Talking Pulp: Mad Men and the Nanny State

*Written in 2010 when I was running a blog about politics and economics.

*This article is pretty much spoiler free. It is also a rebuttal and a different take on the show than the Mises Institute VP Jeffrey A. Tucker’s article “Mad Men and Government Regulations”.

Mad Men is a show I just recently got into. Like most shows, I just didn’t want to start watching it because I didn’t want to find out I really liked it and then be stuck watching it like an obedient and perfectly timed zombie every week. That’s not a knock against the show; in actuality it is a compliment. I hate having to be pulled in at a specific time, on a specific day, week after week because it disrupts my life and other things I could be doing, like writing an article such as this one.

You see, shows I fear that will be too good, I typically avoid until they are over and then I sit down and have a marathon. Why? Well it is because of those damn cliffhangers! This way I avoid a week long, or god forbid a year long wait of tension and suspense dying for answers to what just happened. I have been a regular watcher of Dexter since the beginning and the end of season 4 (I won’t spoil it for you) left me fucking breathless, confused, saddened, puzzled and starving for answers! I had to wait nine damn months! Situations like this are why I waited until Lost was completely over before delving into it. I am glad I did. That show was incredible and there was no way in hell I could’ve gone through that madness weekly and then for months during a prolonged break between seasons and writers’ strikes.

In regards to Mad Men, I had heard so much good stuff about it from a lot of my libertarian leaning friends. Knowing that a new season starts every summer, I decided to finally sit down and watch the first four seasons to prep for the upcoming fifth season. It wasn’t until I finished Season 4 and then went to Wikipedia to see when Season 5 was set to air that I discovered that there were contract disputes and that it would be delayed until March of 2012, a year away! Damn it television demons! It figures that the moment I watched it, some bullshit would happen and the show would be delayed so the broadcasting gods above could laugh at me and my torment! Damn those gods, I defy the crap out of them!

Anyway, this article isn’t about my personal issues with television deities and my inability to be patient from episode to episode, it is actually about the rise of the nanny state, which is very well present in the world of Mad Men. Being that it takes place in the 1960s, we are shown a world that is going through a major metamorphosis. From the Kennedy-Nixon presidential race, through the assassination of JFK, the LBJ-Goldwater race and the Civil Rights movement, we are shown bits and pieces of a state that is slowly slipping into nannyism. Government regulation and intrusion into our lives really took a major turn for the worse in the ’60s and Mad Men does a good job at painting a picture of a world before the nanny state took control and how the world had to adapt as the state’s grip slowly tightened.

Jeffrey A. Tucker, the Vice President of the Ludwig von Mises Institute wrote an article titled Mad Men and Government Regulations. In his article, he claims that the show glorifies the rapid expansion of government regulation and intrusion into our daily lives. I don’t feel that this is the case at all actually. I don’t find that the show glorifies it; I feel that they just display it and the audience is able to make up their own mind.

In my case, I see the regulation and it irritates me and I view the actions of the characters on the show and their distaste for it, as their show of utter resistance. I find it to be more of a heroic critique against the state’s control. Granted no one goes into an uproar over it on the show but that isn’t what the show is about. Many of these references are subtle and much of the defiance against it is wittily wedged into a single lines of dialogue sprinkled into lengthy conversations about old fashioneds, bear claws, Lucky Strikes and titties.

One example Mr. Tucker gave in his article about the glorification of regulation in Mad Men was the incredible overabundance of smoking on the show. He cites that the chain smoking, which is done mostly indoors, is done to creep out the viewer and give them a sense of discomfort. He uses that example to say that it convinces the viewer into feeling a sense of relief over the government’s regulation of the tobacco industry, whether through labels and warnings on the packaging itself to endless laws limiting an American citizen’s right to smoke.

Well, I never took it that way. In fact, I took it just the opposite. While I don’t feel that everyone should just chain smoke an office space into a wood-burning barbecue smoker, I also don’t feel that it is the government’s job to force an office to comply. That should come down to company policy and if people are offended by a smoky workplace, don’t fucking apply.

The actions of the characters on Mad Men are just doing whatever the hell they want to do and no one is saying a damn thing about it because in that day and age, they could grin it and bear it or they could leave. It is their choice to work in that environment. Maybe I am biased however, considering that my day job is being the Senior Creative Director for a major cigar manufacturer and sitting in smoke just comes with the territory. Whenever Don Draper lights up in his office, I see it as a big “fuck you” to the rising nanny state within the confines of the show, as well as a message from the producers to the bureaucrats of our real world.

The issue of daytime office drinking is also used as an example that should raise eyebrows. Sure, pounding down scotches and vodka gimlets before noon while discussing that day’s sales pitch is a bit over the top but many executives in high profile companies have their little display of bottles and rocks glasses in the corner. A sip of some Laphroaig to ease the tension while going over the quarterly numbers isn’t unheard of in the real world today. Hell, it is commonplace.

