Batman: The Animated Newsletter
Weeks of Feb 22 – 27/28
THIS WEEK’S SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE: FORGET THE “BATMAN BEYOND” TOYS AND MAKE MORE “BTAS” TOYS! ____________________________________________________________________
Welcome to another action-packed issue of “Batman: The Animated Newsletter”!
SPECIAL IN THIS ISSUE
In this issue, we bring you an interview with STAS and comic writer Mark Evanier! Scroll down and enjoy!
NOTE: Following this newsletter, issues of “Batman: The Animated Newsletter” will be delivered at weekly intervals, and not bi-weekly – this is to compensate for the “Batman Beyond” episodes which are being aired every weekend now. This is also to shorten the newsletter, so all of our subscribers with free/limited e-mail providers can read the newsletter. This means that all of our features from our writers, such as comic reviews, toy reviews, and editorials, may not appear in every issue. We may go back to the bi-weekly format in May, but for the time being, this is it. Stay tuned!
NOTE: In the evening of Feb. 14, 1999, our newsletter reached the 500-subscriber mark. And then on Feb. 17, we hit 600! WOOHOO! Thanks for your continuing support and shameless plugging, everyone. It’s working great. 🙂
DC’S ANIMATED LEGACY
In early 1990, in the aftermath of the blockbuster “Batman” film, ideas began to form about an animated Batman series. This task had been attempted in the past, from the 60’s to the 80’s, but the series were, moreover, a disappointment. However, in September of 1992, when “Batman: The Animated Series” debuted, it became a financial and critical success – seen as the best non-comics interpretation of Batman in history.
After 65 episodes, season two began in 1994 with a new name for the series – “The Adventures of Batman & Robin”. Like all other aspects of the Bat-mythos in that year, things lightened up a bit – mostly due to Robin playing a heavier role in the series. In 1995, the series passed away silently with 85 episodes, a feature-film, and 4 emmy awards under its Bat-belt.
In 1996, the BTAS team moved on to work on a series for DC’s other major hero, Superman. After 13 episodes, the season got off to a shaky start, but when it was paired up with Batman in the fall of 1997, it got the exposure it needed and began to thrive. In this year, Batman was renewed and 24 more episodes (including a number of crossovers with Superman) were given the go-ahead.
Just as the 1998/99 season of Batman/Superman was drawing to a close, the WB team surprised us once again with a new animated series – a futuristic version of Batman entitled “BATMAN BEYOND”. The season has just begun and it’s already a hit! This is the episode the WB team will be working on until the end of the 1999/2000 season. What will follow? Rumor right now is…MORE BATMAN (the regular one)! Woohoo!
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: THE ANIMATED NEWSLETTER 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.
THE LOSS OF THE WB ON WGN: Beginning this fall, the WB will no longer be carried on WGN-TV’s national feed to avoid conflicts with other WB affiliates. WGN-TV will continue carrying the prime time WB in the Chicago area. If you’re outside the Chicago area and know of no other way to pick up the WB, you may call them at (818)977-5000 for more information. This is taken from the info section of the WGN website, //www.wgn.com . Thank you for Peter Destructo for pointing this out.
‘DEAD MAN’S HAND’
Batman Beyond #5?
Air date: ???
The Future Knight takes on the Royal Flush Gang – and one of them develops a crush on Terry. Rumor of a Catwoman appearance of sorts.
Batman Beyond #6?
Air date: ???
Powers hires another villain named Shriek (who uses sound-waves as a weapon) to nix the Bat.
Air date: ??
BATMAN’S FINAL CURRENT-DAY ANIMATED APPEARANCE! This episode, originally entitled “Rise of the Demon”, features Batman and Superman teaming up to take down Ra’s Al Ghul. One parter, probably – WOOHOO! THE BAT IS BACK! This’ll probably air in May.
‘LEGACY (Pt. 1 & 2)’
Air date: ??
This two-parter, featuring the final showdown between Superman and Darksied, will be the season finale, airing this May.
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.
Mon 2-22-99: Batman #56 Harley and Ivy
Superman #21 Mxyzpixilated
Tue 2-23-99: Superman #23 Double Dose
Batman #78 Showdown
Wed 2-24-99: Batman #80 Second Chance
Batman #81 Harley’s Holiday
Thu 2-25-99: Superman #13 Two’s a Crowd
Batman #69 Avatar
Fri 2-26-99: Batman #46 Almost Got ‘Im
Superman #42 Where There’s Smoke
Sat 2-27-99: Superman #43 New Kids in Town
Batman #107 Chemistry
B-BEYOND #01 Rebirth (Pt. 1)
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.
CARTOON NETWORK WB ANIMATION SCHEDULE:
“Yabba Dabba Doom”
(courtesy of Brian Cruz)
Due to the unpredictable airing schedule of Batman: The Animated Series on CARTOON NETWORK we may not be able to keep track or schedule changes, episode changes and when the animated movies air (either on TOONAMI or CARTOON THEATRE). To keep you most up to date, go to this section of TOONZONE to keep updated with what’s airing on CARTOON NETWORK and when:
NOTE: MASK OF THE PHANTASM will be airing on CARTOON NETWORK again at 8pm (ET) on March 13th. It also looks like Kids’WB! won’t be airing MASK OF THE PHANTASM at all.
