Date: Sunday, January 10, 1999 1:49 PM
Batman: The Animated Newsletter
Weeks of Jan 11 – Jan 16/17, Jan 18 – 23/24
SPECIAL NOTICE: BATMAN BEYOND SPECIAL PRIME-TIME PREVIEW TONIGHT!!! (re-airs Jan. 16/17).
Welcome to another action-packed issue of “Batman: The Animated Newsletter”!
SPECIAL IN THIS ISSUE
The results of the “BEST/WORST” of 1998 poll are in!!!! Let’s see how Batman fared with his devoted fans this year…
We are also pleased to say that none other than Diane “Poison Ivy” Pershing has joined us this issue for an interview. Woohoo!
We have also added a new section to the newsletter, kind of like an on-line market to help all you budding collectors out there. Have a look!
HISTORY OF THE ANIMATED BAT
The five-time emmy-winning Batman: The Animated Series (BTAS) debuted in September of 1992, running weekdays on the FOX network. 65 episodes later, season two began in 1994, airing only on Saturday, adding only 15 new episodes to the roster.
A year later, BTAS was re-introduced to the FOX weekday line-up. All the original episodes were brought back this time, as well as 5 new episodes, leaving the episode count at 85 in September of 1995.
The series was top-notch, and fans were sad that it wouldn’t go on – but it was an excellent run. In 1997, BTAS was pulled from the FOX network. Was BTAS dead?
We were all proven wrong.
NEW episodes began airing bright and early on the morning of September 13th, 1997, on the WB network. Two years (less two days) after BTAS ceased production, it was reborn.
HISTORY OF THE ANIMATED MAN OF STEEL
In the fall of 1996, the creators of BTAS moved on and produced an animated version of the Man of Steel. The first season was made up of a mere 13 episodes, and while the show did not blow away audiences like BTAS did, “Superman” (STAS) still managed a fair amount of success. In it’s second season, it was teamed up with BTAS on the WB, making the full hour block of “Heavy Duty Dubbas” episodes a sure-fire winner. In fact, the series involved a three-part crossover with Batman, and has three more crossovers planned in the future. In 1997, the series won an “Outstanding Special Class Program” emmy, which it shared with BTAS. The series is moving strong and gaining even more steam as it blasts into Season Three…
HISTORY OF BATMAN BEYOND
In early 1998, the WB had plans of unveiling an all-new superhero animated series, in the style of the phenominally-successful Batman and Superman series. This series was then revealed to be entitled “Batman Tomorrow” (renamed “Batman Beyond”), featuring an all-new Dark Knight fighting crime in a futuristic Gotham City. So far, a 13 episode first season has been given the go-ahead, with 13 more episodes planned for season two. This is literally history in the making – which is why there is nothing more to write here right now. Ha!
BATMAN:THE ANIMATED ARCHIVES
The real nice people at TOONZONE (thanx!) have set up an archive section at their site, storing back issues of BTAN. You can look back on past newsletters or maybe even print them out, if you don’t already. This has been very useful and got alot of positive feedback from subscribers wanting copies of past newsletters. The URL is:
TOONZONE’s BATMAN:TAN ARCHIVES
If you’re interested in information about the newsletter or are just plain curious about some of our news, schedules, websites, etc… then please e-mail here:
This section will just basically give an insight into what the new episodes are about and hopefully a synopsis of the episode. This section will feature both new Superman and new Batman episodes.
Batman Beyond #1, 2
Air date: Jan. 10 & 16, 1999
The premiere of the new series! See what made Bruce Wayne give up the cowl, and how a teenager in futuristic Gotham City became Batman for the 21st century. This is a two-parter, for sure. They’re showing this episode prime-time on Jan. 10th and then in the new weekend schedule on Jan. 16th.
Written by Paul Dini, Stan Berkowitz, and Alan Burnett. Directed by Curt Geda.
Air date: Jan. 16, 1999
An adaption of the award-winning Dini/Timm comic, featuring Harley Quinn’s origin. Joker appears as well, of course, with Two-Face, Riddler, and Killer Croc (instead of Penguin) making cameos. There is still no definite word on whether this is a one-parter or two-parter.
We’ll have to wait and see. Butch Lukic directs. This is also going to be the last new BTAS episode for at least two years – which is a shame. But at least they’re going out with a bang.
Air date: Jan. 16, 1999
Jax-Ur and Mala return to torment Superman. YAY! (Yay?)
‘IN BRIGHTEST DAY’
Air date: ???
Classic DC hero Green Lantern makes his appearance on Superman.
-Does Kids’WB overplay Batman/Superman? Go to this URL and cast your vote. It is real close, and I mean close!
WB ANIMATION SCHEDULES:
(courtesy of Brian Cruz and/or the official BTAS/STAS site)
This section of the newsletter highlights the schedule and times that WB airs The New Batman/Superman Adventures. For most affiliates it airs Monday – Friday at 4pm (ET) and Saturdays beginning at 8am (ET). WGN airs Batman/Superman Monday – Friday at 10am (ET) and Sundays beginning at 8am (ET). There’s a chance that your local WB channel airs it at a differant time. To find out when, we recommend you follow this URL (provided by Toonzone): //www.toonzone.net/brian/stations/index.html
PS – Remember that “Batman Beyond” airs 30 minutes AFTER “Batman/Superman” is over, because “Men In Black” has been squeezed in between.
