The Batman (TV series)


The Batman (TV series)
The Batman
The Batman.PNG
Format animated series
Created by Michael Goguen
Duane Capizzi
(supervising producers)
Voices of Rino Romano
Danielle Judovits
Evan Sabara
Alastair Duncan
Ming-Na
Steve Harris
Jesse Corti
Mitch Pileggi
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 65 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 22 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Kids' WB (2004-2008)
Picture format 4:3
16:9 (iTunes)
Original run September 11, 2004 (2004-09-11) – March 8, 2008 (2008-03-08)
Chronology
Preceded by Batman Beyond
Followed by Batman: The Brave and the Bold

The Batman is an American animated television series produced by Warner Bros. Animation based on the DC Comics superhero Batman. It ran from 2004 to 2008, on the Saturday morning television block Kids' WB. Reruns of the first two seasons air on the Boomerang channel as of 2009, and all of the seasons were then aired on the British TV channel Cartoon Network.

Although the series borrows many elements from previous Batman storylines, it does not follow the continuity set by the comic books, the film series, nor that of Batman: The Animated Series or its spin-offs. The character designs were provided by Jackie Chan Adventures artist Jeff Matsuda; he also directed the ending. The series won six Emmy Awards.

Contents

Synopsis

Season 1

List of The Batman Season 1 episodes: 2004-2005

In the first season of The Batman, Bruce Wayne (voiced by Rino Romano) is 26 years old and in his third year as the Batman], protector of Gotham City. Along with a secret Batcave, high tech Batmobile, and a new technology he created called the Bat-Wave, he has his trusty butler Alfred Pennyworth (voiced by Alastair Duncan), who guides both Bruce Wayne and Batman when needed. Other characters include Ethan Bennett (voiced by Steven Harris), a cop who believes Batman is needed in Gotham, and at odds with Chief Angel Rojas (voiced by Edward James Olmos in his initial appearance, Jesse Corti in all his subsequent appearances), who has no room for vigilantes, and Ellen Yin (voiced by Ming-Na), Bennett's partner who is torn between her belief in law and order and her personal feelings toward Batman. Both Bennett and Yin are charged with capturing the Batman throughout Season 1. Adam West, who played Batman in the 1960s Batman TV series, provides the voice for Gotham’s Mayor, Marion Grange, for the first four seasons.

While crime in Gotham is at an all time low, new foes emerge and Batman confronts his rogues gallery for the first time. The first season featured new interpretations of Batman's villains such as Rupert Thorne (voiced by Victor Brandt), The Joker (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson), The Penguin (voiced by Tom Kenny), Catwoman (voiced by Gina Gershon), Mr. Freeze (voiced by Clancy Brown), Firefly (voiced by Jason Marsden), Ventriloquist and Scarface (voiced by Dan Castellaneta), Man-Bat (voiced by Peter MacNicol), Cluemaster (voiced by Glenn Shadix), and Bane (voiced by Joaquim de Almeida in the first appearance, Ron Perlman in the second).

At the end of Season 1, Ethan Bennett turned into Clayface after being tortured and mutated by the Joker. At that time, Yin changes her view on the Batman and, from that point on, the two become allies.

Season 2

List of The Batman Season 2 episodes: 2005

Season 2 introduced more villains: Riddler (voiced by Robert Englund), Hugo Strange (voiced by Frank Gorshin, replaced by Richard Green after Gorshin's death), Rag Doll (voiced by Jeff Bennett), Spellbinder (voiced by Michael Massee), Killer Croc (voiced by Ron Perlman), and Solomon Grundy (voiced by Kevin Grevioux). At the end of this season, Yin is found out to have been working with Batman. At the same time, another main character to the Batman mythos, Commissioner James Gordon (voiced by Mitch Pileggi) is introduced, along with the Bat-Signal. Yin and Chief Angel Rojas make their final appearances in the season finale.

Season 3

List of The Batman Season 3 episodes: 2005-2006

Season 3 introduced a young Barbara Gordon, who becomes Batgirl (voiced by Danielle Judovits) and plays a major role along with her father. Barbara tries to be Batman's sidekick, but he refuses to accept the need for a partner until the end of the Season. This differed from the comics, in which Robin was Batman's sidekick. This was due to Teen Titans animated series having the character in that show, and was off limits in appearing in other shows.

Several villains are introduced this season: Poison Ivy (voiced by Piera Coppola), a different version of Gearhead (voiced by Will Friedle), Maxie Zeus (voiced by Phil LaMarr), Toymaker (voiced by Patton Oswalt), Prank (voiced by Michael Reisz), Temblor (voiced by Jim Cummings) and D.A.V.E. (voiced Jeff Bennett).