BATAMN:THE ANIMATED SERIES ON CARTOON NETWORK
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.
Story by Hilary J. Bader
Written by Hilary J. Bader & Alan Burnett
Directed by Curt Geda
Animation by Dong Yang
Original air date: February 13, 1999
My rating: ****
Derek Powers is getting mighty sick of having to put on a new skin to hide his radioactive body every 24 hours. Who wouldn’t? It is then brought to his attention that his scientists may have found a way to clone his mind into a normal body – but he wants the process to be tested on someone else first. Enter Mr. Freeze.
Yup! He’s back, disembodied and everything. Being one of the only two current villains that could actually live long enough into the next century (the only other is Ra’s Al Ghul), it was obvious that he’d be involved in “Batman Beyond”. Many will remember that Hilary J. Bader also wrote the below-par “Cold Comfort”, Freeze’s most recent appearance on BTAS; in this episode she not only makes up for it, but goes beyond. Once Freeze enters the storyline, he steals the show.
It’s revealed that Freeze has been alive and well for the past 50 years, but confined in a lab, trapped in his dome. Powers’ scientists then use their cloning process to duplicate his mind into a normal body that no longer needs his suit; Powers is impressed. Freeze then reforms, and actually starts up a charity worth over $500 million, named after Nora. All the while, Bruce tells Terry to watch Freeze very carefully, telling him that he’s up to no good; after seeing Victor save a cat from being killed and forgiving a man who was about to murder him (he was one of Freeze’s victims in the past), Terry can’t understand why Bruce would feel this way.
It’s interesting to note how Bruce has changed. In the BTAS episodes “Heart of Ice”, “Deep Freeze”, and the movie “Sub-Zero”, he sympathized with Freeze a great deal. Now, it seems he’s grown VERY bitter with age, and doesn’t trust Victor at all. Terry, on the other hand, still believes a reformation is possible.
After a time, the scientists reclaim Freeze so they can continue their testing on him – by locking him in a cell and turning up the heat to 100 F, to see if the cloning can withstand such heat. It’s obvious he can’t; Freeze escapes and then goes after Powers.
In the finale, we see Freeze, in a new, improved suit (really freaky looking – especially how his head just blends into the dome), battling Powers – who turns into the radioactive fiend Blight; so it’s a battle of heat vs. cold, and Terry winds up in the middle. Bruce says that Freeze only lives for revenge now; that’s actually very true, and shows why he feels this way. Think about it – can you recall a Mr. Freeze story that DIDN’T involve him wanting to kill someone for doing something, or got in the way of him and his wife? Nope. He just can’t win.
Blight, Powers’ alternate identity, is a radioactive being who melts everything he touches. At one point, Freeze actually freezes him but he just breaks out of the ice without breaking a sweat.
The episode ends on a sad note, where Freeze, after killing many people in Powers’ lab, commits suicide by having the lab freeze and then crumble around him, finally putting him out of his misery – he WANTED to die – which makes me believe that Freeze doesn’t make another appearance on the show, ever again.
Good episode. I don’t know what else to say. Having an enemy of the past being introduced to the show was a real treat, and expanding Blight’s character was welcome, too. The only complaint I had was that during the emotional sequences of the show, the rock music just didn’t fit, which sort of detracted from the effect. But overall, it’s a good one. 4/5.
THE ORIGINAL 85
(by E. Nygma)
Welcome to the second installment of my bi-weekly column. In this column you will read about all of the episodes ever made of Batman, Superman, and Batman Beyond starting from the very beginning. This week, I will detail BTAS episodes #6-10. Enjoy!
NOTE: These are not in order of air date, but rather, episode number.
#006 – THE UNDERDWELLERS
Story by: Tom Ruegger
Teleplay by: Jules Dennis & Richard Mueller
Directed by: Frank Paur
Originally Aired: 10/21/92
Villains: The Sewer King
BATMAN: I don’t pass sentence! That’s for the courts! But this time…this time I am sorely tempted to do the job myself!
When Batman discovers that there is a madman living underground using forgotten runaway children as his personal slaves, he sets out to stop him anyway he can. He even invites one of them into his home for Alfred to tend to. Batman leads the children to revolt against the Sewer King and his alligators.
#007 – P. O. V.
Story by: Mitch Brian
Teleplay by: Sean Catherine Derek & Laren Bright
Directed by: Kevin Altieri
Originally Aired: 09/18/92
BULLOCK (voice over): I was closin’ in when this loud noise tipped ’em.
BULLOCK STEPS ON A CAN AND FALLS TO THE FLOOR WITH A THUD.
BULLOCK: (voice over): Must have been Batman!
