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Batman The Animated Newsletter #117

Batman The Animated Newsletter #117

Batman: The Animated Newsletter
Weeks of July 15 to July 28, 2002
Volume 4, 7
Rated: PG (as with all other things Batman-related)

THIS ISSUE’S SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE: “Where has my head been!?”

Man, we’ve been so busy that we nearly forgot to announce that ON JULY 5, 2002,

Coming along for the ride this issue is Jason Hall, a recent guest-writer for of GOTHAM ADVENTURES. Scroll down just past the news section to read the interview we’ve managed to wrangle up!

Once again, thank you to all your 2500+ subscribers out there for keeping us alive and well for this long. This newsletter wouldn’t exist without each and every one of you!

-Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
editor and millionaire playboy

On September 5 of this year, BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES will be celebrating its tenth anniversary of production. This ranges everywhere from the show itself to the comics based upon it to books, toys, video games, merchandising…everything started on this date.

As a way to celebrate, co-editor Dick Grayson has set up a page at his WORLD’S FINEST site where he has big things planned for this momentous occasion, including creator interviews, reviews, and a poll that will ultimately decide what the “best episode ever” is. (This was recently decided as being HEART OF ICE. Quel suprise.)

To check it out, go to this URL:

Hello fellow subcribers! As part of our celebration of the 10-year anniversary of BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, we’d like to take your suggestions of what is a sure-fire sign of being a die-hard Bat-fan. Submit your ideas to us at – in September we’ll be taking a sampling of the best (depending on the number we receive) and publishing them in that issue.

Here’s an example – they can be either simple and straightforward or someone creative:


…you collect everything Batman-related, like comics, action figures, etc…


…you get all giddy inside whenever you hear the word “Batman” or any of his cast of characters mentioned in any other movies or TV shows, even if it’s for a mere instant.

Get the idea? It’s pretty simple…so enjoy!
New episodes are on the horizon! Here’s what we can expect in the near future…

Yeah, there are still a chunk of JUSTICE LEAGUE episodes we’re waiting for see.
No definite dates have been given, though.
(see back issues for older info)

-Hey, wanna be a part of the TOONZONE gang? Just check out the forums at to find a whole lot of other people (and many fellow subscribers) that like not only Batman, but various other things, too. You won’t be disappointed! I’ve joined, and it’s a really cool place…and now we want you! *POINTS, UNCLE-SAM-STYLE*
-To read a recent interview Jim Harvey conducted with Rick Burchett, go here:
-The following artists are selling artwork on eBay. The following are their names and Seller ID’s:
Terry Beatty:
Craig Rousseau: cerousseau
Tim Levins: tlevins
Min S. Ku: min3000gt

-The JUSTICE LEAGUE episode INJUSTICE FOR ALL (featuring the “Injustice League”) will air on the US Cartoon Network before the fall of ’02.
-To see a series of still images from INJUSTICE FOR ALL, go to the following link; be forewarned, they do contain spoilers:
-Aquaman will return in a JUSTICE LEAGUE episode in season 2.
-The following is a remaining episode-title listing for the first season of JLA:
#8, 9 Injustice For All
#20, 21 A Knight Of Shadows
#22, 23 Metamorphis
#24, 25, 26 The Savage Time

-Rick Burchett will once again be providing the artwork for GOTHAM ADVENTURES, this time in , a mob story.
-For a sneak peak at the upcoming five-issue GOTHAM GIRLS mini-series (in the animated style), follow this link:
Gotham’s wild and woolly Lower East Side has a new hero…and it’s not the Dark Knight. No, these days the kids are going wild – literally – for Bane! Just what is going on here? And what is Batman going to do about it?
In stores August 28. Gotham gets strangled by a super-plant whose roots run clear to the Batcave. It’s got Poison Ivy written all over it…but where is she? And has she uncovered the Dark Knight’s secret? Batman must track it – and her – deep into the Amazon jungle to find out.
In stores September 25. As a crime spree unfolds, a writer tries to get into the minds of Batman and his quarry – and only gets in the way. Will the writer get the story he’s looking for, or will she become the story?
In stores October 30. Batman finds himself caught in a deadly quarrel between mobsters, each claiming the other kidnapped his wife. He’s got to help them out – or risk a full-fledged mob war.
“Stepping Out,” the troubling tale of a super-hero’s dilemma: balancing a love life with his duties to the JLA. When evil strikes, it’s never convenient – and the Flash somehow must help the Justice League save the world without raising the ire of his beautiful date. This romantic catastrophe is wrapped up in a cover by Justice League animator Butch Lukic.
Superman is taken down in battle and the Martian Manhunter must replace him as a hero to millions. But does the shy, reserved alien have what it takes to inspire all of humanity?
You’ll want to grab a sweater and light a fire as Mr. Freeze, Captain Cold, Killer Frost and a chilling cabal of icy super-villains attempt a hostile takeover of a small African nation. Can the League stop them in time or will they be the first victims of the “Cold War?”
-GOTHAM GIRLS #1 of 5 (miniseries)
Written by Paul Storrie; art by Jennifer Graves and J. Bone; cover by Shane Glines.
In stores August 14. The women of the hit WB Online webtoon burst into the animated DC Universe in an action-packed miniseries! Unable to resist a golden opportunity to fund her beloved lion preserve, Catwoman heists a vial of a mysterious formula for a shady company – only to discover she’s actually working for Poison Ivy and mallet-wielding sidekick Harley Quinn. That sets off an every-villain-for-herself chase across Gotham’s rooftops – and attracts the attention of both Batgirl and officer Rene Montoya, who reluctantly team up to join in the fray! For more information, see the feature article.

