5Batman: The Animated Newsletter
Weeks of August 24-29/30, August 31- Sept 5/6
Volume 1, Issue #5
Since issue #4 of “Batman: The Animated Newsletter” came out, many of our fellow subscribers have left us, for multiple reasons – the majority of which leaving because of some subscribers which e-mail me and, by doing so, accidentally e-mail everyone else on the mailing list – well over 200 different people.
Now, I realize that in all situations this was just an honest mistake, but I must make it clear that you SHOULD NOT respond to the e-mail address this newsletter is delivered from. We here at “Batman: The Aniamted Newsletter” have corrected the problem of showing all the e-mail addresses in every issue, and are now sending out the newsletter from a NEW address, which will be used only for the express purpose of sending the e-mails. Any e-mails sent to “email@example.com” will not be read.
If anyone has any queries, write to us at “firstname.lastname@example.org” – we WILL be reading all e-mails that come into this address.
Thank you for your patience – our primary concern here at “Batman: The Animated Newsletter” is the well-being of our subscribers and we wish to provide good, private service to everyone, and, of course, a quality (hopefully? *S*) newsletter – and just good ol’ fun. Thank you for your time – and now, on with the newsletter!
– Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton, editor of “Batman: The Animated Newsletter”
HISTORY OF THE ANIMATED BAT
The five-time emmy-winning Batman: The Animated Series (BTAS) debuted in September of 1992 with the episode “Cat and the Claw” Part One. It ran on weekdays (and even during prime-time on Sundays for a month or so). 65 episodes (and millions of dollars in merchandise) later, season two began in 1994; sadly, this season died out with only 15 additional episodes, for the show was not raking in as much money as it previously was, and deemed as being “too dark” by parents. Also, in September of 1994, most of the first season episodes were shelved, and the 15 new ones were aired…only on Saturdays.
A year later, BTAS was re-introduced to the FOX weekday line-up. All the original episodes were brought back this time, as well as 5 new episodes (none of which were spectacular, but still good), leaving the episode count at 85 in September of 1995. Most thought the series ended right there without any closure, for the majority of the BTAS staff moved on to work on the new SUPERMAN cartoon which debuted the following September (1996).
The series was top-notch, and fans were sad that it wouldn’t go on. But the stories that had been told were excellent…much better than most comics and movies that have veer been produced. It was an excellent run. In 1997, after the WB’s five-year contract with the FOX network, BTAS was pulled from the TV, the last episode airing being “Trail”. Was BTAS dead?
We were all proven wrong.
As soon as BTAS left the FOX network, it was teamed up with Superman on the WB network. Better yet – NEW EPISODES WERE INTRODUCED!
NEW episodes began airing bright and early on the morning of September 13th, 1997. Two years (less two days) after BTAS ceased production, it was reborn.
HISTORY OF THE ANIMATED MAN OF STEEL
From the creators of BTAS, we saw Superman takes off in the fall of 1996. It started with a hit prime-time movie (which was the highest rated WB show of the week) – and after a hap-hazard first season of unpredicatable episode airing, Superman returned in full force in the fall of 1997 with a whole new season of 28 episodes,including a “WORLD’S FINEST” crossover with Batman. Superman then won more critical acclaim (for episodes such as THE LATE MR. KENT and APOKOLIPS …NOW!) and much higher ratings. This locomotion isn’t slowing down as it moves into season three…
Welcome to another installment of BATMAN:THE ANIMATED NEWSLETTER. In this newsletter you’ll find all sorts of items pertaining to the hit show. There is also a bit of Superman:TAS thrown in for good measure – just keep in mind that this newsletter is predominantly about the Bat, K? We have the usual columns plus special articles in every newsletter! We have schedules, new, comic info, trivia, websites, editorials and much more! So sit back and relax!