When Bullock blows a sting operation, he and the other officers involved, Montoya and rookie Wilkes, are questioned by Internal Affairs. Bullock’s self-saving story is at odds against the other testimony so the I.A. investigator believes no one and suspends them all, pending further investigation. Eager to clear her name, Montoya follows up on some clues which lead her to the location of the gangsters they were after during the sting. With Batman’s help, whom she presumed dead, she cracks the case and re-instates everyone involved, teaching Bullock a thing or two about the importance of teamwork.
#008 – THE FORGOTTEN
Written by: Jules Dennis, Richard Mueller, & Sean Catherine Derek
Directed by: Boyd Kirkland
Originally Aired: 10/08/92
Villain Cameos: “Boss Biggis”, The Joker (in a dream sequence)
BRUCE: What is this?
SMITH: If it’s moving, it’s a rat. If it isn’t, it’s a cooked rat.
Batman goes undercover after reports of homeless men missing. Disguised as a homeless, he is attacked and loses his memory. He regains consciousness not knowing who he is and working as a slave in mines. When Batman doesn’t return from his investigation, Alfred enters the Batwing and goes searching.
#009 – BE A CLOWN
Written by: Ted Pedersen & Steve Hayes
Directed by: Frank Paur
Originally Aired: 09/16/92
Villains: The Joker
JOKER THROWS A CUPIE BOMB AT BATMAN.
JOKER: You just don’t like to play with dolls, do ya?!
After his father neglects him, Mayor Hamilton Hill’s son runs away with the guest clown from his birthday party who turns out to be the Joker in disguise. The Joker had attempted to assassinate the mayor with an explosive candle but his efforts were melted by Bruce Wayne. When they find the real clown that was supposed to appear, Batman goes to the carnival to track down the Joker and the mayor’s only child. The ensuing battle takes the adversaries on a roller coaster ride filled with exploding gas dolls on the Twin Terrors.
#010 – TWO-FACE (Pt. 1)
Story by: Alan Burnett
Teleplay by: Randy Rogel
Directed by: Kevin Altieri
Originally Aired: 09/25/92
Villains: Two-Face, Rupert Thorne
THORNE: All men have something to hide. The brighter the picture, the darker the negative.
Harvey Dent’s life couldn’t be better. He has just been re-elected as the District Attorney of Gotham City, he has great friends, and a fiance. But when his deep dark secret threatens to arise, it puts all of success at risk. Harvey Dent has a second personality. Rupert Thorne uses this information to blackmail him and after a fight with “Big Bad Harv”, Dent’s face is scarred and his second personality surfaces permanantely.
Thanks to the following sites: Batman: The Animated Homepage, Brian’s WB Cartoon’s Page, and www.batmantas.com for the information above. Their links are provided in the links section.
SPECIAL IN THIS ISSUE #1
(by Dick Grayson)
INTERVIEW WITH MARK EVANIER
Mark Evanier has been around the comic field for a long time, and recently, has contributed to SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES. So without further adieu…Mark Evanier!
BTAN1: Could you tell us bit about yourself? Just basically where you were born, grew up, married or not..etc…
ME: Born in Santa Monica, CA on 3/2/52; haven’t grown up yet but have lived in L.A. my entire life, almost always in a house full of comic books. Never married, but came close a few times.
BTAN2: How did you first get into writing comics?
ME: Well, I submitted a few things to DC in the late 60’s, more for fun than with any notion I might do comics professionally. (Back then, it was pert near impossible to work for a New York comic company long distance, and I didn’t really know about the one L.A. company, Gold Key.) In 1969, I met Jack Kirby and I also went to work for a company that sold mail order Marvel merchandise. When Jack went to DC the following year, he asked me to be his assistant…and my friend Mike Royer recommended me to Disney to write comics for them. That led to me writing for Gold Key and, from there on, to other companies.
BTAN3: We all know you worked with the late Jack “The King” Kirby, what was it like?
ME: Jack was an amazing man in ways I am still coming to appreciate. I don’t think I was ever in his presence without learning something – about life if not about writing or doing comics. He was very frustrated with the business then – as were many – so it was sometimes a frustrating time for us all. But I really treasure my association with the man.
BTAN4: Did you enjoy writing for Superman: The Animated Series? Why?
ME: Yes, I enjoyed it. It’s a very well-done, well-produced show. Often, in this business, you write something not knowing if it’s going to be mauled or maimed, by incompetence if not design. It’s great to write something with confidence that it’ll get first-class treatment from good people. And, of course, Superman is a character I’ve loved all my existence.
BTAN5: Were the episodes TOOLS OF THE TRADE and FATHER’S DAY just lead-ins to APOKOLIPS…NOW! or will they be crucial in upcoming SUPERMAN episodes?
ME: Well, the idea of TOOLS OF THE TRADE was to introduce Darkseid and Apokolips into the series for many episodes to follow, not merely the one. But most of that’s in the hands of Bruce Timm, Paul Dini and Alan Burnett. They’re guiding the over-all view of the show; I was
just doing a few pieces.
