Written by Alan Burnett
Directed by Bruce Timm
Distributed by Warner Brothers Animation and Machinima
Hyperlink to the short Twisted
<--- Also check out the first review of the feature film here
Then there's the second short review of Big over here --->
This (to me) feels like the first of the three, if you were to watch these shorts "Twisted" would be a way to ease into the micro-series. Everything about this feels like a Batman animation, the mood and the setting, it's like Bruce Timm never left, though this was penned by Alan Burnett long time contributor to both Batman series (Batman: the Animated Series and Batman Beyond).
Like in Batman Beyond (Rebirth part 1) it opens with a factory at night with a Batman flying to deter villains. We see the City that all know, Gotham a place of darkness and disheveled life. A Batman soaring about them all, as Bruce he's a rich man, riches beyond anyone's dream, as Kirk he fits right into the night. Another face in the crowd, though this throng keeps more than skeletons in the closet. Speaking of, Batman is on a case to find (at the very least) the bodies, based off of whispers through the night (and the Police Department). They really know how to set a mood in this animation, there's been no conversation between anyone, the victims, the heroes, not even an inner monologue. It really makes you feel like you're within this warehouse with the dark knight, groping for anything that could be a clue to find the missing people.
Then we stop for a Bat-Snack, as we always do, remember kids, there's always time for nutrition.
Though what we find is the macabre in the fridge of this slaughter house, body parts of all different types of people frozen, also a nice treat for ice cubes. You take an ice tray and pour your favorite soda in it and bingo you have yourself a nice little treat or a tasty ice cube for a glass of water or booze. Batman has no time for the habits of others and closes the door moving into a darker part of the warehouse. In this room he finds boxes, jack-in-the-boxs to be more specific, one's a toy, the other is half a man, limply bouncing on a spring. Seeing no joy in this practice Kirk moves on, without a word. Another box moves and, with the same easy, Kirk not thinking that there's anything of danger that could spring from the next box, opens the moving cube. Inside a woman persists that she needs help through her eyes since she is tied up, Kirk removes the gag. The woman's warning is too late, but Batman isn't bested by a sledgehammer, but the corpes-in-the-box is knocked over.
Oona Kulte, friend of Tea and local.
Dressed in her harlequin outfit.
Dressed in her harlequin outfit.
Harley looks a bit different in this world, I think it's a tongue-in-cheek joke about how she looks in the video game. She's very dressed down and has a belly ring, a diamond tattoo, and red and black dyed hair. It's an interesting take on the original, also it's something that the original wanted, a family, well at least that's through the assumption on the direction that's been consistent through a lot of Bruce Timm's interpretations of Harley (well these are my assumptions of Harley based off of the media I've seen). Harley wants a family, a gang, a group that she can love. It's been seen in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker and Batman: Mad Love (Comic and Animation), she's always had a motherly appeal (and sex appeal) it's an interesting dichotomy for this Batman Femme Fatale, which is why she's a wonderful villain. This Harley has taken the Baby Doll (as seen in Batman: The Animated Series, episode of the same name, season 3 episode 4) route for family, well the darker path.
The woman runs off, though Harley is even more annoyed at the B-Man, then her "Sis" getting away. Again the tone for this short is spectacular (I really mean it, it's haunting). Harley doesn't pull punches, nor does Batman as he releases his cling to the ceiling, but that only sets up his ribs for Harley's hammer. Though with a second swing the Bat stops her and punches the ghastly greasepaint grinning girl through a pane of looking-glass into a family room. Four individuals (assuming Harley propped them up, you never know, maybe they died that way) each with a haunting and stunning smile. A Mother, Father, little brother, and Grandmother, all dead, waiting with an open seat for big Sis.
With this being absorbed into Kirk's mind, Harley comes out again, though this time with something a little more dangerous than a Hammer. A Chainsaw, toothed and ready to add a Bat-Butler in the family room. Wagging the saw around the room Harley buzzes into many of her "loved ones", till she grabs a wrong spin into a wall and busts the chain, slicing her side open.
Gom dressed in his best Batman outfit,
grabbing hold of his next pursuit of justice and meal.
Kirk jumps down from the rafters, holding Harley's wrists. She gives into defeat and allows Batman his duty as Justice to take her away. This amuses our darker Knight, as he produces his fangs and takes a bite into his meal. Leaving only the sounds of pain and shock that this Harley's victims know so well.
I trust you enjoyed the inspection, thank you for reading.
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