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Batman The Animated Newsletter #23

Batman: The Animated Newsletter
Week of April 5 – April 10/11, 1999
Volume 2,
Rated: PG for some “low-key coarse language and occassional griping”

THIS WEEK’S SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE: “DON’T WASTE THE NEXT ANIMATED MOVIE OPPORTUNITY ON A BATMAN BEYOND ANIMATED MOVIE!!!”

(PS – HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!)
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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!
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SAVE BATMAN!

Not since “Batman & Robin” has there been an uproar on this scale about the potential destruction of our favourite hero.

First they took about BTAS/STAS in favor of a new animated series. Then the same thing seemed to happen with the toy lines. Now, the final straw. Legions of fans are outraged about the fact that the proposed Batman: The Animated Movie #3 was shelved just a week before the recordings were to begin! In favor of what? A Batman BEYOND movie.

Why? No one knows for certain. Our best bet is that because Batman Beyond IS getting good ratings – and because the producers of BTAS/STAS are just bored with doing something they’ve been working on for years. This is the reason why I have decided that a year-long hiatus from BTAS and STAS, and a focus on BEYOND wasn’t a bad idea. But now they take away the chance of an animated movie that’s been in the planning stages for months? I imagine that Boyd Kirkland and Randy Rogel are really hurt by this…I certainly would be. Sacrificing a quality show for a show that, while good, is still just living off hype, is terrible – just a way to make a quick buck. By the time this BATMAN BEYOND movie would come out, the novelty of the show would have worn off. A good compromise would be to have BATMAN: THE ANIMATED MOVIE #3, and a BATMAN BEYOND movie on the side, if they must.

How could they neglect all us long-time Bat-fans just for the sake of making a quick buck? I don’t know who exactly is responsible here, but we should do whatever it takes to change things back to how they were.

Now its time to let your voice be heard! I want all of you people reading this to help out here. Below are the URLs and addresses of ways we can start to make a differance. You want Batman? Here’s your chance to help make it happen!

The WE WANT BATMAN/SUPERMAN BACK poll:
//apps3.vantagenet.com/zpolls/poll.asp?id=938193849

Voice your opinions at the BATMAN/SUPERMAN chat room:
//pluto.beseen.com/chat/rooms/w/10852

Share your opinions with others at the BATMAN: THE ANIMATED MESSAGE BOARD:
//www.insidetheweb.com/mbs.cgi/mb163084

THE SAVE BATMAN website:
//members.spree.com/sip/savebatman

Or at the Official BTAS/STAS site message board, where there is already a lot of posts that condemn this decision:
//www.batman-superman.com

OR you can write to the following addresses:

Tom Lesinski
Warner Bros. Home Video
3903 W. Olive Ave.
Burbank CA 91522

Jean MacCurdy
Warner Bros. TV Animation
15303 Ventura Blvd.
Suite 1200
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Every little bit helps here! I know some of you are BATMAN BEYOND fans, but we are being denied the true Batman becuase of BB. Please mail your letters and vote as soon and much as you can. The results of the votes and petitions will be sent to WB (via email) once enough votes are up!
Let’s keep our Batman on patrol!
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NEW EPISODE(S)
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.

KidsWB will soon be shown on a new channel called “WeB” – I know little about this – but if you can get that channel, I’m pretty sure the WB shows would be on.

‘THE WINNING EDGE’
Batman Beyond #05
Air date: April 10, 1999
No idea what this one’s about…could be one of the episodes with either Spellbinder or Curare (both of whom are villains), but we don’t know for sure.

‘DEMON REBORN’
Superman #??
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)’
Superman #??
Air date: ??
This two-parter, featuring the final showdown between Superman and Darksied, will be the season finale, airing this May.

‘A FISH STORY’
Superman #??
Air date: ??
Aquaman appears on STAS.

‘UNITY’
Superman #??
Air date: ??
A Superman and Supergirl team-up.
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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 4-05-99: Batman #89 Double Talk
Superman #30 Bizarro’s World

Tue 4-06-99: Superman #13 Two’s a Crowd
Batman #92 Joker’s Millions

Wed 4-07-99: Batman #71 The Terrible Trio
Superman #21 Mxyzpixilated

Thu 4-08-99: Superman #14 Blasts from the Past (Pt. 1)
Superman #17 Blasts from the Past (Pt. 2)

Fri 4-09-99: Batman #70 House and Garden
Superman #05 A Little Piece of Home

Sat 4-10-99: Superman #09 Stolen Memories
Batman #103 The Demon Within
B-BEYOND #05 The Winning Edge ——–NEW!!!!

