All fans have those movies we love to watch again and again — like being in the comfort of an old friend’s presence. Often times we see small children latch onto certain films, music, or stories for this very same reason — “read it again!” This CBR writer has a few of those “comfort movies,” many of which are DC animated productions. There is so much good stuff in the DCAU, and with its live-action films continuing to be hit or miss — more like a flat out disappointment to many fans — why would anyone bother with anything but its animated works?
The original Batman Animated Series originally featured on television is more than enough to keep DC and animation lovers entertained for years. Focusing on the animated movies — DC’s cartoon feature films are packed with some of the most intense, beautiful and heart-breaking scenes out of all of its productions. From the controversy of The Killing Joke to the silly fun of the Teen Titans, it is hard to pick our favorite pause-able moments when we’ve been presented with so many options! Prepare yourself for some of the most twisted, most metal moments in DCAU film!
15. CATWOMAN PUTS ON A SHOW
Shortly after meeting in Gotham by Gaslight, Bruce Wayne is taken by Harvey Dent to meet the glamorous Selina Kyle. Harvey is clearly entranced by Selina — despite the fact he is already married — but it is Bruce who Selina sets her sights upon. As the two men wait patiently for Selina to change out of her show garb into something more comfortable, she does so behind a thin paneled screen that doesn’t leave much to the imagination.
Selina’s gorgeous figure can be seen silhouetted against the pink screen, moving with the grace of a cat as she changes gowns. Bruce tries to be somewhat respectful by busying himself with books and other trinkets he finds interesting, but Harvey unabashedly drinks it all in — and so do we.
14. HARLEY SOMERSAULTS OUT OF HANDCUFFS
While Harley Quinn and Deadshot are in the process of pulling off a “suicide mission” for Amanda Waller in Assault on Arkham, they stage him as a police officer taking her into Arkham Asylum. While entering the facility, Harley comes face to face with Joker for the first time since he “pushed her out of a moving car.” Harley reacts as one would expect the Madam of Mischief to — by completely flipping out.
She does so in such a phenomenal way, though, that we could (and have) pause-played this scene over and over. Despite being handcuffed behind her back, Harley is flexible and strong enough to break free of Deadshot’s grasp, do a somersault — in the process flipping her body so she can move her cuffed hands to her front. Harls then goes on to disarm a guard, throw two others off her, and then make her way to Joker’s cell.
13. STARFIRE TRAINING IN THAT OUTFIT
Prepare yourselves for some serious nerding out over Starfire — but it’s so hard not to! She is such a lovely combination of good looks, sweet personality, and skilled warrior. What’s not to love about Kori? Speaking of combat, how does she manage to fight in that skimpy outfit? Not that we’re complaining, it just seems like a marvel of physics that she doesn’t ever have a slip-up!
We’re not the only ones who have noticed this — when searching the internet for images of Starfire, one of the top to come up is from a training scene in The Judas Contract. As she “kicks the butt” while training with Nightwing, the camera cuts to various angles — one of which gives the viewer a most salacious shot, indeed.
12. BRUCE AND SELINA’S WILD CARRIAGE RIDE
In Gotham by Gaslight, Batman and Catwoman’s relationship from traditional DC story lines is played upon with fervor. All the tension, attraction, and shared interests — like stalking the night — that the two have in standard DC story lines is given in here in Victorian age Gotham — the “attraction” aspect especially so! In this Elseworlds story, Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle find themselves in a bit of a sticky situation when they need to elude authorities.
Selina improvises, and the two stage it to look like they are in the middle of an “intimate scenario” on the floor of her horse-drawn carriage. The police officer who opens the carriage door — and the audience — are treated to the two of them looking up almost innocently from under the blanket loosely thrown over them. We could see Bats and Catwoman like this all day! Did it just get warm in here, or is just us?