Sun 1-10-98: SPECIAL PRESENTATION OF “BATMAN BEYOND” PREMIERE – 4 PM PST, 7 PM EST
Mon 1-11-98: Superman #37 Little Girl Lost (Pt. 1)
Superman #38 Little Girl Lost (Pt. 2)
Tue 1-12-98: Batman #71 The Terrible Trio
Superman #21 Mxyzpixilated
Wed 1-13-98: Superman #05 A Little Piece of Home
Batman #66 Sideshow
Thu 1-14-98: Batman #73 Time Out of Joint
Superman #31 Prototype
Fri 1-15-98: Batman #75 Bane
Batman #100 Cult of the Cat
Sat 1-16-98: Superman #?? Absolute Power———–NEW!!!
Batman #106 Mad Love —————-NEW!!!
BATMAN BEYOND #1 Rebirth (Pt. 1)
BATMAN BEYOND #2 Rebirth (Pt. 2)
Note: All episodes #86 and onward of BATMAN are considered THE NEW
BATMAN ADVENTURES while the original 85 are considered BATMAN: THE
ANIMATED SERIES (BTAS) episodes.
EPISODE OF THE WEEK:
(by Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton)
This section lets me tell you about my favorite rerun airing this week!
You are not to miss this episode at all cost! Tape it if possible! All Batman and Superman episodes which have at least been shown once are eligible – but try to catch the new episodes if you can!
Tough to choose. Half are great, half are pretty bad. In the good half, we have Superman’s “A LITTLE PIECE OF HOME” and Batman’s “SIDESHOW”, and “BANE”. The screen-adaption of “MAD LOVE” is a sure-fire instant-classic as well.
THIS WEEK’S EPISODE TO MISS:
Both Batman episodes, THE TERRIBLE TRIO and TIME OUT OF JOINT are poor episodes. The latter is better than the first, however – but both suffer from weak plots and lame gimmicks. Miss ’em both. You won’t be sorry.
NEXT WEEK’S EPISODE TO MISS:
CARTOON NETWORK WB ANIMATION SCHEDULE:
“Yabba Dabba Doom”
(courtesy of Brian Cruz)
CARTOON NETWORK ‘BATMAN’ SCHEDULE
Batman: The Animated Series airs Monday through Fridays at 6 pm ET. The 6pm show is repeated at midnight. CARTOON NETWORK airs 52 of the original 65 opening season. Starting Jan. 4th there will be no more midnight repeat.
*Special Note: SUB-ZERO and MASK OF THE PHANTASM will be airing soon as apart of CN’S FRIDAY TOONAMI MOVIES program which begins Jan. 8th at 4pm (ET)*
Mon 1-11-99: Batman #43 Day of the Samaurai
Tue 1-12-99: Batman #45 Terror in the Sky
Wed 1-13-99: Batman #47 Birds of a Feather
Episode schedules for the Cartoon Network for any later dates were
unavailable at the time of mailing this newsletter. For future updates, check
out TOONZONE for schedules. See the links section for the link.
NOTE: Most of the episodes airing now on the CARTOON NETWORK won’t be
airing on KidsWB for quite some time! If you want to complete your
collection then get as many as these episodes on tape as possible! Just
some friendly advice.
NOTE: SUB-ZERO will be airing at 4 PM this on Jan. 15th (Friday) on the CARTOON NETWORK as a part of the TOONAMI FRIDAY MOVIES.
EPISODE REVIEW: (SPOILERS!)
(by Bob Evatt)
Mr. Evatt is an experienced reviewer of the new BTAS episodes and has much of his work shown at the Lazarus Pit website, and is now contributing to this newsletter! His other reviews can be reached via this link:
NOTE: Mr. Evatt was unable to supply a review for this newsletter so Tim
“TWO-FACE” Leighton is filling in for him.
Written by Paul Dini
Directed by Dan Riba
Animation by Dong Yang
Original air date: September 13, 1997
My rating: **1/2
Seeing how it’s the holiday season, I decided that I should review the most recent holiday episode of the series. Here goes!
This is the first episode in the new style, and in every way, is drastically different from all its predecessors, in that it is a 22 minute episode split up into three vignettes. The story is based on the events that occur in a Batman Adventures Holiday special, released in 1994.
The first vignette stars the long-awaited re-team-up of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. It’s December 22, and their life is the pits. So what do they do? Ivy drops by a party held at the mansion of Veronica Vreeland and kisses one of the party-goers…Bruce Wayne…under the mistletoe, casting him under her spell. She then drags him into their car, where she and Harley ambush him, taking all his credit cards, and then going on a shopping spree around Gotham at his expense.