Season 3 is ended with Strange becoming one of Batman's enemies. In "A Fistful of Felt", Batman discovers that Strange had turned the Ventriloquist, who had been cured of his multiple personality disorder, back into a criminal. In "Gotham's Ultimate Criminal Mastermind", the season finale to Season 3, Strange is brought to justice and becomes a patient in Arkham Asylum. In Season 4's "Strange New World", it is revealed that Strange went to Arkham only so he could come up with new schemes.

This season changed the series' theme music, swapping the original theme, performed by The Edge, for a lighter, 1960s-esque theme.

Season 4

List of The Batman Season 4 episodes: 2006-2007
Robin, Batman, and Batgirl in the Season 4 intro.

Season 4 featured a redesign to Bruce Wayne, with a stronger facial and chin structure, making him reminiscent of the DC Animated Universe Batman design.

Dick Grayson as Robin (voiced by Evan Sabara) was introduced into the show, as the Teen Titans animated series had been cancelled early in the year before this season started. Batgirl is now part of the team and found out the secret identities of both Batman and Robin, and Lucius Fox (voiced by Louis Gossett Jr.) is introduced in the season finale.

More villains appeared such as Tony Zucco (voiced by Mark Hamill) who played the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, Killer Moth (voiced by Jeff Bennett), Black Mask (voiced by James Remar), Rumor (voiced by Ron Perlman), Everywhere Man (voiced by Brandon Routh), Harley Quinn (voiced by Hynden Walch), Francis Grey (voiced by Dave Foley), and the Basil Karlo version of Clayface (voiced by Wallace Langham in the first appearance, Lex Lang in the second appearance). In his final appearance, Ethan Bennett, the first Clayface, is redeemed and cured of his condition.

One of the highlights of Season 4 was "Artifacts", an episode describing a possible future, that had elements from Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. Set in 2027, with the main storyline in 3027, it features a wheelchair-using Barbara Gordon as Oracle (voiced by Kellie Martin), Dick Grayson as Nightwing (voiced by Jerry O'Connell), with both Batman and the Batmobile resembling the versions in Miller's series.

The season finale featured an alien invasion by entities called "The Joining", and another superhero from the DC Universe; Martian Manhunter/J'onn J'onzz (voiced by Dorian Harewood). In this episode, J'onn brings Batman to a Hall of Justice Watchtower orbiting the Earth where he introduces him to Hawkman, Green Arrow, Flash and Green Lantern, in the character's cameos, as part of the Justice League of America.

This season also marks the departure of Jeff Matsuda and Michael Jelenic from the show.

Season 5

List of The Batman Season 5 episodes: 2007-2008

The fifth and final season was said by producer Alan Burnett to be the show's "The Brave and the Bold season."[1] This season primarily focused on the Dynamic Duo (Batman and Robin) teaming up with members of the Justice League. Batgirl and Commissioner Gordon were dropped from the show as main characters, and only appeared rarely as guests or cameos. In Batgirl's case, this is because she has graduated from high school and is attending college ("Attack of the Terrible Trio").

In the season's first episode, Batman teams up with Superman (voiced by George Newbern). Besides Martian Manhunter, other team-ups for the season included Green Arrow (voiced by Chris Hardwick), Flash (voiced by Charlie Schlatter), Green Lantern (voiced by Dermot Mulroney), and Hawkman (voiced by Robert Patrick). The series finale features the entire Justice League.[2]

Villains for this particular season were a combination of rogues from the superheroes appearing on the show with some of the Batman villains. Villains include Lex Luthor (voiced by Clancy Brown), Mercy Graves (voiced by Gwendoline Yeo), Metallo (voiced by Lex Lang), Count Vertigo (voiced by Greg Ellis), The Wrath (voiced by Christopher Gorham), Toyman (voiced by Richard Green), Shadow Thief (voiced by Diedrich Bader), Sinestro (voiced by Miguel Ferrer), Mirror Master (voiced by John Larroquette), and the Terrible Trio (voiced by David Faustino, Grey DeLisle, and Googy Gress).[3] Also, Firefly becomes Phosphorus. The Joining returns in the finale in alliance with Hugo Strange. The final episode is a 40-minute movie, featuring all the members of the Justice League who have made an appearance in the show. The two final episodes were aired on March 8, 2008.

Characters

The Batman Strikes!