I guess the issue with Mad Men though is the amount that they drink. Sure, they do push the boundaries further than they should in their office space and in their own livers. However, I don’t take this as a glorification for regulation by the show’s producers; I take it as a glorification of the characters’ self-serving attitudes and their overwhelming desire to ignore the risks and to be the old school badass ad agency execs the show pimps them out as. It’s their bodies, they can do what they want and no one is going to tell them otherwise. I think that they are all freedom loving Americans at heart.

Well, we all know that Bertram Cooper is pretty much a libertarian and/or an Objectivist after he insisted that Don Draper use part of his bonus check to buy Atlas Shrugged.

Tucker also talks about the treatment of women on the show. Granted, as the show begins and then for quite some time, the attitudes of men towards women can be shocking in contrast to the way the world is today: fifty years later. However, as the show progresses, some of these attitudes change and some of the main woman on the show go from being just pretty objects to gaining the respect from the men who initially treated them that way. Once again, this is a sign of the times and a display of how well the show is able to evolve with the quickly changing times of the day.

For an example of this, one has to look no further than the character of Peggy Olson. In the beginning, Peggy is just starting out at Sterling Cooper and is a very timid and shy girl, who is seemingly easily flustered and pushed around by the men in the office. Pete Campbell, who is the meanest to her, also ends up having an affair with her right off the bat, which causes much more turmoil and confusion than she obviously needs. She is a second class citizen in the office but she never gives up in this sexist man factory with impossible odds to succeed apart from putting out and doing “favors”. No, Peggy is the antithesis to what you think she is going to be when you first meet her.

Peggy goes through hell early on in the series but it doesn’t deter her, she nearly gives up but her boss, Don Draper sees something special in her that the other token chauvinists have overlooked. Peggy has talent, she has desire and she has the ability to be one of the biggest assets in the company. Don, being the only one with the foresight to see this, gives her that little shove she needs. By the third season, Peggy has an office next to Don’s, the guy she was the secretary for only a few years prior. In the fourth season, she is literally the creative glue that keeps the company afloat during hard times. Peggy hustles; she hustles better than most of the men on the show and is properly recognized and rewarded for it as time goes on. Peggy shatters the mold.

Joan Holloway also takes a similar path as Peggy Olson. Joan starts out as the token office bitch and mother figure to all the women at Sterling Cooper. She is virtually the madame at the corporate playhouse. When Joan first meets Peggy, she coaches her on how to succeed. She tells her to basically stay out of the way, do what is asked, look pretty and don’t be shy if asked to go that extra mile.

Joan is also Roger Sterling’s mistress at the beginning of the series. Roger is one of the partners of Sterling Cooper.

Joan is pretty much a cookie cutter character in the beginning. There are signs that someone is in there that deserves to be more than Roger’s doormat. By the end of the third season, she gets married to a decent guy, leaves that “do anything to please” shtick behind and her badass work ethic is also greatly recognized. She officially becomes the office manager of the company and oversees the fall of one company and then is an instrumental part in forming and growing a new company. By the end of Season 4, Joan literally runs shit. No she isn’t a partner but she is nearly at that level. Where Peggy owns the creative side, Joan owns the day-to-day and gets mad respect for it.

Does the development of these two characters make me want to thank the heavens for sexual harassment laws and women’s rights? No, not really. Granted I have no real problem with those things. It just makes me appreciate that two women were able to beat the odds and to truly make something great out of themselves. One played the game and one defied the game but in the end, they both persevered on their own, not because some laws helped them and made it more “fair”. These women fucking rock. I’d marry them both.

Also, who can forget Rachel Menken, who in Season 1 took over her father’s huge Manhattan department store? I wouldn’t consider her a victim of male chauvinism. In fact, she held her ground against Don in their first meeting. Eventually her and Don became each other’s side item but in the end, she stood firm and had an incredible impact on Don. Her words steered the course of his character in a new direction. Rachel was able to make Don look inside of himself and question things he otherwise wouldn’t have if she were a pushover and just some sex toy.

Another thing Mr. Tucker made mention of in his article, while describing the theme of “patriarchal domination and savagery” is that housewives were so aloof and stupid that without government labels and regulations, they allowed their kids to do dumb and dangerous things. Well, kids just do that shit anyway, even today. There were times I did real dumb stuff with fireworks and they were covered in warning labels. All the flashy and colorful “DANGER” logos plastering the packaging didn’t stop me from launching multiple bottle rockets from my mouth.

One specific incident Tucker cited in the article is of a scene where one of the kids is wearing a plastic bag over their head. He mentions that because the Consumer Products Safety Commission didn’t yet exist. Betty Draper was too stupid to warn her kids of the possible suffocation that could occur playing their friendly game of “bag head” because a warning label didn’t spell it out for her.