-For more animated comic updates, go here:

-The third and final chapter of THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN will come out on July 31, 2002.
-Beginning in August, DC Comics will raise the price of Batman: Gotham Adventures, Justice League Adventures, and all other “animated” or “Cartoon Network” titles from $1.99 to $2.25 per issue.
-DETECTIVE COMICS #773: A story featuring Sasha Bordeaux’s time in prison. Also featuring Cucilla (one of the many Jokerized LAST LAUGH villains).
-BATMAN #606, 607: Batman and Deadshot meet again.
-BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS #33: Batman and Bane actually team up to destroy the last of the Lazarus Pits.

-Chapter 17: GOTHAM KNIGHTS #31; released July 17. Batman tracks down a lead that brings about a startling discovery: Who was behind the Bruce Wayne smear campaign and how much absolute power his enemy actually wields.
Cover: Unavailable.
-Chapter 18: BATMAN #605; released July 24. The entire Bat-crew assembles at the cave for the revelation of Vesper Fairchild’s murderer. But identifying the murderer and capturing them are entirely different matters. A mind sharp enough to frame Bruce Wayne would have to be very, very difficult to snare…

-ONSTAR is holding a contest where a winner gets to have a walk-on role in whatever the next Batman movie will be.

-More confirmation on the 2004 release date of BATMAN: YEAR ONE. Darren Aronofsky’s next film, LAST MAN, is being filmed this summer, and YEAR ONE is likely his next project. This should start filming by mid-2003, aiming for a summer 2004 release date. Thanks to and the GOTHAM WEEKLY NEWS for this tidbit!
-Aronofsky is also saying that Ellen Burstyn, the star of another of his films (REQUIEM FOR A DREAM) will appear in his next film. This could be either YEAR ONE or another film he has on his slate, “LAST MAN”.

-It looks like an independent movie is being made. Check out this link and see for yourself:

-No new news here. It probably won’t be another BATMAN BEYOND movie, though.

-Don’t count on this one any time soon.

-THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER reports that director Wolfgang Petersen has changed the title of the proposed WORLD’S FINEST movie to simply BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN. Andrew Kevin Walker (SE7EN) wrote the draft. The two lead roles should be cast within two to four weeks, with 2003 as set as a temporary production start date.
Follow this link for more:
-Variety has revealed that the much-rumoured BATMAN & SUPERMAN movie is the front runner for release in 2004. With the second installment of the SCOOBY-DOO franchise coming as well as HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN in 2004, it still leaves three slots open that year for some big budget spectacle movies.
Here is what Variety reported:
“Batman and/or Superman”: It’s been five years since the poorly received “BATMAN & ROBIN,” and the WB now seems ready to take its superhero responsibilities seriously.
Last year, the studio brought Darren Aronofsky on board to develop “Batman: Year One” with creator Frank Stack. But the superhero project that has the greatest likelihood of moving forward, Horn now says, is “Batman & Superman,” in which the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight join forces against evil. Wolfgang Petersen is attached to produce, develop and possibly direct.

-Though it is remaining in the current timeslot on the WB, in Canada, SMALLVILLE will move from its Wednesday timeslot at 8pm to a Thursday timeslot at 7pm, also on GLOBAL.

-Nothing notable to speak of…yet.

-MATTEL has just gained the rights to Batman, Superman, Justice League, and a handful of other WB properties. They will have exclusive rights to merchandising all the action figures (etc) around the world, excluding Asia. Mattel used to hold the rights to Batman, but Hasbro/Kenner has been in the driver’s seat from 1989 until now.
-Warner Bros.’ Senior Vice President of Advertising and Promotions, Joel Ehrlich revealed that the public “won’t see a Justice League toy line this year, but will sometime in 2003.” Sounds like a plan to me!
-DC Direct will be releasing an Aquaman maquette (in the same style as the other 7 JLA maquettes) in 2003.
-We can look forward to the PUPPETS OF CRIME four-pack, featuring Undercover Bruce Wayne, Nightwing, a repainted Killer Croc, and a brand-new Ventriloquist/Scarface figure! Apparently, they’re due out in mid-August. For pics, go to the following link. Thanks to Bill Curtis for the link!
-JUSTICE LEAGUE is making its way onto GAMEBOY ADVANCE! The game is entitled “JUSTICE LEAGUE: INJUSTICE FOR ALL”, and features more than 14 unique levels, as players pick from one of seven Justice Leaguers (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl and Martian Manhunter) and use the individual character’s special powers and skills to defeat the Injustice League’s evil plans. The Injustice Gang consists of characters such as Lex Luthor, The Joker, The Shade, and more. Justice League: Injustice For All is in development and scheduled to ship in fall 2002 for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance. The Justice League will also be featured in video games scheduled for release in 2003 on the PS2, Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube.

For more BATMAN, SUPERMAN, JUSTICE LEAGUE, BATMAN BEYOND, and related stories and news, check out the WORLD’S FINEST NEWSPAGE at:

-interviewed by Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton

First off, Mr. Hall, thank you for taking the time to do this interview. It really means a lot to us to talk to any of the creators that have a part in shaping our favourite characters. ;-Y

So, let’s get started!

TIM#01: Could you tell us a little about yourself? Like myself, many of us
weren’t terribly familiar with your name prior to GOTHAM ADVENTURES #51. Where you’re from, your age, what else you’ve written…you know, just a basic background.