The Batman Strikes! is a DC comic book series featuring Batman and is a spin-off comic book series of The Batman. Part of the DC's younger reader line, the series survived for 50 issues in total, with the last issue shipping in October 2008.[4]

Additional characters

While many characters from the mainstream Batman (and other DC characters) comics appear, some of them only appeared in The Batman Strikes. Characters that were planned for a guest appearance were Wonder Woman,[5] Bizarro,[5] Vigilante,[6] and Owlman.[7]

Reprints

Title Material Collected ISBN
Volume 1: Crime Time #1-5 SC: 978-1401205096
Volume 2: In Darkest Night #6-10 SC: 978-1401205102
Volume 3: Duty Calls #11-14, 16-18 SC: 978-1401215484

DVD releases

All of the DVD releases are in 4:3 aspect ratio. However, the first two seasons and The Batman vs. Dracula movie are available on iTunes in 16:9.

Crew

  • Michael Goguen - Supervising producer
  • Duane Capizzi - Supervising producer
  • Glen Murakami - Producer
  • Jeff Matsuda - Producer
  • Linda M. Steiner - Producer
  • Sander Schwartz - Executive Producer
  • Alan Burnett - Executive Producer
  • Kimberly A. Smith - Associate Producer
  • Sam Liu - Director
  • Brandon Vietti - Director
  • Seung Eun Kim - Director
  • Ginny McSwain - Voice Director (2004–2006)
  • Andrea Romano - Voice Director (2006–2008)
  • The Edge - Theme Music Creator

Awards

The Batman received Annie Award nominations for Best Animated Television Production in 2005 and 2006, and for Best Music in a Television Production in 2006.[9]

The Batman was nominated for twelve Daytime Emmy Awards during its five year run, winning six times. In 2005 it was nominated for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program, Outstanding performer in an Animated Program (Kevin Michael Richardson as the Joker), Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition, and Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing - Live Action and Animation (for which it won). In 2006 it was nominated and won Outstanding Special Class Animated Program and Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing - Live Action and Animation. In 2007 it was nominated for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program and won Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing - Live Action and Animation. In 2008 it was nominated for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program and Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program (Kevin Michael Richardson as the Joker), and won Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing - Live Action and Animation, and Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing - Live Action and Animation.[9]

The Batman was also nominated for Motion Picture Sound Editors "Golden Reel Awards" for Sound Effects Editing in 2005, 2008, and 2009, winning in 2008.

The show also received its share of criticism with critics and fans as CraveOnline's Iann Robinson placed the show as #5 in a list for the Top 5 Worst Superhero Cartoons and gave criticism as the "dark and inventive animation of the first series is replaced with this weird American hybrid of Anime and computer graphics" along with new origins and makeovers. Overall, Robinson felt it didn't live up to the legacy of Batman: The Animated Series as stated in the first line "I’m not sure how we fell from Batman The Animated series to the wholly unwatchable The Batman." [10] IGN commented in "A History Of Batman" article that The Batman's "characters have a much more kiddie and cartoonish feel than those seen in the Animated Series and its kin", considered it to be "mostly geared towards children" and that the "various batsuits and gadgets and mucho action scenes" were intended to "inspire toys for kids to buy."[11]

References

  1. ^ Harvey, James (2008-02-25). "The Batman" Series Finale To Air March 8, 2008". The World's Finest. http://www.worldsfinestonline.com/news.php?action=fullnews&id=72. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  2. ^ "at". Justiceleagueonfilm.com. http://www.justiceleagueonfilm.com/2007/09/the-batman-the-.html. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  3. ^ "CBR News - The Comic Reel". Comic Book Resources. http://comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=12483. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  4. ^ ""The Batman Strikes" Concludes With Issue #50". Worldsfinestonline.com. http://www.worldsfinestonline.com/news.php?action=fullnews&id=148. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  5. ^ a b "The World's Finest - The Batman". Worldsfinestonline.com. http://www.worldsfinestonline.com/WF/thebatman/?x=backstage/interviews/jones03. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  6. ^ a b "The World's Finest - The Batman". Worldsfinestonline.com. http://www.worldsfinestonline.com/WF/thebatman/?x=backstage/interviews/jones05. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "DC Comics Solicitations for October, 2008". Comic Book Resources. http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=17321. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  9. ^ a b "The Batman (2004) Awards". imdb.com. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0398417/awards. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  10. ^ "Top 5 Best/Worst Superhero Cartoons". CraveOnline. 2010-04-27. http://www.craveonline.com/tv/articles/146488-top-5-bestworst-superhero-cartoons?start=5. Retrieved 2011-24-07. 
  11. ^ "A History of Batman on TV - TV Feature at IGN". Tv.ign.com. 2010-07-07. http://tv.ign.com/articles/891/891807p13.html. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 

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