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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
No doubt you've read all the hate mail for this series by now from die
hards who loved the 90's Batman TAS.
I loved that series also, great writing, good animation.
I grew up in the 60's and was running around in my favorite T-shirt with the batman logo on it and watching the "bam, splat, zonk" as Adam West bopped the bad guys and kept himself and the boy wonder form being made into everything from giant frosty freezes to the Mad Hatter's latest fedora..
Then I watched the cartoons patterned directly on the Adam West live action show, then the incredibly hokey superfriends of the early 70's when cartoons were heavily censored and couldn't have any violence of any kind for any reason, all the way through the "some violence is OK" superfriends of the 80's..
So yes, I've watched the TV Batman evolve considerably..
This new series to me is very enjoyable and contrary to some critics I like the portable computer linked back to the main system. "Batwave" is true to 21st century technology and will surely spawn fond memories in the kids getting their first taste of the Bat :) I also liked the new penguin. The added depth of the family history in my opinion give this Character more realism than I've seen in previous incarnations. That whole angry heir to the fallen fortune thing right down to the jealousy with Bruce Wayne for still possessing his family fortune and having a Pennyworth for a butler in my book counts for some very talented thought behind the storyline.
I must admit I stopped here and took the time to register just to write this because I was sadly disappointed after having watched this series for four seasons now to see it ripped to shreds by 20 somethings who are mad that this isn't "their" batman that they grew up with on Saturday morning back in the 90's.
This is Batman, 21st century style.. High tech gadgets.. Personal on-board computers in hand, Master criminals that are not only intelligent but can hold their own in a fight and are very well matched to this incarnation of the wealthy orphan raised by the butler that has more than his own fair share of personal issues after having lost his parents to street thugs as a small child..
This series really seems to bring that fact home very well but you'll need to watch it for awhile before you see the lengths to which the writers have gone in the development of the title Character.
You will not get that depth if you just watch a couple of episodes.
Granted, as one previous reviewer had mentioned I was getting a bit weary of Joker in every episode there for awhile but the writers grew out of it and have started a storyline for the kids of the 21st century that they can grow up with and be inspired by.
Some of them may actually get the message that I did from Batman.
That with self discipline, education, physical training and a little ingenuity even an ordinary human can be a superhero.
Perhaps more importantly so that if one choses the life of a vigilante there is a mighty fine line between hero and villain.
Of course the money doesn't hurt :) I really liked the way Batgirl was introduced in this series with a home made costume and home made Bat gear until she earned the respect of the big guy enough for her to be brought in as a true team member. The most realistic introduction of that character I've seen to date.
Hopefully at some point they'll take the time to watch the TAS from the 90's which I;m sure will remain as a classic for many decades to come.
In my viewing agenda "The Batman" is a regular feature and I enjoy it immensely :)
I fought this show for a long time. I would have been like all the
others complaining about what they did wrong and this looks like jackie
chan yada yada yada and hey I loved batman TAS as much if not more than
everyone else bashing this series. I'm not going to write a book here
but just consider the DC comics "elseworld" series. It take a different
look at batman, superman etc. no one complains about that. Try reading
dark joker the wild, batman red rain, gotham by gaslight all these show
batman and the joker in a different light so why the harsh words here.
Can't we just enjoy the show? If you can just get past TAS this cartoon
really is not that bad.
Argh, It's like so many people had done so much work for nothing.
Since the "Batman" TV show in the 60's, there has been an ongoing effort with comic book artists and even a couple of filmmakers to return the Dark Knight to his roots, rather than the "Pow!, Bam!" stereotype Howie Horwitz gave him and pretty much all comics. In such efforts, these people had brought up some of the finest pieces in fiction, the extraordinary stories by Dennis O Neal and Neal Adams, "The Dark Knight Returns" by Frank Miller, the first two Batman films by Tim Burton, and of course the fantastic "Batman: the Animated Series".