BTAN6: Will you be writing anymore SUPERMAN episodes for this season?
ME: At the moment, there are no episodes in production. Steve Gerber and I did an outline for an episode that may go forward, if and when they start making more. But beyond that, I dunno.
BTAN7: Do you think you’ve had your chance to write YOUR Superman story (includes comic-wise and animated series wise)?
ME: I’m a firm believer in never being too possessive about other peoples’ characters. I’ve heard others speak of doing THEIR Superman in a manner that struck me as very disrespectful to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. He’s their character and always will be. All any of us can do is to do our variations and to hope they do justice. What I’m getting at, I guess, is that I don’t have a Superman.
BTAN8: With no new ‘Groo’ and ‘Fanboy’ truckin’ along, will we be seeing any more mini-series or ongoing series starring these to creations?
ME: Well, we’re now finishing one GROO mini-series and we’ll be starting another later this year. I think GROO will exist in some form as long as Sergio can hold a pen…though we have some new characters that we also hope to do this year. I’m just finishing the last issue of the FANBOY mini-series and I hope that’ll lead to another…but that’s up to DC. It’s too early to tell if readers want more but I sure hope they do. It’s another one of those books that I think I could do forever.
BTAN9: Will we be seeing more New Gods in the future from DC or from WB (in Superman or the possible rumored WB animated movie)?
ME: The WB feature animation division (which is a separate entity from the folks who do the TV cartoons) has a NEW GODS feature in development. I’m acting as Kirby Kreative Konsultant – or something of the sort on it – but I caution all that this feature may never get made or may be a long time in coming if it does get made. The TV animation department wants to do more with the characters but, so far, I don’t think anything has been seriously planned.
BTAN10: IN LEGENDS OF THE DC UNIVERSE #14 you wrote that issue based on a story idea of Jack Kirby’s. Do you think you did a good job translating Jack Kirby’s work into that issue?
ME: One can only hope. That’s the kind of evaluation I think is best left to others. I can only say that there are some things in the book I would change now…but I feel that way about just about everything I do.
BTAN11: Do you have any words for fans trying to break into writing/drawing for comic books?
ME: Yeah…good luck. This is a very bad time to be trying to get into the field – maybe the worst in my thirty years in comics. For that reason – and also for creative and mental health – I tell writers, “Don’t be a comic book writer…be a writer who writes comic books among other things.” The same thing applies to artists. I think it’s also very important to bring something new to comics, not merely to replicate what others are already doing.
BTAN12: Or/And do you have any words for fans trying to break into writing/animating for…well…cartoons!?
ME: And, sad to say, it ain’t a grand time to be trying to hurdle those fences, either. I would suggest something of the opposite here, which is that working in animation increasingly involves devoting one’s life to it…immersing yourself in the entire history of the field. I’m not sure why the difference but, at the moment, I wouldn’t recommend trying to work in animation as a part-time job or as an adjunct to another career.
BTAN13: And the usual last question, could you give us a tad bit of info on the upcoming two-part Superman/Darkseid episode saga entitled ‘Legacy’?
ME: If I could, I would. But I honestly don’t know a thing about it. Thanks for asking me to do this.
BTAN: NO, Thank YOU for letting me do this! Its been an honour and I hope you enjoyed the little interview session! Good luck with future projects! Been great chattin’ with ya!
(by Laura Hysert, aka “Phoenix”)
The editorial will return once Ms. Hysert is able to get time to write one in her busy schedule. Sorry about the delay!
TO INFINITY AND BEYOND
– a column dedicated to “Batman Beyond”
(by Ed Wiser)
NOTE: This is a reprint of what Mr. Wiser provided for .)
Like all BTAS fans, I waited for the premier of “Batman Beyond” with mixed feelings. The reason cited for the new show’s creation, “TOYS for Kenner,” did not seem to be a good one for “Batman Beyond’s” existence. As fans of BTAS, we don’t look at the resulting franchises that
make money. However, in the business world BTAS is a money making entity. Just look at all the products that BTAS has generated for Warner Brothers and all their licensees. Paper plates, candy, comic books, video tapes, and, or course, action figures are just a few product made using BTAS designs that have made Warner Brothers money. So with “Batman Beyond” the powers-that-be at Warner Brothers are hoping to create a new cash cow. Luckily, the team of writers, artists, and producers of the animated Batman projects have artistic integrity. They have worked hard to make “Batman Beyond” both a succesful money maker and a show Batman animated fans will love.
So on January 10, 1999, I fully enjoyed the new show I had anxiously anticipated these last few months. From its opening to the very end, I was amazed the new show was so good. It was a much darker view of the future than we would have expected, given the press releases. The show was to have been aimed at a younger viewer than the BTAS show, which attracts 21 to 50 year olds. The Japanese animation influence was also a welcome surprise. After receiving the Batman Animated book as a Christmas gift and reading it in a couple days, I looked at the new show in a different light. Think of the teamwork necessary to put the show together, as well as the mix of ideas required to bring the vision of Batman’s future to this point. Yes, it would be nice to have more BTAS and STAS shows. It think it is good for the Warner Brothers animation team to stretch their collective creative energies into new areas, as they did in creating the origiinal BTAS show.
