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The Batman
The Batman.PNG
Format animated series
Created by Michael Goguen
Duane Capizzi
(supervising producers)
Starring Rino Romano
Alastair Duncan
Ming-Na
Steve Harris
Jesse Corti
Danielle Judovits
Evan Sabara
Mitch Pileggi
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 65 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 30 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)

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.

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 two Emmy Awards and one Annie Award.

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), 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 a possible future episode "Artifacts", 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.

Main characters

Character First Appearance-Last Appearance Info
The Batman / Bruce Wayne "The Bat in the Belfry" - Lost Heroes Part1 & Part 2 (series finale) Under the cape and cowl can be found a younger Bruce Wayne in his 20s. The media is more likely to catch him courtside at a Gotham Gators game or strapping on a helmet to drive his own racecar for a charity than in front of City Hall cutting a ribbon. But don't confuse the swinging bachelor persona for the real Bruce – he's intense, driven and completely focused on his life's mission to serve as the Dark Knight. Aided by technology he's secretly developed – including the operating system known as the Bat-Wave – and driven by the childhood memory of the loss of his parents, Batman takes to the streets in order to bring Gotham's new breed of super villains to justice. He is voiced by Rino Romano.
Batgirl/Barbara Gordon As Regular:
"Batgirl Begins: Part 1" - "The Joining: Part 2"
As Recurring:
"White Heat" - "Lost Heroes; Part 2" (series finale)
Batgirl, real name Barbara Gordon, the teenage daughter of Gotham's Commissioner Gordon, is a strong-willed, stubborn teen with an ironic wit. Inspired by her first contact with The Batman, she dons the cape and cowl to become Batgirl to help save her father from the hands of former friend and now villain - Poison Ivy. She eventually gains Batman's trust and he reveals his secret identity to her. In the year 2027, she is seen in her "Oracle" persona as it appears in the comics: confined to a wheelchair, and using a vast satellite network to advise both Batman and Nightwing. The present-day Barbara/Batgirl is voiced by Danielle Judovits, while Oracle was voiced by Kellie Martin.
Robin/Dick Grayson "A Matter of Family" - "Lost Heroes: Part 2 "(series finale) After the death of Dick's parents, Bruce Wayne took the boy under his wing. To bring justice to the criminal’s responsible for his parents' death, Dick joined The Batman's side as Robin. A highly skilled and energetic acrobat, Robin has become an asset to the fight alongside The Batman and Batgirl. In the year 2027, he is seen still aiding Batman and Barbara Gordon, though he now goes under the identity of Nightwing. The Present-Day Dick/Robin is voiced by Evan Sabara, while Nightwing (both the future version and an avatar for Dick in a video game) was voiced by Jerry O'Connell.
Alfred Pennyworth "The Bat in the Belfry" - "The End of The Batman" (speaking), "What Goes Up..." (nonspeaking) Within the confines of his role as butler to the Wayne estate, Alfred raised Bruce and, on occasion, continues to provide him with veiled wisdom. The cape and cowl are new enough that Alfred is still growing accustomed to them. Thus, we witness his genuine concern for Bruce’s safety when Bruce goes up against the likes of Joker, Penguin, Mr. Freeze and the will of the Rogues Gallery. He is voiced by Alastair Duncan.
Commissioner James Gordon As Regular:
"Night and the City" - "The Joining: Part 2"
As Recurring:
"Joker Express" - "What Goes Up..."
The new Commissioner Jim Gordon believes that The Batman is truly a force for good in Gotham City. Unlike Chief Rojas, Gordon will gladly allow The Batman to apprehend criminals that are considered highly dangerous and extremely difficult to apprehend.

According to former producer Jeff Matsuda, Gordon is the young officer seen in the flashback in the episode Traction. He is voiced by Mitch Pileggi.

Ellen Yin "The Bat in the Belfry" - "Night and the City" Detective Ellen Yin is as physically adept as any male cop she knows. Ellen may be new to the Gotham beat, but she's no rookie. Previously head of her department in Metropolis, she transferred to Gotham looking for new challenges. She’s a career cop at the top of her game, true blue and by the book. Not warming to Bruce Wayne so easily, Ellen doesn't have it out personally for Batman.

Yin no longer appeared after Season 2, though it is implied she becomes Police Commissioner in the near future during the fourth season episode "Artifacts." She is voiced by Ming-Na.

Chief Angel Rojas "The Bat in the Belfry" - "Night and the City" For Chief Rojas, The Batman is nothing less than a black eye to his police force. Believing there is no room for vigilante justice in Gotham, Rojas has made capturing the Dark Knight a top priority. Rojos no longer appeared in Season 3, possibly relieved of duty by commissioner Gordon. He was voiced by Edward James Olmos in his initial appearance, Jesse Corti in all his subsequent appearances.
Ethan Bennett As Regular:
"The Bat in the Belfry" - "Clayface of Tragedy: Part 2"
As Recurring:
"Meltdown" - "Clayfaces"
If Bruce Wayne could call anyone his best friend, Ethan Bennett is it. They've been friends since high school. Whereas his partner, Detective Ellen Yin, sees things in black and white, Ethan sees the grey in almost everything – and is more willing to allow The Batman to co-exist with the Gotham P.D. After being subjected to a gas from The Joker, Ethan was left physically altered - becoming The Clayface. Bennett became more and more corrupted by his power, making him one of Batman's most unpredictable and tragic adversaries, though he did show remorse and was cured of his condition in Clayfaces.