So now I look at the new "The Batman" on WB, with Adam West and Frank Gorshin as regular voices, all of the old voices and character designs thrown out in favor of the stylization from "The Jackie Chan Adventures" and ostentatious gadgets and vehicles that scream "Toys Toys Toys".
The methodical pace of "TAS"(The Animated Series) has been replaced by a rapid-fire quick change motif, suiting ever increasing attention spans, I'm sure. While in TAS, physical action might sometimes take a back seat to the stories,"The Batman" overflows with Kung Fu, Slow Motion, and Dramatic rapid-Fire Jump Cuts.
The Characters have been "Updated', Batman is no longer square jawed, but has a triangle for a head, Comissioner Gordon is gone. The Batcave has gone back in time about 35 years and is complete with Batpoles and the Apple-red support beams that were prevalent in the old Adam West TV show. The Joker now sports a colorful straight jacket and hair the size of Beachball rather than his stylish purple suit of years past.
While the 'Extreme' approach may appease those with no exposure to engaging storytelling, I prefer TAS, which had strong, character driven stories, a cinematic style complete with orchestrated music, references to the best of all the batman representations, not just Adam West, and most importantly, looked like an actual movie, not a toy commercial.
'The Batman' has flashy animation, color keys that don't variate, CGI, and a ton of flashy camera techniques. But I say that it's all frosting and no cake.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I heard a lot of you out there are hearing terrible reviews of "The
Batman". Some of the critics here call it "Schumacher all over again.
If "The Batman" were Joel Schumacher all over again, this kind of stuff
would be in it... 1. Nipples and arses would be on Batman's, Batgirl's
and Robin's suits. 2. Mr. Freeze would be yelling out ice puns ALL THE
TIME. He did a few lame one-liners in Season One, but don't let that
stop you from at least renting it. 3. Robin would be super-whiny,
asking for a Robin-signal in the sky, or reversing Batman & Robin to
Robin & Batman, etc. 4. Batgirl would have been Alfred's niece. 5.
Commssioner Gordon would have been a wimp. 6. Poison Ivy would do
stupid things like spout one-liners while flirting with Batman. 7. Rino
Romano would have played Batman gay. 8. Ther would have been giant
statues of naked men ALL OVER THE PLACE! 9. Mr. Freeze would have hid
in a neon-lit ice-cream factory, conducting his henchmen to sing "I'm
Mr. White Christmas, I'm Mr. Snow." 10. Batman & Batgirl would have
used some pieces of shrapnel from Maximillian Zeus's ship they cut an
acetylene torch with to make flying surfboards.
Fortunately, none of that crap happens. Let's see what we've got. 1. The batsuit is just fine, your cape-and-cowl with the tights, utility belt, and boots batsuit. Only different thing is the emblem, which in my opinion, looks pretty dang cool. Batgirl's suit resembles the 60's Batman show a little bit, save the yellow cape. It's actually cool how she used her athletic wetsuit as her batsuit. Robin's suit totally resembles B:TAS, give 'em points for the lack of short shorts. 2. Mr. Freeze seldom uses one-liners after his debut in Season One. 3. I don't really care for Robin's actor for most of Season Four, but he gets better from the Season Four finale to the very end. 4. Batgirl is the Barbara Gordon we know, and her actress is good. 5. Commissioner Gordon kicked butt in a few occasions, but he's still not a wimp. 6. Poison Ivy's about 16 in the series. Batman's overaged for her, Robin's underaged. 7. Rino Romano does not play Batman gay. He's actually a very good voice actor, and is the highlight when it comes to voice acting in this show. 8. There aren't. Thank God. 9. He doesn't hide in a freezer factory, for cryin' out loud! 10. No, they don't ever do any type of crap like that in any season.
