Batman: The Animated Newsletter
Weeks of September 6 – September 18/19 (?)
Rated: PG for some “low-key coarse language and occasional griping”
THIS ISSUE’S SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE: “OK, WHO IS RUSHING TO GET ANOTHER STATION THAT CARRIES KIDSWB
NOW THAT WGN CHICAGO IS KA-PUT?”
SPECIAL IN THIS ISSUE
We have two interviews with two big-influences on the animated Bat-universe this issue. We have an interview with producer/writer Alan Burnett, and with artist Rick Burchett (of “Gotham Adventures” fame). Enjoy!
AAAAAAAAAAAND, in this issue we have a special guest-editorialist, Lisa Blank, giving us a good ol’ fashioned chemistry lesson! Kelly Tindall has returned with another editorial, and we have a brand new column debuting in this issue, written by “Reliable Source”. Scroll down to the editorial section to read what they have to share!
LOOKING FOR AN EGO-BOOST
1200 subscribers! In the evening of August 19, 1999, we passed the 1200 subscriber mark. YAY FOR US! YAY!!!
Why can’t I hear you cheering?
Many new subscribers – and some of the old – have been e-mailing me recently, asking various questions about the newsletter. What I find unsettling is that their e-mails contain an attachment entitled “Happy99.exe”. I don’t know if they know it’s even there or not, but if any of you get this file in your inbox, DO NOT OPEN THE FILE. It’s OK to read the e-mail, but do not open the file, for it is virus-ridden; a friend of mine opened one in the past and it erased his hard drive completely. What you should do is just delete the e-mail with the attachment – that will keep your computer safe. I just thought I should pass that info along to you all.
THE END OF SUMMER
(a special introduction by B:TAN Co-Editor ‘Dick Grayson’)
This is it. The final ‘summer’ issue of BATMAN: THE ANIMATED NEWSLETTER. Some of you start school or college (like me) next week. Some already have. Pretty odd, eh? One of the good things about the fall arriving is new episodes of our favorite shows. While we’ll only seethree episodes of BATMAN/SUPERMAN, we’ll be having 13+ episodes of BATMAN BEYOND coming our way. We’ve heard so much about this next season, yet we don’t know that much. The season starts off with the episode SPLICERS. Then we get ONCE-BURNED eventaully down the road. But what else?
That’s one of the good things about suprises. You never know what’s gonna happen.
Here’s another suprise. This will be my final BTAN issue for the time being. I’m heading away to university and that will definately limit the appropriate time I need to contribute to this amazing newsletter (which has hailed critical acclaim as well as wide fan appeal). I’ll be back every now and then throughout the school year and holidays to spread some insider news as well as just some quirky stuff. I’ll try to pop up in the message boards now and then to keep in touch with everyone. It’s been a blast being a part of the newsletter for the past 14 months or so. We’ve had our ups and downs, but all has always turned out fine. We’ve had contributors come and go, but the core groups always remains.
This newsletter started last year oddly enough as a discussion topic. The discussion was on why there are no good newsletters dedicated to the animated world. We (Tim & I) said that fans always make the best newsletters and websites. Then, after that conversation, my Canuck pal Tim ‘TWO-FACE’ Leighton & I started up this non-profit newsletter. We barely had 100 (or was it 200?) subscribers when we began, and now we have nearly 1300 subscribers, and probably more in the future. This newsletter has been a real pleasure to do, and this newsletter would still only be a discussion topic without the AMAZING aid of Tim ‘TWO-FACE’ Leighton. This newsletter would be impossible to do without him. Thanks a lot, Tim.
*TWO-FACE’S DIVINE INTERVENTION: HOOTS AND HOLLERS, A LA ‘THE ARSENIO HALL SHOW’*
I’ve met a lot of people, I’ve interviewed people I never thought I’d even talk to. This newsletter enabled me to do a lot, stuff I never thought I’d do. In this issue we have interview with two amazing people, Rick Burchett and Alan Burnett. Both very important people in the Bat-Universe who I had the pleasure of recently interviwing them. We also have our usual goodies, and a few suprises along the way. So with this, I hope you will continue to enjoy this amazing newsletter and I’ll be back before you all know it! Wish me luck! (I’ll need it!) Thank you everyone who helped us along the way. Thank you, especially, Brian, Brian (yep, we had two!), Harley, Gookie, Laura, RobinIII & anyone else who contributed to the newsletter or helped us out. I’d also like to thank my great, amazing pal Mike Malackowski! It’s been great a trip and I can’t wait to return and jump back on! Enjoy!
Proud Canadian & B:TAN Co-Editor
‘Dick Grayson’ a.k.a. James Harvey
*TWO-FACE’S DIVINE INTERVENTION, A SECOND TIME* It’s a shame to see ya go, James…now I’ll be even more stressed out! Even more than that time I had Sal “the Boss” Maroni on the stand and…well…you all know how it turned out…go watch for a 10 second segment in a certain neon-flavoured movie and you’ll see…just remember…don’t blink, or you might miss it.
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, http://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.
Batman Beyond #14?
Airdate: September 17, 1999
Teenagers at Hamilton Hill High School’s new fad is ‘splicing’ where teens take characteristics of animals and geneticaly splice them into their own bodies. You can guess this goes downhill fast!
‘THE DEMON REBORN’
Air date: September 18, 1999
BATMAN’S FINAL CURRENT-DAY ANIMATED APPEARANCE! This episode features Batman and Superman teaming up to take down Ra’s Al Ghul, who has plans to send the world back to its natural,
pre-human state. WOOHOO! THE BAT IS BACK!
Batman Beyond #15?
Air Date: 1999-2000 season
Ten returns to rekindle her love for Terry, and the Royal Flush Gang returns to once again kill Batman – but then again, is there more than meets the eye this time?
‘LEGACY (Pt. 1 & 2)’
Superman #48, 49?
Air date: Fall of 1999
This two-parter features the final showdown between Superman and Darksied in which he strips Superman of his memory and adopts him as a son in an effort to take over Earth. This is being touted as the FINAL Superman episode EVER. However, I must say that I’ve read a synopsis of the episode, and it’s a doozie.
WB ANIMATION SCHEDULES:
(courtesy of Brian Cruz and/or the official BTAS/STAS site)
THE NEW BATMAN/SUPERMAN ADVENTURES airs Mondays thru Fridays beginning at 4pm (ET). It also airs every weekend at 8am (ET). BATMAN BEYOND airs on the occasional weekday at 4pm (ET), sharing the time slot with THE NEW BATMAN/SUPERMAN ADVENTURES. BATMAN BEYOND also airs every weekend at 9am (ET). Check your local listings for time and station in your area. If this newsletter section is not updated in time, please refer to either of these two links for schedule information:
Mon 9-06-99: Batman #95 Torch Song
Tue 9-07-99: Superman Speed Demons
Wed 9-08-99: Batman #92 Joker’s Millions
Thu 9-09-99: Superman #45 Knight Time
Fri 9-10-99: NONE
Sat 9-11-99: NONE
Mon 9-13-99: B-BEYOND #01 Rebirth (Pt. 1)
Tue 9-14-99: B-BEYOND #02 Rebirth (Pt. 2)
Wed 9-15-99: B-BEYOND #04 Golem
Thu 9-16-99: B-BEYOND #09 Spellbound
Fri 9-17-99: B-BEYOND #12 Disappearing Inque
B-BEYOND #14? Splicers ——-NEW!!!