JASON#01: I’m 29 years old, have read and loved comics since the fifth grade, and now happily live in the Great Northwest. I co-created PISTOLWHIP COMICS ( with collaborator Matt Kindt (published by Top Shelf Productions) – which includes writing the comic “Mephisto and the Empty Box” (recently optioned for feature film by Singer/Jensen Entertainment) and doing some additional writing in the “Pistolwhip” graphic novel. The books were named #1 Indy Comics of 2001 by WIZARD Magazine, listed on TIME Magazine’s Top Ten List of Comics for 2001, and we were nominated for two Harvey Awards. I’m also a fairly regular contributor to Dark Horse’s STAR WARS TALES (I wrote “A Wookiee Scorned!” in #10, “The Princess Leia Diaries” in #11, the upcoming “Children of the Force” in #13, and another story after that in #14). Also coming up this year, I’ve written a brand-new 8-page PISTOLWHIP story called “January” for this September’s DARK HORSE MAVERICK: HAPPY ENDINGS book, as well as the next PISTOLWHIP epic graphic novel, titled “Pistolwhip: The Yellow Menace”, due out this December.

TIM#02: Lots of writers and artists have loved Batman from a very young age. What got you interested?

JASON#02: I’ve always liked Batman. I remember when I was a little kid, my grandfather took me to a live stage show of Batman and Robin that was sort of a combination of the comics and the 60’s TV show – it was amazing! We even went backstage and got to take a picture of Batman and Robin in an “action pose”. But the two things that really drove Batman home for me were the BATMAN ANIMATED SERIES (a no-brainer there!) and “Batman: Year One” by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli (which is, in my humble opinion, not just the greatest Batman story ever – for both writing and artwork – but the best “super-hero” story as well). I think Batman’s tragic origins and the fact that he has no “super-powers” are a couple of the elements that make him such an appealing character.

TIM#03. Do tell. It’s for many of those same reasons that I got into Batman, myself. I know lots of us fans would love to take a stab at writing or drawing for the comics professionally. Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers and artists?

JASON#03: All I can really offer is, if writing and/or drawing comics is your dream – then stick to it as long as you can. There’s no way to predict how long things will take. It’s a lot of hard work, as is anything that’s worthwhile. But the more you write, or the more you draw, the better you’re going to get. I feel like I’m constantly learning new things. Consider self-publishing or trying to get published by one of the indy publishers. There’s more to the world of comics than just the “big-name” companies!

TIM#04. Considering all the storylines you tied in to of GOTHAM ADVENTURES, you must have a thorough knowledge of the animated Bat-universe. As you were chosen to write a filler issue, why is it that you chose to write this particular story? What inspired you?

JASON#04: I am a huge fan of BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, and if I had to pick a favorite episode, it would be “Heart of Ice”. I had the basic idea for the story in #51 ever since that episode aired for the first time oh-so-many years ago. It was probably right after I had graduated from high school, and it was sort of a pipe-dream – wishing I could write for the series and do a follow-up episode. So the inspiration was certainly that episode. I’m drawn to tragic stories (my “Mephisto” comic is another example). I think it’s because those types of stories tend to leave you wanting more – they sort of linger inside you – and I like that. Of course, that’s not to say I don’t enjoy reading and telling stories that aren’t tragic or morose.

Plus, I enjoy the continuity of the Batman Animated Universe, and I wanted to utilize story and character elements that had been established or hinted at on the various shows and in the various Animated comics to give the story a sense of “moving forward”. I like it when things aren’t simply back to the “status quo” at the end of a story. I like to feel that change can happen with these characters to a certain degree. So I wanted to put some of that into my story, by dealing with the Nora/Victor relationship, and to a lesser extent, by hinting at the potential future relationship between Bruce and Barbara. And my goal concerning the continuity was to deal with it in such a way that it supports the story without making things entirely hinged on it – rewarding long-time fans of the Animated series and comics, but without alienating casual readers.

TIM#05. Do tell – it was a breath of fresh air! Anyway, I won’t spoil the issue for any of our readers that hasn’t read it, but I imagine that the task of giving Nora Fries some actual dialogue is quite a daunting task, considering we’ve had expectations building up over the past ten years since HEART OF ICE first aired. I personally feel you pulled it off quite nicely. What are your thoughts about this creative process?

JASON#05: First, thanks for the kind words! Basically, I had created for myself an opportunity to make Nora more of a “real” character – to develop her a bit so she wasn’t just a beautiful female “MacGuffin”. Part of that was establishing for the first time that Nora is a scientist. If you consider that she married two brilliant scientists, it seemed plausible that she’d be one herself – giving them all a common ground. I definitely think it makes her a stronger character than if she was simply a fashion model type or something like that. I didn’t want Nora to be just about being beautiful – I wanted Victor to be in love with her just as much (if not more) for her mind as her looks. I didn’t want either of them to have the possibility of remotely being considered “superficial”. Victor and Nora are very much in love with each other, but there’s a growing list of obstacles that keeps them apart. That’s the greatest tragedy, and it’s what makes their story so compelling.

Concerning the other characters in the story – since it was basically established on BATMAN BEYOND that Barbara and Bruce had a romantic relationship in the past, I figured all that had to start somewhere…so I wanted to just hint at the potential beginnings of that a bit. But as with most things, those scenes dealing with that in my story could be interpreted in many different ways. I thought it made sense to play the potential Bruce/Barbara relationship against the Victor/Nora relationship – Bruce gaining a greater understanding of Victor’s motivations (but, of course, not agreeing with Victor’s actions) – and perhaps coming to some degree of realization concerning his own feelings. Both Freeze’s and Batman’s actions are basically fueled by emotions, and both characters tend to build a wall around those emotions with a chilly demeanor.