On a few more notes, Kevin Michael Richardson is no Mark Hamill, but he's in-character as the Joker. Any out of character Joker is a sane Joker. Alastair Duncan is a good Alfred. Also, why so many complaints about the new designs of the villains? Isn't that what you Obama fans want now? Change? Well there's some change for you! Mr. Freeze can shoot ice from his hands. The Penguin has an awesome laugh. The Joker lacks shoes. These are changes. They wanted to be a little different. Some are good, some are lame. The Batwave isn't dumb, it makes sense! It's a computer connected to everything in Batman's equipment that was electronics or computers. If you like action scenes, get this series. They are really cool and actually put B:TAS to shame in the categories of action scenes, animation, and fighting. And I have watched B:TAS. It's really good, as long as the dozen of stupid episodes like "I've Got Batman in My Basement" don't count. *SPOILER ALERT* All seasons have episodes worth getting for. You wanna see a whole Bane-centric episode where he has more than 3 minutes of screen time? Get Season One. You wanna see Batman take on the Joker, the Penguin, and the Riddler at the same time almost without getting hurt? Get Season Two. You wanna see Batman take on a cyborg 10x as powerful in strength, speed, agility, and mind? Get Season Three. You wanna see Batman take on a vigilante that captured all the villains, then take on all the ticked off villains next? Or Batman teaming up with Martian Manhunter to stop a global alien invasion? Get Season Four. You wanna see Superman, the Flash, Hal Joran, Green Arrow, and Hawkman in action? Get Season Five.
This was a fun series to watch. Every time I turned it on, I enjoyed it. Can't we just sit down, kick back, relax, and enjoy this show while drinking a soda? Why can't we just quit bashing it, get into a restful state, and watch "The Batman"? Because most of the people here are like bitter old farts who scream at youths on how they did it their day on the front porch. They want B:TAS back. I liked B:TAS once I started ordering DVDs with better episodes. But, as I have an opinion, I like "The Batman" better in a few ways.
Other than the strange character designs, I don't see why so many
people are bad-mouthing this show.
This is the lay down: Millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne (good voice work from Rino Romano) witnessed his parent's brutal murder by an unknown gunman, and vows revenge against crime by donning the scary image of a bat. This series depicts Bruce in his third year as The Batman. The police still do not recognize him as a hero, but a criminal vigilante and are trying to capture him and find out who he is.
The famous James Gordon has yet to appear in the picture, so the GCPD is headed by a non-nonsense police chief named Angel Rojas (played by Edward James Olmos), whose top priority is to capture Bats. Batman is also pursued by police detectives Ethan Bennet (Steve Harris) and Ellen Yin (Ming-Na). Bennet thinks Batman is a hero, but Yin thinks otherwise.
Since this is Batman's "early years" as The Dark Knight Detective, the "costumed freaks are just now showing up. Our caped hero finds himself clashing with the likes of The Joker (brilliant voice talent from Kevin Michael Richardson), Mr. Freeze (a cold-hearted Clancy Brown), The Penguin (Tom Kenny), and Catwoman (Gina Gershon) and other familiar bad guys for the first times in his career.
The journey goes on as Batman struggles to elude police capture and save the city from evil rouge villains.
"Bring On The Batman!"
In 92 WB produced Batman the animated series. In terms of style,
content and storyline it was revolutionary as far as (american)
cartoons were concerned. Kevin Conroy WAS and IS the voice of Batman.
It was deep, commanding and capable of great range and he has continued
being the voice of Batman through all the animated incarnations of the
character until this one; from the sub-par Batman Beyond (I still count
Bruce as Batman even in that series) to the superb Justice League.
Indeed, so strong was the style of TAS that it dictated the tone of all
DCs animated heroes, again, up until this show.
The problem with this show from the start is their decision not to use Conroy as Batman. It speaks volumes that they did not. It says, "we don't want this to be just like the other Batman cartoons". And it isn't, that's the problem.
While I don't deny people the chance to reinvent or reimagine, there is a simple truth to storytelling which is this: the further away you stray from the core concepts of the original story and character, the less attractive and watchable that character is and the poorer the result. This show proves that.