Sat 9-18-99: Superman #44? The Demon Reborn ——NEW!!!
B-BEYOND #14? Splicers ——NEW!!!
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)
THE CARTOON NETWORK was able to get the exclusive rights to 52 episodes of the classic BTAS, as well as both animated movies. BTAS airs Monday-Friday at 6pm (ET) and then repeated again at midnight. If our schedule listings is not complete or up to date then please go to TOON ZONE for the complete episode schedule at:
NOTE: The schedules at Brian Cruz’ site are currently unavailable; if anyone knows of any other place where people can get listings for BTAS on the Cartoon Network, please e-mail us!
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: http://www.angelfire.com/tx/TimTwoFace/index.html
BTAS PAGE: http://www.angelfire.com/tx/TimTwoFaceText/bats.html
Written by Paul Dini
Directed by Dan Riba
Animation by Dong Yang
Original air date: February 21, 1998
My rating: **1/2
Why did I choose to review this episode in this issue? I just recently realized that of all the episodes airing in the coming week, I hadn’t yet reviewed this one. So what did I think of “Joker’s Millions” when it first aired a year and a half ago? Let’s have a look-see…
Batman. Batgirl. Nightwing. Joker. Penguin. Harley. Poison Ivy. So many characters were in this episode…and there was no room to stick with any of them.
It’s odd. The new BTAS shows are becoming even more crowded than movies like Batman & Robin, but no one’s complaining. Well I am.
Anyhow, the episode began quite well. Just like in World’s Finest, Joker is still broke, and needs money to live off of – so he and Harley crash some type of electronics convention. Batman and Batgirl are already there, and rush them out into the street.
Just as Joker and Harley make their getaway, Harley realizes that they are out of gas, because they didn’t have enough money to refill the tank before hand. Joker uses some rocket-chair contraption and escapes the car, leaving Harley alone, to be captured. It’s nice to see that Joker still doesn’t give two hoots about Harley – he shouldn’t. I liked that scene simply because Harley got burned. (Not literally).
Mr. Joe Kerr returns to his run-down apartment, leafs through his mail, and sees that some mob boss who had recently died left him $250 million. Joker rejoices, goes on a shopping spree (an honest one), and bribes city officials to erase his criminal records. Obviously, Batman doesn’t like this one bit…but it’s all legal (besides the bribing) so there’s nothing he can do about it.
The best parts of this overall middle-of-the-road episode happen at the Iceburg Lounge – the Penguin’s night club. He’s about the only good character in this episode, that does justice to his character. His night club is pretty swank, too – all blue, with a huge lake of icy water in the centre. Basically looks like his hideout from Batman Returns, but filled with tables, chairs, and alcoholic beverages.
The Joker is at the club, where Penguin is welcoming him back into his crimeless life. Barbara and Dick also attend, just to keep an eye on things. While in the club, the bodyguard of the dead mob boss arrives, and tries to kill the Joker because he feels he deserved the inheritance more – and he wants revenge. Batgirl and Nightwing save the day, yatta yatta yatta.
A couple minutes further into the show, Joker discovers that all but $10 million of his inheritance is counterfeit money. He then discovers a video tape; upon playing it, he sees the mob boss, in his hospital bed, telling him that the whole inheritance was a huge gag, which infuriates the Joker. About time someone made a fool out of him, too. On top of that, the IRS is hunting down the Joker, looking for $137 Million (in taxes or whatever), but now that all the money is either spent or fake, Joker is really in trouble.
The episode, in the short scheme of things, was pretty good. The reaction of Harley when she reads the page one headline of the Gotham Gazette, “Joker looks for new Henchgirl”, is pretty cool – and the “FAKE HARLEY” auditions that the Joker holds in his mansion are pretty funny, too; the person he chooses is pretty cute (in a disgusting way)…and has a hideous laugh.
It’s…sickening…but funny. The scene where Batman is forcing a man’s head in the toilet and flushing it while interrogating him is cool, too.
BUT, there are lots of negatives, too. Harley, for the most part, is just plain stupid in this episode…the scene where she gets trapped in the washer is just silly. Poison Ivy’s role is non-existant, as are the roles for all of the heroes. The saddest part is that the Joker isn’t even threatening at all…we see the guy whimpering during the finale; sadly, this episode was what I feared the most from Paul Dini – everyone was just played for laughs. It was more like a Tiny Toons or Animaniacs episode. It was funny, but the comedic moments were not tied together very well. The only character that was cool all the way through was the Penguin. (No pun intended).
All that I want…and everyone else, for that matter…is a darkly-funny Joker story…don’t try to make him light!
SPECIAL IN THIS ISSUE #1
INTERVIEW WITH ALAN BURNETT
(by Dick Grayson)
I recently had a chance to talk to Alan Burnett about his involvement in THE NEW
BATMAN/SUPERMAN ADVENTURES and BATMAN BEYOND. It’s nothing to in-depth or revealing, just a fun interview, but be warned, a few of the questions toward the end of the Q & A session may contain some spoilers. Sit back, relax, and check out this fun Q & A session with the very awesome, and very cool Alan Burnett.
BATMAN: THE ANIMATED NEWSLETTER #1: In case readers don’t know, tell us a bit about yourself, please.
ALAN BURNETT #1: I’m a producer-writer on the show. All the scripts go through me. Usually they begin in my office with writers discussing ideas for stories. I don’t write as much as I re-write.
I’m a fairly quiet guy. When I appear on panels as I did at Comic Con last week, most people think I’m mute. Until I heard the speeches at the Iowa caucus I actually considered myself the least interesting man in America. I live vicariously through Paul Dini, my fellow producer, who – when he’s not getting chased by komodo dragons and Alaskan brown bears (I kid you not) – spends most of his free time dating heartless actresses.
I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but lived most of my teenage years in Pompano Beach, Florida, where my parents bought and managed a motel. My bedroom was Room #3, which goes a long way to explaining my youthful passion for television. I graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s in broadcast journalism and from U.S.C. with a master’s in cinema production, but I credit my success, such as it is, to those four years of truly intensive comic book reading between the ages of 9 and 13. The week I began working as a writer at Hanna-Barbera my son was born. He is now seventeen years old. His girlfriends like to polish his nails in odd colors.
As I told Paul, they will all probably grow up to be actresses.
BTAN #2: How did you get involved with Batman: The Animated Series?
AB #2: My boss, the lovely Jean MacCurdy, hired me when the Batman show was around a half-dozen scripts into production. For reasons I’d rather not go into, the production had already gone into disarray. Nobody on staff was talking to each other or to the network. Usually it takes at least a dozen scripts before that happens. The production needed a calming influence, and calm happens to be my specialty.
Jean also knew that I was a tremendous Batman fan. When we were at Hanna-Barbera together I had written a pilot for a Batman series, which was considered too hard-hitting for Saturday morning. (“Tele-tubies” would’ve been too hard-hitting for that miserable era of children’s programming.)