11. JOHN AND ZEE REUNITE
Zatanna possesses “powerful and true magic” that can barely be harnessed at times. She terrifies and entrances most of the DC characters that cross her path, including (and especially) John Constantine. Zee and John have shared many misadventures across histories and worlds. Their relationship is a tad complicated though, considering Constantine is the equivalent of Jack Sparrow meets Doc Holliday — a bad boy who most times puts himself before others.
In Justice League Dark, John and Zee are reunited once again on the front door of the magical House of Mystery. Barely escaping an enchanted storm that ravages everything outside, the two fall on top of each other as they enter the safety of the House. John lands on top of Zee, his face planted directly in the top of her corset. It is an awkward yet funny moment, and one we have pause-played many times!
10. BLACK ORCHID’S NEW LOOK
Black Orchid first appeared in DC’s Adventure Comics #428 back in 1973. An amalgamation of several people over the decades, Orchid is a femme fatale/anti-hero type — reminiscent of a mash-up of Swamp Thing and Poison Ivy. Black Orchid has undergone many incarnations in her time, but her most recent overhaul has us drooling. We love everything about Justice League Dark, including the unique character looks — and Black Orchid takes the cake on this.
Literally dropping in out of the blue on screen, Orchid draws the attention of every character present — and the audience as well. Donning a purple outfit that would have to be painted on to replicate IRL, with iridescent wings replacing her former full cape, we’re given a whole new look for Orchid — and we like it!
9. BATS AND BABS ON A ROOFTOP
The Killing Joke brought us many pause-able memories, some of which are so extreme we cannot even depict them here on CBR! One of our favorite CBR approved moments is when Batman and Batgirl break years of tension and hook up on a rooftop. We understand this scene stirred up no small amount of controversy among fans — some of the more die-hard ones dislike the additions made to the screenplay adaptation of this classic graphic novel.
Some of us really enjoy the changes, feeling that they added a little backstory to Barbara Gordon’s role in it. Regardless of how one may feel about the animated version of The Killing Joke, it is hard to deny the power in this scene. Batgirl and Batman have a fight turned-hot and heavy intimacy, with only the rooftop gargoyles to pay witness. That is about as Bat-tastic as it gets!
8. COMMISSIONER GORDON
Another memorable moment in the movies of the DCAU comes to us yet again from the film adaptation of The Killing Joke. Joker is being — well, the Joker — and has Gotham Police Commissioner James Gordon in captivity. Determined to “break” the steadfast Commissioner — so as to prove that he is actually sane, and that everyone is only “one bad day” away from becoming as much of a baddie as him — Joker humiliates and tortures Jim.
One of the ways he does this is by putting Jim into restraints — a classic DC move — but it is so shocking here that we have to pause-play it. Contrasted against all the other crazy stuff Joker pulls in this movie, it is still pretty awful — sort of like a train wreck, it is hard to look away.
7. STARFIRE AND NIGHTWING (AGAIN)
Starfire / Nightwing is one of our favorite couples in the DCU and we wish they were still together! In the good old days of Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, we get to see the origins of this super-couple’s relationship. The Titans are dealing with some sort of alien disturbance with a strange girl, Starfire, at the center of it.
Seemingly desperate for help, she tries speaking to them in her native tongue, Tamaranean — which of course none of the Titans could understand. So she did something anyone who needs to bridge a communication gap could do (though we don’t recommend it) — she kisses the person nearest her — in this case, it was then-Robin, Dick Grayson. Who would have thought there is a race of people that can learn a language by kissing? It is so unexpected and so fun that we cannot help but pause this moment!
6. WONDER WOMAN FIGHTING IN A FOUNTAIN
The animated Wonder Woman movie from 2009 remains one of our favorite films featuring Diana of Themyscira, which, these days, is saying a lot! It is well-written, action-packed, and portrays the Amazons in a way we feel does proper justice to their mighty warrior lineage. During an epic battle scene in a mall — featuring Wonder Woman in an evening dress — she is blasted by her foe into a conveniently placed fountain.