A younger Batman fighting crime and meeting his signature enemies is fine, but its been done and with considerably more style. The artwork is bizarre, not necessarily a problem in and of itself, but this Batman doesn't carry the gravity he requires- he's a guy who actively tries to terrorise criminals and you don't do that with neon-glowing gadgets as the dire Schumacher Batman movies proved eloquently.
The biggest problem I have is the characterisation, and that grates on me severely. The actual scripts are terrible, with cheesy, unfunny quips being made at every turn. Every character except Batman, Alfred and (possibly) Catwoman has been taken away from their roots, mostly so they can add some pointless fight sequences. The Joker is the biggest example, and he's been singled out many times for just this reason. The Joker is not good in a fight. He relies on henchmen and insanely well-prepared plans to achieve his ends, he does not leap around like something out of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The Penguin, while he sometimes fences with umbrellas is also not a hand to hand combatant. He relies on henchmen and his wits to try to stay ahead.
All in all, this reminds me less of Jackie Chan as others have mentioned, mostly because that looked so awful I avoided it, but of another terrible show, the new He-Man cartoon *shudder* Lots of gimmicky cuts to other scenes, a lot of empty space and bright colours and all the characters seems to spend half their time in mid-air with speed lines zooming past them. And the same three bad guys behind every single event.
I agree totally with others who have marked this as disappointing. It is the weakest thing to come out of the Batman franchise since the execrable Batman & Robin, and while not quite on that level of crappiness, it does count against the good work that was done in Batman Begins, a film I would expect this to try and stay as close to as possible given the proximity of their release and the inherent similarity in concept.
When "The Batman" was first announced, a lot of people cried foul
because it was a restart and not "Batman: The Animated Series", then
when the design first appeared and Commissioner Gordon didn't show up
during the first season, it got worse. To this day, a lot of people
still don't like "The Batman", calling it an insult to Batman and B:
TAS. This is not shared by other fans or even members of the crew of B:
TAS. Alan Burnett, who's worked on both B: TAS and TB, said that he
considered Season 4 of TB to be the best season he's ever worked on and
Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill did guest voices on the show.
The people who bash it miss the point: it's not supposed to be B: TAS, but it's own take...and it works. Commissioner Gordon appeared in the second season finale. Would I have liked to have seen him from the beginning? Yes, but he finally appeared, so it's resolved. So a lot of the early designs for the villains aren't traditional. No big deal. They worked fine. Besides, it's not exactly like Bruce Timm after B: TAS stuck true to the classic looks either. (TNBA Scarecrow, JL/JLU Amazo, S: TAS Brainiac and Toyman, I'm looking at you. That and a good part of TB's Penguin design is based on Burton's Penguin.) Batman, both his Season 1-3 and 4-5 designs are pretty good and traditional, as was Alfred. Commissioner Gordon look like he was influenced by Tim Sale's take from Batman: The Long Halloween and Dark Victory and Batgirl's costumes kind of based on the one Yvonne Craig wore as Batgirl from the old 60s Batman show. The show version of the Dick Grayson Robin, like the B: TAS, Batman Forever, and Teen Titans versions, wears a variation of Tim Darke's classic costume.
The voice is also pretty good, too. Yeah, Rino Romano as Batman isn't Kevin Conroy, but he still does a good job as the Dark Knight and besides, Kevin Conroy's was voicing Batman for 15 years. The man's entitled to a break if he wants. Likewise, Kevin Michael Richardson does a pretty good job as Joker. Again, he's not Mark Hamill, but he's still good. Alastair Duncan and Mitch Pileggi also do a good job in their roles as Alfred and Commissioner Gordon and Danielle Judovits and Evan Sabara are pretty cool as Batgirl and Robin.