Anyway, Jean told me I could do the kind of Batman show I always wanted to do, so I signed the deal, put on my flak jacket, held up a flag that said “ARTIST-FRIENDLY” and zig-zagged my way to my office, where I’ve been ever since.
BTAN #3: You wrote the TWO-FACE Part One. What was it like sort of doing ‘your version’ of the TWO-FACE origin?
AB #3: I wrote the outline to the first part, Randy wrote the script, and I edited. My take on Two-Face was that he was already a split personality before his face was destroyed. Andy Helfer had written a Two-Face story for D.C. with the same idea in mind. I think Two Face is a beautiful creation. He belongs right up there with Joker, Luthor and Dr. Doom in that Golden Pantheon of Great Comic Book Villains. It was disheartening to see him portrayed as Caesar Romero’s Joker in the movies.
BTAN #4: Another villian you guy’s sort of re-wrote was SCARFACE, what was that like?
AB #4: Joe Lansdale wrote that show, and the dialogue was magic. I love that episode. It’s so dark and muted on the screen, it looks like a movie projected on black velvet. George Dzundza, who is one of my favorite character actors, voiced both Scarface and the Ventriloquist. You can’t imagine what a kick that was to record.
On the subject of villains in general, we basically look upon them as real people with real foibles. Their twisted natures are usually forged by a tragic turn of events, so there’s always some sympathy for them, at least in the beginning. We also think there’s something about the water in Gotham that should be checked.
BTAN #5: What was it like seeing BATMAN jump from small screen TV to the big screen? Did the transition work, in your opinion?
AB #5: The transition could have been more satisfying. The animation was too limited. We had to cut ten minutes from the boards for budget, which hurt the flashback structure. But all that aside, I loved seeing it on the big screen. There’s nothing better than to watch an audience watch your movie and respond to it the way you intended. And I will forever hold a warm place in my heart for the late Gene Siskel, who apologized for not reviewing the movie when it came out and gave it a big thumb’s up in his video review.
BTAN #6: What do you consider some of your favorite BATMAN episodes from the entire run?
AB #6: My favorite was probably “Perchance to Dream,” again scripted by Joe Lansdale. I’m a sucker for doppelganger stories. “Harley and Ivy,” the second half of the Clayface story, and “Heart of Ice” are also great shows. The Joker was our most resilient villain. Paul wrote most if not all the scripts starring him at that time. I sometimes think Paul Dini is the Joker.
BTAN #7: When BTAS ended, you jumped to SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES. What was the change like, going from Bats to Supes?
AB #7: We all needed the change. Four years in the Batcave is a long time. Of course, we’ve never vacated the cave for good, have we? The main difference between the two shows was the nature of the heroes. Superman is what he is: a Boy Scout – but I learned to like him. I remember telling fellow producer Bruce Timm about halfway through the series that if I had to make a decision between going back to Bats or sticking with Supes, I’d stay with Supes. That said, Batman is the more intriguing hero, and the one more appropriate for our times.
BTAN #8: In STAS, you made quite a few changes in Superman’s origin. Do you think these changes worked overall?
AB #8: The major change was involving Brainiac in the planet’s destruction. You can blame me for that idea [Note from BTAN: that idea rocked, Alan!]. I felt it gave Brainiac a major arc for the series and made his battles with the Man of Steel all the more personal. It also added more drama to what is essentially an impersonal, “act of God” event: the destruction of Krypton. Clark also doesn’t realize his alien background for most of his childhood, but otherwise, we didn’t stray far at all from the traditional origin.
BTAN #9: When BATMAN returned, you changed the look. Did you enjoy the new angular look Batman gained?
AB #9: Bruce Timm decided to do the makeover with the assistance of Glenn Murakami, who is now a co-producer on “Batman Beyond.” Bruce wanted a more angular and graphic look. I liked it. I like the old look, too. I like everything he does.
BTAN #10: For WORLD’S FINEST, did BATMAN (Kevin Conroy) and Tim Daly (Superman) get along better then their animated counterparts?
AB #10: Tim Daly and Kevin Conroy got along much better than Superman and Batman did. By the way, they were both up for the same role in “Wings.” Tim won out, but I heard it took a couple of weeks for the producers to finally decide between the two. So, they were well aware of each other before the recording.
The “World’s Finest” three-parter was the hardest script we ever tackled. Batman and Superman are oil and vinegar. They don’t even want to be in the same frame together. I asked a writer at D.C. how it was that they could have written so many stories about these two heroes way back when. The writer said it was because all those old stories were lousy.
I consider this show our most difficult script and greatest achievement. I will be forever grateful to the master animators at TMS in Tokyo for care they brought to it. The acting is stellar.
BTAN #11: In the final full season of SUPERMAN, there were alot of team-ups.
Did these team-ups work, in your opinion?
AB #11: The team-up with Fate turned out surprisingly well. Flash was fun, too. Green Lantern and Aquaman were less interesting to me, but the fans seemed to eat it up. The Aquaman story was supposed to end with a big tidal wave. I wanted to do a scene where a surfer (based on BTAS director Kevin Altieri) climbs to the top of the Daily Planet with this board and waits for the wave while everyone on the streets is in a panic. But Bruce argued that it was too difficult to animate a tidal wave effectively, so Rich Fogel completely rewrote the third act, basically to save the show. I still think about that tidal wave…
The most successful team-up was Superman and Robin. It had the most personality going for it, and there wasn’t the baggage of doing a big introduction or an origin like we had with Green Lantern.
BTAN #12: How did BATMAN BEYOND come about? Was it just an idea that was just thought up one day, or did KIDS’WB influence it?
AB #12: The KIDS’ WB! wanted a new version of Batman with more youth appeal. The show’s original title was “The Tomorrow Knight,” but Marvel already had that name.
BTAN #13: BATMAN BEYOND was a success from the very beginning. What was the inital reaction to this all-new TOMORROW KNIGHT?
AB #13: The reaction to “Batman Beyond” was particularly gratifying, because we were in uncharted territory.
BTAN #14: Is there any info I can squeeze outta you concering the final three SUPERMAN episodes: THE DEMON REBORN, LEGACY Parts 1 & 2?
AB #14: “Demon Reborn” is pretty straightforward. “Legacy” was actually an attempt to turn the series around and create a darker environment in which the populace no longer trusts Superman. The two-parter was supposed to be the beginning episodes of the final season. Instead, they’re the final episodes of “Superman”, period. It’s a strange note to end on, but that’s where it ends. We produced 54 Superman half-hours in all.
BTAN #15: Are there any suprises we cna look forward to in the upcoming all new season of BATMAN BEYOND?
AB #15: We will learn that Terry has a black mark in his past in order to explain why he keeps putting on the suit despite the fact that he’s avenged his father. Terry’s new ally is a girl at school, Maxine (“Max”) Gibson, who is so brilliant, she figures out who Batman is. At least one more Rogue’s Gallery villain will appear from Bruce’s past. From the first season, expect to see Shriek, Spellbinder, the Royal Flush Gang and the charming Curare again. Otherwise we have a ton of new villains, a few of which will be making multiple appearances. I am not one who hypes, so I will tell you quite matter-of-factly that the animation we’ve seen on the shows
for next year has been consistently high. I think it’s the best series we’ve done yet.