Well, watching the show and knowing the characters so well, when I saw that scene I felt it was meant to show how aloof Betty is. Not housewives in general and definitely not because warning labels weren’t on the bag. You see, over the course of the entire show, Betty is shown to have severe mental issues that make her act and think like a child. Something in her never properly developed and she is a grown woman living a grown woman’s life but with the mind of a child. This is an issue they hint at in the beginning of the series and it continues to grow and expand throughout all four seasons.

Tucker concludes, in his article, that he sees a constant theme that Mad Men is glorifying, that being “the inability of society to improve itself without the helping hand of the master.” The theme I see in Mad Men is that before government regulation was as widespread as it is today in our Diet Orwellian society, the people of the 1960s didn’t need the help of the state. Instead, they lived without that helping hand and did just fine. The social issues would’ve worked themselves out and competent mothers would know what was too dangerous for their children without the labels. I’m sorry, I just don’t see Mad Men as Hollywood’s attempt at force feeding us the paranoid idea that government regulation and control is cool and necessary. I actually see it as the polar opposite of that.

Now I am not knocking Tucker. I love Tucker; he is one of my favorite writers/bloggers out there. I love his book Bourbon for Breakfast and I repost a lot of his articles and lectures on this site. He has given me sound advice on fashion (although I can’t afford a pair of Alden Genuine Shell Cordovans… yet), as well as how to properly utilize my water heater and how to combat “Generation Sloth”. That is why I found it odd to disagree on the subject of Mad Men.

It’s all good though; great minds often times disagree and I actually really appreciate and respect his interpretation of the show, as we all have our own viewpoints. That is what makes us special. Besides, it’s a television show; we’re both probably over thinking it way more than we should. It is a story and it is fiction; I doubt the writers were really tinkering around with anything other than just trying to tell an awesome story.

Talking Pulp: The Enchantress and Asgardian Boners

*Taken from my personal journal, written in 2013.

So I was debating comic book stuff with a friend of mine yesterday and afterwards, reflecting on the debate, Thor and Asgard kept popping into my thoughts.

Then I started over analyzing the sometimes ally but mostly villainous Enchantress. I always liked her character and style and thought that she was a good balance against the cookie cutter “good vs. evil” formula of Thor vs. Loki.

It got me wondering as to when or if she would be in one of the upcoming Marvel movies or, at the very least, in the new S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show that I never watch. Sorry, I’m not a Joss Whedon fanboy but I can admit that he does well working with complex female characters – except for the Black Widow apparently.

Anyway, I really thought about the Enchantress’ power and it is a bit useless really, all things considered. You see, she has the magical ability to seduce men and in many cases Asgardian “gods”. I’m calling bullshit on that power though. I mean, has it ever been tested, really?

The reason why I must call bullshit is because of how the Enchantress looks, acts and carries herself. She is a tall athletic blonde with large yet perfectly proportioned breasts who dresses like a slut on Halloween: every single day. Her looks are considered to be so naturally stunning and mesmerizing that she makes Victoria’s Secret models look like Janice Dickinson does now. This is why I call bullshit on her power. And even if she does have her “seduction” power, she doesn’t really need it.

I’m a pretty strong willed guy and can see through a woman’s bullshit quite well. Men’s bullshit too, let’s be fair, as gay dudes think I’m some sort of magical bear even though I’m not down for peen vaulting.

So yes, I can see through the games and cock foolery. Maybe not as good as Thor, but I’m still pretty astute. Regardless of that, if the Enchantress straddled me like a stripper looking for a Washington, I’d probably be quite powerless. If she was wearing her spandex emerald catsuit with her tippies falling out, I’d probably be a blob of Silly Putty in her sultry hand.

Respectfully, Thor would probably be right behind me. Loki would be the only one who probably wouldn’t give a shit because he could easily lock himself in his own bedroom, shapeshift into the Enchantress and then flick his shapeshifted Asgardian bean all day. I’m not trying to be lewd, that’s just the facts. I’d probably do it too. So would you.

On a side note, maybe Loki should just walk around looking like the Enchantress thus getting everyone to do his bidding with a lot less effort on his part. He could’ve gotten Odin’s throne, considering he wouldn’t mind letting his dad nibble on his faux lady bits while spanking his bare butt. Granted, I may have crossed a line there but I really wouldn’t put that passed Loki. That dude’s got drive and follow through like no other Asgardian, ever.

Okay, those were some weird tangents.

Anyway, in the end, giving the Enchantress the magical ability to seduce is like giving a combat boot the magical ability to crush a snail.