The second vignette is set at Mayfields, a Gotham department store, on Christmas Eve. Barbara Gordon is there, buying a present for her father, while Bullock and Montoya are there undercover as Santa Claus and an elf to catch a theif that has been robbing the store in the recent past. A group of four kids enter the store and then become involved in a chase sequence before crashing together, revealing themselves to be none other than Clayface! Batgirl quickly changes her costume and battles Clayface, before she, Bullock, and Montoya chase him outside and apprehend him. The best scene in this vignette, in my opinion, is Batgirl’s battle with Clayface…this is an example of how much more BTAS can get away with (violence-wise) on WB, compared to FOX.
In the third vignette, Batman and Robin have just been informed that the Joker has stolen a special sonic-bell (or something) developed by Gothcorp. On a video tape sent to the GCPD, the Joker makes a promise that, seeing how it is New Year’s Eve, he will kill absolutely no one in the forthcoming year…so, he must kill a massive amount of people tonight to make up for it, using the sonic-bell, which, when struck, kills everyone within earshot. For the big New Year’s countdown, thousands of Gothamites have gathered at Gotham Square, where the Joker is awaiting for them… This vignette is great, except fot the Joker’s look…where are his red lips? This also is a landmark for the series…it’s the first episode in the series in which someone gets shot…Batman, of all people!
This episode is good for laughs and just plain old entertainment. No real drama here, and despite the escalated violence, there is no real sense of darkness. Not great, but not bad. Some may not like how three stories are crammed into just 20 minutes…that’s the largest weakness of the episode. The episode is entertaining enough to watch once or twice, but it’s basic purpose, to me, was to introduce the new style of the series, and show how much more they can get away with on the WB than on FOX.
SPECIAL IN THIS ISSUE #1
(by Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton)
INTERVIEW WITH DIANE “POISON IVY” PERSHING
Ah, we have a very special guest with us for this installment of “Batman: The Animated Newsletter”. We have interviewed writers, artists, and directors of both the animated series, animated comics, and some of the mainstream comic material, but this is a first – we actually managed to get one of the voice actors from “Batman: The Animated Series” to take some time out of her busy schedule to participate in an interview. Most of us Bat-fans know her best as the voice behind the vixen of vines, Poison Ivy.
So, without further adieu, here is voice-actress and romance novelist, Diane Pershing!
*FANFARE AND APPLAUSE*
TIM#1: Thanks for taking the time out of your busy week to participate in our interview Diane! I hope it wasn’t too much trouble. Now, I know this is probably the toughest question to ask anyone, but…can you tell us a little about yourself?
DIANE#1: I look nothing like Poison Ivy, for one thing. I’m approaching middle age, was born and raised in New York, worked in theatre for many years and wound up doing voiceovers as a way to stay in one town and raise my kids. I currently live in Los Angeles with those kids, a dog and a cat.
TIM#2: Before you got the role of “Batman: The Animated Series”, what other shows did you work for?
DIANE#2: It’s hard to remember them all: Dale on a Flash Gordon cartoon for the old Filmation series, the Computer on Defenders of the Earth, the lead in The New Centurions, several guest shots on Smurfs (often as a witch), regular roles on at least three other shows, but my memory isn’t up to speed today, probably because my head is in my latest book.
TIM#3: And where does the title of romance-novelist come into all this?
DIANE#3: Actors get bored in between jobs, and with voiceovers, which don’t take anything like all day, it’s even worse. I began writing as an in-between kind of thing to utilize my dying brain, first for TV (the old “Love Boat” series), then as a movie reviewer for several years (I’m a major movie buff), and finally, decided to try my hand at novel writing.
Romances seemed a fine way to learn the craft – I made the mistake of thinking they must be easy to write! They’re not, but they’re fun and I can do that in between gigs, so I’m a happy camper. I’ve published several and have two coming out this year.
TIM#4: Which came first?
DIANE#4: Acting for sure, since I was about 4.
TIM#5: Many of us out here love to act and would love to work on a show like “Batman: The Animated Series”. How did you manage to snag this role?
DIANE#5: It was one of those lovely lucky flukes. I had been called in by the voice director, Andrea Romano, on a different cartoon as a guest shot. While I was there, Andrea asked if I’d like to read for Poison Ivy – apparently their first choice for the role wasn’t working out and they needed someone right away. I read the part, all the big guys were in the studio that day, and whammo! It was mine. Just for a reality check–I’d been a professional actress for many years by then and had been doing cartoons for ten. I was lucky to be there at that time, but a hell of a lot of hard work went into it before then.
TIM#6: Had you been a Bat-fan prior to joining the cast of BTAS? Had you ever heard of the character “Poison Ivy” before that?
DIANE #6: No and no.
TIM#7: On the show, many have watched a friendship grow between you and Harley Quinn – and quite a rivalry grow between you and Two-Face and the Joker. Does this reflect how you get along with their respective voice actors in real life? Which fellow voice-actors do you like working with the most?