BTAN: Thanx alot, Alan Burnett! Good luck!
SPECIAL IN THIS ISSUE #2
A MINI-INTERVIEW WITH RICK BURCHETT
(by Dick Grayson)
Yes, this is just like a regular interview, in every way – just one eighth its size.
BTAN: Do you plan to return to BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES? What are you currently working on, and what does the future hold?
RICK BURCHETT:I took some time away from Gotham because I have been working almost exclusively in the animated style for nearly eight years and felt I was getting stale trying to be Bruce Timm every month (and failing miserably). I didn’t want the book to suffer. Also, I was becoming increasingly typecast as an artist who only works in the animated style and wanted to derail that notion.
As for upcoming projects: I did a No Man’s Land story with Larry Hama that recently saw print in an issue of Legends of the Dark Knight (#121). Pencilled an isssue of Wonder Woman (#149) that’s out about now. Next, I did another issue of Legends (#125) with writer Greg Rucka that’s the only story I’ve specifically asked to draw. It’s a big deal in the No Man’s Land saga and in the history of the Batman character and I was proud to have a hand in it. Currently, I’m in the middle of a three issue mini-series for DC’s Vertigo imprint. It’s a science fiction private eye tale written by Howard Chaykin and the first time I’ve been allowed to design something from the ground up. Great fun. Once that’s done, I’ll be starting a 6 issue mini-series starring the Huntress that focuses in great depth on her background, who she is, and what’s next for her. That’s written by Greg Rucka, as well. And then,all things being equal, a possible return to Gotham. That’s been the plan, and although I haven’t heard from the editor in a few months, I assume it still is. In the meantime, the book is in the more than capable hands of Tim Levins. He’s doing a tremendous job. And somewhere along the line Greg and I have a character we’ve created that we’d like to build a mini-series around.
BTAN: Thanx alot, Rick!
(by Laura Hysert, aka “Phoenix”)
We have guest-editorialist Lisa Blank filling in for Laura for this issue. Sit back and enjoy!
Disclaimer: I send you this in the profound faith that thence forward you will NOT regard me as a science geek. I’m not, I promise. More of an all-around geek, but still, I’m not as dry and beignal (did I just make that up?) as this letter makes me seem. I don’t even know if you will be able to grasp any of this, but whatever. Feel free to skip over any dry scientific parts.
Laying in my pajamas at 9:00 Thursday morning I prepare to start another glorious summer weekday the only way an obsessed fan like me could – watching today’s episode of Batman/Superman Adventures. As the plot to “Love Is A Croc” progresses, low and behold, I find myself recalling a lesson from my Chemistry class this past Spring. Needless to say I was surprised to have learned anything from Chemistry (not the episode, but the school subject), but that’s beside the point. In the episode, as you may recall, a scorned Baby-Doll seeks to die like Romeo and Juliet with her beloved Killer Croc. To do this, she lures him into the local Gotham nuclear facility with the promise of riches, and suddenly drains the reactors water cooling supplies after telling Croc that they will die together in a nuclear explosion
and take all of Gotham with them.
Oops – major plot flaw.
Unlike the nuclear facilities of places like Chernobyle (is that how it’s spelled?), U.S.
reactors are not only cooled by water, they also cannot operate without it. It’s a bit complicated, but in case you didn’t know, nuclear reactions occur when free floating protons are slowed down by some substance (water in the U.S. and carbon in Russia) so that they are able to strike the nucleus of Uranium or whatever it is, and break it apart to release vast amounts of energy. Still with me? I’ll give you a few seconds to re-read that..
The released energy turns the water surrounding the Uranium (the same stuff that slowed down the protons, or were they alpha particles?) into REALLY hot radioactive steam. This steam then goes through a bunch of pipes and the heat in it is transferred through the metal to water in pipes that run along side pipes iwth radioactive water. This would be so much easier if I could draw you a diagram. So, now that the radioactive water is cooled, it is pumped back into the Uranium chamber to keep the reaction going. This cooling process also keeps the whole structure from melting down and releasing the radioactive steam and particles. Got it? I know, I’m sorry, but I have to tell you all this so that you can understand. Re-read it. I’ll wait……
Now, should Baby-Doll get rid of the cooling water, the reaction would go very quickly, get super hot, the heat would melt all the pipes, and the radioactive steam would escape. But don’t worry Gotham City, it doesn’t go far. U.S. reactors are encased in concrete, steel-beamed silos to keep in the radioactive steam. Also, without the water to slow down the protons, the reaction stops. Therefore, all that is needed is for the steam to cool, and clean-up crews to be assembled to collect the stuff for burial underground where it would only give the Gothamites cancer for the next 900 years.
So why Chernobyle? Two important differences. In Russia the reaction would keep going after the cooling water had been drained because the carbon they use to slow down the protons wouldn’t magically escape like our steam.
Now you may say to me, “Lisa, Miss I’m-SO-SMART, what about Three Mile Island?” Three Mile Island was an American fluke. Inconsistancies in that reactor’s silo caused it to crack and leak under the intense heat and pressure. Thus, some of the steam escaped, and although most of it floated into the atmosphere and off to who-knows-where, some did affect the general populous. Oops.
Bottom line – Gotham wasn’t really in jeopardy, so no big deal except that Croc, Baby-Doll, Batman, and Batgirl would have had a nasty sauna experience. So while I guess it’s not REALLY a plot flaw, Baby-Doll may just have not known this, I thought that you – editor-in-chief of BTAN- would like to know that although the Dark Knight was in peril, his beloved city would have survived.
P.S. Yes, I know it’s just a cartoon, and I know the children wouldn’t have understood if one of the characters would have said, “Don’t worry, the super-heated radioactive stem won’t penetrate the thick concrete silo and endanger the city, but let’s get out of here before the cooling pipes melt and we are all scalded to death.” Ask me if I care.
P.P.S. Or maybe the writers thought Gotham was in the former Soviet Union when they made this episode, huh? Just a thought.
P.P.P.S. There have been other smaller flaws that I’m sure you’ve noticed too in other episodes. I just thought that this one deserved a bit more attention. Feel free th reprint the body of this e-mail, and even the disclaimer if you really feel like it, in your fabulous news letter. Might as well be a famous columnist, right?
(by Kelly Tindall)
We had an overwhelming response to Kelly Tindall’s first guest-editorial, so we decided to let him do another! Simple enough? Hope so. Here goes!
One thing about “The New Batman/Superman” adventures that casual viewers might have noticed is the recent abundance of guest stars. Everyone from The Flash to Etrigan the Demon has shown up over the last few years. The question that comes up is immediately, “Why?”
It has a lot to do with the nature of the hero. Both Batman and Superman are both extremely iconic, the most recognizable superheroes on the planet. Batman, as we saw in “Batman: The Animated Series:”, was certainly capable of carrying a show. The simple hero vs. villain dynamic made for some great shows. Why, then, do we see other heroes eager for the limelight?