SPECIAL IN THIS ISSUE
Many things have changed – a new toy review, more schedules and mini episode-reviews, comic schedules and reviews, rumors aplenty, and yet another editorial from the wonderful Laura Hysert, but the main event in this issue of the newsletter is an interview with “Superman Adventures” writer, MARK MILLAR!!!!
Scroll down to read it!
LOOKIN’ FOR AN EGO BOOST
One of our editors, Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton, will be celebrating his 19th birthday this September 6, and is looking forward to entering the year of legalized drinking, gambling, and entry to back rooms at video stores. Wish him a happy b-day – THAT’S AN ORDER! And have a nice day.
– written by Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton himself. What a conceited jerk!
BATMAN:THE ANIMATED ARCHIVES
Wow, It’s Christmas! For all of you new B:TAN readers you can now catch up on the previous newsletters! A great friend of both Tim and I has put our old newsletters up at her site! The site is called “The Warner Bros. Club” and features tonnes of WB related games and information! Plus each new newsletter will be out up there as well! For all you wanting to catch up, or look back, here is the URL:
The Warner Bros. Club site is also part of a much bigger site. The site is called TOON ZONE and contains three more WB related sites: Brian Cruz’s WB Cartoon Page, Colin’s WB schedule page, and the WB Comic Zone. The sites have been updated and somewhat revamped! Do you wanna see the people behind it? There’s also a site for that as well. This isn’t an official WB page but it’s so good, might as well be! There’s even a chat room and a great message board! If you’re looking for anything WB related check out this site! Definatly worth bookmarking!
This section is filled with small little ‘things’ I’ve noticed while watching reruns of both Batman and Superman, such as…
-The ‘Ingagement’ chick from BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM makes a brief cameo in HOLIDAY KNIGHTS and in the party scene in the HARLEY & IVY segment. Who knew?
-The eye witness fisherman to Clark Kent’s ‘death’ in THE LATE MR. KENT is also the fisherman who provided Superman with a fishing net to catch some swimmin’ convicts in THE WAY OF ALL FLESH. Isn’t that ironic? (Is it?)
-Alex Ross and his Father make the most ‘consistent’ cameo in the funeral scene at the end of APOKOLIPS…NOW! Many other creators are show along with a few Marvel characters (although you’ll have to be quick..its ‘blink and you’ll miss’ for most cameos).
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.
Proposed air date: September 19, 1998 (USA)
This episode is set to be the season premiere of BTAS this year. It revolves around Dick Grayson telling Tim Drake why he and Batman aren’t as close as they once were. It sheds light on why Dick left the Batcave, how he became a hero of his own, and how Batgirl became a much more intricate part of their team. Two-Face and the Joker are also set to appear, if the story follows it’s “Lost Years” comic counterparts.
This episode has already been aired in the UK (like “The Ultimate Thrill” and “Critters”), and features Batman and Nightwing trying to stop a crime wave committed by…animals? Who could be behind such a dastardly (and twisted) deed?
WB ANIMATION SCHEDULES:
(courtesy of Brian Cruz)
The New Batman/Superman Adventures premiered this past year with ratings and critical sucess! Kid’sWB airs the show Monday through Friday at 4:30 pm (eastern time) and now in a 90 minute block on weekends starting at 8:30am (eastern time). The time may vary for the various WB affiliates across Canada and the U.S. The schedule is set to change again in Septmeber or October, so watch the SCHEDULE and NEWS section for upcoming information!