In the future, this column will discuss the new chaper in the Batman mythology. We will keep a close eye on how the show will affect the future of both BTAS and STAS. If “Batman Beyond” is as successful as it has proven to be in the first two shows, might a Justice League show be next? Or perhaps another superhero based show that would be a great success?
BATMAN:THE ANIMATED TRIVIA
(by Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton)
This is one of my favourite sections, where I get to boggle the minds of all our readers! *EVIL LAUGH* This trivia is all animated-related in some form, and can deal with ANY aspect of the show or comics. Some are easy, some are not. Now have fun – let’s see how well you do! Answers are provided beneath the “Animated Batman/Superman Sites” section.
This issue’s quiz was inspired by a comment of one fellow subscriber and close friend, Sarina Wayne. (Yep! Brucie has a wife now…really!) She made a mention that some of the best scenes of BTAS are when Bruce is in the buff. 🙂 So that inspired me for the subject matter of this quiz…NUDITY!
71. In what episode is Bruce in the buff? (You can’t see it all, but it’s there, dang it!)
A: PRETTY POISON
B: THE LAST LAUGH
C: THE CAT AND THE CLAW (Pt. 1)
E: PAGING THE CRIME DOCTOR
72. Hey, Brucie can do it, so Babs can do it too! When was she in the buff on the series?
A: SHADOW OF THE BAT (Pt. 1)
B: HEART OF STEEL (Pt. 2)
C: HOLIDAY KNIGHTS
D: GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT
E: BATGIRL RETURNS
73. Full-frontal statue-nudity has appeared on BTAS at one point. But in what episode?
A: DOUBLE TALK
B: HARLEY & IVY
C: TWO-FACE (Pt. 2)
74. In what episode did Harley Quinn appear to be wearing nothing but…pie?
A: GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT
C: WORLD’S FINEST (Pt. 2)
D: BEWARE THE CREEPER
E: MAKE ‘EM LAUGH
75. Which of the following villains is in the nude all the time, though no one really notices?
A: KILLER CROC
(by Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton)
Here is a section that just points out various little facts that we have noticed while watching BTAS and STAS countless times. If you have anything to contribute, feel free to do so! Enjoy!
CONBTRIBUTED BY STAFF:
1) Didja know that the voice actress for Talia, (Helen Slater) was also the live-action Supergirl? She was!
2) Go watch the most recent episode of Superman, “Superman’s Pal”. Listen to the soundtrack – notice how they use the EXACT SAME TRACK as was used in BTAS’ “Joker’s Millions”, when the Joker is going about town just acting crazy? Also, the end of this episode had the same theme as “Never Fear”.
3) Did 2-D man from the Batman Beyond episode “Heroes” sound a lot like Jack Ryder/the Creeper from BTAS?
BATMAN: THE ANIMATED FIGURES
(by Kevin Smith)
Kevin Smith was unable to provide a new toy review for this issue of “Batman: The Animated Newsletter”. He will return soon in an upcoming issue.
(by Aaron Maurer)
BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES
ISSUE: “The Oldest One in the Book!” (#11)
WRITTEN BY: Ty Templeton
PENCILED BY: Rick Burchett
INKED BY: Terry Beatty
ISSUED: February 3, 1999 (Cover date is April)
RATING: ***** (out of 5)
“I really didn’t want to leave you any clues. I really planned never to go back to Arkahm Asylum. But I left you a clue anyway. So I… I have to go back there. Because I might need help. I… I might actually be crazy…” –The Riddler, defeated
SUMMARY: The Riddler has broken out of Arkham and he visits Charles Baxter (CEO of Wacko Toys from “Riddler’s Reform”) to find a place to stay. He blackmails Baxter into giving him the penthouse at his new hotel, the Cleopatra. Nygma has a grand scheme this time: he will use his compulsion to leave clues, not to his crimes (he won’t be committing any), but to those of other criminals’. It begins with a message to Commissioner Gordon which leads Batman and Nightwing to arrest a gang known as the Morning Mob. Nygma likes this “dectective work,” and his next clue will be an even bigger one, and he’s going to do some major legwork on it. Four days later the police get their second clue which reveals a missing diamond was stolen by its museum’s curator. Batman, meanwhile, believes he sees the Riddler’s bigger clue: all the clues have playing card references. For his next clue, the Riddler interrogates Boxy Bennet (seen in “Harley’s Holiday”), but when Batman uses it to track down a major criminal, he realizes their isn’t a card reference. However, something Nightwing says clicks, and Batman knows where to find Eddie. When they get to his suite, they reveal that all his clues included elements adding up to the riddle of the Sphinx (leading them to the Cleopatra) from Oedipus Rex. The Riddler is furious, because he didn’t want or mean to send any clues to his whereabouts. He realizes that he has a problem, and he actually needs to return to Arkham.