The easy answer is ratings. Robin became a staple of the early Batman adventures when it became clear that children responded to him. Moreso, of course, after his head-scratchingly bad portrayal in the third Bat-movie. Of course, his presence was enough, and we didn’t see the early versions of the Creeper and Etrigan that producer Bruce Timm was eager to show.
Nocturna’s appearance was entirely scratched due to the fact she was a vampire. (It’s a wonder the WB wouldn’t be eager for Batman to fight vampires…it’s worked for Buffy.)
Superman, however, has never been associated with a sidekick. The strongest man in the world wearing primary colors does NOT need somebody to make him look better. Superman is simply the best, and everybody excepts that nobody is his match as a dyed-in-the-wool, All-American Super Hero.
Then why do we need a Supergirl?
The answer here is not just ratings.
Superman is nearly invincible, and no matter what the circumstance, it’s pretty hard to believe there’s a chance he’ll be killed. The answer? Create a dynamic with ANOTHER hero.
Superman is a boy scout. It’s a bland cliche. However, Lobo is a sexist moron with a lot of guns. The mix, “The Main Man”, was absolutely brilliant. The simple idea of hero vs. villain became ego vs. ego, and the storywriters broke the mold in adventure storytelling.
Superman has gone on to face The Flash (whose ego surpasses even that of Lobo), Supergirl (whose brashness and frank stupidity makes for a charming uncle/niece relationship), Aquaman (who is simply a righteous jerk), Green Lantern (anybody got this one on tape?), and of course, the Batman. World’s Finest was genius animation. Great script, fabulous animation, and incredibly good characterization. Superman not only had to engage Batman in a metaphorical spitting contest for Lois’ affections, but had to deal with the maniacal Joker, who outsmarted the big blue guy at least three times.
The mix is slight but simple. Take an archetype like Batman, and add the youthful exuberance of Robin, the sullen angst of Nightwing, the funky sexiness of Batgirl, or the brooding wiseacre cracks of Terry McGinnis, and you’ve got yourself a show. The same goes for Superman, who suffered for years with a lame rogue’s gallery and found his niche with a gallery of heroes.
AND THAT’S THE FACTS
(by “Reliable Source”)
(Yes, I understand that the title is grammatically incorrect. So sue us. Actually, nix that. Don’t sue us.)
(DISCLAIMER: For those of you who are not yet familiar, Reliable Source is an anonymous character who first surfaced on Batman: The Animated Message Boards, spewing forth ridiculous predictions about the future of Batman Beyond under the guise of spoiler warnings. His controversial posts created quite a buzz, and have now landed him, at least at this moment, a temporary column with this newsletter. The thoughts and ideas expressed by this character are in no way officially connected to Kids WB, Batman Beyond, this newsletter, or anything that is
decent or holy.)
Well, ladies and gentlemen, with the new preview commercials for season two hitting the airwaves on Kids WB, there’s been quite a buzz generated once again about what we can look forward to seeing on Batman Beyond. But, instead of talking about that, let’s look at what we probably WON’T see on Batman Beyond. Sure, you’ve heard all the rumors… The Joker killed Tim Drake. Batman killed The Joker. Two-Face got plastic surgery and became a lawyer. Harley and Ivy became lesbians. You get the idea. But what about some of the lesser known villains?
Doesn’t anyone care what happened to them? Well, via my secret underground network of spies and informants, I have gotten the lowdown for you.
JOSIAH WORMWOOD (from “The Cape And Cowl Conspiracy”) realized he was nothing but a shameless carbon copy of The Riddler and took his own life.
MAXIE ZEUS was cured of his delusions and opened up a Vegas casino called Mount Olympus. He became a millionaire, but was eventually sent to “sleep with the fishes” by old underworld ties.
THE CLOCK KING accidentally locked himself in his workshop, where the constant ticking of all those clocks slowly drove him mad. He was found with the name Hamilton Hill carved into his body numerous times and a dull pendulum in his hand.
KYODAI-KEN didn’t really die in that volcano explosion. However, since he knew that Bruce Wayne was Batman, he set out to destroy his enemy in the most torturous way possible. He changed his name to Joel Schumacher and became a director….
RED CLAW gave up the terrorist gig and went into politics. That way at least she could be a more wealthy and respected crook.
THAT WOLF GUY FROM “Moon of the Wolf” eventually evolved entirely into a wolf. He was subsequently captured and lived out his days in the San Diego Zoo, where he often tried to eat small children, but failed.
NOSTROMOS, the prophet from “Prophecy of Doom,” joined the Psychic Friends Network. Yes, he was still a phony psychic, but he got to host a half hour infomercial with Dionne Warwick.
CALENDAR GIRL, convinced that her movie career was over because she was too old and she had turned to a life of crime, C.G. decided to turn to “the oldest profession” and become a prostitute. She made a pretty good living at it, before finally returning to movies… in the porn industry. Appropriately, her stage name was “April May June.”
and last but not least…
FARMER BROWN decided that, instead of growing huge bugs, he would grow huge chickens and rival Colonel Sanders for the title of the king of all poultry. His fried chicken was immensely popular, right up until the day the senile old coot fell into the Giant Chicken Coop and was pecked to death by his own hideous creations. Tragic irony, or poetic justice? You tell me.
That’s all for now, see you next time for more news on our favorite pointy-eared crime fighter.
‘Til then, stay tuned.
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.
OK, I just returned home from a five-hour flight from Mexico, and boy, are my wings tired.
*BA-DOOM-BOOM-CHING* My brain is 98% goo, so, obviously, thinking is something I DON’T want to be doing right now. Keeping with that, here are some random questions for you:
166. How many music CDs that pertain to any of the animated series have been released?
167. Which Batman villain has appeared in more Batman/Superman crossovers than any other?
168. In what state was this quote said? “Focus! Focus! FO-CUS!”
169. There was one episode of BTAS that ORIGINALLY was going to be the main plot of the animated movie, before the MASK OF THE PHANTASM script came into existance. Which episode was this?
170. Name the villain who appeared in the BTAS episode P.O.V.
ANSWERS TO THE TRIVIA
Answer to #166: Two. (Mask of the Phantasm, Batman Beyond)
Answer to #167: Harley Quinn
Answer to #168: California (Yucca Springs)
Answer to #169: Trial
Answer to #170: Uh, even I don’t know this one. I don’t think anyone does. If anyone does, send us a reply!
LITTLE FACTS AND BLOOPERS
(by Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton)
Here is a section that just points out various little facts and bloopers that we have noticed while watching BTAS and STAS countless times. If you have anything to contribute, feel free to do so! Enjoy!
CONBTRIBUTED BY STAFF:
1) Blight’s incredible disappearing ribs. Watch the very beginning of the BEYOND episode “ASCENSION”. Just as Blight’s first words of the episode are said, his lower two left ribs appear, disappear, appear, and disappear again. Blooper time!
2) In “Almost Got ‘Im”, Batman (dressed as Killer Croc) throws the Joker across the room at the end of the episode. After the cops all pull out their guns on the other villains present, you will see that the Joker has magically made his way back to the card table without the cops even noticing. What’s up with that?