DIANE#7: Not to destroy any illusions, but it’s rare that we all record on the same day, so it’s not like we’re all bosom friends. However, when we do, it’s such a kick. I’m not being diplomatic but truthful when I say that all the actors are so much fun, that half of the session is spent giggling. I’ve only been in the studio with Harley twice, I think, and Arleen and I like each other fine. I’m usually lucky enough to get to sit next to Mark Hamill, who is a delightful man, filled with energy and always asking to do “just one more take, please.”
TIM#8: Which episode that you worked on was your favourite and why?
DIANE #8: I don’t remember the name, but it’s the one where everyone was a clone and Poison Ivy wept over the death of her “babies.” Or am I confusing two of them? Uh-oh, not sure.
*TWO-FACE’S “DIVINE” INTERVENTION* I think you’re referring to “House and Garden”, Diane – that episode had lotsa mutant plant kids and clones and such running amuck.
TIM#9: Which episode that you hadn’t worked on was your favourite and why?
DIANE#9: (Gulp). I don’t watch the show, so I can’t answer that. What I have seen is always terrific, but I don’t watch much television at all.
TIM#10: Have you ever provided the voice for any “lesser” characters on the show, or have you only been Ivy 100% of the time?
DIANE#10: All of us provide other voices–our union allows three voices for one salary, so of course, the producers take advantage of that. Let me see. From what I remember, I’ve done a little girl voice, a newspaper reporter voice, a woman on a cruise ship, a society matron, I think I screamed a lot for one, but that could be a whole other show.
TIM#11: Being a writer yourself, have you ever had the desire to write (in whole or in part) an episode of the series? If you were ever offered such an opportunity, would you take it?
DIANE#11: In truth, the show is about as well-written as any I’ve ever been on, so I’ve never thought anything like, “Boy, could I make this better.” As for doing an episode, it wouldn’t happen. Cartoon writing is such a specialty, such a specific discipline (as is romance-writing, or song-writing or sit-com writing) that getting up to speed enough to be able to write for it would take a lot of time and effort and I don’t have either right now.
TIM#12: Just as a side-note, how did you find Uma Thurman’s portrayal of your character in “Batman & Robin”, that is, assuming you saw the movie?
DIANE#12: I saw some of the movie and I happen to like Uma Thurman as an actress – I like the chances she takes and the parts she chooses – but what she did was so different from what I do, I guess I can’t compare. She sure did look the part, though!
TIM#13: What does the future have in store for you as far as voice-acting or writing are concerned?
DIANE#13: I intend to do both till I drop dead. Most actors and writers feel that way–neither is a career you “retire” from and–knock wood–I’ve been able to support myself in a creative community, so I’m most contented.
TIM#14: Any helpful hints you can give to people that want to have a career in either of these fields?
DIANE#14: Voice acting–take v.o. classes, study others, do an improv workshop, get microphone technique, make a great demo tape, get established in a small market, then come to L.A. or New York. Get someone to recommend you to the good agents, but be willing to start with a smaller, lesser agent and work your way up. Do showcases, take acting classes, become free and un-selfconscious about yourself.
Writing–write until your artist muscles start to work. Decide what you want to write, study the market, set a goal, take writing classes, be willing to take criticism but try to be as objective as you can In both careers, if you’re defensive or skittish about criticism, you will have a tougher time.
As I like to say to both my acting and writing students: Be willing to make an ass of yourself in public. It’s the only way you learn.
TIM#15: Any thing you’d like to say before we close this interview?
DIANE#15: I’m constantly surprised at how popular the show is and how I could recite every Shakespearean role I’ve ever done in all the theaters in the world, but the moment I say I do the voice of Poison Ivy, everyone smiles and thinks I’m a great person. Go figure. (
Thanks for asking mt to do this. It was fun. And good luck to all.
TIM#16: Well, thank you for participating, Diane! It was a pleasure speaking with you! I hope we can do it again sometime in the future. Thank you very much! Hey, wanna join the newsletter mailing list?
DIANE#16: Nothing personal, but I’d love a copy of this, and then that’s it. No time!!!
TIM#??: Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer our questionaire, Diane! *CYBER-PRAISE* Take care!
ANIMATED NEWS AND RUMORS
There’s a lot of confusion over what the schedule for KidsWB is on the weekend of Jan 16/17. Well, here it is!
8am)BATMAN/SUPERMAN (ALL NEW BTAS AND STAS)
9am)MIB (ALL NEW)
9:30am)BATMAN BEYOND (60 mins series premiere on Kids’WB!)
-And starting January 23rd here is the regular scheduled line up of the HEAVY DUTY DUBBAS
8am)BATMAN/SUPERMAN (60 mins)
9:30am)BATMAN BEYOND (30 mins)
All those times are in Central, for the WB affiliate, WGN (which most viewers recieve). If there is any confusion, go to TOONZONE to figure out what applies to you.
-Also it looks like BATMAN:THE ANIMATED MOVIE #3 is a definite
YES!(woohoo!) – Boyd Kirkland says that there are no potential plot
outlines available just yet.