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.
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CARTOON NETWORK WB ANIMATION SCHEDULE:
“Yabba Dabba Doom”
(courtesy of Brian Cruz)

THE CARTOON NETWORK was able to get the exclusive rights to 52 episodes of the classic Batman: The Animated Series, as well as MASK OF THE PHANTASM and SUB-ZERO. If our schedule listings is not complete or up to date then please go to TOONZONE for the complete episode schedule:
//www.toonzone.net/brian/schedules/batman-cn.html

NOTE #1: BATMAN & MR. FREEZE: SUB-ZERO will be airing again on CARTOON NETWORK on May 22nd at 8pm (ET) as apart of their CARTOON THEATRE
NOTE #2: CARTOON NETWORK will be having a BATMAN ‘SUPER-CHUNK’ on May 29th. The 3 hour BATMAN Super-Chunk will be from 4pm-7pm (ET). The ‘SUPER-CHUCK’ means that we’ll have three hours worth of BATMAN episodes.
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EPISODE REVIEW: (SPOILERS!)
(by Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton)

All of Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton’s reviews of the new-style BTAS episodes and BATMAN BEYOND can be found via these links, which link to “Two-Face’s Tower of Tranquility and Terror”:

MAIN PAGE: //www.angelfire.com/tx/TimTwoFace/index.html
BTAS PAGE: //www.angelfire.com/tx/TimTwoFaceText/bats.html


MEAN SEASONS
Written by Rich Fogel & Hilary J. Bader
Directed by Hiroyuki Aoyama
Animation by TMS
Original air date: April 25, 1998
My rating: ***

I chose to submit a review for this episode because it’s the most Easter-y of all BTAS episodes in my review archive. Calendar Girl loves tossing those eggs around, doesn’t she? Anyhow, the seasons are changing, so it’s only fitting we review the episode inspired by these seasons.

The episode begins at a fashion show, and is crashed by a nameless villain who then kidnaps the M.C. – the president of a modelling company or something. The villainess is dressed in a leprehcaun-green suit, skin-tight, and wears a porcelain mask over her face, much like Alicia in the 1989 Batman movie. This look of a pale white face contrasting with her dark, flowing, black hair, causes her to look nearly dead and zombielike – very creepy stuff. Her mouth doesn’t even move when she speaks. Weapon of choice? Exploding easter eggs. The only evidence left at the scene of the crime is a calendar, with the date of the crime, April 3, circled. She is soonafter dubbed “Calendar Girl” by the press.

Soon afterwards, at a car show where models are posing and getting pictures taken of them lying all about the cars in the showroom. The masked woman from the fashion show makes an appearance, now wearing a yellow outfit, and kidnaps the owner of the car company, who is attending the show. This crime is in memoriam of SOME event that happened on August 7.

Back in the Batcave, Batman and Batgirl try to piece the puzzle together. They discover a similarity between both – a model named Paige Monroe worked for them, but, in both cases, was dumped because they wanted younger models and spokespeople. We learn that Paige also tried to get her own sitcom, which brings us to…

In honour of October 27. Calendar Girl, dressed in red, makes an apperance at the unveiling of the new season’s shows for the GWB network (in-joke – hell, the studios even look like the WB lot seen on “Animaniacs”!!!). She nabs the C.E.O. of the GWB network and takes off outside, where she leads Batman and Batgirl into a trap – and has a giant dinosaur attack them.

Her final apperance is in the winter, season of the dead, where she sports a black, very gothic-looking outfit, and shows a slide show telling her three hostages of her past and how the companies she once worked for shunned her. She then comes out through the screen, slashing it open with a giant scythe, and nearly lops off the hostage’s heads, before Batman and Batgirl show up…a fight ensues, the slide projector burns, all the youthful pictures of Paige are destroyed, she is horrified, and is easily apprehended thereafter.

Cool stuff: the whole aging motif of the episode is fresh and rather nice. We see scenes of Calendar Girl fearing her inevitable aging, and we even see Bruce Wayne checking to see if he looks old, too. The subplot of the retiring policy at Wayne Enterprises was a nice touch. And the animation for this episode was incredible…both the colour and the motion of the drawings…surely one of the best of the new series. TMS always pleases! Calendar Girl’s outfit and overall look was very gothic – especially the porcelain mask – a very nice touch. The part at the end where Calendar Girl’s mask is ripped off by Bullock was nice, too:

(Calendar Girl starts screaming and hides her face – we can only see it in a mirror on the ground).

BATGIRL: “She…she’s beautiful!”

BATMAN: “Yes, but she can no longer see that.”

Cool stuff that shouldn’t have happened: The whole sequence where Batman and Batgirl fight the dinosaur on the GWB lot was TERRIFICLY animated, but it had little relevance to the story. They should have saved such a fight scene for a Killer Croc episode. It was a total parody of Jurassic Park – some scenes were taken directly from the movie. Very well animated, but uneeded.

Bad stuff: The only bad things about this episode were little-relevance of the dino-fight, the Chippendale gang she had (worst idea on BTAS since “Victor and the Freezettes” in “Cold Comfort”), and that things just happened way too fast. The episode was only 19 minutes long (as opposed to 20 or 22) so there was a lot of room for further development.

Overall, it’s good stuff. A must see, simply because Calendar Girl is a cool villain – but I doubt we’ll be seeing her again anytime soon, simply because there are so many other more prominent villains that have yet to appear. But, the way I see it, Calendar Girl is a vast improvement over her comics counterpart, Calendar Man – so the episode was a great effort, with great animation but the meaningful story behind it wasn’t shown well enough – it could have been a two-parter, somewhat like “Feat of Clay” – the plots do show similarities. Then again, nearly all episodes can be. Anyhow, I say watch it…there have been a lot worse this season, namely, “Holiday Knights”.