AUG 24-Batman-SIDESHOW (#66)
AUG 25-Superman-LITTLE GIRL LOST (Pt. 1) (#37)
AUG 26-Superman-LITTLE GIRL LOST (Pt. 2) (#38)
AUG 27-Batman-TRIAL (#68)
AUG 28-Batman-MEAN SEASONS (#98)
AUG 29/30-(8:30 am)-Superman-THE MAIN MAN (Pt. 1) (#8)
(9:00 am)-Superman-THE MAIN MAN (Pt. 2) (#11)
(9:30 am)-Batman-THE DEMON WITHIN (#103)
AUG 31-Batman-DEEP FREEZE (#84)
SEPT 1-Superman-APOKOLIPS…NOW! (Pt. 1) (#33)
SEPT 2-Superman-APOKOLIPS…NOW! (Pt. 2) (#35)
SEPT 3-Batman-THE TERRIBLE TRIO (#71)
SEPT 4-Batman-HARLEQUINADE (#72)
SEPT 5/6-(8:30 am)-Superman-MXYZPIXILATED (#21)
(9:00 am)-Batman-JOKER’S MILLIONS (#92)
(9:30 am)-Batman-LOVE IS A CROC (#94)
Note: All episodes after #85 of BATMAN are considered THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES while the original 85 are considered BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (BTAS) episodes.
EPISODE OF THE WEEK:
(by the Dynamic Duo)
This section lets me tell you about my favorite rerun airing this week! You are not to miss this episode at all cost! Tape it if possible! All Batman and Superman episodes which have at least been shown once are eligible.
(This was tough, cuz none of those episodes are outstanding, but many
Airs Aug. 24, 1998
This very underrated episode revolves around Killer Croc. While being transported upstate, Croc escapes and Batman chases him into the forest, where the rest of the episode is set. Croc befriends a gang of circus freaks, who know nothing about his shadowy past. Batman arrives and tries to set everything right – the freaks learn of Croc’s true colours just as he and Batman start beatin’ the hell outa each otha. Anyhow, it’s tough to explain, but it’s enjoyable. Give it a try!
APOKALIPS…NOW! (Pt. 1-2) (#33, 35)
Airs Sept. 1-2, 1998
This episode has been a highlighted episode for ages in our newsletter. Briefly, Darkseid finally attacks Earth, everyone runs amok, Superman is nearly killed, Metropolis is leveled, and it is just the best STAS episode to date.
(But, since this has been in this column before, here’s the OTHER “episode of the week”:)
DEEP FREEZE (#84)
Airs Aug. 31, 1998
Mr. Freeze’s second animated appearance is terrific. Freeze is kidnapped out of Arkham Asylum and brought before Grant Walker, an insane amusement park creator. Walker demands Freeze to give him the secrets to his power of immortality, and then plans to freeze the world so that only those inside his “Oceania” theme park will survive. The best parts of this episode revolve around Freeze discovering that his wife, Nora, is not dead, as he previously thought.
THIS WEEK’S EPISODE TO MISS:
Superman-THE MAIN MAN (Pt. 1-2) (#8, 11)
Airs Aug. 29/30, 1998
Superman and the ultimate loose-canon, Lobo, are inadvertantly teamed up to destroy the Preserver’s plans of collecting various rare specimens of animals from across the galaxy, when his sights fall upon Kal-El and Lobo themselves! Very weak story, which is only saved by the occasional one-liner or muttered curses from Lobo’s mouth. Miss it.
NEXT WEEK’S EPISODE TO MISS:
Batman-THE TERRIBLE TRIO (#71)
Airs Sept. 3, 1998
Another good name would be “The Terrible Episode”. The episode centres around three preppies that are bored so they start a crime spree. Some nice animation and action, but the plot is terrible and almost insulting. Miss it.
EPISODE REVIEW: (SPOILERS!)
(by Bob Evatt)
Mr. Evatt is an experienced reviewer of the new BTAS episodes and has much of his work shown at the Lazarus Pit website, and is now contributing to this newsletter! His other reviews can be reached via this link:
Since no new episodes have aired for over a month now, we decided to go share with you a review of what is certainly one of the best episodes of the past season.
“It seems like nearly every bat-fan loves the episode ‘Over the Edge’. Many Batman sites on the web feature some raves about it. In short, ‘Over the Edge’ is widely considered by most (myself included) to be the best episode done in the ‘new’ style. There is much less agreement, however, as to which of the other episodes are either as good or almost as good. Gather five fans in a chat room, and most likely every one of them would advocate a different episode for this honor. My personal favorite episode after ‘Over the Edge’ is the extremely well-crafted ‘Growing Pains’.”
