The Arkham Sessions Podcast, Episode #124: “Judgment Day”

“Judgment Day” was the final episode produced in the Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures! collection and aired on the Halloween of 1998. The episode starts with a seemingly simple idea: A new and mysterious vigilante, The Judge, is on a spree to serve his own version of justice throughout Gotham City, targeting some of the most infamous and dangerous rogues.  The Judge’s moral character is best captured as an extreme obsession with lawfulness and an unethical approach to prosecuting criminals who break the law. The Judge even chooses to carry out the death sentences, nearly killing some of the rogues. A corrupt Gotham City council member asserts that this harsh approach is more effective than sending each criminal to the “revolving door of Arkham.”

Batman is determined to capture this new vigilante. His shrewd detective work leads to a surprising discovery: Two-Face IS The Judge! He had created a third identity! In our discussion, we explore possible explanations for Two-Face’s third persona — is it best captured with a diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (multiple personalities)? Or better explained as bizarre personality shifts following a traumatic brain injury? Another possible explanation is Harvey Dent’s willful self-destruction. As this is the last episode produced as part of the animated collection, we address how the themes of rogue lawfulness and subversion of community moral standards fit in with Batman lore. Also, announcements about our next chapter are made!

The Arkham Sessions is a podcast dedicated to the psychology of Batman, with a focus on the 90’s show, Batman: The Animated Series. Have psychology related questions about Batman? Write to us via twitter @ArkhamSessions or on Facebook.

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