And, as for how this relates to Easter…eggs, people! EGGS!
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EDITORAL
(by Laura Hysert, aka “Phoenix”)

BITCHES, BIMBOS AND GLAMOUR DOLLS (Pt. 1)

That’s a very odd title. I wonder if Tim and James will let me get away with repeatedly writing the word “bitch” in my editorial. Hmm.

I see this as the introduction to a series of editorials exploring (ha!) the women of BTAS and STAS. This seems like a good idea now. Heaven only knows if it will seem like a good idea when my fever subsides. I’ll tell you later.

Let’s take a quick look at the heroines and villainesses, shall we? We’ll start with the villainesses first. That is such a stupid name. “Villainesses.” It’s almost as bad as “authoresses.” Maybe worse, because you can hardly say it. And “heroine.” You know what that sounds like. Not very flattering at all. And the whole idea of cutesifying (Word Creation
Alert!) titles for women is just…but I digress.

The Villains:

Harleen, the Bronx Sleaze: Slept her way to a Psychology degree. Abandoned her job and acquired a thick, slummy New York accent when she started following the Joker around like a sick, sick puppy. Points to the writers for broaching the subject of abuse, though.

Pamela, the Ice Princess: Poison Ivy’s so cold, she makes Mr. Freeze look like a jalepeno pepper soaked in gasoline (no, kiddies, don’t try this at home. It’s called a SIMILE.). You have to admire her poise, her audacity (she put a whole new twist on marrying for money), and her new hair style. Wish she didn’t get caught so easily, though.

Selina, the Bitter Glamour Grrl: She really loved being a blonde. It made her so happy, she went out and stole pretty shiny things. But then she found out her hair dye manufacturers were bad, bad critters. Now she’s gone goth and bitter, but she still steals pretty shiny things.

Livewire, the Snarky Brat: We all hate her. She’s so damn annoying. She’s not really a villain; she’s that dirty-faced kid down the street who stands at the edge of your yard and shoots spitballs at your dog.

And the Heroes:

Barbara, the Kept Woman: We all want a sugar daddy. Some nice billionaire who will buy us lots of neat things and dress us up in Donna Karan gowns and take us to balls. So we really can’t blame Barbara for jumping at the chance when it presented itself. Too bad she had to sacrifice her independence and self-respect for it.

Kara, the Perky Cheerleader: You have to love her Dorothy-like wonder and innocence. Even if she dresses like a Main Street hooker. But why the kid gloves? Is she afraid of ruining her nails? Is it possible for a Kryptonian to break a nail? And if so, why doesn’t Superman wear gloves? I’m betting that’s the reason Batman wears ’em.

Lois, the Bitch Goddess: Ah, the bitch goddess. Gifted with an eternal spring of acidic barbs, she got straight A’s in school and still managed to have all the cool guys chase after her. But she’s so consumed with her own agenda, she forgets that other human beings exist on this planet. Could explain why she has a crush on a muscle-bound alien.

As you can tell, I have little use for how women are portrayed in the animated series nowadays. There are some bright spots, though – like how Barbara was portrayed before she got a tour of the BatCave. And there’s Maggie, Montoya, and Dr. Thompkins. All this and more will be explored…in time.

That is, as long as I don’t wake up and exclaim, “This is crap! What was I THINKING?” I bet this is how Wing Commander made it to the screen: the entire cast and crew, doped up on Extra Strength Tylonel Cold.

Laura
Recovering Bitch Goddess Extraordinaire
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TO INFINITY AND BATMAN BEYOND
– a column dedicated to “Batman Beyond”
(by Ed Wiser)
ewiser@iglou.com

Well, we are halfway through the first season of Batman Beyond, and what good and bad have we seen so far? From a quality standpoint, I am totally satisfied with the work the WB animation team has done in developing this new show. The design of the show has been fantastic. I especially love the little tips of the hat to BTAS, such as using people in the background scenes that came from the original show. This has been a common practice this year in all the shows, and indicates that WB animation is doing the shows for the fans. Most people would not catch all the visual references that fly by during the show, such as the Col. Hal Jordan on the airplane in the STAS show that guest starred the Green Lantern. The writing of the show has been wonderful for the most part. I have not liked a couple of the shows, but that was also true with BTAS. Not every show can be on par with “Rebirth”. There has been a consistent level of writing for the show that will make it better in the long run. As the writers get used to the Batman Beyond universe, I think we will see better villains and stories that advance the Terry and Bruce relationship, giving a reason for the show to be made. I wish that Ty Templeman would get a chance to write for the WB animation team. Ty’s work with the BTAS comic books has shown his great talent for writing Batman stories, and I would love to see what he could do with Batman Beyond.