GROWING PAINS (*****)
Story by Paul Dini & Robert Goodman.
Written by Robert Goodman.
Directed by Atsuko Tananka.
“Sometimes there are no happy endings.” –Batman, consoling Robin.
While on patrol, Robin rescues a teenage girl from a pack of bikers. She’s suffering from amnesia, and soon runs away. Later, he and Batman track down a new thug in town, one with seemingly superhuman abilities. The thug is pursuing the girl, claiming to be her father. Robin, alone, tracks down the girl (whom he names Annie) and tries to help her regain her memory. He soon learns that Annie’s relation to the thug isn’t quite what it appears to be….
Yet another superb Clayface episode. While the notion of Clayface generating an entirely seperate and unique person from his clay flesh may seem to be a bit of a stretch, this episode handles it beautifully. Annie is (was) an enjoyable character. After she learns her true identity, her uncertainty about what she should now do portrayed her as a complex, well-rounded person. Clayface was handled impressively as well. He was very subtle in the first two acts–his superhuman actions (such as his strength and his slight, quick compression after a long fall) were part of his character’s abilities, yet they didn’t make his identity competely obvious (such as his disintegrating hand did in “Holiday Knights”). This made the appearance of his true form was a near-perfect suprise.
This episode also bolstered my opinion of the new Robin. He was emotional and impulsive, yet his actions were much more sympathetic than they were in previous episodes. Rather than seeming like a brat, he came off as a normal teenager trying to cope with the events unfolding around him. He was portrayed realistically and maturely.
To top it all off, this episode treats us to some great Clayface tricks animated by TMS. While not as impressive as his “death scene” in “Feat of Clay, part II,” they were creative and well-animated. His four-armed struggle with Robin was creepy. These great visuals blend well with the compelling story to make an animated Batman story that is destined to be a classic.
CARTOON NETWORK WB ANIMATION SCHEDULE:
“Yabba Dabba Doom”
Cartoon Network got the rights to air 52 episodes of the orignal 85 episodes on their network. The episodes air 7 days a week at 6pm and 12:00am eastern time (7:00pm on Sundays and will no longer air on Satrudays starting the 11th of July). The episodes air in numerical order and not in episode order. If you want the channel ask your local cable or satellite operator. Here’s the schedule for this week:
AUG 24 – SEE NO EVIL (#15)
AUG 25 – IT’S NEVER TOO LATE (#11)
AUG 26 – PROPHECY OF DOOM (#19)
AUG 27 – FEAT OF CLAY (Pt. 1) (#20)
AUG 28 – FEAT OF CLAY (Pt. 2) (#21)
AUG 31 – JOKER’S FAVOR (#22)
SEPT 1 – VENDETTA (#23)
SEPT 2 – FEAR OF VICTORY (#24)
SEPT 3 – THE CLOCK KING (#25)
SEPT 4 – APPOINTMENT IN CRIME ALLEY (#25)
NOTE: Most of the episodes airing now on the CARTOON NETWORK won’t be airing on KidsWB until next season! If you want to complete your collection then get as many as these episodes on tape as possible! Just some friendly advice.
NOTE #2: Batman: The Animated Series will no longer be airing on Sundays
NOTE #3: Beginning Monday, September 7th, Batman: The Animated Series will be seen twice a day. First at 6:00pm, and then at 6:30pm (eastern/pacific)
SPECIAL NOTE: “Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero” will air on November 21, 1998.
VOTING REQUEST FOR BTAS:
(by Brian Davis)
Hi Brian Davis here, Would you like Batman : The Animated Series to win another award ? Well, if you’re like me then I’m sure that you think that it deserves one. Cartoon Network Europe are currently accepting votes for your favourite cartoon and I would like you to vote for Batman: The Animated Series. All you have to do is send your vote, name, age and address to email@example.com You can also win a great trip to London so go ahead, let’s remember Batman : The Animated Series.