COMMENTS: This issue is perfect. The Riddler is my favorite villain, and this issue was masterfully put together. Aside from an excellent plot (that would make a great episode of the show), this issue features beautiful art and coloring. Rick Burchett’s illustrations convey the feel of the animated series and flow of the story excellently. His variations on the Riddler’s costume also shine (including a purple jacket and hat with the new costume, and a green sports jacket with question mark insignia). These make me appreciate the new costume ecen more. Lee Loughridge’s colors jump off the page (see bottom, page 14 and panel 2, page 15 especially), creating a vibrant atmosphere that keeps the eye busy. All in all, this was a fantasic episo… I mean, um, comic…
CRITICISMS: I can’t think of anything I didn’t like about this story!
BOTTOM LINE: This is, by far, one of (if not the) best issues so far, so go pick it up!
COMIC SCHEDULES & COVERING THE BASICS
This section gives a little bit more indepth look into each monthly issue of BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES and SUPERMAN ADVENTURES. We have meshed this section with our “COVERING THE BASICS” section, to make the newsletter much more succint. Below each comic listing is a link to the cover of that comic. TALK ABOUT SERVICE!
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 #12
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.
NEXT MONTH: – It’s the return of Mastermind, the Perfessor and Mister Nice (from the pages of the original BATMAN ADVENTURES series)! This criminal trio has faced its share of challenges in the past, but now a visit from a strange child could lead to the dissolution of their partnership, if not their very lives! Can Batman save some of his greatest enemies?
Cover of #13: //www.dccomics.com/directcurrents/comics/covers/download/dbmga13.jpg
BATMAN BEYOND #3
One of the all-new villains from the Batman Beyond animated series menaces the Batman of the future. As the radioactive foe known as Blight tries to procure a substance that will help him render inert all the sources of power in Gotham City, Batman might have to choose between stopping the villain and saving a group of homeless kids who get in the
NEXT MONTH: Issue #4 – Etrigan, the Demon, makes an appearance.
SUPERMAN ADVENTURES #31
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.
NEXT MONTH: – Meet Daily Planet janitor Ben Sullivan’s girlfriend…Lois Lane? Ben, a mild-mannered staffer with a huge crush on Lois, accidentally becomes the object of the reporter’s affections when she’s hit by a supervillain’s hypnotic device. Now Ben’s in seventh heaven while Superman not only must foil a foe who can plant hypnotic suggestions in anyone’s mind, but also find a way to break Lois’s trance before it becomes irreversible!
ANIMATED NEWS AND RUMORS
-THE LOSS OF THE WB ON WGN: Beginning this fall, the WB will no longer be carried on WGN-TV’s national feed to avoid conflicts with other WB affiliates. WGN-TV will continue carrying the prime time WB in the Chicago area. If you’re outside the Chicago area and know of no other way to pick up the WB, you may call them at (818)977-5000 for more information. This is from the info section of the WGN website, //www.wgn.com . Thank you for Peter Destructo for pointing this out.
-There has been rumour of a new show called ‘Tension’ coming to Kids’WB!. Nothing more is known about it…so stay tuned! (thanx again Derek!)
-Rumors of the making of a “Catwoman” film (which was first rumored in 1992) are re-surfacing. Is the WB trying to satisfy our taste for a Batman film by giving us one about the Feline Fatale, while they decide how to rework the Bat-franchise? Hmmm. Hopefully it’s given the go ahead – and hopefully Batman himself is in it. And will Burton direct, since it was originally his idea?
-MASK OF THE PHANTASM will be airing on CARTOON NETWORK again at 8pm (ET) on March 13th. It also looks like Kids’WB! won’t be airing MASK OF THE PHANTASM at all.
-Rumor has it that the third animated Bat-movie will dive deeper into the romantic relationship between Dick and Barbara. But the burning question for most people is…WHO’S THE VILLAIN?
-Batman 5 rumors have resurfaced, but nothing new. Schumacher states he wants to do a “Year One” film with an unknown actor under the cowl.
“CURRENT” ANIMATED SERIES’
-May is not only a big month for the animated series but for the comics as well! Check out May comic info for Batman & Superman (from Comic Book Continuum):
-Kevin Conroy appears in an exclusive interview and talks about Batman: TNBA, Batman Beyond and why making WORLD’S FINEST was so fun in the latest issue of SCI-FI TV. SCI-FI TV #4 (April 1999) has a cover price of $4.99US/$6.50CAN.
-Evan Dorkin talks more about his stay and what should’ve been on SUPERMAN :THE ANIMATED SERIES, and his new episode on BATMAN BEYOND. Go here: //www.mania.com//columns/animated/animated021999.html
-Due to the amazing success of Batman Beyond on Kids’WB! and the success of “World’s Finest” on video, WB has decided to release Batman Beyond’s “Rebirth” to video on May 18th! Thanx for the news, Derek!