Ranking Every Episode of the Marvel/Sunbow Era of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero

I once ranked every episode of Batman: The Animated Series. So I figured that I would rank every single episode of the Marvel/Sunbow era of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, as I just re-watched it in its entirety.

In this list I am including just the first two seasons of G.I. Joe and the miniseries put out by Marvel/Sunbow, as the show changed drastically and severely dipped in quality when DiC took over as the new production house for seasons three and four.

I will list these by episode name with the season number and episode number for reference. If a story is a multi-part episode, I list it as one body of work.

If you disagree or are puzzled with my picks, feel free to discuss in the comments.

1. “There’s No Place Like Springfield” (Season 1, Episodes 54-55)
2. “The Pyramid of Darkness” (Season 1, Episodes 1-5)
3. “Skeletons In the Closet” (Season 1, Episode 53)
4. “Sins of Our Fathers” (Season 2, Episode 28)
5. “The Gods Below” (Season 1, Episode 41)
6. “The Viper is Coming” (Season 1, Episode 29)
7. “Worlds Without End” (Season 1, Episodes 36-37)
8. “The Revenge of Cobra (miniseries)” (1984 – 5 parts)
9. “Flint’s Vacation” (Season 1, Episode 43)
10. “Excalibur” (Season 1, Episode 35)
11. “The Great Alaskan Land Rush” (Season 1, Episode 52)
12. “The Synthoid Conspiracy” (Season 1, Episodes 16-17)
13. “The Gamesmaster” (Season 1, Episode 26)
14. “Nightmare Assault” (Season 2, Episode 24)
15. “Pit of Vipers” (Season 1, Episode 48)
16. “Hearts and Cannons” (Season 1, Episode 44)
17. “Cold Slither” (Season 1, Episode 51)
18. “Computer Complications” (Season 2, Episode 7)
19. “Arise, Serpentor, Arise!” (Season 2, Episodes 1-5)
20. “The Traitor” (Season 1, Episodes 46-47)
21. “Not a Ghost of a Chance” (Season 2, Episode 27)
22. “Memories of Mara” (Season 1, Episode 45)
23. “An Eye for an Eye” (Season 1, Episode 40)
24. “Joe’s Night Out” (Season 2, Episode 26)
25. “A Real American Hero (miniseries)” (1983 – 5 parts)
26. “The Most Dangerous Thing in the World” (Season 2, Episode 23)
27. “Haul Down the Heavens” (Season 1, Episode 15)
28. “Cobra Soundwaves” (Season 1, Episode 24)
29. “Iceberg Goes South” (Season 2, Episode 15)
30. “Jungle Trap” (Season 1, Episode 10)
31. “Ninja Holiday” (Season 2, Episode 21)
32. “Red Rocket’s Glare” (Season 1, Episode 7)
33. “Cobra Quake” (Season 1, Episode 31)
34. “The Invaders” (Season 1, Episode 50)
35. “The Funhouse” (Season 1, Episode 12)
36. “In the Presence of Mine Enemies” (Season 2, Episode 29)
37. “Battle for the Train of Gold” (Season 1, Episode 23)
38. “Last Hour to Doomsday” (Season 2, Episode 6)
39. “Where the Reptiles Roam” (Season 1, Episode 25)
40. “Into Your Tent I Will Silently Creep” (Season 2, Episode 30)
41. “Sink the Montana” (Season 2, Episode 8)
42. “Bazooka Saw a Sea Serpent” (Season 1, Episode 34)
43. “Primordial Plot” (Season 1, Episode 42)
44. “Second Hand Emotions” (Season 2, Episode 25)
45. “Lasers in the Night” (Season 1, Episode 27)
46. “Once Upon a Joe” (Season 2, Episode 10)
47. “Cobra’s Creatures” (Season 1, Episode 11)
48. “G.I. Joe and the Golden Fleece” (Season 2, Episode 22)
49. “Countdown for Zartan” (Season 1, Episode 6)
50. “The Wrong Stuff” (Season 1, Episode 49)
51. “Lights! Camera! Cobra!” (Season 1, Episode 19)
52. “Cobra Claws Are Coming to Town” (Season 1, Episode 39)
53. “Captives of Cobra” (Season 1, Episodes 32-33)
54. “Raise the Flagg!” (Season 2, Episode 20)
55. “The Germ” (Season 1, Episode 28)
56. “Spell of the Siren” (Season 1, Episode 30)
57. “Twenty Questions” (Season 1, Episode 13)
58. “The Phantom Brigade” (Season 1, Episode 18)
59. “Operation: Mind Menace” (Season 1, Episode 22)
60. “Cobrathon” (Season 2, Episode 12)
61. “My Favorite Things” (Season 2, Episode 19)
62. “Eau de Cobra” (Season 1, Episode 38)
63. “Let’s Play Soldier” (Season 2, Episode 9)
64. “Money to Burn” (Season 1, Episode 21)
65. “Cobra Stops the World” (Season 1, Episode 9)
66. “Glamour Girls” (Season 2, Episode 14)
67. “The Spy Who Rooked Me” (Season 2, Episode 16)
68. “My Brother’s Keeper” (Season 2, Episode 18)
69. “The Rotten Egg” (Season 2, Episode 13)
70. “Grey Hairs and Growing Pains” (Season 2, Episode 17)
71. “The Million Dollar Medic” (Season 2, Episode 11)
72. “Cobra’s Candidate” (Season 1, Episode 20)
73. “Satellite Down” (Season 1, Episode 8)
74. “The Greenhouse Effect” (Season 1, Episode 14)