(I suggest you do this cuz Batman deserves any awards it can get – to show to the world that Batman IS capable of intelligent, coherent stories – unlike films like “Batman & Robin”!!!! Make the public realize his greatness and love him again!!!)
VOTING REQUEST FOR BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM
(by Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton)
Hi! I’m sure that many of you are familiar with the Internet Movie Database, and I am hoping that we can get “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm” into their “Top 250 Movies of All Time” list – it currently has an 86% rating. Many movies on the Top 250 list have a lower rating, but many more people voted for those…my hope is to get as many people as possible voting for this film, to get it into the Top 250 list, because it is truly spectacular.
The link DIRECTLY to the “Mask of the Phantasm” page is:
PS – Do the same for “Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero” as well – there’s a link to THAT movie page from the “Mask of the Phantasm” one, which I’ve already provided a link to.
I’ve already voted. Have YOU?
Q & A WITH THE THRILLIN’ MARK MILLAR
(writer for “Superman Adventures” and various “Legends of the Dark Knight” comics)
(interviewed by James Grayson-Harvey).
Hey fans! Red-hot “Superman Adventures” (and occasional “Legends of the Dark Knight”) writer Mark Millar has decided to take time outta his busy schedule and answer a few random fanboy questions. Like I said before these questions aren’t really in-depth and won’t reveal any hidden childhood trauma or a deep, dark past – but you will get to learn a bit more about Mr. Millar and his colleagues at DC Comics. Enjoy!
BTAN Q#1 – What’s it like writing whats being called: ‘The only real Superman comic’. Do you think that this is the ‘real’ Superman and how he should be portrayed or is this just a kiddie version of the classic hero?
MM A#1 – Well, they’re all fictional, aren’t they? I just see the “Superman Adventures” book as one of dozens of takes I’ve seen over the years of my favourite character. Being in continuity means nothing to me. I grew up with a love for imaginary stories, hence my involvement with Superman in Elseworlds, Adventures, etc.
As regards the maturity angle, I’d resign immediately if anyone suggested writing down for a younger audience. Batman and Superman Adventures are mature plots told in an easily-understood style. Kids are too smart to fall for any crap and adults would drop the book if they detected I was giving it any less than 100%
BTAN Q#2 – Speaking of writing, I’ve heard you plan on staying on the series for only around 12 issues to tell your stories (which I, personally, hope you don’t). Is it possible you might stay on for longer?
MM A#2 – Hell, the Terminators taking over is possible. I’m just talking ‘probable’ here and, at the moment, I’ve got a little over a year’s worth of stuff planned. Some of the upcoming stuff is really, really good work. I don’t want any slack issues and would prefer to leave a book on a high than just fizzle out.
BTAN Q#3 – Here’s a simple question: What’s it like working with two creative teams (Aluir Almancio/Terry Austin and Neil Vokes/Terry Austin/Stan Woch)? Is there a particular style of one of the creative teams you prefer over the other?
MM A#3 – Well, I haven’t worked with either Neil or Stan, but we do have the occasional fill-in.  is a great job by Mike Manley. A fill-in on The Flash, for example, would be trickier; the animated style gives the book a consistency and makes any change of artists a little smoother than usual.
BTAN Q#4 – Do you think one day you might tackle the regular continuity Man Of Steel titles? Or maybe even Batman? Or another JLA perhaps (once Grant Morrison leaves)?
MM A#4 – I’ve written some JLA in the past and there’s been a lot of speculation about whether I’m taking over from Grant. As far as I’m aware, he’s on for the better part of the next year and I’ve no plans to replace him when he goes. As regards other Superman projects, my Magnum Opus is a three book prestige deal called Superman:Red Soon (out sometime in the next twelve months at the most) with Dave Johnson. I’ve also written a regular continuity thing out at the end of the year teaming Supes up with Superboy, Steel and Supergirl. It’s a very weird story. I think people are going to be quite surprised by this one. It’s pretty heavy stuff.