TIM#06. Judging from your posts at the Toonzone message boards, Mr. Freeze seems to be your favourite villain, or even character, period. Why is that?

JASON#06: It’s true, the Batman Animated version of Mr. Freeze is definitely my favorite character from the show (if I had to pick one). Mr. Freeze is someone who is supposedly frozen to emotion, yet his entire motivation is based on emotion! It’s that ironic nature that I find very appealing. And on top of that, you have the relationship with Nora (as I talked about above). I always wanted to see more of their story…however, little did I know I’d be the one telling

TIM#07: Speaking of Freeze, I have to ask…whadaya think of Arnie?

JASON#07: It’s probably best not to even mention that movie… aren’t we all trying to forget it? 🙂

TIM#08: Yeah – but the emotional scars from that movie are still haunting me. Getting back on track then, what are some of your other favourite characters?

JASON#08: From the Batman Animated Universe, some favorites are Batgirl, Poison Ivy (and Harley, when they’re teamed up), Two-Face, and Catwoman. Of course, that’s not to say I don’t like the Joker and the rest of the gang. Batman does have the greatest cast of villains – and that’s probably attributed to the fact that most of them have tragic origins (Mr. Freeze being the most tragic of all).

From comics in general, my favorite “super-heroes” are the Golden Age Justice Society. I’m a huge fan of the 20’s-40’s, and there’s something about those characters that is just so appealing – the costumes, the era, the whole thing. Martian Manhunter, the Legion of Super-Heroes, and Hellboy (though I suppose he’s technically not a “super-hero”) are some more favorites in that category.

TIM#09: Fan reaction to your one-issue stint has been astounding. What are the chances of you returning to do another issue in the future?

JASON#09: Of course, GOTHAM ADVENTURES already has a regular creative team made up of talented folks, and fill-in issues don’t happen too often – but I would certainly love to do another one!

TIM#10: Would you like to take a shot at writing for the mainstream Batman comics, too?

JASON#10: Definitely! Ideally, I’d love to do a monthly title, while being able to do other projects on the side. Presently, I’m working on a pretty exciting project (non “Bat-related”), which I can’t talk about it quite yet. However, the announcement should be coming up soon, and I’ll be sure to let everyone know!

TIM#11: Is there anything else you’d like to say to us Bat-fans across the world?

JASON#11: I’d just like to say that I’m flattered by and truly appreciate all the wonderful comments and high praise readers have had about my Gotham Adventures issue – thanks, everyone! The most rewarding thing about writing comics and telling stories is finding out that people out there are appreciating them. It was an honor to work with such a talented team of people (Brad Rader, Terry Austin, Zylonol, Albert T. Guzman, Harvey Richards, and Joan Hilty) – from the artwork, to the coloring, to the cover, to the lettering – I thought it all turned out top-notch! (And if you haven’t picked up the issue yet…what are you waiting for?! 🙂 )

TIM: Thanks for participating in our interview, Jason! Good luck with all your future work – we hope to see your name in print again soon!

-Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton

In coming months, the CARTOON NETWORK will have the ability to show all of the WB’s superhero series. Until these dates, only BATMAN BEYOND and JLA will be on the air. Here are the times all will be shown:

NOTE: Starting on August 3, BATMAN BEYOND will only air on CARTOON NETWORK during it’s 10:30 pm Saturday Night slot.

Fri 07-19-02 JLA The Enemy Below (Pt. 2)
Sat 07-20-02 JLA The Enemy Below (Pt. 2)
Sat 07-20-02 JLA Fury (Pt. 1)
Sun 07-21-02 JLA Paradise Lost (Pt. 1)
* * * * * *
Fri 07-26-02 JLA Paradise Lost (Pt. 1)
Sat 07-27-02 JLA Paradise Lost (Pt. 1)
Sat 07-27-02 JLA Fury (Pt. 2)
Sun 07-28-02 JLA Paradise Lost (Pt. 2)
* * * * * *
Fri 08-02-02 JLA Paradise Lost (Pt. 2)
Sat 08-03-02 JLA Paradise Lost (Pt. 2)
Sat 08-03-02 JLA Legends (Pt. 1)
Sun 08-04-02 JLA War World (Pt. 1)

Mon 07-15-02 BEYOND #32 Sneak Peek
Tue 07-16-02 BEYOND #33 Plague
Wed 07-17-02 BEYOND #34 The Eggbaby
Thu 07-18-02 BEYOND #35 April Moon
Fri 07-19-02 BEYOND #36 Payback
Sat 07-20-02 BEYOND #18 Bloodsport
* * * * * *
Mon 07-22-01 BEYOND #37 Sentries of the Lost Cosmos
Tue 07-23-02 BEYOND #38 Big Time
Wed 07-24-02 BEYOND #39 Untouchable
Thu 07-25-02 BEYOND #40 Where’s Terry
Fri 07-26-02 BEYOND #41 Ace in the Hole
Sat 07-27-02 BEYOND #19 Hidden Agenda
* * * * * *
Mon 07-29-02 BEYOND #42 King’s Ransom
Tue 07-30-02 BEYOND #43 Betrayal
Wed 07-31-02 BEYOND #44 Out of the Past
Thu 08-01-02 BEYOND #45 Speak No Evil
Fri 08-02-02 BEYOND #46 Inqueling
Sat 08-03-02 BEYOND #20 Once Burned

Sat 07-20-02 BTAS #28 Dreams in Darkness
Sat 07-27-02 BTAS #29 Eternal Youth
Sat 08-03-02 BTAS #30 Perchance to Dream

Sat 07-20-02 STAS #23 Double Dose
Sat 07-27-02 STAS #24 Solar Power
Sat 08-03-02 STAS #25 Brave New Metropolis

(BATMAN on YTV – courtesy of our friends at YTV)

Why YTV airs BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES at 3:30am on weekdays, I don’t know, but hey, that’s the hand we’ve been dealt. Set your VCRs!