Top 50 DC and Marvel Character Clones

*written in 2014.

Over at io9, they have been discussing which DC Comics and Marvel characters are virtually just different versions of themselves. Being that this is something I’ve debated with friends since the late ’80s, I figured I’d rank my favorites.

1. Captain Marvel/Captain Marvel
2. Bruce Wayne/Tony Stark
3. Batman/Moon Knight
4. Darkseid/Thanos
5. Deathstroke/Dead Pool
6. Superman/Sentry
7. Lex Luthor/The Kingpin
8. Aquaman/Namor the Sub-Mariner
9. The Flash/Quicksilver
10. Green Lantern/Nova
11. Green Arrow/Hawkeye
12. Catwoman/Black Cat
13. Hawkman/Angel (or Archangel)
14. Black Canary/Black Widow
15. Dr. Fate/Dr. Strange
16. Swamp Thing/Man-Thing
17. Winter Solider (Bucky Barnes)/Red Hood (Jason Todd a.k.a. Robin II)
18. Doom Patrol/X-Men
19. The Atom/Ant-Man
20. The Shi’ar Imperial Guard/Legion of Super-Heroes
21. Red Tornado/Vision
22. Nightwing/Daredevil
23. Wonder Woman/Thor
24. Clayface/Sandman
25. Cyborg/Deathlok
26. Perry White/J. Jonah Jameson
27. The Spectre/The Living Tribunal
28. Saturn Girl/Jean Grey
29. Cassandra Cain/X-23
30. The Vigilante/The Punisher
31. Batman Beyond/Spider-Man 2099
32. Ra’s Al Ghul/The Mandarin
33. Killer Croc/The Lizard
34. Deadshot/Bullseye
35. Plastic Man/Mr. Fantastic
36. Lady Shiva/Elektra
37. Bumblebee/The Wasp
38. Captain Boomerang/Boomerang
39. Solomon Grundy/Grey Hulk
40. Metallo/Ultron
41. Mr. Mxyzptlk/Impossible Man
42. Carny/Arcade
43. Martian Manhunter/Skrullian Skymaster
44. Lord Havok/Doctor Doom
45. Dreamslayer/Dormammu
46. John Constantine/Pete Wisdom
47. Suicide Squad/The Thunderbolts
48. Gorgon/Doctor Octopus
49. Scarecrow/Mr. Fear
50. Detective Chimp/Howard the Duck

Top 100 Classic Film-Noir Pictures of All-Time

Over the past month, I have celebrated Noirvember here at Cinespiria. While film-noir is a style that I have always enjoyed and many of the classics have been favorites of mine for decades, I have never delved as deep into it as I have over the past month. I have found new favorites and discovered classics that slipped under my radar. In some way, I wanted a big send off so I thought that a power ranking would be a good way to do that.

Granted, this is just my opinion and there are some things that others might question as being true noir. I have included some of those Val Lewton horror pictures because at their core, the ones listed are very much film-noir.

There are no movies after the 1950s listed because I wanted to make this exclusive to classic noir that came out during the two decade span of the style’s height in popularity. I have, however, included Frtiz Lang’s 1931 film M because even though it predates film-noir by a decade, after seeing it, I can’t not consider it noir.

Anyway, these are my top one hundred film-noir motion pictures of the classic era.