-Batman Beyond’s Rogue Gallery expands with these new villinas; Shriek, Curare, and the Terrific Trio! These villians will debut later this season. Also Ten, a member of The Royal Flush Gang, falls in love with Terry in their upcoming episode! Thanx to Chip Cataldo for the
-And contrary to what it seems, Powers’ lackey Mr. Fixx will return for more appearances this season.
– Sometime after , Bane will make an appearance in GOTHAM ADVENTURES.
– Mania.com has a huge article on the new SUPERMAN titles creative teams! Check it out here:
– For all Superman fans, read this: The January issue of Cinescape includes a review of Les Daniels and Chip Kidd’s Superman: The Complete History, reviewer Frank Kurtz called it “A beautifully designed book that would do any coffee table proud”, and “even seasoned comics enthusiasts may find themselves surprised by the depth of the material.”
TOYS & MERCHANDISE
– The BTAS video game rumour is now true! Yep! A new video game based on the animated series will be out in early 2000. It’s certainly for the N64. Check out //www.ign64.com/news/6847.html for deatils.
– Also check this address for more info, confirming that it’s for the Playstation, too – now many fans are at rest, myself included. Check out: //psx.ign.com/news/6851.html
– Word of a new Riddler figure has been spread all across the internet and it’s apparently true! Expect a new TNBA Riddler figure this year!
– The second wave of “BATMAN BEYOND” figures may contain more Jokerz members, and will definately include a BLIGHT figure.
THE ROAD THROUGH NO MAN’S LAND
(by Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton)
Yes, I know this isn’t really an animated topic, but I thought, hey, it’s Batman’s 60th anniversary, and this is the big event they’re pulling off, so I should have a section dedicated to this year-long crossover. Besides, so far it’s been excellent in every issue. We have this section split up into two parts – the first saying what has already happened, the second previewing what’s to come. Enjoy!
UP UNTIL NOW…
– Well, four issues into the story and we’ve seen Oracle show us where all the villains (but the Joker and Bane) have claimed territory in devastated Gotham. We have seen dealings with the Penguin and a cameo by the Joker. The new Batgirl has appeared. Then, in the most recent issue, Batman has FINALLY returned (along with Alfred), 100 days after the bridges were blown up – but his absence was not explained. The GCPD have reclaimed the LoBoyz and Demonz territory of Gotham, threatening to kill anyone if they come back. Batman also has his first encounter with the new Batgirl.
– After a time in Bludhaven, Superman and Nightwing will come to Gotham to assist the Bat; ditto for Robin. The GCPD gets medieval on everybody’s hiney. Azrael also becomes a more intricate part of the team, hunting down businessman Nicholas Scratch. Huntress is also stickin’ around in the religious sector of town. The JLA won’t appear (aside from some appearances of Superman), and we’re going to see why. As for Spoiler…she just had her baby and then what? Hmmm?
The latest development is that Batman has taken down the first of the major villains in No Man’s Land – the Ventriloquist/Scarface – and now Batman has put Rhino in control of the area.
Now, it looks like we’ll see the Huntress and the Scarecrow battling it out in the religious sector of town, as Scarecrow has sought refuge there – and tries to start up a gang war to terrify everyone. Then Batgirl and Montoya take on Two-Face in what used to be Downtown Gotham.
WHAT’S TO COME…
– Villains aplenty:
-Mr. Freeze seizes control of the power plant to stay alive – and to have something valuable to trade with the rest of society.
-The Scarecrow has a field day tormenting Huntress in the religious sector of town.
-Bane tries to gain control of the city – again – but has to break in from the outside.
-Poison Ivy seeks refuge in the Robinson Park.
-Penguin seems to have the only access to points of the world OUTSIDE of Gotham, and basically rules the city, living in luxury. The GCPD will move in on him during the first major turf war in NO MAN’S LAND.
-Two-Face has seized control of the political and financial districts in Downtown Gotham, and has a unique tie to Rene Montoya of the GCPD. While the GCPD confronts the Penguin, Batman tries to take Two-Face down but fails in his first attempt. Two-Face then releases Russian assassin “Echo” from Blackgate Prison, who goes on a killing spree, with a bounty on Batgirl’s head.
-The Joker doesn’t appear as a major player 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 Clayface, Firefly, and Ra’s Al Ghul will most likely have roles as well, but no details have been given for them yet.
– Lots of new NO MAN’S LAND info can be found at this site now: //www.mania.com
TWO-FACE’S TRADING POST
(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!
IMPORTANT: Many fans have been unable to see any of the new-style BTAS episodes, and any of the STAS or BATMAN BEYOND episodes. Can someone who is in the know point out a website that tells the copyright laws regarding taping episodes off the TV and selling them to people who want ’em? I’m not saying we’re doing this – but I know it would help many out. So if anyone has any official info on this (or, better yet, if someone from the WB network contact us), that’d be great. In the meantime, we won’t be selling or trading any home-recorded BTAS episodes here.
Well, here we go! I hope this helps out someone out there!