The next shot shows her up close as she pushes herself out of the water, tossing back her long black hair, dress torn from the fight and looking so dang fierce! The first time we saw this scene we may have shouted with glee, especially when she tears her cumbersome dress off shortly thereafter — revealing her iconic outfit underneath.
5. STARFIRE NIGHTWING SKYPE SESH
Dick Grayson was a very lucky guy to call Koriand’r his partner in both the training yard and their private lives. In The Judas Contract, we get a peek at one of the couple’s private moments when Starfire and Nightwing are video chatting. Fresh from the shower, hair wrapped in a towel, and wearing only a small robe, Kori gives us all an eye-full as she stretches out on the couch with her computer.
Sharp eyes will note that there is even more to see from Dick’s perspective — if you look at the lower corner of the video chat, where the caller can see what the other end is viewing — you’ll understand why Nightwing is so disappointed when Starfire suddenly cuts off their call to tend to the Teen Titans.
4. JOKER’S HERE
Assault on Arkham remains hands-down one of our favorite films to come from the DCAU. The writing, voice acting, animation style, just about everything in this movie is phenomenal and we’re surprised how few people have seen it. If you happen to be one of those, stop what you’re doing and go watch it right now! If anything, put it on for the moment Joker kicks in the door and announces his arrival in one of the most metal moments of any DC film — yes we know that is quite a statement, and we stand by it proudly.
While the Suicide Squad is undergoing electroshock by the Riddler, Joker arrives on the scene, tossing bombs and utter chaos into the room while yelling “I’m here, [insert expletive for female dogs]!” What the — did he really just say that? Yes, yes he did — and it’s freaking awesome!
3. HARLEY QUINN LIKES TO PARTY
After the Suicide Squad fully infiltrates Arkham Asylum, the gang meets at a lower level location to get their gear on and prepare for the fights to come. Harley Quinn is still wearing the classic orange jumpsuit she donned to get inside with Deadshot, about to change into her harlequin outfit — Fun Fact: her Assault on Arkham look is one of our favorites — when a guard hears them and shouts down to find out what they’re up to. Ever the quick thinkers, the Squad comes up with a plan on the spot.
“We were just having a little party!” Curious as to what kind of party it could be, the guard wanders in — and gets an eyeful of Harley. With her jumpsuit unzipped to her waist, and her back turned to him, Harls gleefully looks over her shoulder while shaking her Joker tattoo and giggling that classic Tara Strong giggle. [Fun Fact: we so very much love that giggle!]
2. LAWTON GETS EVEN WITH WALLER
The ending of Assault on Arkham is one of our favorites in the DCAU. We hate to spoil it for anyone who still hasn’t seen it, but it’s too good not to share. Amanda Waller has put the members of Task Force X through hell and back, and shows absolutely no remorse about it. None of the characters in the Suicide Squad are happy to be there, but Deadshot absolutely despises being used.
After a long night of another mission gone haywire, Waller is unwinding in her office with a drink, and notices a little red dot on her chest. It moves up to the center of her forehead, and she realizes what that dot is. “Mother –” what she was going to say we may never know, because it pans to Deadshot on a roof with a sniper rifle. There’s nothing like the taste of sweet retribution!
1. HARLEY SURPRISES DEADSHOT
From the moment they meet in Assault on Arkham, Harley Quinn makes it clear she is attracted to Deadshot. He rejects her come-ons in some rather hilarious ways. Harley is persistent though, and it pays off when she surprises Lawton in his hotel room. Floyd enters his room, undresses, and flops onto his bed for some much needed rest — when Harley pops up from behind him and embraces him.
Deadshot turns over to face her and finds that she is not wearing any clothes. It is at this point he stops rejecting her and the two proceed to literally destroy the room. Sharp eyes will note a fast shot where you can see Harley from the back and get a peek of her super cute Joker tattoo.
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