3) Remember Dr. Long? He was terrorized by Scarecrow in “Nothing to Fear”. Well it seems he’s got a new job at STAR LABS in Metropolis. Watch the episode “Livewire” and you’ll notice him in some of the STAR LABS scenes.
4) You may notice that one of the doctors that Freeze kidnaps in “Cold Comfort” (the one with the mustache) looks exactly like one of the doctors trying to revive him in a new body in MELTDOWN. Hmm…his kid? Or is this doctor immortal, too?
CONTRIBUTED BY OTHERS:
(by “Lady Wayne”)
5) In “Day of the Samurai”, when Bruce is talking to Alfred about the fatal touch that Kyodai intends to use, Bruce is standing next to a window and it’s raining. The rain is coming down at an angle from left to right. Bruce raises his cup of tea, and for ONE FRAME, the rain comes slanting down from right to left, then immediately goes back the other way! And a few seconds later, the camera zooms in on Bruce’s face, and the rain is coming down from right to left again. Weird!
6) In “Off-Balance,” Batman and Alfred are talking over clues in the Batcave. Batman turns and starts typing on his computer, and Alfred comes up behind him. Batman has been speaking, and then Alfred starts speaking – but Batman’s lips keep moving.
(by “Grey Eyes”)
7) There is no reason to actually mention the word Phantasm in “Mask of the Phantasm”.
(Remember, even though that’s the name of the main villain, it’s not once mentioned in the movie.) I’m an English major at UCLA and I’ve read many Renaissance revenge tragedies – most of them feature a ghostly figure asking for justice…usually they come on stage dressed as the part and the audience knows it (if they are raised from the bottom of the stage to the surface by elevator then you can assume it is an evil spirit)…I’ve connected “Mask of the Phantasm” with the Renaissance and Elizebethan England because the plot is similar to two plays that I’ve read “The Spanish Tragedy” by Thomas Kyd and another one I can’t remember these plays show 3-6 people being murdered and MOTP follows the format exactly (Batman is like the Horatio figure in Hamlet who witnesses everything and is the only one who knows the whole story)…unsurprisingly these old plays also have scenes that are flashbacks…in any case they have women who seek revenge for various reasons (usually inspired by a dead fiancee or father)…MOTP merely combines the avenging figure with the wandering ghost character (notice how Phantasm is wearing a shroud). Just thought you might want to know.
BATMAN: THE ANIMATED FIGURES
(by Kevin Smith)
Mr. Smith was unable to submit an article by the delivery date of this issue, but fear not, he’ll return shortly!
(by Aaron Maurer)
NOTE: Mr. Maurer has yet to return our calls – or e-mails – so we had to quickly write up a review of BGA#17 for ya’ll. I hope it’s good…actually, it’ll probably make you beg for Aaron to return, huh? Well, he will shortly – in the meantime, you’re stuck with ME…mwuhahahahahaha….
(Reviewed by Tim “TWO-FACE” L.)
BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES #17
TITLE: “Daddy Dearest”
WRITTEN BY: Scott Peterson
PENCILED BY: Tim Levins
INKED BY: Terry Beatty
ISSUED: August 4, 1999 (Cover date is October)
RATING: **** (out of 5)
SUMMARY: A mobster named Enrico Zarelli is desperate to get to know his son who was switched with another at birth. Batman intervenes, and the boy, named Nicky, eventually meets his father – but later says that he wants nothing to do with him, for he does not want to abandon the family that raised him.
COMMENTS: Despite the minimalistic way in which this story was presented, I found it very effective. Even though I’m a big fan of the supervillains, I do like to see a good “normal villain” mobster story now and again; this story had a lot of heart in it. I’m not adopted or anything of that nature, but I know people that are; I let them read this issue and each and every one of them said that they were surprised that a COMIC BOOK struck such a chord with them. That’s definate praise, for sure.
CRITICISMS: I don’t have any real criticisms of this issue. I’m beginning to see a pattern in Peterson’s style – he opens the first three pages of each of his stories with huge pictures and minimal dialogue. This was a major problem in the forthcoming (in my opinion), but here, it blends with the story perfectly. I can honestly say I have no complaints.
BOTTOM LINE: A great issue, not just as far as “animated” comics go, but comics in general.
-Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
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 #19
Synopsis: Who are the deadly Lion Man and mysterious Prairie Girl? And what part do they play in Robin’s dillusionment with crime-fighting? The answers will definitely surprise you!
Synopsis: Poison Ivy makes a comeback in a story featuring none other than…breakfast cereal?
BATMAN BEYOND #1 (ongoing)
Synopsis: Something seems to have gone horribly wrong with Terry McGinnis and now, as Batman, he’s gone on a spree of terror, wreaking havoc on Gotham City. Bruce Wayne determines that the only way to stop him is to once again don the garb of the Dark Knight and bring down the new Batman. But there’s much more here than meets the eye when the reader learns who’s behind the terror and which Batman is being controlled.
Cover: Not Available
FOLLOWING MONTH: Issue #2.
Synopsis: The shadowy villainess known as Inque has found a way to get Gotham’s citizens to commit her crimes for her. She hopes to use the ill-gotten gains to finance a cure for her inhuman condition, but she doesn’t realize that becoming human again may cost more than just money. Can Batman capture her…and save her from a cure that is worse than the disease?
SUPERMAN ADVENTURES #37
September 8th or 15th?
NEWS AND RUMORS
-The 11th annual Eisner Awards were presented at the Comic-Con International ’99 – San Diego on Friday, August 13, and out of 27 categories, 14 of the coveted awards were presented to DC projects, creators, or staff. DC’s total of 14 – out of an amazing 39 nominations – made it the most honored publisher of the evening, followed by Dark Horse Comics with 9 awards.
Four of DC’s Eisner awards went to Batman-related issues/series. They were:
* Best Title for a Younger Audience — BATMAN: THE GOTHAM ADVENTURES, Ty Templeton, Rick Burchett and Terry Beatty.
* Best Comics-Related Book — Batman Animated, by Paul Dini and Chip Kidd (HarperCollins).
* Best Publication Design — Batman Animated, designed by Chip Kidd (HarperCollins).
* Best Graphic Album — Reprint — BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale
-Dana Delany, known to all of us as the voice behind Lois Lane and Andrea Beaumont, has gone to the dogs – literally. She’ll be playing Frank The Pug’s love interest in an upcoming new episode of MIB; season three premieres October 2nd.
-WIZARD #98 talks about how influencial BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES was to future animated comic book series.
-Also in WIZARD #98, there’s an article on the SUPERMAN reboot and an amazing Ed McGuiness SUPERMAN cover, as well as a sneek peek into the fall tv series which includes BATMAN BEYOND, THE NEW BATMAN/SUPERMAN ADVENTURES and others. Cover date is OCTOBER and the price is $4.95
USA, $6.95 CAN.
-SUPERMAN is facing even something worse then Kryptonite, or it’s current dropping sales: Copyrights! It seems that DC may soon be losing their exclusive rights on the SUPERMAN ‘S’ on more then 50% of their merchandise, but that’s not all, it gets worse for DC! The Seigel/Shuster heirs are currently causing DC some headaches. To find out more this very important news event then go to this link:
-As you know, the new creative team for the SUPERMAN titles kick in in October and January.