-“Batman: Mask of the Phantasm” will likely air on Kids WB sometime this
season – but this is mere speculation.
“CURRENT” ANIMATED SERIES’
– Butch Lukic was revealed to be the director of “Mad Love” in the recently-released
“Batman: Animated”. Preview commercials of this episode have aired, and the animation looks like some of Dong Yang’s best work. There is still no definite word on whether this is a one or two parter.
– There is some rumor of a “Lost Years” episode featuring how the Scarecrow’s new design came about, to air sometime after “Mad Love” and “Rise of the Demon”.
– An internet interview with Kevin Conroy is approaching. Keep your eyes and ears peeled!
-Here are some links from Mania.com and Comic Book Continuum regarding Jan. 16th Batman/Superman special episodes: Batman’s ‘MAD LOVE’ and Superman’s ‘ABSOLUTE POWER’:
– Be sure to check out The Bruce Timm Artwork Archive’s news section for pics of Green Lantern from this season’s ‘IN BRIGHTEST LIGHT’ Superman episode.
-A sneak peek of this series will be on the WB and affiliates on Jan. 10th, at 7 PM (EST). Check your local listings for details. The series officially kicks off on Jan. 16/17.
– The two-parter pilot episode, “Rebirth”, is written by Paul Dini, Stan Berkowitz, and Alan Burnett. Directed by Curt Geda.
– Mr. Freeze is now definately set to appear on the series. Other rumors are Ra’s Al Ghul (nearly definite), and Clock King, Killer Croc, and Man-Bat (not too likely). The Joker is evident in the street gang “The Jokerz”, and chances are that Harley will be in there too. Dini himself has definately said that the Joker, Riddler, and Two-Face will NOT appear at all in the series, for they’re long dead.
– Curious about Batman Beyond? Can’t wait until Tonight at 7pm (ET) to
check it out? Well the following links from Cinescape Online, Batman:
Forever Knight, and 4 Color Review have reviews, pics, and clips from tonight’s main event:
//www.cinescape.com (under Dec. 29th or 30th I believe)
-COMIC BOOK CONTINUUM has a huge article on BATMAN BEYOND, and if you wanna prepare yourself for tonight’s premiere then check out the side menu after following this link:
-It has been posted on the BATMAN BEYOND message board poster ‘Derek’
( //www.insidetheweb.com/mbs.cgi/mb163115 ) that SPELLBINDER may be a villian in BATMAN BEYOND. Read the post!
-There will be a BATMAN BEYOND chat session after the show’s Sunday premiere. This means basically anytime after 8pm (ET). The URL is:
Please check it out!
Re: NO MAN’S LAND
– Batman is missing for the first three months. Nightwing stays in Bludhaven, accompanied by Superman. Robin leaves town with his father. The new Batgirl appears immediately. Gordon,
Bullock, Montoya, and Oracle stay. Azrael also becomes a more intricate part of the team. Huntress is also stickin’ around. Alfred most likely stays, too. The JLA won’t appear, and we’re going to see why. As for Spoiler…hmmm?
– Villains aplenty. Catwoman abandons Gotham for New York, and the Riddler leaves, only to be persued by Robin and the Flash. The Ventriloquist rules a large chunk of Gotham with an iron fist. Mr. Freeze seizes control of the power plant just to stay alive. The Scarecrow has a field day tormenting Huntress in the religious sector of town. Bane tries to gain control of the city – again. Poison Ivy seeks refuge in the “Central Park” in Gotham. Penguin seems to have the only access to points of the world OUTSIDE of Gotham, and basically rules the city. Two-Face has seized control of the political and financial districts of town. The Joker doesn’t appear until close to the end, along with the new, improved Harley Quinn – whom will appear in civilian form mid-way through the crossover. The Mad Hatter, Killer Croc, Mr. Zsasz, and various other “lesser” villains have their own chunks of Gotham to rule as well.
Other villain heavyweights like Firefly and Ra’s Al Ghul will have roles as well, most likely, but no details have been given for them yet.
– Brian Cruz has provided us with this link pertaining to a preview of the epic NO MAN’S LAND storyline: //www.mania.com/newsarama/newsarama010199.html
Re: ANIMATED COMICS
– It looks like Kelly Puckett and Scott Peterson, writer and editor of “Batman Adventures” (1992-1995) well at least write two issues of “Batman: Gotham Adventures” after Ty Templeton’s departure following .
– Rumor has it that if the “Batman Beyond” series and comic series are popular enough, it will become a continuing series, instead of just a six-issue mini-series as currently planned. The same happened with “The Batman Adventures” many moons ago.
– Joe Staton has been pegged as the artist for the BATMAN BEYOND comic series, while Terry Beatty is inker and Hilary J. Bader is writer.
– All five “Lost Years” comics will be sold together in “The Lost Years” Tradepaperback this month.
– Another current comic character will be making an appearance in BATMAN BEYOND! In Issue #4 of the comic series based on the TV show, Jason Blood/Etrigan will appear. Cool huh?
-Dini & Timm tell a wee bit about the upcoming Harley & Ivy mini-series:
“Three issues of fun…and showers,” said Dini.
