And then it isn't good. The drop-off from the first to the second episode almost feels like a betrayal. "Christmas With The Joker" is the worst thing to happen to any holiday since the invention of candy corn. And it's made doubly bad by the fact that it's Mark Hamill's first appearance as the Joker. Luckily, BTAS gets its three worst Joker episodes out of the way in the first batch of ten episodes, but if you told me that the show was invented by Batman as some sort of anti-Joker propaganda, I'd believe you. Mark Hamill's Joker would become the most iconic supervillain performance in cartoon history, and it began with an hour's worth of animated dysentery.
Scattered amidst the intense disappointment are episodes wherein Batman is forced to share copious time with children. I'm not against kids showing up in comic book stories. Anyone who thinks that the presence of Robin automatically "ruins" Batman is three farts trapped in a goblin costume. But an episode in which kids steal the Batmobile and defend an unconscious Batman against the Penguin -- a villain who doesn't pose a threat to anyone tall enough to ride a roller coaster -- doesn't inspire confidence in the "greatest superhero show of all time."
Luckily, the show gets way better around the time they start introducing guys like Two-Face and Clayface and Freezeface, but that's assuming you even get that far into your Volume 1 box set. The last 90 percent of Batman: The Animated Series becomes a reward for finishing the first 10 percent. "Thank you for sitting through that without setting the DVD's, your TV, and your whole house on fire. You truly deserve the best that life (and Batman) have to offer."