YTV also has the rights to all of the BATMAN BEYOND episodes, which will air every Saturday mornings at 10:00am, and then Saturday nights (or, technically, Sunday mornings) at 12:30am.

Mon 07-15-02: BTAS #05 Pretty Poison
Tue 07-16-02: BTAS #03 Nothing to Fear
Wed 07-17-02: BTAS #09 Be a Clown
Thu 07-18-02: BTAS #26 Appointment in Crime Alley
Fri 07-19-02: BTAS #07 P.O.V.

Mon 07-22-02: BTAS #25 The Clock King
Tue 07-23-02: BTAS #04 The Last Laugh
Wed 07-24-02: BTAS #29 Eternal Youth
Thu 07-25-02: BTAS #10 Two-Face (Pt. 1)
Fri 07-26-02: BTAS #17 Two-Face (Pt. 2)

Mon 07-29-02: BTAS #24 Fear of Victory
Tue 07-30-02: BTAS #12 I’ve Got Batman in my Basement
Wed 07-31-02: BTAS #23 Vendetta
Thu 08-01-02: BTAS #19 Prophecy of Doom
Fri 08-02-02: BTAS #08 The Forgotten

Sat 07-20-02: 10:00am #05 The Winning Edge
Sun 07-21-02: 12:30am #23 Mind Games

Sat 07-27-02: 10:00am #06 Shriek
Sun 07-28-02: 12:30am #24 Revenant

(by “Belle Book”)

“Pretty Poison”
Written by: Paul Dini
Story by: Paul Dini and Michael Rogers
Teleplay by: Tom Ruegger
Directed by: Boyd Kirkland
Airdate: September 14, 1992
Rating (out of 5 stars): ****1/2

After spending a good part of his evening capturing an escaped prisoner, Bruce Wayne has dinner with his good friend, DA Harvey Dent, and Pamela Isley, a beautiful woman whom Dent’s madly in love with despite knowing her for only a week. Pamela leaves early, kissing Dent before she goes. Soon afterwards, Dent falls unconscious (into his chocolate mousse), a victim of poison. Batman’s able to isolate the toxin, which comes from the wild thorny rose, but the plant has been extinct for five years – or has it? Could someone have rescued the wild thorny rose and used its poison on Dent? Batman’s got to find the truth, and fast!

This episode was a really interesting one. It’s the first appearance in the series of Poison Ivy, and as such it gives us a look into her motives for trying to kill Dent. Because Dent’s project of building Stonegate Penitentiary threatened the existence of the wild thorny rose, and destroyed a bunch of other weeds and wildflowers growing on the site, she feels that he committed murder and therefore must die. It also shows us her insanity – the charge of murder is a little strong for what Dent did, and besides, the wild thorny rose is a poisonous plant.

But what interested me the most was not the Poison Ivy plot, but the scene that took place before Poison Ivy’s attempt to murder Dent. We see Pamela Isley (Poison Ivy) and Dent waiting for Bruce (Batman) to arrive, and Dent begins to order, saying that Bruce is always late. As he describes Bruce, we are treated to glimpses of Batman in action. For example, he says that Bruce probably got hung up on business – and we then see Batman take down a helicopter that was used to get the prisoner out of Stonegate! There’s increasing irony in the contrast between what Dent says and what we see Batman doing, culminating in Dent’s claim that “There’s nothing we two don’t know about each other,” followed by Batman’s telling the prisoner he captured that he’s the prisoner’s “worst nightmare”! It’s really funny!

The characterizations are very good as well. Alfred proves his usefulness once again, telling Batman that the wild thorny rose has been extinct for nearly five years (we soon learn that he’s mistaken), and getting info on Isley. As for Harvey Dent, it’s nice to see him in his last appearance before he becomes Two-Face. Also, there’s plenty of irony in his relationship with Bruce Wayne – they’re such good friends, and yet Dent doesn’t realize that Wayne’s got a hidden side, nor that he will become an enemy of Batman – Bruce’s hidden side.

As I said earlier, Pamela Isley/Poison Ivy is an interesting character. She obviously loves plants, and tries her hardest to save them. The problem is that she goes too far trying to save them, resorting to attempted murder as the case may be. She’s proof that the ends don’t always justify the means, something that quite a few Batman villains have in common (Catwoman, Mr. Freeze, and Ra’s Al Ghul being the most notable of those villains). As a result, she is buried in Stonegate but promises to grow back like the plants she loves.

And finally, there’s Bruce Wayne/Batman. He has to do a lot of detective work in this episode. First, Bruce has to isolate the toxin that’s killing Dent. Then, once he figures out that Isley might have had something to do with Dent’s poisoning (don’t know why – maybe her hug reminded him of her kissing Dent), he has Alfred gain information on her – information that convinces him that she tried to kill him. After that, he becomes Batman and attempts to find Isley and find a way to save his friend. He shows his resourcefulness in the fight that follows her poisoning him, first by managing to get himself free, then by getting her to release the antidote in exchange for the wild thorny rose she saved. All in all, it’s Batman at his best.