From a collectible standpoint, all we have right now is the first assortment of Batman Beyond figures from Hasbro. As most everyone has said on the net, I think these figures leave a lot to be desired. Like all of you, I wish I could get a NORMAL Batman. The Jokerz Leader figure is not totally bad, but could be more true to the model sheet. At the time that the figures were made over a year ago, though, I am sure that the designers had little to go on. The multicolored Batman figures really are not for the collector or fan, but are aimed at kids getting their parents to buy them another Batman figure to play with. Hasbro is not going to make the Batman line like Star Wars, and make a figure for every one second of air time that a design is on the show. I wish that we had all the Jokerz gang in the first assortment. Instead we will have to look for one villain per assortment in the future. As badly as we want the figures, I don’t think Hasbro will change their mind on the figure assortment. After so many years of handling BTAS figures in a similar manner, they aren’t going to rock the boat. I honestly don’t think they know what would sell, and since they’ve found kid’s parents will buy the multicolor Batman figures, they’re scared to make more villains or other characters. With only two waves of figures a year in the line, it is hard to get the more obscure figures. Also, Look for a Batman Beyond Maquette at the Warner Brother stores this year. Hopefully we will see other neat things that have ties to the show.

On the comic book side, things are off to a great start. The six issue mini-series has been pushed to an ongoing series. The comic book is living up the standards of the WB animation comic in quality. For a long time I have felt that if you didn’t read the comic titles tied to the show, you were missing half of the stories. With issue three, we see a new Blight story continuing to develop the relationship of Bruce and Terry and also showing more sides of Blight. In issue four, Etrgan is introduced to the Batman Beyond continuity. I look forward to seeing how the comic will add new dimensions to the Batman Beyond show.

By this time next month, I should have my web site that ties into this column on-line. I will give the URL and hope to hear from people interested in the Batman Beyond show. If you have news or are interested in helping with the web site, contact me at: ewiser@iglou.com
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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 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.

Easter. April Fool’s. Whatever – we’re days past those holidays anyhow! Be that as it may, the goal of this quiz is to pick out the WRONG (or foolish – hence, April Fools) answer out of the collection of RIGHT ones. Remember – the INCORRECT answer is what you’re searching for. Good luck!

101. The following celebrities have appeared on BTAS:

A: TIM BURTON
B: JOEL SCHUMACHER
C: DANNY DeVITO
D: BRUCE WILLIS (in the form of “Trent Wallace”)
E: ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (in the form of “Donald Shaltenpepper”)

102. The following people know who Batman is:

A: Terry McGinnis
B: Bane
C: Ra’s Al Ghul
D: Leslie Thompkins
E: Tim Drake

103. The following cities have appeared in the animated continuity:

A: Gotham City
B: Paris
C: Bludhaven
D: London
E: New York

104. The following characters have worn lipstick:

A: Poison Ivy
B: Killer Croc
C: The Joker
D: Catwoman
E: Harley Quinn

105. Batman has fought the Joker at these locations:

A: An amusement park
B: Atop a speeding train
C: A garbage dump
D: Arkham Asylum
E: In a flooding tunnel
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ANSWERS TO THE TRIVIA

Answer to #101: ‘C’
Answer to #102: ‘B’
Answer to #103: ‘E’
Answer to #104: ‘C’
Answer to #105: ‘E’
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LITTLE FACTS
(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) Thomas Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s father, has been voiced by two actors on BTAS. In the BTAS episode “Nothing to Fear”, it sounds like Richard Moll (Two-Face) does his voice, whereas in “Perchance to Dream” – or any other episode – he is voiced by Kevin Conroy (Batman). Anyone else notice this?

2) The name of a spaceship in the STAS episode “In Brightest Day” is named “Col. Hal Jordan”. This is a nifty in-joke; in the comics, the original Green Lantern (now repleaced) was named Hal Jordan.

CONTRIBUTED BY OTHERS:
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BATMAN: THE ANIMATED FIGURES
(by Kevin Smith)
ktsmit2@ilstu.edu
Oh_Ho77@hotmail.com

Once again, the readership amazes me. (You guys rock!) I’ve really enjoyed reading what people have to say about the Batman figures, and it’s nice to know that a lot of people agree with me. Reader, Doug, wrote this in:

Favourite figures:
1. Harley Quinn (has to be, because I waited so damn long for them to make one. Even sold my whole collection when it looked like the line was going to die and had to buy them all back again because I’m a completist-DAMN the Penguin!)
2. Mad Hatter (dead on likeness)
3. Phantasm (’nuff said)
4. Joker (Wild Card) just love that smile
5. The Creeper (this guy’s just about as obsessed with Harley as I am. Gotta respect that.)