1. M
2. Gun Crazy
3. The Third Man
4. Sunset Boulevard
5. In A Lonely Place
6. He Walked by Night
7. Raw Deal
8. Double Indemnity
9. The Killing
10. Touch of Evil
11. The Maltese Falcon
12. The Big Heat
13. Criss Cross
14. The Stranger
15. Scarlet Street
16. The Asphalt Jungle
17. Laura
18. Cat People
19. The Big Sleep
20. The Window
21. Detour
22. Strangers On a Train
23. Sweet Smell of Success
24. Nightmare Alley
25. D.O.A.
26. Out of the Past
27. Side Street
28. White Heat
29. The Set-Up
30. The Prowler
31. Murder, My Sweet
32. Night and the City
33. The Lady From Shanghai
34. The Killers
35. Stranger On the Third Floor
36. Key Largo
37. Leave Her to Heaven
38. The Woman In the Window
39. Kansas City Confidential
40. Brute Force
41. Ace In the Hole
42. Dark Passage
43. The Strange Love of Martha Ivers
44. On Dangerous Ground
45. Notorious
46. The Big Clock
47. Mildred Pierce
48. Shadow of a Doubt
49. Possessed
50. Lured
51. Thieves’ Highway
52. Act of Violence
53. 711 Ocean Drive
54. Black Angel
55. The Naked City
56. Dead Reckoning
57. Kiss Me Deadly
58. Gilda
59. They Live by Night
60. The Seventh Victim
61. Champion
62. Moonrise
63. Lady In the Lake
64. Pickup On South Street
65. Rope
66. Phantom Lady
67. Odds Against Tomorrow
68. T-Men
69. Born to Kill
70. The Blue Dahlia
71. The Spiral Staircase
72. Crossfire
73. The Leopard Man
74. Scandal Sheet
75. Border Incident
76. Shield For Murder
77. Force of Evil
78. The Postman Always Rings Twice
79. Fallen Angel
80. Deadline at Dawn
81. Journey Into Fear
82. 99 River Street
83. The Big Combo
84. Framed
85. Shockproof
86. Smash-Up – The Story of a Woman
87. Where Danger Lives
88. Tension
89. The Breaking Point
90. They Won’t Believe Me
91. Tomorrow Is Another Day
92. The Blue Gardenia
93. Pushover
94. The Threat
95. City That Never Sleeps
96. This Gun For Hire
97. Pitfall
98. Fear In the Night
99. The Glass Key
100. The Brasher Doubloon

Ranking Every Episode of Batman: The Animated Series

*Written in 2014.

I recently reviewed Batman: The Animated Series. So I figured that I would rank every single episode of the series, as I just got done revisiting it and took a shit load of notes.

In this list I am including Batman: The Animated Series, The Adventures of Batman & Robin and The New Batman Adventures, as all three were really the same show with just some slight changes. Additionally, the creative teams on all of these variants of the show were comprised of the same primary people.

I will list these by episode name with the season number, episode number and the villain featured. Two-parters are ranked as one episode.

If you disagree or are puzzled with my picks, feel free to discuss in the comments.