Though this episode isn’t as classic as “Heart of Ice”, it’s still a fine
episode and worthy of BTAS.

Belle Book

WANTED: A reviewer for JUSTICE LEAGUE ADVENTURES comics. Send me an e-mail at if you’re a JUSTICE LEAGUE fan and you’d like to take a stab at it!

ISSUE: “Early Thaw” (#51)
WRITTEN BY: Jason Hall
PENCILS: Brad Rader
INKS: Terry Austin
ISSUED: June 26, 2002 (Cover date: Aug 02)
RATING: *****

I don’t know who this Jason Hall guy is or where he came from, but don’t let him get away! After a string of not-so-special issues by Scott Peterson, this new blood has instilled new life into GOTHAM ADVENTURES. Not to knock Peterson’s work or anything, because I have enjoyed a number of his stories (such as the terrific Catwoman story in ), but this is exactly what this title needed. Why?

1. Good writing. No, Peterson’s writing wasn’t poor, and we know he is capable of good stuff. Then again, I was happy to see that we didn’t discover that the real “villain” pulling the strings in this issue was a crazy unappreciated chef or a laid-pack artiste. The writing was serious and dealt with an interesting topic. Low-key “stories about nothing” with silly twists at the ending are fine, but we had been getting far too many in this title recently.

2. A different style. Look at how the mainstream titles were rejuvanated following NO MAN’S LAND when the new creative teams were brought in. In , we were without the Peterson trademark – the three opening pages of splash art, and little dialogue. Hall’s pacing worked perfectly for this story – it went very quickly, but there was still a lot of dialogue to get through. A change of pace never hurt any body.

3. Characters were developed. The focus of the story was obviously the relationship between Victor and Nora Fries, and it came off without a hitch. Freeze’s characterization was spot on; it was only a matter of time before he tried to get back to Nora. It was also great to see how Nora’s character was portrayed when NOT restricted to suspended animation…even if it was just on the final page.

The hinting at the future relationship of Bruce and Barbara was a nice touch, too. We all know that, if BATMAN BEYOND is considered “real”, these two do hit it off; never have we seen any hinting at such a thing happening. Not until now. Not only that, but I thought that Batgirl’s inclusion in this story worked. Usually I find that she is placed into any story as a “sidekick by default”, and that her character isn’t terribly strong; she worked on every level for me this time, mushy pre-romance with Bruce or not.

Oh yeah, as for seeing the Clayface/Roland Daggett thing revisited…nice touch. It’s great to see that Mr. Hall knows his continuity this well.

4. The art. Not that the art was fabulously better in this issue, or that it was poor to begin with (because it wasn’t), but I thought the shading was fabulous – particularly during the Freeze/Nora fight, and when we first meet Batman and Batgirl atop the skyscraper in the opening pages.

I, for one, hopes Mr. Hall steps in for more “filler” issues in the future!


This section gives a little bit more in-depth look into each monthly issue of BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES and BATMAN BEYOND. Below each comic listing is a link to the cover of that comic. TALK ABOUT SERVICE! The price for any of these issues, unless otherwise posted, is $1.99 in the US and…grrrrr…a whopping $3.25 (or higher) in Canada. (Both our editors and many subscribers are Canadian, hence the well-deserved “grrr”.)

If we are unsure of the exact date of when an issue is being released, just check out “DIRECT CURRENTS” for details:

Gotham’s wild and woolly Lower East Side has a new hero…and it’s not the Dark Knight. No, these days the kids are going wild – literally – for Bane! Just what is going on here? And what is Batman going to do about it?

In stores August 28. Gotham gets strangled by a super-plant whose roots run clear to the Batcave. It’s got Poison Ivy written all over it…but where is she? And has she uncovered the Dark Knight’s secret? Batman must track it – and her – deep into the Amazon jungle to find out.

“Stepping Out,” the troubling tale of a super-hero’s dilemma: balancing a love life with his duties to the JLA. When evil strikes, it’s never convenient – and the Flash somehow must help the Justice League save the world without raising the ire of his beautiful date.

Superman is taken down in battle and the Martian Manhunter must replace him as a hero to millions. But does the shy, reserved alien have what it takes to inspire all of humanity?


Due to demand by some of our subscribers, we’ve decided to give a “Letters to the Editor” section a shot. Feel free to submit something you’d like to say to us, and each issue we’ll choose one to post and then reply to. (NOTE: It can be completely uncensored, positive OR negative, though any coarse language will be bleeped out. We want this to be a no-holds-barred column!)

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Wow, we had lots of letters to get through today. I decided to lump them all together in the same issue – unbelievably, they all deal with a similar topic: upcoming adaptions of our favourite comic book characters.


> -No new news here. It probably won’t be another BATMAN BEYOND movie,
> though.”

Why not, twip? I thought the uncensored ROTJ kicked batbutt!!!! Watching it on DVD is sa-weet!

Terry McGinnis



Have you seen the so-called [independent BATMAN BEYOND movie] “trailer?” I could have filmed that. I think it is a big hoax. Why isn’t Paul Dini involved? And I did IMDB and other searches for the “cast members” and found none of them anywhere. I would love for it to be true but something tells me it is not!!

Lisa Singer


The reason I’m writing is just to make a statement to everyone who is crying about the up-and-coming “Birds of Prey” series on the WB.