Now I am in complete agreement with you as far as which new figure I most want to see: Catwoman! DO IT DO IT DO IT (and don’t screw it up) Scarecrow would be nice too (Toy Review: I’ll get a “Hell Yeah!” goin’ on for that one!)
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COMIC REVIEWS
(by Aaron Maurer)

BATMAN BEYOND
ISSUE: “Never Mix, Never Worry” (#3)
WRITTEN BY: Hilary J. Bader
PENCILED BY: Rick Burchett
INKED BY: Terry Beatty
ISSUED: March 17, 1999 (Cover date is May)
RATING: ***.5 (out of 5)

“Nobody likes a villain who doesn’t stay to clean up, you know.”
–Terry McGinnis after Blight has left him with a trashed lab

SUMMARY: An army semi-truck carrying a radioactive element is run off the road by men working for Derek Powers. It now lies at the bottom of a canyon and Powers (in his Blight state) is going to go after it before the army has a chance disable it. Batman arrives as Blight is looking for the element (Yostrum, one of a series of new, second-stage, man-made elements). They get in a fight, but ultimately, Blight escapes because Batman has to save some helicopter pilots from their falling craft. In the batcave, Bruce Wayne tells Terry that another element in that series was stolen the previous month. Those two elements when combined with another create an inert element that can render all radioactive elements inert. Since just about everything is run on some form of nuclear power, this is a serious problem. There is only one place that holds the third element, and Terry goes off to get to it before Blight does. On his way, he finds a colony of kids living below ground (think the Underdwellers meets a street gang). Their leader shows Batman a shortcut to the power plant in exchange for Batman never telling anyone about them. Blight is already inside, so he and Batman get in a fight. As Blight pulls the element out of its containment field, Terry sprays it with an element that renders that one inert. He convinces Blight that it could also render him inert, which causes him to flee. Later, Terry takes food, toys, and other goodies to the tunnel kids.

COMMENTS: I thought this was a well-done issue. Rick Burchett is getting into the character designs more, so this comic is beginning to resemble its animated counterpart a bit more. I liked this story, even though it was a bit of a rehash of old Batman episodes (Heart of Ice and
The Underdwellers come to mind). Lee Loughridge does a terrific job at coloring this comic (as well as Gotham Adventures), and all of the scenes with Blight were very nice to look at.

CRITICISMS: I didn’t really have many problems with this comic, except that Mr. Burchett doesn’t have the designs completely down yet; this comic tends to resemble The New Batman Adventures a little bit more than Batman Beyond. However, I’m sure everything will be fine in a few more issues. Other than that, I thought that this was a very interesting comic (although I don’t know how Powers contained those two elements he stole once he got them home).

BOTTOM LINE: An entertaining read perfect for “Batman” and “Beyond” fans alike.
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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. 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…a whopping $3.25 in Canada. (Both our editors and many subscribers are Canadian, hence the “grrr”.)

BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES #13
April 7th
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: //www.dccomics.com/directcurrents/comics/covers/download/dbmga13.jpg

NEXT MONTH: – The final issue of “Gotham Adventures” written by Ty Templeton (we’ll miss you)! This issue follows-up on the storyline in , where Harley resists being seduced by the dark side and returning to the Joker. Her romance novel is panned by critics so she goes on a rampage involving…mind control?
Cover: //www.toonzone.net/comics/covers/bga/bga14.jpg

BATMAN BEYOND #4
April 21st
Etrigan, the Demon, assists Batman in fighting crime in the futuristic Gotham City.
Cover: //www.toonzone.net/comics/covers/bb/bb4.jpg

NEXT MONTH: Issue #5 – On a field trip to the Gotham Museum of Natural History, Terry and his class are menaced by what appears to be a re-animated Egyptian mummy! Other strange events follow as several students contract a mysterious emaciating disease. Is there a connection between these strange occurrences and the new foreign student in school who seems obsessed with Terry’s girlfriend Dana?
Cover: Not available.

SUPERMAN ADVENTURES #32
April 7th
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!
Cover: //www.toonzone.net/comics/covers/sa/sa32.jpg

NEXT MONTH:
Superman’s greatest enemies have never figured out that Clark Kent and the Man of Steel are one and the same person — until now. Who’s learned the world’s greatest secret, and how can Clark prove him wrong before he reveals it to the entire world?
Cover: //www.toonzone.net/comics/covers/sa/sa33.jpg
________________________________
NEWS AND RUMORS

ALL-ENCOMPASSING/OTHER
-Mania.Com seems to have the inside scoop about Kids’WB! next season. Use this URL to go and check out the information:
//www.mania.com/columns/amhh/amhh031999_kidswb.html
-Another “World’s Finest” tape may be coming to video stores! A tape collecting the 3 episodes, “Knight Time”, “Girls Night Out”, and “Demon Reborn”, apparently titled “World’s Finest: Further Adventures of Batman and Superman” may be compiled and sold in stores. This would be a good move by the WB!

“CURRENT” ANIMATED SERIES’
-The current animated series has only about 5 more Superman episodes (one of which being a Batman crossover), all of which will air by May. After that, BTAS/STAS will not return until Sept. of 2000 at the earliest.

BATMAN BEYOND
-The Comic Book Continuum has an article about this weekend’s BATMAN BEYOND episode, if you want some more info on the episode go here:
//detnews.com/metro/hobbies/comix/stories/9903/17/index.htm

ANIMATED COMICS
-Also it seems that BATMAN BEYOND will only be a limited series, with a new ongoing series (so far titled BATMAN: ADVENTURES BEYOND) premiering in the fall with Hilary J. Bader still writing, but as of yet, an undetermined art team.
-Not much has been known about who is joining Hilary J. Bader as the writer of the new ongoing BATMAN BEYOND but from whats been going around there’s going to be no set artist, but a rotating sets of artists from the Batman stable. More news will be provided as it becomes available.