1. HUGE AMOUNT OF FIGURES READY TO SELL. Yep! Just look at this list! A figure without an “MOC” marking is NOT in the package. Figures with a “*” mean that they are without some/all accessories. All figures are of the animated “Batman” style. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more info, if interested.
-Mint on card:
RAPID ATTACK BATMAN (MOC)
HOVER JET BATMAN (MOC)
ANTIFREEZE BATMAN (MOC)
TORNADO BATMAN (MOC)
TOTAL ARMOUR BATMAN (MOC)
BRUCE WAYNE (w/ snap-on armour) (MOC)
KNIGHTSTAR BATMAN (MOC)
SKYDIVE BATMAN (MOC)
TURBOJET BATMAN (MOC)
TRANSFORMING DICK GRAYSON (MOC)
NINJA ROBIN (MOC)
BATMAN VS. TWO-FACE: ARKHAM ASYLUM ESCAPE (MOC)
BATTLE HELMET BATMAN MAIL AWAY FIGURE (MOC)
THE JOKER (w/ laughing gas gun) (MOC) – quantity: 2
THE RIDDLER (MOC)
POISON IVY (MOC)
THE SCARECROW (MOC)
MR. FREEZE (MOC)
BANE, 1st Card (MOC) – quantity: 3
THE PHANTASM (MOC)
BATMAN TURBO SURGE (Duo Force)
BATMAN VECTOR WING (Duo Force)
COMBAT BELT BATMAN
ROBIN (Duo Force)
WINDBLITZ BATGIRL (Duo Force)
RIDDLER (Duo Force)
POGO STICK JOKER
RA’S AL GHUL
-Loose, with some accessories missing:
-Vehicles and Miscellaneous:
BATMAN COLLECTORS CASE
NIGHTSPHERE (w/ excl. Batman figure)
WANTS TO BUY
1. DARKSEID. We are looking for one Superman: The Animated Series DARKSIED figure. E-mail the following address if you are able to help our fellow subscriber out! E-mail: email@example.com
2. CLAYFACE. Anyone know where to get a “Legends of the Dark Knight” Clayface figure? I know it’s not animated, but it still counts for this column…can anyone help? E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SITE(S) WORTH CHECKING OUT
OK. Something a little different this time. We are proud to present you info regarding the newsletter of a friend of ours, focussing on the many many different visions of our favourite feline fatale, Catwoman!
Can’t get enough of that girl in the slinky black suit running ’round Gotham stealing the night away? Well, if you want to see more of Catwoman, subscribe to Claw Marks, the official newsletter of The Catwoman Fan Club. Get the latest news and rumors relating to the feline femme fatale not only on the animated series but in the comics, in the movies, in music, on-line and more! Plus, on top of that, each newsletter comes with trivia and a pic to download
and some special issues have exclusive creator interviews! Interested? E-mail
< CatSpel@aol.com > saying so and get as close to Catwoman as you possibly can. Meow.
There’s also the GOTHAM WEEKLY NEWS, another newsletter, this time run by Alan J. Porter, which focusses on all aspects of the Bat-mythos. Alan is taking the month of February off, so expect to see the issues start a’rollin’ in March.
GOTHAM WEEKLY NEWS
NEW BATMAN NEWSGROUP!
Subscriber Peter Destructo has provided us with info about a new Batman newsgroup on the net:
I encourage everyone who uses newsgroups to send a control message to their servers if it’s not there! Thanks for the info, Peter!
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 cheap advertising technique.
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
BATMAN BEYOND MULTIMEDIA
BATMAN: FOREVER KNIGHT
CHARACTERS ON THE ADVENTURES OF BATMAN & ROBIN
JLA: THE ANIMATED SERIES
THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES: THE UNOFFICIAL SITE
MESSAGE BOARDS, INC
HEAVY DUTY DUBBAS DISCUSSION CENTER
BATMAN:TAN MESSAGE BOARD
ANSWERS TO THE TRIVIA
Answer to #71: ‘B’
Answer to #72: ‘C’
Answer to #73: ‘A’
Answer to #74: ‘D’
Answer to #75: ‘C, D, E’
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
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE:
BATMAN and all related property is a registered trademark of DC Comics, 1999. All Rights Reserved.
Visit DC Comics website at:
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
BATMAN BEYOND COLUMN: Ed Wiser
COMIC REVIEWS: Aaron Maurer
TOY REVIEW: Kevin Smith
ORIGINAL BTAS REVIEWS: “E. Nygma”
“BTAN ARCHIVES” MODERATOR: Eileen Delgadillo
TRIVIA: Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
ROAD THROUGH NO MAN’S LAND: Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
TWO-FACE’S TRADING POST: Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
PROMOTIONS AND JUST GETTIN’ THE WORD AROUND: Dick Grayons, Eileen Delgadillo, Brian Cruz, Brian Davis
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.
A SPECIAL THANKS TO MARK EVANIER FOR PARTICIPATING IN OUR INTERVIEW!