“There’s a shower scene in every issue…” Timm said, “Tell your friends.”
-Previews of the first wave of BATMAN BEYOND toys have been released! Figures included are:
FUTURE KNIGHT BATMAN
LIGHTNING STORM BATMAN
MANTA RACER BATMAN
Wow…typical Kenner. Five versions of Batman and only one villian to take them on. Hopefully we’ll be seeing BLIGHT, more JOKERZs, and maybe BRUCE WAYNE and villian toys besides the usual variants.(thanx Chip!)
-As for the regular animated line, a wave featuring the new-style Mr. Freeze and three Batman variants is due sometime in 1999 – some have said this “MISSION MASTERS” assortment has been sighted in stores right now! I have seen pics of the Mr. Freeze figure and it looks really good, just like his original figure – it even has the detachable head and spider legs!
– Be sure to check out The Bruce Timm Artwork Archive’s news section for a pic of one of the new action figures from the Batman Beyond series.
BATMAN: THE ANIMATED FIGURES
(by Kevin Smith)
“TWO QUESTIONS ABOUT TWO BIRDS AND A BAT”
Since Mr. Smith was unable to provide a toy review for this newsletter, we have dug up his earliest toy review from BTAN #03, discussing the first wave of “animated” Bat-figures. Enjoy!
Ok, so if you are like me, you love anything having to do with BTAS! And if you are even more like me, you love to collect the action figures based on the show. That is what this article is on, my rantings and opinions on the relevant figures made in the “animated” style. I’m not going to deal with all of those asinine Batman and Robin repaints and variations like Triwing Batman, who looks like a mutant satellite dish. Who bought those P.O.S. anyway? Also, I’ll be covering them in the order that I acquired them, which is in the order in which they were released, more or less. Any corrections to the timeline of the waves are welcomed.
First up in Wave One, we have the Penguin, which is the hardest-to-find BTAS figure right now. The figure, I thought, was great. I liked the cloth coat, and the fingers were correct too. It looked more like the Penguin from “Batman returns” than the Super Powers rehash Penguin that they released under that line. My only gripe was his Hypno-Spin Umbrella Launcher. I mean, I can understand making something kewl for the kids, but I would have appreciated a closed umbrella, with maybe a blade that came out at the end in addition to the Hypno-Spin crap. The card art was ok. I liked the shadowing on the Penguin, how his hand creates a shadow on his body, and the Gotham City art was great.
The next addition to my collection was Two-Face. The sculpt of this figure was beautiful, however, this is another case where the pictured prototype on the package was better than what was in the package. Two-Face’s white side ended up being a very light cyan colour, which was odd, but acceptable. The painting on the head, however, was excellent. The hair was white, the skin was the right color, and it was even detailed with pink blisters against the sea-green/blue skin. He came with a little coin on a chain around his neck. While I would have preferred it to have been scarred or something (It was completely plain) I appreciated the change from the huge life size coin version on Toy Biz’s Two-Face. His Firing Roulette Wheel Gun was another stupid weapon for the kiddies, but this one was even dumber than the Penguin’s. The card art for his figure was one of the worst ever. Not only did it suck, but it swallowed too.
Next is Robin. Once again, Kenner lifts its lazy-ass hand, only to release a half-hearted effort. The only thing animated about this figure is the head, and then the hair isn’t quite right. The body of this figure is a repainted Robin’s body from Kenner’s “Batman Returns” line. (How did Robin get into the “Returns” line anyhow???) His accompanying Turbo-Glider and Drop Missiles are kind of kewl, though only for the fact that it’s intended for the Returns figure, as evidenced by the comic style Robin insignia engraven on the armor attached to the glider. They tried to cover this up with an animated Robin symbol on the hang glider. Yeah. Nice try. The card was mediocre. The shadowing was nice, but Robin’s face looks like a teenage Frankenstein’s monster with a grin.
The Riddler with Question Mark Launcher, is still one my favorites. Disregarding the stupid question mark thing, which was reissued with a “Batman Forever” Riddler, this was one of the better of the first wave. He came with the same cane that he had in the show, and the pose was excellent. I have mine displayed with him jauntily holding his cane and his other hand with the finger pointed up, as a perfect homage to Frank Gorshin saying “Riddle me this, Batman!” The card art was ok, but I would have preferred the absence of the stupid Question Mark Launcher.
Combat Belt Batman with Firing Grappling hook and Missile. He was a plain Batman – a great figure with a cloth cape. He came with weapon accessories that hooked onto his big ol’ belt, like handcuffs, and a big iron think to fire out of the grappling hook gun. The only complaint I have is that the inside of his cape isn’t blue, and his cowl doesn’t have the blue highlights. The pose is classic. His head is ever so slightly tilted upwards giving him a noble air. The card art was good too.
Also released with this wave was the forgettable Turbojet Batman that came with this jetpack that had a helmet that looked like a clear Rocketeer helmet.
So, what’s in the next issue? Hmmm…we’ll keep ya posted!