OTHER COMICS
-Want to get real in-depth with Batman and Superman and the rest of the DCU this year? Well take this link to find out their plans: //www.mania.com/newsarama/dc99.html
-Greg Rucka discusses his plans for the future of DC’s huge hit: Batman’s No Man’s Land as well as some other goodies. Just follow the link below: //www.mania.com/comics/interviews/gregrucka.html
-The NO MAN’S LAND novelization won’t be here for a while but you want a sneek peek on what you can expect from Greg Rucka? Well then take THIS link!
//www.mania.com/comics/features/nmlnovel.html
-For more, see the “Road Through No Man’s Land” section below.

MOVIES
-Rumor has it that the third animated movie will be based on BATMAN BEYOND, and NOT BTAS. Say it isn’t so! NOOOOOO!
-The Gotham Weekly News says that there is a rumour that recent Oscar-winner Gwyneth Paltrow could be the actor chosen to play everyone’s favourite feline fatale in the rumoured “Catwoman” movie.
-NBC will be showing “BATMAN FOREVER” from 8:30pm to 11pm on April 4th

TOYS & MERCHANDISE
-**THANKS TO ” NextNexus@aol.com ” FOR BRINGING THIS UP!!!
“LOTDK” CLAYFACE NOW AVAILABLE
Gotham’s filthiest villain, Clayface, from the cancelled “Legends of the Dark Knight” line now is available directly through Kenner. The highly detailed “LODK” figure, which will not be shipping to retail outlets, can be ordered with a credit card by calling: 1-800-456-1348. Originally anounced as an Internet exclusive after the line was cancelled, the Clayface figure is available only through the listed phone number due to reported licensing complications Kenner’s experiencing selling certain products via the Internet. Reports from various collectors indicated Clayface figures arrived within five business days.
-The video game based on the animated incarnation of Superman will be released this spring. The N64 version will be on May 11, and the Playstation version will be sometime in June.
________________________________

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 that celebrates it, 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…
After 100 days of absence, Batman has returned, and took down the Ventriloquist and Scarface; Rhino no runs that sector of town under Batman’s control. The GCPD have eliminated the “lesser” gangs in Gotham by starting up a bloody turf war. Batgirl has appeared here and there, and has also encountered Batman himself.
The Scarecrow took up refuge in the “Faith Sector” of town, and tries to get them to get into a major gang-war with the Penguin and Black Mask. The Huntress is the only hope once Father Chris agrees to store Penguin’s weapons at the church in exchange for food. Batman and Huntress eventually take the Scarecrow down – but he’s still on the loose. It is then revealed that Batman is not working out of the Batcave anymore, but Arkham Asylum.
Then we see a flashback of Rene Montoya in Downtown Gotham, where she runs into good-Samaritan Two-Face, who is helping the people there, due to the luck of the coin. Batgirl saves a couple from the Joker’s old hideout, and Harold (Batman’s mechanic) runs into Gotham to “help fix things”.
In earlier March, Batman confronts the Penguin in the Iceberg Lounge – and he wins a small victory, and the Penguin loses some of his power in Gotham; the word of Batman’s re-appearance spreads like wildfire. Gordon makes a deal with the devil – but who is he? Many think it is Two-Face (there are some hints), but no one knows for sure at this point.
In the most recent story, mob boss/cult-leader Black Mask, who owns the largest chunk of Gotham, tries to take the GCPD sector, putting Oracle in grave danger; she is just about to kill him, but Batgirl gets in the way. Batgirl captures Black Mask; Oracle is infuriated and has a type of emotional breakdown, seeing another person in HER costume. More development between Gordon and his wife Sarah. It also looks like Rene Montoya is NOT the new Batgirl. And the answer for where Batman deposits the criminals he captures has been solved; Lock-Up and KGBeast are in charge of a prison which now holds Black Mask, Tally Man, and (presumably) the Ventriloquist.

That’s 13 issues of NML so far. For a complete list, e-mail us.

WHAT’S TO COME…
-April: Four self-contained stories. Two focusing on Alfred, one on Superman’s arrival in Gotham, and one on a nameless civilian just trying to survive.
-May: “Claim-Jumping” (2 parts). The GCPD confront the Penguin, and Batman confronts Two-Face. The Penguin and Two-Face stories are said to be two of the most important segments in the battle in No Man’s Land.
-June: Batgirl’s identity is revealed. Then, Batman and Robin battle Clayface for the life of Poison Ivy in “Fruit of the Earth” (3 parts).
-Francine Langstrom comes to the Penguin for help, which results in Man-Bat returning to Gotham.
-Batgirl’s identity will be revealed in June, in “Legends of the Dark Knight” #120! But rumor is that there will be ANOTHER Batgirl after that.
-See more below.

