given night than to take a joyride in an experimental warship, get free burgers from the Bee Fee they vandalize, and maybe trash a rival gang's hangout.

The real villain of the piece, perhaps, is Dr. Price who has cut corners on her government-funded project to the point where her warship is running on a dangerous, malfunctioning, illegal nuclear reactor. Though she and Batman team up (because she can't think like kids do? really?!), she's just fixing her mistake, and we're lulled into thinking of her as a good guy. She therefore never gets her comeuppance. This is a heck of a lot like the previous episode where illegal dumping creates a monster, but the crook is redeemed even before the story starts. How much corporate wrongdoing can happen in the Beyond universe before we see someone punished by something other than dramatic irony? I guess in that sense, it's realistic, but the show's moral compass seems to be "with" the malefactors.

Is Dr. Price better or worse than the Jokerz newbie who, horrified by the mayhem, eventually turns on his accomplices and hits one of the leaders upside the head before he kills Batman? Beyond seems to thrive on antagonists who aren't really bad, so much as they work within, or rebel against, a bad system. That's interesting, but is it satisfying?

IN THE COMICS: The T's trademark face paint is reminiscent on Michael Holt's as the second Mister Terrific; he had made his first appearance two years before this episode aired. No link between Holt and this gang was ever drawn on the show.

SOUNDS LIKE: Dr. Price is played by Wendie Malick (Just Shoot Me, Hot in Cleveland). The newbie, Lee, is voiced by Ethan Embry (Vegas Vacation, Brotherhood). And that's Kevin Michael Richardson as Fat T, the Joker in "The Batman" animated series.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - The focus on the Jokerz is appreciated, but sort of highlights why they're not a major threat.



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