Yeah, Season 1, outside of the finale, was bad and full of clunkers, but the first seasons to "Justice League" and "X-Men Evolution" weren't exactly anything to write home about either and like those two show, The Batman improved a great deal in it's second season and afterward. As long as you remember that it's not supposed to be B: TAS and keep in mind that Season 1 wasn't the best season, you can enjoy this take of Batman.
Dear fellow commentators(especially the bad ones) I think that you should be ashamed of yourselves how you commented on The Batman. Really, can't you people not understand the meaning of hard work to make The Batman great in its new fashion. This Batman shows a lot about Bruce's life as a young civilian. I'm not saying the older Batman series were uncool but this one is better to some and equal to other people. Why do people of the new generation behave this way. Batman has been a great legendary hero for years. Now that it has been brought to life after these long years why do people complain. How would you feel to be born since the 1930s and never get to see much of these series. The Batman series is an excellent way to display Bruce Wayne/Batman in his younger age. It also focuses on the other characters equally. This series even show where and how he got his technologies. I mean did the other Batmen before showed this quality. I've always wanted to know how Batman met Batgirl and the great attribute about this show is that the cops actually pay attention to Batman as a vigilante. The art and color are quite interesting and the music is spine chilling. The action, now This I like. I love the new Bat weapon the BatBot. This weapon's really cool. The villains are awesome especially Bane, The Joker( His jokes are funny and at least this time he puts up a fight),The Riddler and ManBat and Penguin. Now for Batwoman. Her costume looks really stupid but when you think about it she's a young kid. I mean really do you think someone who lives in an ordinary home design something like this costume. This show also portrays a lot about Bruce's past and present life. Also Alfred is now payed more attention to for once or maybe,actually twice but still. My last words are that this show is great and people should pay more attention but then again the show was made for children. 10 out of 10. Excellent plan Warner Bros.
One of the biggest disappointments to people is this show's animation
and the radical looks of some villains (mostly Joker).
The animation was done very slick in a Japanese anime style to catch new audiences that are used to it these days. Let's be honest and remember that old DCAU shows changed their animation from "The New Adventures of Batman" to "Justice League" for the same reason.
The reason for more action is because of that stupid 65 episode rule. This gives limited time for story which I find disappointing, you can tell they were going for a story that would lead to a Dark Knight Returns kind of arc. The show seems campy at times(because of those damn rules child broadcasting has), but has more dark moments like it should. You can easily tell from the first two episodes that they had planned for a mob story-arc similar to Batman:Year One. Each season pretty much starts with a story that grows to a nice climax at the end(the same technique is done in Marvel's new series "The Spectacular Spiderman"). If you continue to watch the show, you can see how his detective skills grow over time. Remember we're watching a young Bruce growing into the Dark Knight the city needs him to be.
In BTAS he's been at it as Batman for a couple of years already, he's known as a detective, and is accepted by the police. This show has him on the vigilante side and Gordon doesn't come in until later. I love how we get to see more of Bruce having a social life and protecting his alter-ego, where in BTAS how do you not know he's Batman!? Kevin Conroy's awesome but his voice doesn't seem to change in and out of the cowl. The creators of the show took their own liberties to pay respect to BTAS and the shadow it will forever cast. The use of villains is good too, I like how they use the lesser known ones.
The visuals are stunning in the fight and chase scenes(you can tell they were pulled right out of Batman comics), sound quality is top of the line for an animated show too. You have a sense of life from Gotham too. Where in previous DCAU shows there would be so many fights in the city you'd ask yourself "where are the people?". I personally think Clayface was done well, but nothing beats how Dr. Hugo Strange is portrayed. I personally think this incarnation of him is used best (even better than BTAS portrayal). The fact that the villains can stand a fighting chance to Batman was always cool to me, I like how each one has their own fighting style. As a Bat-fan I disliked how the villains would do nothing but plot and you knew in the back of your head that in the end of the episode all it's gonna take is one punch from Batman to end it. Joker is always a subject of debate among people who see this show. To me not liking this Joker is like hating Heath Ledger's portrayal(his Joker was so radical that his skin wasn't even bleached), they both do a great job nonetheless. Personally I think Mark Hamill forever nailed the role.