AS FOR THE OTHER HEROES:
-Robin and Nightwing return to Gotham in June!
-Robin’s first duty is to aid Batman in saving Poison Ivy from Clayface.
-Nightwing tries to bring order back to Blackgate prison.
-The Spoiler gives birth in Robin #65.
-Superman arrives in Gotham this April in Batman #566 (the explanation as to why the JLA hasn’t helped Batman out in his darkest hour), and will later return in October.
-Catwoman’s not really a hero, but I’ll include her here anyhow. She’s still searching the world for more pretty things. Paris didn’t satisfy her – but will New York? She will eventually return to Gotham.
-Azrael will confront the Joker in April.
-A single issue focusing on Alfred’s dealings with No Man’s Land will also come out soon (LOTDK #118).
-And it seems that new GCPD officer Petit, who has a thirst for blood, gains control of most of the GCPD, leaving Gordon in the cold. I bet Bullock still sticks with ‘im, though.
-Speaking of which, a one-shot focussing on how Bullock is handling No Man’s Land is also due out.

AND AS FOR THE REMAINING VILLAINS…
-Lock-Up and KGBeast now run the prison in which all criminals are kept.
-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 the Russian assassin “Echo” from Blackgate Prison, who goes on a killing spree, with a bounty on Batgirl’s head.
-Poison Ivy has sought refuge in the Robinson Park and turned it into a Garden-of-Eden paradise. But then Clayface appears and turns this Eden into a Hell for Ivy.
-Mr. Freeze seizes control of the power plant to stay alive – and to have something valuable to trade with the rest of society. His story involves – a plumber?
-Bane tries to gain control of the city – again – but has to break in from the outside – across the river filled with land mines. This is in Detective Comics #736, in July.
-Man-Bat appears, thanks to the Penguin
-The Joker doesn’t appear as a major player until close to the end, along with the new, improved Harley Quinn – whom will appear with the Joker AND Poison Ivy in August.
-The Mad Hatter, Killer Croc, Mr. Zsasz, and various other “lesser” villains have their own chunks of Gotham to rule as well.
-Ra’s Al Ghul, meanwhile, is in Washington D.C. battling Anarky in his new ongoing series.
________________________________
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?

ALSO if you are LOOKING for something, e-mail me and I can put your request in the “WANT TO BUY” section. There is the possibility that a fellow subscriber is willing to sell what you’re looking for!

IMPORTANT QUERY: 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. JOKERZ LEADER. Mail editor Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton if you are interested in the Jokerz Leader figure from the new “Batman Beyond” line, in a near-mint package. Pic available. E-mail: juno@direct.ca

2. KILLER CROC. Editor Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton has a spare Killer Croc figure lying around, in a mint package. Pic available. E-mail juno@direct if interested.

3. THE MAD HATTER. Yup! Editor Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton has one spare BTAS “Mad Hatter” figure (in a mint-condition package) in his possession that he is willing to get rid of. This is the only Mad Hatter figure in existance (to our collective knowledge), and is a wonderful figure besides! Sure, that was a shameless plug, but it IS a cool figure. Pic available. If interested, e-mail: juno@direct.ca

4. THE CREEPER. Anyone want this figure? Mail Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton and he’ll be able to find one for you. Pic available. E-mail: juno@direct.ca

5. Wow! Look at all this! If you want any of the following, or are even interested, e-mail Craig at NextNexus@aol.com -Scans are available for all the figures, too. All figures are MOC (mint, on card), and from the various BTAS lines.

Quick-change Bruce Wayne (red outfit)
Quick-change Bruce Wayne in yellow outfit = $35 RARE!
Turbojet Batman
Anti-Freeze Batman
Sky Dive Batman
Decoy Batman (orange “Mask of the Phantasm” card)
Total Armor Batman (“MotP” card)
Robin (w/Turbo Glider)
Dick Grayson/Robin
Ninja Robin
Joker, green face (w/”Laughing Gas” spray gun – original BTAS Joker fig.)
Jet Pack Joker, rare green face (“MotP” card)
Penguin MOC
Mr. Freeze (original deco)
Man-Bat
Clayface
Harley Quinn
Bane (original BTAS card)

———-
WANTS TO BUY

1. 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: juno@direct.ca
2. COMBAT BELT BATMAN, and BTAS BATMOBILE. If you know where to find these figures – or a BTAS Batwing (I’m pretty sure one was made) e-mail this address: cnwitkow@concentric.net
_______________________________
FEATURED BAT-SITES FOR THIS ISSUE

**BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES COMPUTER ICONS**

Anybody interested in having “The New Batman Adventures” characters as icons on their computer desktop can get FREE icons at Iconplanet. This icon site has Batman icons for both Windows and Macintosh users. The icons are designed in the “new style” that the series currently has and they look great! The Animated Batman library has over 40 icons including virtually every major character in the new-style Batman animated mythos. In fact, the only notable characters I can think of from the newer episodes that don’t have an icon here is Alfred Pennyworth (the only bad point here) and Renee Montoya.