People, quit your bitching and stop looking at these things with such closed minds. So what if it’s not exactly like the comics. It seems that everyone is always reading into stuff like this too much. I, myself, no matter what it is, have always just sat back and enjoyed the ride and have accepted graciously any form of the Bat-family in print, small screen, big screen, etc. No matter what they do, you people always find something to complain about. I feel you should all just open your minds and count your blessings. I am eagerly anticipating seeing Oracle, Black Canary, and the Huntress make it to the small screen, even if it’s not verbatim.

Andie Nappi
Inverness, FL

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Whoo, that was a lot of stuff to get through. So, I’ll answer them one by one.

#1) Terry, I agree, I think that the WB is crazy not to cash in on their animated properties nowadays, BATMAN BEYOND or otherwise. Look at how well-received the ROTJ DVD was, too – everyone loved it! It wasn’t so much the unedited features that people seem to enjoy, but the director’s commentary. If the WB would only think about the fact that putting out quality products (be they new movies, or repackaged episodes with lots of bonuses and extras), they’d be making lots of $$$ (which is what they ultimately care about) and a lot of people happy at the same time.

Sadly, BATMAN BEYOND was just a fad as far as the WB is concerned – that’s why they dropped it like a hot potato and favoured POKEMON, which was also ultimately run into the ground. They probably feel that there isn’t a big fanbase for BATMAN BEYOND, anyway – they made their money, met their 52-episode-quota, so they moved on to something else. I wouldn’t rule out an BATMAN BEYOND animated film, but it’s really unlikely right now. I doubt we’ll see any more animated ANYTHING (aside from JUSTICE LEAGUE) until a new live-action Bat-movie is on the horizon. Those always seem to wake up the brass at the WB.

OK, now moving on to…

#2) I have the same reservations about the BATMAN BEYOND feature film. I’m like you – I’d love for this to be true, but I can’t help but think it’s not. I’ve seen the trailers, and honestly, I applaud the efforts of the filmmakers, but I was still none too impressed. All we really saw were a bunch of alleyways and dark, cold, concrete areas; yes, I know it is impossible to recreate a grandiose Gotham on such a tiny budget, but still. Heck, we don’t even see any of the characters – well, Bruce Wayne for a split-second, but any shot of Terry in the Batsuit was done in CGI! Interesting…

Again, no offense to the filmmakers, but this film looks to be more of a cool hobby (which it is, because I’m an aspiring filmmaker myself), but as to how such a huge project can be accomplished on a tight, indie-film budget, I still don’t know.

But hey, then again, it’s always in the writing and the acting, right?

Apparently it comes out in August of 2002 – yes, just next month – so maybe we’ll hear something about it then.

OK, and now…

3) You have a good point about the fan-reaction to BIRDS OF PREY, Andie. I know there are a lot of people out there that are totally pumped about this show coming in the fall. I also know a number of people that are excited, but are worried whether they’ll get it right. That’s the problem that filmmakers have when bringing comic books to the big screen. Every movie or TV show is such an event that it should be able to cater to everyone; each comic series, on the other hand, has their own individual take on the characters. Everyone has their own favourite interpretation.

Just look at Batman, for example. There must be dozens of depictions of this character – the murderous vigilante of the 40’s, the Adam West version, Frank Miller’s vision, Tim Burton’s version, BTAS, the futuristic version on BATMAN BEYOND, Schumacher’s version, the current comic version, and so on, just to name a few. True, Oracle, Black Canary, and the Huntress haven’t gone through nearly as many interpretations over the years (as they haven’t been around nearly as long), but everyone has their favourite take. If the show doesn’t meet our own personal standard, it’s a failure; however, that same show may be great in someone else’s opinion.

I’m in the same boat. In fact, when both JUSTICE LEAGUE and SMALLVILLE were coming to the screen last fall, I was in the “open-minded but critical” frame of mind. You have to give everything a chance to impress you, and SMALLVILLE did. JUSTICE LEAGUE, not so much (but I’ve only seen the DVD so far). Heck, I felt the same way about BATMAN BEYOND ages ago – and hey, at least it started off really well. 🙂

We all should keep an open mind. As 63 years of Bat-comics have proved, there are a number of valid and drastically different interpretations for our favourite heroes and villains. BIRDS OF PREY is another one of those interpretations. (And honestly, aside from the “Schumacher vision”, I can’t think of any that aren’t respected to some degree.)

(by Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton)

This is one of my favourite sections, where I get to boggle the minds of all our readers! (Mwuhahaha!) This trivia is all animated-related in some form, and can deal with ANY aspect of the show or comics based on the show. Remember, answer the questions WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE ANIMATED CONTINUITY. Now have fun – let’s see how well you do! Answers are provided below.


OK, we have a new theme! Lookadis! The following questions will deal with ideas that were originally intended to air on BTAS, but for whatever reason, did not. You just might learn something you never knew!

761. In the end of which episode was Killer Croc originally supposed to be defeated by falling into a tank filled with electric eels?

762. During the climactic roller-coaster fight in BE A CLOWN, the Joker’s lapel flower squirts gas at Batman. What was originally supposed shoot out of this flower, but was removed, because BS&P thought it was “too dangerous”?

763. In one episode, we see a lot of Gotham’s homeless. Originally the BTAS crew wanted to show entire families, but it was later changed (thanks again to BS&P) to show that only men can possibly be homeless. What episode was this?

764. During Batman’s DREAMS IN DARKNESS dream sequence, one of the visuals was changed, concerning the big gun right at the end. What was altered?

765. In the Batcave, Francine Langstrom bites her husband Kirk and he becomes Man-Bat again at the end of this episode. When was this originally intended to happen?