It was implied he becomes Police Chief in the near future during the fourth season episode "Artifacts." He is voiced by Steve Harris.

Justice League of America

At the conclusion of Season 4's finale "The Joining", Batman is taken to an orbiting satellite (resembling the Hall of Justice from Super Friends) where he meets members of the Justice League of America. Season 5 features the JLA in crossover episodes. In addition, Superman makes his first The Batman appearance in Season 5.

Character First Appearance-Last Appearance Info
Martian Manhunter "The Joining: Pt. 1 & Pt.2", "Lost Heroes: Pt.1 & Pt.2" The last of the Martians, J'onn J'onzz came to Earth in an attempt to prevent the alien race, known only as "the Joining", from destroying it. While undercover for the majority of his stay, he eventually joined forces with Batman to destroy the Joining once and for all. It was he who, in the months following the invasion, found other superheroes and created the Justice League, and offered Batman to join. He is voiced by Dorian Harewood.
Green Lantern "The Joining: Pt. 2" (nonspeaking), "Ring Toss" (speaking), "Lost Heroes: Pt.1 & Pt.2" In the comics, the Green Lantern is a member of the Green Lantern Corps. The Green Lantern (this incarnation being Hal Jordan) uses his power ring to fly or generate hard light constructs out of his imagination, such as various weapons or defensive shields. He is voiced by Dermot Mulroney.
Hawkman "The Joining: Pt. 2" (nonspeaking),"What Goes Up..." (Speaking), "Lost Heroes: Pt.2" In the comics, Hawkman is a Thanagarian warrior who uses alien Nth metal to attain super strength and flight and uses a Nth metal mace as his main weapon. Alan Burnett stated this version will be based on the Silver Age Hawkman Katar Hol. Although Carter Hall is retroactively considered to be Hawkman in this period in modern comics, it was confirmed to be Katar Hol when he commented that the Batcave reminded him of police headquarters on Thanagar. He is voiced by Robert Patrick. His design is slightly changed from season 4 to season 5.
Green Arrow "The Joining: Pt. 2" (nonspeaking), "Vertigo" (speaking), "Lost Heroes: Pt.1 & Pt.2" Billionaire playboy and orphan Oliver Queen is Green Arrow, armed with an arsenal of arrows including trick arrows which can serve a variety of purposes, such as grappling hook arrows or explosive arrows. Like Batman, the Green Arrow possesses no inherent superpowers but commands a vast personal wealth, fighting skills and an accuracy with a bow and arrow that is unmatched. His first speaking role was season 5's "Vertigo", in which he battled and took down former employee and old nemesis Count Vertigo. He is voiced by Chris Hardwick.
The Flash "The Joining: Pt. 2" (nonspeaking), "A Mirror Darkly" (speaking), "Lost Heroes: Pt.1 & Pt.2" In the comics, the Flash is a mantle used by four superheroes who protect the cities of Central and Keystone City. The Flash is hailed as "the fastest man alive", faster than Superman, derived from the extradimensional "Speed Force", from a which a variety of speed-applied powers originate. When asked about which incarnation of the Flash would be appearing in The Batman, Alan Burnett said that he sees Flash as Barry Allen, though they're leaving it up to the viewer. He is voiced by Charlie Schlatter, who voiced a Flash from Superman: The Animated Series, though the Flash in Superman: TAS is later revealed in the series spin-off Justice League to be Wally West.
Superman "The Batman/Superman Story: Pt.1 & Pt.2", "Lost Heroes: Pt.1 & Pt.2" Bumbling Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent is the Man of Steel: Superman. An alien from a destroyed planet called Krypton, he has superpowers from strength, speed to flight thanks to the yellow sun. As he went to Gotham to present a check from Metropolis, Metallo attacked him and this was when he first met Batman. Wanting nothing to do with another superhero, nor the new Justice League, he ended up fighting three of Batman's rogues before falling under the control of his foe Lex Luthor. After a fight against Batman, which spanned from Metropolis to Gotham, Superman was eventually freed from the control and stopped Luthor's evil plot. Later, he found a trust with Batman and decided to join the League after all. He is voiced by George Newbern, reprising the role from Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.

Villains

Batman, Robin and Batgirl have faced a slew of evil doers from the classic Batman Rogue's Gallery. Using some of the comic's most famous villains, The Batman's writers have created a unique spin on some classic characters (Poison Ivy’s origins, for instance), while introducing some of their own non-comic-book-based baddies. Some main villains of the comic book, such as Two-Face, are not included in the show. This was due to an agreement with Warner Brothers not to use them because of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

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
Digest
Volume 1: Crime Time #1-5
Volume 2: In Darkest Night #6-10
TPB, though it continues from the digest series
Volume 3: Duty Calls #11-14 and 16-18

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

Awards

The Batman received the Annie Award nomination for Best New Animated Television Show 2004.[9]

In 2006, The Batman won two Daytime Emmy awards: one for Outstanding Achievement In Sound Editing and another for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program.[9]

The show also earned its share of criticism with critics and fans alike. Many fans felt that it strayed too far from the comics and did not live up to the legacy of Batman: The Animated Series. Critics felt that the show featured too many batsuits and gadgets and was meant to "inspire toys for kids to buy." [1]].

References

External links








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