Just when you think it can’t get any better than this, THERE’S MORE! The site also has a folder containing icons of the characters from the campy 1960’s Batman TV show. Again, these icons are outstanding! In addition to the expected icons like Batman, Robin, and the major villains, they even have such great items like Catwoman icons of Julie Newmar AND Eartha Kitt, Chief O’Hara, Aunt Harriet and minor villains like King Tut, Egghead, Mad Hatter, and False Face. They even have the Batphone on there! Again, these are available for both Windows and Macintosh users.

To download, go here: //www.iconplanet.com

****************

**BATMAN/SUPERMAN CHAT ROOM**
(every night from 8pm – Midnight(ET))

Want a good place to discuss yer favorite animated heroes? There’s a new chat room up called simply THE BATMAN/SUPERMAN CHAT ROOM. You can obviously discuss anything Batman/Superman and even Batman Beyond. The chat room is finally organized with chat times for anyone wanting to
discuss.

Please stop in anytime. I would really like to see this chat room full of fans eager to discuss about their favorite episodes, issues or hero! Just click on the link provided below and start chattin’!
//pluto.beseen.com/chat/rooms/w/10852
______________________________
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.

OFFICIAL SITES
—–
THE NEW BATMAN/SUPERMAN ADVENTURES
//www.batman-superman.com
BATMAN:THE ANIMATED SERIES
//www.batmantas.com
BATMAN BEYOND
//www.batmanbeyond.com
SUB-ZERO: THE DEFINTIE GUIDE
//www.batman-subzero.com
DC COMICS
//www.dccomics.com
TOON ZONE
//www.toonzone.net
RAVING TOY MANIAC
//www.toymania.com
VOICE CHASERS
//www.voicechasers.org

UNOFFICIAL SITES
—–
*TWO-FACE’S TOWER OF TRANQUILITY AND TERROR
//www.angelfire.com/tx/TimTwoFace/index.html
BRIAN CRUZ’ WB CARTOON PAGE
//www.toonzone.net/brian/index.html
BRIAN’S BATMAN PAGE
//members.aol.com/bdavis2613/main.html
GOTHAM GAZETTE
//members.aol.com/gothamajp
BATMAN: THE ANIMATED HOMEPAGE
//www3.sympatico.ca/quartet/home.htm
RA’S AL GHUL’S THE LAZARUS PIT
//www.aitnet.et/lazaruspit
ANIMANIA
//hjem.get2net.dk/twt/home.htm
HARLEY’S HAVEN OF HEDONISM
//www.angelfire.com/hi/harlequinhideaway
THE ANIMATED BAT
//www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Academy/7382/index.html
BATMAN/SUPERMAN SNAP JUDGMENTS
//www.snapjudgments.com/batsup.html
BATMAN BEYOND MULTIMEDIA
//www.prophecysite.com/batman.htm
THE BATCOMPUTER
//members.spree.com/batcomputer
BATMAN: FOREVER KNIGHT
//batman.techv.net
WORLD’S FINEST
//members.spree.com/sip/worldsfinest
CHARACTERS ON THE ADVENTURES OF BATMAN & ROBIN
//www.xse.com/leres/batman.html
ARKHAM ASYLUM
//animation.acmecity.com/saturday/352
JLA: THE ANIMATED SERIES
//animation.acmecity.com/character/375
THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES: THE UNOFFICIAL SITE
//www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Makeup/5158

MESSAGE BOARDS
—–
HEAVY DUTY DUBBAS DISCUSSION CENTER
//members.spree.com/sip/hddboards
SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED MESSAGE BOARD
//www.insidetheweb.com/mbs.cgi/mb158314

NEWSGROUPS
—–
news:alt.comics.batman
news:alt.animation.batman
news:alt.comics.superman
news:rec.arts.sf.superman
news:alt.tv.cartoon-network
news:rec.arts.animation
news:alt.animation.warner-bros
_______________________________
QUESTIONS, SUBMISSIONS, AND FAN-MAIL

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:

juno@direct.ca

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 artcile, and everyone is entitled to it.
_______________________________
BATMAN: THE ANIMATED ARCHIVES

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

TOONZONE’s BATMAN: THE ANIMATED NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES
//www.toonzone.net/wbc/btan
_______________________________
LIKE WHAT YA SEE? WANNA SUBSCRIBE? HERE’S HOW!!!

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 juno@direct.ca and put SUBSCRIBE in the subject line.

For more information the newsletter just email btaninfo@yahoo.com
Thank you for your time, and thanks for reading! Tell your friends!

-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

EDITORS: Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton and “Dick Grayson”
AIR DATE SCHEDULES: Brian Cruz
BTAS REVIEWS: Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
EDITORIAL: Laura Hysert
BATMAN BEYOND COLUMN: Ed Wiser
COMIC REVIEWS: Aaron Maurer
TOY REVIEW: Kevin Smith
“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 Grayson, 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.
________________________________

NOTE: The issue’s “Subliminal Message” addresses an opinion expressed by a large amount of Bat-fans on the web, and not necessarily that of the editors.

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