766. This show was originally intended to have the traditional hip-hop Joker theme but it was removed; according to Bruce Timm, he wanted the score to sound more like one from the ALIEN movies. Which episode was this?

767. When was a “drop the soap” joke intended to be made towards the Penguin?

768. In BLIND AS A BAT, the military helicopter the Penguin steals wasn’t originally intended to be a military chopper at all. It was originally intended to be for what?

769. This episode was written to make up for a space left by the lack of a previous episode, “The Count and the Countess” (episode #15). What replaced it?

770. Clayface was originally intended to die at the end of this episode.

Answer to #761: VENDETTA
Answer to #762: Acid
Answer to #763: THE FORGOTTEN
Answer to #764: Originally garbage and trash was supposed to fall out of the gun, but it was changed to be blood.
Answer to #765: TERROR IN THE SKY
Answer to #766: THE LAUGHING FISH
Answer to #767: BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Answer to #768: Police riot control
Answer to #779: SEE NO EVIL
Answer to #770: MUDSLIDE
(by Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton)

Here is a section that just points out various little facts and bloopers that we have noticed while watching BTAS, STAS and BEYOND countless times. If you have anything to contribute, feel free to do so! Enjoy!

Wow, I think we’ve covered everything.

But have you?
(by Marc Rosenzweig)

Marc was unable to get an article to us in time for publication this issue, but fear not, he will return shortly!
(feel free to submit something for our consideration)

This space for rent.

For the next few issues, we here at BATMAN: THE ANIMATED NEWSLETTER will be providing this space for all you subscribers for trading, buying, selling, and whatnot, just in time for Christmas (and beyond). So, without further adieu, here is what we have in store:

Over the Edge, Love is a Croc, The Ultimate Thrill, Cult of the Cat, Old Wounds, Knight Time, Girls Night Out, Judgement Day, Beware the Creeper, Mad Love
Contact if you can or would like to help.

I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I am looking for anyone who can help me out with obtaining episodes of any Batman/Superman cartoon – live action shows. By obtaining I mean dubs. If you think you can help me out please e-mail me at

JLA episodes, particularly the upcoming INJUSTICE FOR ALL two-parter. E-mail this address if you can or would like to help:

All TNBA episodes and all Justice League episodes (Non-wide screen format only)
Contact if you can or would like to help.

1) I am looking to sell some VHS which have some BTAS/TNBA episodes on them. These VHS tapes were originally available from Columbia House. They each come in a hard case which has information printed on it about the episodes contained.
All VHS tapes and hard case containers are in excellent condition. E-mail if interested. Tapes available are listed below.

*Tape “Title” (by Columbia House): episodes contained
COPS AND ROBBERS: P.O.V., Vendetta, Riddler’s Reform, A Bullet for Bullock
FRIENDS AND FOES: Beware the Grey Ghost, The Mechanic, The Man who Killed Batman, Sideshow

NOTE: Batman: The Animated Newsletter has takes no responsibility in business transactions. We’re working on the honour system here, people, so PLAY NICE! ;-Y

Wow, our links section has grown so big that we’ve had to eliminate it from the newsletter! Fear not, you can still find all these links at the WORLD’S FINEST NEWSPAGE, if you follow this link…that’s hypocrisy for ya!


(Our affiliate at Toonzone, of course.)


If you have any questions, problems, links do not work, or anything else, then please e-mail this address with your problems and we’ll try to fix them as soon as possible. Also if you’d like to send any fan-mail then please send it to this address:

As for submissions, feel free to submit an article or opinion on anything pertaining to BTAS. Keep in mind that as the editors, we have the right to edit your submissions if we deem it necessary. Such instances would include problems with length, grammar, and language. If we do feel we must edit something, however, we will do our utmost to ensure that the opinion and the basic message of the submission does not change, as that is the most important part of any article, and everyone is entitled to it. And if you do submit something, please don’t just submit a basic review of an episode or a comic or something (because we have people writing for those purposes already) – write about an issue you’d like to discuss.

The very kind people at TOONZONE were nice enough to give us our own little section of their huge and diverse website. The archive contains past newsletters and is semi-regularly updated with the latest one. To check it out go here:


For those of you who are seeing this at the WBC HOMEPAGE BTAN ARCHIVES section and want to subscribe, just follow these simple instructions:

To subscribe email, put SUBSCRIBE in the subject line, and put the e-mail address you’d like the newsletter to be sent to in the body of the message.

We have also set up another back-up e-mail subscription address, here:

For more information about the newsletter just email either of the previous e-mail addresses – preferably the prior.

Thank you for your time, and thanks for reading! Tell your friends!

-Tim TWO-FACE Leighton and Dick Grayson, editors
…there must be an end. We would like to thank the endless amount of contributors for contributing their editorials, columns, news, reviews and other articles. We hope you’ve all enjoyed it as much as we’ve enjoyed making it! Thank you for reading! See ya next time!


AIR DATE SCHEDULES: Toonzone, Cartoon Network, and YTV
EDITORIAL: Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton, and anyone that writes in
FIGURE THIS OUT: Marc Rosenzweig
TRIVIA: Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
PROMOTIONS, JUST GETTIN’ THE WORD OUT: Dick Grayson, Eileen Delgadillo, Brian Cruz, Brian Davis
BATMAN CREATED BY: Bob Kane & Bill Finger (who else?)

Batman and all related indica are trademarks of DC Comics, Copyright c 2002.

And a special thank you to Jason Hall for participating in our interview this