1. “Heart of Ice” (Season 1, Episode 14 – Mr Freeze & Ferris Boyle)
2. “Mad As a Hatter” (Season 1, Episode 27 – The Mad Hatter)
3. “House & Garden” (Season 2, Episode 5 – Poison Ivy)
4. “Mad Love” (Season 3, Episode 21 – The Joker & Harley Quinn)
5. “Growing Pains” (Season 3, Episode 8 – Clayface)
6. “Sideshow” (Season 2, Episode 1 – Killer Croc)
7. “What Is Reality?” (Season 1, Episode 48 – The Riddler)
8. “Sins of the Father” (Season 3, Episode 2 – Two-Face)
9. “Never Fear” (Season 3, Episode 6 – The Scarecrow)
10. “Batgirl Returns” (Season 2, Episode 20 – Catwoman & Roland Daggett)
11. “Deep Freeze” (Season 2, Episode 19 – Mr. Freeze & Grant Walker)
12.  “Feat of Clay: Parts 1 & 2” (Season 1, Episodes 20 & 21 – Clayface & Ronald Daggett)
13. “Heart of Steel: Parts 1 & 2” (Season 1, Episodes 38 & 39 – H.A.R.D.A.C.)
14. “Birds of a Feather” (Season 1, Episode 47 – The Penguin)
15. “The Demon Within” (Season 3, Episode 18 – Klarion the Witch Boy)
16. “Cold Comfort” (Season 3, Episode 3 – Mr. Freeze)
17. “Two-Face: Parts 1 & 2” (Season 1, Episodes 10 & 11 – Two-Face & Rupert Thorne)
18. “Beware the Gray Ghost” (Season 1, Episode 18 – The Mad Bomber)
19. “Old Wounds” (Season 3, Episode 17 – The Joker)
20. “On Leather Wings” (Season 1, Episode 1 – Man-Bat)
21. “Over the Edge” (Season 3, Episode 12 – The Scarecrow & Bane)
22. “Double Talk” (Season 3, Episode 4 – The Ventriloquist)
23. “Judgment Day” (Season 3, Episode 24 – The Judge, Two-Face, Killer Croc, The Riddler & The Penguin)
24. “If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?” (Season 1, Episode 40 – The Riddler & Daniel Mockridge)
25. “Harlequinade” (Season 2, Episode 7 – The Joker & Harley Quinn)
26. “The Demon’s Quest: Parts 1 & 2” (Season 1, Episodes 60 & 61 – Ra’s al Ghul)
27. “Beware the Creeper” (Season 3, Episode 23 – The Creeper, The Joker & Harley Quinn)
28. “Joker’s Favor” (Season 1, Episode 22 – The Joker & Harley Quinn)
29. “Robin’s Reckoning: Parts 1 & 2” (Season 1, Episodes 32 & 33 – Tony Zucco)
30. “Avatar” (Season 2, Episode 4 – Ra’s al Ghul)
31. “Tyger, Tyger” (Season 1, Episode 42 – Emile Dorian)
32. “Harley and Ivy” (Season 1, Episode 56 – The Joker, Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy)
33. “Legends of the Dark Knight” (Season 3, Episode 19 – The Joker, the Mutants & Firefly)
34. “Torch Song” (Season 3, Episode 10 – Firefly)
35. “Read My Lips” (Season 1, Episode 64 – The Ventriloquist)
36. “Time Out of Joint” (Season 2, Episode 8 – The Clock King)
37. “Mean Seasons” (Season 3, Episode 13 – Calendar Girl)
38. “Harley’s Holiday” (Season 2, Episode 16 – Harley Quinn & Boxy Bennett)
39. “Shadow of the Bat: Parts 1 & 2” (Season 1, Episodes 57 & 58 – Two-Face, Rupert Thorne & Gil Mason)
40. “The Last Laugh” (Season 1, Episode 4 – The Joker)
41. “Catwalk” (Season 2, Episode 9 – Catwoman & The Ventriloquist)
42. “Baby-Doll” (Season 2, Episode 11 – Baby-Doll)
43. “Vendetta” (Season 1, Episode 23 – Killer Croc)
44. “The Laughing Fish” (Season 1, Episode 34 – The Joker & Harley Quinn)
45. “Pretty Poison” (Season 1, Episode 5 – Poison Ivy)
46. “The Man Who Killed Batman” (Season 1, Episode 51 – The Joker, Harley Quinn & Rupert Thorne)
47. “Cult of the Cat” (Season 3, Episode 15 – Catwoman & Thomas Blake)
48. “The Worry Men” (Season 1, Episode 65 – The Mad Hatter)
49. “Joker’s Millions” (Season 3, Episode 7 – The Joker, Harley Quinn, The Penguin & Poison Ivy)
50. “Animal Act” (Season 3, Episode 16 – The Mad Hatter)
51. “Showdown” (Season 2, Episode 13 – Ra’s al Ghul)
52. “Almost Got ‘Im” (Season 1, Episode 46 – The Joker, Harley Quinn, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc and The Penguin)
53. “Terror In the Sky” (Season 1, Episode 45 – She-Bat)
54. “Trial” (Season 2, Episode 3 – The Joker, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, The Mad Hatter, Poison Ivy, The Riddler, The Scarecrow, Two-Face & The Ventriloquist)
55. “A Bullet for Bullock” (Season 2, Episode 2 – Vinnie the Shark)
56. “Love is a Croc” (Season 3, Episode 9 – Baby-Doll & Killer Croc)
57. “Riddler’s Reform” (Season 2, Episode 14 – The Riddler)
58. “His Silicon Soul” (Season 1, Episode 62 – H.A.R.D.A.C. & Duplicate Batman)
59. “Joker’s Wild” (Season 1, Episode 41 – The Joker & Cameron Kaiser)
60. “Mudslide” (Season 1, Episode 52 – Clayface)
61. “Be A Clown” (Season 1, Episode 9 – The Joker)
62. “Christmas With the Joker” (Season 1, Episode 2 – The Joker)
63. “Perchance to Dream” (Season 1, Episode 30 – The Mad Hatter)
64. “The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne” (Season 1, Episode 37 – Hugo Strange, The Joker, Two-Face & The Penguin)
65. “The Mechanic” (Season 1, Episode 55 – The Penguin)
66. “Holiday Knights” (Season 3, Episode 1 – The Joker, Harley Quinn, Clayface and Poison Ivy)
67. “Dreams In Darkness” (Season 1, Episode 28 – The Scarecrow)
68. “The Clock King” (Season 1, Episode 25 – The Clock King)
69. “Blind As a Bat” (Season 1, Episode 59 – The Penguin)
70. “Bane” (Season 2, Episode 10 – Bane, Killer Croc & Rupert Thorne)
71. “Girls Night Out” (Season 3, Episode 20 – Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Livewire & The Penguin)
72. “Zatanna” (Season 1, Episode 54 – Montague Kane)
73. “I’ve Got My Batman in My Basement” (Season 1, Episode 13 – The Penguin)
74. “Fear of Victory” (Season 1, Episode 24 – The Scarecrow)
75. “See No Evil” (Season 1, Episode 17 – Lloyd Ventrix)
76. “Nothing to Fear” (Season 1, Episode 3 – The Scarecrow)
77. “Eternal Youth” (Season 1, Episode 29 – Poison Ivy)
78. “You Scratch My Back” (Season 3, Episode 5 – Catwoman)
79. “Off Balance” (Season 1, Episode 50 – Count Vertigo)
80. “Make ‘Em Laugh” (Season 2, Episode 18 – The Joker & The Mad Hatter)
81. The Ultimate Thrill” (Season 3, Episode 11 – The Penguin & Roxy Rocket)
82. “Appointment In Crime Alley” (Season 1, Episode 26 – Roland Daggett)
83. “Cat Scratch Fever” (Season 1, Episode 36 – Catwoman, Roland Daggett & Professor Milo)
84. “The Cape and the Cowl Conspiracy” (Season 1, Episode 31 – Josiah Wormwood)
85. “Lock-Up” (Season 2, Episode 17 – Lock-Up)
86. “Second Chance” (Season 2, Episode 15 – Two-Face, The Penguin & Rupert Thorne)
87. “Chemistry” (Season 3, Episode 22 – Poison Ivy)
88. “The Cat and the Claw: Parts 1 & 2” (Season 1, Episodes 15 & 16 – Catwoman & Red Claw)
89. “Night of the Ninja” (Season 1, Episode 35 – Kyodai Ken)
90. “I Am the Night” (Season 1, Episode 49 – The Jazzman)
91. “Moon of the Wolf” (Season 1, Episode 43 – Professor Milo & The Werewolf)
92. “Paging the Crime Doctor” (Season 1, Episode 53 – Rupert Thorne)
93. “It’s Never Too Late” (Season 1, Episode 12 – Rupert Thorne & Arnold Stromwell)
94. “The Terrible Trio” (Season 2, Episode 6 – The Terrible Trio)
95. “Day of the Samurai” (Season 1, Episode 44 – Kyodai Ken)
96. “The Lion and the Unicorn” (Season 2, Episode 12 – Red Claw)
97. “Prophecy of Doom” (Season 1, Episode 19 – Nostromos)
98. “P.O.V.” (Season 1, Episode 7 – A drug lord)
99. “Fire From Olympus” (Season 1, Episode 63 – Maxie Zeus)
100. “The Underdwellers” (Season 1, Episode 6 – Sewer King)
101. “Critters” (Season 3, Episode 14 – Farmer Brown)
102. “The Forgotten” (Season 1, Episode 8 – Boss Biggis)