(by Aaron Maurer)
BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES #9
ISSUE: “A League of His Own”
WRITTEN BY: Ty Templeton
PENCILED BY: Rick Burchett
INKED BY: Terry Beatty
ISSUED: November 1998 (Cover date is February)
RATING: **1/2 (out of 5)
“Just an old man and some houseboys? Well, that’s a relief. This should be a walk in the park.”
-Batgirl underestimating the headquarters of the League of Assassins
SUMMARY: Bruce Wayne and Barbara Gordon are in Tibet seeking out the base of the League of Assassins, when their guides turn on them; they put up a fight and the guides run away. As they are climbing, Batgirl reveals that she has a gun with her, and she won’t get rid of it despite Batman’s orders. They find the HQ and glide over to it on zip-lines. The sensei knows they’re there and sends minions after them, which Batman and Batgirl quickly defeat. However, the sensei starts beating the tar out of Batman, so Batgirl pulls out her gun. The sensei knows she won’t use it, and he talks her down before swiping it from her hands. He throws it out a window and the fight resumes until it is broken up by Ra’s Al Ghul and Talia. Ra’s tells the sensei to do as Bats says, and he needs the sensei to go to jail for previous crimes (see earlier issues in this series). Seeing he has no way out, the old man quietly jumps out the window. Ra’s and Talia escape without pursuit, only after Ra’s has told Batgirl that she won’t survive their next meeting.
COMMENTS: Personally, I haven’t liked the whole League of Assassins plot that has been carried through in this series, and this issue didn’t help much. The opening scene had nothing to do with anything in the story and was utterly pointless: a fight scene for the sake of having a fight scene. I thought that the whole ending was rather anti-climatic, and Ra’s Al Ghul has no real purpose in the story. I did, however, like the subplot about Batgirl’s gun and then Ra’s’ threat to her. I’m glad that we’re getting back to some more “normal” villains (and Gotham) for next month’s Harley & Joker tale.
CRITICISMS: Read above…
BOTTOM LINE: A weak ending to a weak storyline; try this month’s Superman Adventures instead.
This section gives a little bit more indepth look into each monthly issue of BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES and SUPERMAN ADVENTURES. The price is $1.99 in the US and..grrrrr….now a whopping $3.25 in Canada. (Both our editors and many subscribers are Canadian, hence the “grrr”.)
BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES #11
At long last, the Riddler is back, but with a twist – he’s leaving clues to the crimes of OTHER villains in Gotham. What’s Eddie up to?
NEXT MONTH: – Two-Face has escaped again, but this time he’s been slipped a trick coin that’s rigged to come up heads every time. Coupled with his rather tenuous grip on reality, it results in his becoming a suicidal force for good in Gotham. The Judge is also set to re-appear.
BATMAN: THE LOST YEARS TRADE PAPERBACK
A collection of all five Lost Years stories, featuring the origin of Nightwing and Tim Drake, with appearances of Batman, Batgirl, Joker, Two-Face, and Ra’s Al Ghul.
BATMAN BEYOND #1
An adaption of the animated debut of the NEW Batman.
NEXT MONTH: Issue #2 – A comics adaption of the second part of the animated debut of the NEW Batman.
SUPERMAN ADVENTURES #30
Part one of a two-part story, in which Superman discovers the public claims he’s been missing for a year! Jonathan and Martha Kent are declared dead, and Superman’s true parents from Krypton return. What the…?
NEXT MONTH: – The conclusion of a two-part story. Blasted a year into the future, Superman stands as the final line of defense for Earth. And the threat he’s trying to protect the planet from? Himself.
COVERING THE BASICS…
This sections helps you, the reader, find the best on the newsstand or comic shop. The covers below are covershots for BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES, SUPERMAN ADVENTURES, and/or related comic book/book merchandise. I hope this section makes it easier for you to find true qaulity. The covers are provided by DC CURRENTS, and TOONZONE. Any other source will be given their dues.
BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES #10
BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES #11
BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES #12
BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES #13
BATMAN ADVENTURES: THE LOST YEARS (Trade Paperback)
BATMAN BEYOND #1 (of 6)
BATMAN BEYOND #2 (of 6)
no cover currently available
BATMAN BEYOND #4 (of 6)
SUPERMAN ADVENTURES #29
SUPERMAN ADVENTURES #30
SITE WORTH CHECKING OUT
HEAVY DUTY DUBBA DISCUSSION BOARD
This site provides the the fastest up-and-coming place to chat about Kids’WB! HEAVY DUTY DUBBAS which include BATMAN/SUPERMAN, MIB, (the missed) INVASION AMERICA, and the upcoming BATMAN BEYOND. The boards and chat rooms are a great place to say your thoughts on your favorite show or hero!
BATMAN:THE ANIMATED HOMEPAGE
This site has recently revamped its look and its better then ever! I love this site, and a great place to get a pretty indepth look at alot of episodes. This site has pics and sounds from almost every BATMAN episode, and has pics from BATMAN BEYOND!