Well here’s some sneek peek pages of SUPERMAN #151, done by the new creative:
Here’s a sneek peek at NO MAN’S LAND #0:
Here’s a sneek peek at NO MAN’S LAND SECRET FILES & ORIGINS #1:
-Terry Beatty has been and will be selling Gotham Adventures and Batman Beyond original art on ebay. His Seller ID is: firstname.lastname@example.org Do yourself a favor and check out some great art!
“CURRENT” ANIMATED SERIES’
-As of September 6, The Batman/Superman Adventures will only have a half-hour timeslot each day.
-Want to know how SUPERMAN will end? Well then click on this link provided. But take warning: it contains VERY, VERY, VERY MAJOR SPOILERS. The review is very in detail. You’ve been warned.
-BTAS/STAS will return in the fall of 2001 with NEW EPISODES, when Batman Beyond goes on hiatus.
-As of September 13, BATMAN BEYOND will be airing on weekdays.
-The Terrific Trio will return in BATMAN BEYOND #3, on sale in November.
-The BATMAN BEYOND CD will come out in stores on August 31st. Check out this section of Batman:
The Animated Newsletter in for a full play-list. The CD runs about 40 minutes. For more info, and a picture of the CD cover, go to this address:
-A new villain named “Stalker” will be introduced. This villain will be a cross between a bounty game hunter and a celebrity stalker.
-Another new villain “Earth-Mover”, will be introduced – who causes earthquakes.
-Wanna know some of the voice actors coming to lend a hand to BATMAN BEYOND? Try this list: John Ritter, Tim Curry, Andy Dick, Henry Rollins, Dan Castelleneta, Wendy Malik, Jill Eichenbury, Kate Jackson, Ice T – and more!
-According to WIZARD #98, Inque will be returning this fall in BATMAN BEYOND. Whether they mean the comic or the animated series is undetermined. (Inque will appear in issue #2 of the comic series, that’s for certain.)
-More BATMAN BEYOND videos are heading our way! Two new videos – “School Dayz” and “Tech Wars” (theses are probably compilations of two episodes on each tape and not actual episode names) – will be released just in time for the Christmas season on December 21, 1999.
-Even more BEYOND news, found here:
This article says that:
-39 more episodes of BEYOND are on the way, which would bring the TOTAL episode count up to 52.
-The BEYOND movie has yet to be given the go-ahead.
-The BEYOND movie will be animated by TMS.
-The BEYOND movie will be out by November 7, 2000.
-A new Robin (one of Terry’s classmates, voiced by Cree Summers) will be introduced.
-An updated version of The Huntress may appear.
-There are still plans for Superman and Ra’s Al Ghul to appear.
-Poison Ivy will be appearing in GOTHAM ADVENTURES #20.
-It’s a nearly-safe bet that Two-Face will be in #22 (just as he was in BATMAN ADVENTURES and BATMAN & ROBIN ADVENTURES).
-Ty Templeton’s up comig two issue stint on Superman Adventures issues will be co-written with Dan Slott.
-Inque will return in Issue #2 of the ongoing BATMAN BEYOND series, and the Royal Flush Gang returns in Issue #3.
-The Terrific Trio was originally set to be in Issue #3 of BATMAN BEYOND, but the story was pulled because of their certain resemblance to a certain foursome of MARVEL heroes. An homage?
-Issue #2 of BATMAN: DARK VICTORY (in November) will feature the Riddler.
-Greg Rucka, known best by Bat-fans as “the guy who writes most of the good stories in NO MAN’S LAND”, will be working on a six part Huntress miniseries next year, in addition to his work on DETECTIVE COMICS.
-NEW COLORS FOR BATMAN
In addition to new logos, a new costume, a new Batmobile, a new Wayne Manor and a new Batcave, Batman group editor Dennis O’Neil said that two of the Batman core books, Detective Comics and Batman: Gotham Knights, will be getting a new colouring look next year from editor Mark Chiarello.
“We’re going to do something movies have done for a half-century and comic books – with a very few exceptions – have not done,” O’Neil said. “In film, they call it colour keying. You hear people say that Indiana Jones is a ‘brown movie.’ That doesn’t mean the every shot is full of brown, but that brown is the dominant colour throughout to match or evoke a certain emotional mood.
“It’s something that is eminently doable in comics, but it’s something that nobody’s really thought about doing, or perhaps, only recently have we had colours with enough sophistication to pull this off.
“Mark has done an amazing amount of design work – not design work like a logo – but a sort of behind-the-scenes design to give these books a unique look and a look that matches the emotional tenor of the story.
“For us, it’s one of the most exciting things we’ll be doing, because it’s new. Commercial comics have never done this before. I don’t expect that everyone who picks up one of these books will be sophisticated or even care enough to realize what’s being done, but it will hit you subconsciously. I think it will increase you enjoyment of the stories in ways you might not be able to readily define.”
-For more, see the “Road Through No Man’s Land” section below.
-This was taken from CINESCAPE ONLINE:
Frank Miller doesn’t like to let information on possible projects slip out prematurely, an audience at the San Diego Comic Con learned well Thursday. But when Miller was asked whether there were any plans for a full length animated feature of his comic classic Batman Dark Knight, he said, “That’s entirely up to [the Batman animated producers]. As long as the name Bruce Timm is on it, I’m there.”
Meanwhile, the comic legend refused to address Internet rumors that suggest that the Wachowski Brothers (Matrix) are interested in developing a film based on his Hardboiled series or rumors that he had been approached by Warner Bros. to write a screenplay based on his Batman: Year One story. “I really don’t mean to be rude here, but if there were [such projects in the works] I wouldn’t tell you,” Miller said to such inqueries. “There are too many things that could go wrong … I’d have kind of let the cat out of the bag and then there’s no cat,” he explained.
-CINESCAPE ONLINE also reports that Joel Schumacher has left working on “L’Appartement” to work on two films…one tentatively called “Tigerland” and the other only being referred to as “a closely guarded secret”. COULD it be another Batman film? Who knows…(and who hopes NOT? Raise your hand!)
TOYS & MERCHANDISE
-The Playstation version of the SUPERMAN video game has a tentative release date of September 16, 1999.
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…
JANUARY – APRIL: For synopses of what happened in the first four months of NO MAN’S LAND, go see Issues #26 and #27 of “Batman: The Animated Newsletter”. Follow this link:
MAY, JUNE: For synopses of what how things really heated up in the fifth and sixth months of NO MAN’S LAND, see of “Batman: The Animated Newsletter”. Follow this link:
JULY: For synopses of the many things that happened in the month that all of the other major players in Gotham broke back into the city, see of “Batman: The Animated Newsletter”.
Follow this link: http://www.toonzone.net/wbc/newsletters/btan
AUGUST: Batman teams up with a person named Lynx to combat a bunch of thugs using Gotham citizens as slaves to give the city a source of electrical power; meanwhile, Bane is starting to set his plans in action… Nightwing is locked-up in Blackgate, where he convinces the other inmates (among them, Scarecrow, Mad Hatter, The Ventriloquist, Firefly, Black Mask) to let him live, so he can be used as a “bargaining chip” when Batman comes to the island.