Ranking All the Kaiju of the Toho Godzilla Universe

The Godzilla universe spans seven decades, four different Japanese eras and two American remakes. In that long history, he has fought many deadly foes and had several awesome allies. However, the franchise expands beyond that as well, as some monsters that had their own films have crossed over into Godzilla movies, comics and video games. Toho has created a massive kaiju universe over the years and even if there are different eras and continuities, in some way, all these monsters exist in the same general realm.

So I feel the need to quantify these awesome giant beasts with a list. Because I like making lists and who the hell doesn’t like reading lists. Sure, our opinions may differ but that’s what the comments area is for. So feel free to list your favorites and discuss the results.

Also, I included the MUTOs from the American film for comparison’s sake.

How am I ranking these? Well, it is a combination of who is the most powerful, bad ass and the coolest. And of course, number one should not be a surprise.

1. Godzilla
2. Mothra Leo
3. Destoroyah
4. Monster X (Keizer Ghidorah)
5. Mecha-King Ghidorah
6. Biollante
7. Cretaceous King Ghidorah
8. Shin Godzilla
9. Fire Rodan
10. Gigan (Millennium)
11. King Ghidorah
12. Dagahra
13. Mechagodzilla (Showa)
14. Desghidorah
15. King Caesar
16. Mechagodzilla/Kiryu (Millennium)
17. King Kong
18. Mothra
19. Zone Fighter
20. Godzilla Junior
21. Gigan (Showa)
22. Rodan
23. Anguirus
24. Jet Jaguar
25. Mechani-Kong
26. Hedorah
27. Space Godzilla
28. Mechagodzilla (Heisei)
29. Gargantuan Sanda
30. Battra
31. Orga
32. Varan
33. Gargantuan Gaira
34. Megaguirus
35. MUTO (female)
36. Frankenstein
37. Megalon
38. Dogora
39. Gezora
40. Baragon
41. M.O.G.U.E.R.A. (Heisei)
42. Ebirah
43. Titanosaurus
44. MUTO (male)
45. Gabara
46. Moguera (Showa)
47. Manda
48. Kumonga
49. Ganimes
50. Gorosaurus
51. Kamoebas
52. Maguma
53. Kamacuras
54. Meganulon
55. Giant Octopus
56. Giant Sea Serpent
57. Minya
58. Giant Condor
59. Zilla