Check it out! You won’t regret it!
ANIMATED BATMAN/SUPERMAN SITES:
* – indicates a shameless plug for a site a certain double-faced editor created with his bare hands – in other words, a shameless plug.
THE NEW BATMAN/SUPERMAN ADVENTURES
BATMAN:THE ANIMATED SERIES
BATMAN & MR. FREEZE: SUB-ZERO
SUB-ZERO: THE DEFINTIE GUIDE
RAVING TOY MANIAC
*TWO-FACE’S TOWER OF TRANQUILITY AND TERROR
BRIAN CRUZ’ WB CARTOON PAGE
BRIAN’S BATMAN PAGE
BATMAN: THE ANIMATED HOMEPAGE
THE BRUCE TIMM ARTWORK ARCHIVE
HARLEY’S HAVEN OF HEDONISM
THE ANIMATED BAT
CHARACTERS ON THE ADVENTURES OF BATMAN & ROBIN
THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES: THE UNOFFICIAL SITE
THE ADVENTURES OF BATMAN & ROBIN F.A.Q. SITE
MESSAGE BOARDS, INC
HEAVY DUTY DUBBAS DISCUSSION CENTER
BATMAN:TAN MESSAGE BOARD
ANSWERS TO THE TRIVIA
Answer to #56: ‘C’
Answer to #57: ‘D’
Answer to #58: ‘B’
Answer to #59: ‘E’
Answer to #60: ‘A’
HELPING ALL YOU COLLECTORS OUT THERE
(by Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton)
I know that there are many people out there that collect Batman OR Superman items – like myself. I only started a year ago and, believe me, finding some of these items (like action figures) that were released a couple years ago is pretty tough! So, I decided to start up a little section in the newsletter to help out our fellow Bat-fans. I can only personally guarantee that my entries are 100% true, for I saw these items with my own eyes. So we’re working on the honour system here. Sound fair?
Well, if this section proves to not be a help for anyone, I’ll just abandon it. But I thought I should give it a try. If anyone has any items they’d like to post in this section, feel free to do so – just give a brief description, name, e-mail address. Thank you!
Well, here we go! I hope this helps out someone out there!
1. LOOKING FOR SUPERGIRL? Editor Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton (that’s me!) has found three Supergirl action figures (animated style) in store on his travels through his hometown of Vancouver, Canada – but he doesn’t want ’em. Does anyone? Or are these figures not as rare as people have said? Also released with this Supergirl figure was a Metallo figure – but I didn’t see him there. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
2. LOOKING FOR NIGHTWING? Editor Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton (it’s me again) has one extra “CRIME-SOLVING NIGHTWING” that he’s willing to get rid of. Still in a mint package, this is the only animated Nightwing figure that is NOT a shoddy re-paint – it actually has the same colouring as Nightwing on the show. I was gonna give it to my brother, but alas, he already has one. E-mail me at email@example.com if interested.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE:
BATMAN and all related property is a registered trademark of DC Comics.
Visit DC Comics website at:
DC Comics is owned and operated by Warner Brothers. Visit their website at:
Kids’WB! is a part of Warner Brothers. Visit the Kids’ WB! site at:
If I’ve left any out I’ll probably be suee and homeless within a year so please tell me.
LIKE WHAT YA SEE? WANNA SUBSCRIBE? HERE’S HOW!!!
Now that this newsletter is archived at THE WBC HOMEPAGE, those who haven’t subscribed have been asking how to do so. Well here it is for those who would like to subscribe:
To subscription requests e-mail:
and that’s all ya do. Just put ‘subscribe’ and your e-mail address in the e-mail message.
A little cash donation would be appreciated, but it’s not obligatory.
Thank you for your time, and thanks for reading!
-Tim TWO-FACE Leighton and Dick Grayson, editors
TO ALL GOOD THINGS…
…there must be an end. We would like to thank the endless amount of contributors for contributing their editorials, columns, news, jokes, reviews and other articles. We hope you’ve all enjoyed it as much as we’ve enjoyed making it!
See ya next time!
CREDITS FOR BATMAN: THE ANIMATED NEWSLETTER
EDITOR: Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton and “Dick Grayson”
AIR DATE SCHEDULES: Brian Cruz
BTAS REVIEWS: Bob Evatt and Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
EDITORIAL: Laura Hysert
COMIC REVIEWS: Aaron Maurer
TOY REVIEW: Kevin Smith
“BTAN ARCHIVES” MODERATOR: Eileen Delgadillo
TRIVIA: Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
COLLECTOR’S CORNER: Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
PROMOTIONS AND JUST GETTIN’ THE WORD AROUND: Brian Cruz, Brian Davis, Eileen Delgadillo, Dick Grayson
THOSE WHO FILL IN FOR OTHERS WHEN THEY FOUL UP:-P Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
DELIVERY: Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
E-MAIL RECEPTION HANDLING: Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
BATMAN CREATED BY: Bob Kane (who else?)
All elements in this newsletter have been copyrighted (copywritten?) by DC Comics, 1999.