Lock-Up is told that Nightwing has been eaten alive. Azrael has made Nicholas Scratch look like a fool – and many of his followers have lost faith in him. And Harley Quinn has finally been introduced to the mainstream: she meets the Joker, is set free from Arkham via the earthquake, helps him get supplies and valuables from the Penguin, is abused by the Joker, meets Poison Ivy, goes back to kick Joker’s butt (and Batman’s as well), and after Joker says “sorry”, gets back together with ‘im. End o’ story!
Following those events, Harley applies “The Code” – the rules of dating – to her relationship with the Joker. He and Harley pick up a new ally which I’ll just name “VICTIM”, and hold a mock-election against Petit; this election never falls through, due to Huntress’ intervention.
Catwoman returns to New York to find that all-important disk; Robin escapes from the Ratcatcher and is taken in by an underground gang called “The Wolflings”; Mr. Freeze resurfaces in the sewers, presumably killing Tommy Mangles and Gearhead. (Who?)
SEPTEMBER: Leslie Thompkins has taken in Mr. Zsasz, who later runs on a rampage in the M*A*S*H* district of NML. To complicate things, Zsasz is the man that severely injured one of Killer Croc’s friends, so, of course, Croc wants revenge. Batman and Huntress collide with Leslie, telling her to take Zsasz out of her care immediately. Huntress and the mute Batgirl meet for the first time. Petit then enters the fray, hunting Killer Croc, inadvertantly endangering everyone with his brutal crime-fighting methods. All of this was in BATMAN CHRONICLES #18.
That’s 48 issues of NML so far. For a complete list, e-mail us.
WHAT’S TO COME…
-September: “The Underground Railroad”, in LOTDK #123 and SOTB #91. Batman hardly appears at all in this story; Robin, Penguin, and Joker have larger roles. Then in “Goin’ Downtown”, Two-Face, Penguin, and Bane collide in another major turf war – in BATMAN #571 and DC #738. And don’t forget “Batman: No Man’s Land #0”, featuring what Batman did in the first 100 days of NML before re-appearing to confront Scarface.
-October: Superman returns to Gotham, saving the city from Petit and his renegade ex-cops. Then Two-Face breaks his deal with Gordon, kidnaps him, and puts him on trial.
-November: Batman confronts Gordon. The “Outside Interest” is revealed. The Joker makes his move.
-See below for more.
AS FOR THE OTHER HEROES:
-The Nightwing/Lock-Up brawl continues from of NIGHTWING to #36 and #37.
-Batman MIGHT reveal his identity to Gordon in November.
-Batman sends Robin out to get emergency food rations BUT is confronted by Mr. Freeze and the Ratcatcher in the process. Robin then goes up against Killer Croc in Robin #71 and 72.
-Azrael faces off against the Joker AGAIN in AZRAEL #60.
-The Huntress hangs out with Petit for the remainder of NML.
-Leslie Thompkins and the Huntress are the focus of BATMAN CHRONICLES #18, in August.
-Superman will return to Gotham in SHADOW OF THE BAT #92, in October.
-Apparently Wonder Woman may appear in NML in a special one-shot by the end of the year.
-Commissioner Gordon is kidnapped by Two-Face in BATMAN #572 and DC #739, in October. Batman later confronts him in LOTDK #125.
AND AS FOR THE REMAINING VILLAINS…
-Bane returns in September to destroy Gotham – and finally fulfill his plans – in “Goin’ Downtown”.
-Lock-Up is in trouble when Nightwing tries to take over control of Blackgate Prison in September!
-Mr. Freeze will appear in Robin #70 in September.
-The Joker re-appear in November in the two-part “Shellgame”, just as Gotham is beginning to be re-built.
-Killer Croc appears in ROBIN #71 and 72, in October and November.
-Echo (introduced back in May in “Claim Jumping”) will be returning to Gotham before the year is through.
-Two-Face re-surfaces in September in “Goin’ Downtown”, another major turf-war story, also featuring Bane and Penguin. In October he kidnaps Commissioner Gordon and puts him on trial in the two-part “Jurisprudence”. He later re-appears in another big way later on in No Man’s Land, apparently as the second-last villain to be defeated. (How fitting.)
-The Penguin also returns to a prominent role in “Goin’ Downtown”.
-The “outside interest” is revealed in SOTB #93, in November.
-Catwoman seeks refuge in the Penguin’s territory in CATWOMAN #76, in November.
FEATURED BAT-SITES FOR THIS ISSUE
TIM WAN’S BATMAN BEYOND: THE TOMORROW KNIGHT
Wow do you think a website name could get any longer? 🙂 Basically it’s just a site devoted to Batman Beyond. There are character profiles, episode video captures, episode summaries/reviews, comic scans and reviews, and plenty of downloads such as Batman Beyond MP3s, MPEGs and wallpapers. My favorite section (which is also the largest) is the Paraphernalia section that has tons of products that have been graced with a Batman Beyond logo. If you like Batman Beyond, I’m sure you’ll have fun here, because I have a lot of fun making it!
ANIMATED BATMAN/SUPERMAN SITES:
* – indicates a shameless plug for a site a certain double-faced editor created with his bare hands – in other words, a cheap advertising technique.
THE NEW BATMAN/SUPERMAN ADVENTURES
BATMAN:THE ANIMATED SERIES
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
RA’S AL GHUL’S THE LAZARUS PIT
THE DARK KNIGHT
BATMAN BEYOND: WELCOME TO THE FUTURE
TIM WAN’S BATMAN BEYOND
HARLEY’S HAVEN OF HEDONISM
THE ANIMATED BAT
THE RIDDLER – EDWARD NYGMA’S PUZZLE WEBSITE
THE BATMAN ACTION FIGURE PAGE
BATMAN/SUPERMAN SNAP JUDGMENTS
BATMAN: FOREVER KNIGHT
CHARACTERS ON THE ADVENTURES OF BATMAN & ROBIN
JLA: THE ANIMATED SERIES
THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES: THE UNOFFICIAL SITE
BATMAN & SUPERMAN: THE WORLD’S FINEST DISCUSSION CENTER
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:
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. And if you do submit something, please don’t just submit a basic review of an episode or a comic or something (because we have people writing for those purposes already) – write about an issue you’d like to discuss.
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
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 email@example.com and put SUBSCRIBE in the subject line.
For more information the newsletter just email firstname.lastname@example.org 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 & our friends at the official BTAS/STAS site
BTAS REVIEWS: Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
EDITORIAL: The Ghost of Laura Hysert
COMIC REVIEWS: Aaron Maurer
TOY REVIEW: Kevin Smith
MONTHLY REPORT FROM THE UK: Brian Davis
“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?)
Batman and all related indica are trademarks of DC Comics, Copyright c 1999.
AND WE HERE AT BTAN SEND OUT A HUGE THANK YOU TO ALAN BURNETT AND RICK BURCHETT FOR PARTICIPATING IN THIS ISSUE!