Everything else was because of legal issues really. Robin appearing after Batgirl(because of Teen Titans ending), Batman not having a square chin and Kevin Conroy not doing the voice(because Justice League was still on at the time, Rino Ramano did a good job as a young Batman though), Scarecrow, Two-Face, and Ra's Al Ghul not appearing(because of them being in the new movies).
In a time where good cartoons are hard to find these days the creators of this show worked with what they had and did a great job at it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've heard all kinds of insults thrown at The Batman, and its just
getting tiresome. It can't be the original series because its been done
and as much as I love BTAS, its time to try something new.
This is not the Batman of the 90's, 60's 40's whatever. What we have here is an up to date Batman in the 21'st century. New gadgets, new suit, new Batman. Bruce Wayne, he's doing what he's supposed to being, being a playboy bachelor and acting as if he hasn't got a care in the world, while as Batman he's not at his darkest yet but he's getting there. He's still the serious Batman, just hasn't been pushed to his limits yet, give it time.
Alfred has more to do in this series this time around, appearing more in the episodes, getting involved with some of the villains and even getting some time in sub plots. He also has changed since first season. He no longer burdens Bruce about his alternate life but rather encourages it.
Batgirl, though not my favorite character has an interesting introduction to the story and tends to add some simple comic relief to the story here and there but shows she's a good partner.
Then we have his Rouge Gallery of villains. All right, some like 'em, some don't and I won't argue with your opinions. Though as I said, this is not BTAS. To recreate a famous story, you gotta makes some changes in both the plot and characters, change outfits and looks, give them new motives, keep it original. Joker, I do miss his suit and his entire figure, but that look has been around for over 60 years. When you think of Joker you think "insane", right? Well you can't get anymore insane then that and the motive is still the same, he's always a thorn in Batman's side. Or is that the other way around...?. Mr. Freeze has become more hi-tech and has gone back to his earlier roots as a average thief turned into a creature with a temp. below zero (with a small hint of his former wife). Bane, with his venom is a thug for hire and more dangerous than before with his gain in hight and his intelligence. Catwomen more or less is still like her BTAS self, now sporting an outfit inspired by her 80's look. A personal favorite is Ethan Bennett, the new Clayface. ******SPOILER****** Sporting a smaller body and new attacks, he wanted to get back at Joker who was the cause of his mutation but wanted his former boss dead for his harshness and his "Zero Tolerance for Freaks" rule. ******SPOILER****** There's many others I could go on about, Clue Master (One shot deal, not a great bad guy), Ragdoll (haven't seen that episode yet), Poison Ivy (Cool design, and her tie in with Batgirl's interesting), and the Riddler (don't mind the design to much, though great writing and voice actor) among others but you get where I'm going with this I hope...
This is not trying to be BTAS, this is trying to be its own show, such as The Teen Titan's. And an anime rip off? Yeah, its inspired by the style but tell me exactly what style its ripping off. Not one I can think of I'm afraid, besides they could have had a much worse style. And the childish writing? I've seen worse, and even BTAS had a some child friendly writing ("I've Got Batman In My Basment" and as much as I like Riddler and the episode to introduce him, "If You're So Smart, Why Arn't You Rich?"), but lets not forget the darker and more mature story's ("Feet Of Clay/2", "Clock King", "The Man Who Killed Batman", "Two-face/2", "Perchance To Dream", tell me when to stop). They both have some childish writing, but have some darkness throughout.
I don't care if its not like the comics, not like BTAS, not like the movies, was it ever trying to be? Its not the greatest thing ever, but its at least worth a look at. And even if you do despise the series, at the most give Batman vs. Dracula a chance and see how dark it can be. The Batman, 8/10
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