BTAN Q#5 – Are there any particular stories you’d like to do in SUPERMAN ADVENTURES? Any specific characters you’d like to write or maybe introduce?
MM A#5 – Well, my plan after securing the comic with my into Mxy script in  was this: Create a new villain (Multi-Face), a Brainiac story, A Parasite story, A Gotham City story, a Superboy and Krypto story, A Luthor focus, a Darkseid/Jimmy ish and a Private Life of Clark Kent story in ish 29 where a top tabloid reporter figures out his secret identity. From here, I want to do a big Imaginary story, a DC Presents-style guest-star, a Toyman, A Bizarro, a Lois Lane and a special two parter I can’t even talk about.
BTAN Q#6 – And finally, are there any particular SUPERMAN ADVENTURES story you’d like to do? Possibly another WORLD’S FINEST crossover, this time a crossover over with Ty Templeton’s BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTRES?
MM A#6-Interestingly, Ty and I have just been talking about this. No firm plans yet. Still to speak to the editors.
Thanx alot and good luck,BTAN
Best wishes, MM
There I hope you enjoyed the little Q-&-A session. We’ll hopefully have more up in the forthcoming newsletters! I’d like to thank Mark Millar (naturally) for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer these questions! Thanx!
(by Laura Hysert, aka “Phoenix”)
POLLENATING VILLAINS, BEWARE…
My brain is covered with a cozy blanket of narcotic down. Allergy season has descended and I am, as a result, beseiged by the ever-curious effects of over-the-counter drugs. It’s a miracle I can perform basic motor functions, nevermind the mental gymnastics needed to write this, but write this I must.
That disclaimer aside, a friend of mine, one of the editors in fact, no named mentioned (TIM!!!!), has been bothered by a question that he has asked me to address between my hallucinogenic lapses:
Why is the Joker always considered Batman’s arch-nemesis?
A darn good question, if you think about it. We seem to take for granted that the Clown Prince of Crime is Batman’s greatest foe. We accept without thinking this “truth”. It just goes without saying, right? Well, far be it from me to ever go anywhere without saying something, so I decided to fly in the face of accepted norms and whipped out my handy Webster’s Dictionary (Compact Edition!), always the first stop for great intellectual explorations. Ahem.
It seems that “nemesis” takes its name from the Greek goddess of retribution, or vengeance. “Arch-” just means chief, or primary. Hm. Time to get a new dictionary.
But in a way it makes sense. An arch-nemesis is the primary antagonist to the hero’s aims. If the hero says left, he says right. In other words, he gives pay-back, or retribtution, to the hero for his heroic deeds, even to the prevention of said deeds in the first place. Often implied in the common use of the word “nemesis” is the idea of opposition: the nemesis is, in character, essence and action, the opposite of the hero, opposing and avenging the hero’s goals and actions, and striving to tear down everything the hero stands for.
Given that, we first have to determine what Batman stands for. This in itself is an entire editorial. In an inadequate nutshell, though, Batman fights against the senseless, chaotic violence that killed his parents. To combat this disorder, he imposes his own cold, terrifying order. The sense of his own pain and the empathic sense of others’ pain propels him in rage, in agony, in chilling efficiency, to hunt out the destroyers of lives, the bringers of violence and chaos.
Thus according to our definition, his greatest nemesis would be the man or woman who fights to destroy order, who supports the imposition of cold, purposeless violence upon society. He or she would represent the destruction of life, the corruption of innocence, the indulgence of pain.
Such a creature would be the epitome of apathy and chaos, the expression of all that Batman seeks to eliminate, as well as the painful reminder of his failure to do so. For as long as incomprehensible, uncontrollable beings such as this exist, Batman’s quest is never completed, and his peace is never achieved.
That being said, who in Batman’s world fits this malevolent description?
A number of villains can be dismissed because they either display too much rationality to be a force of chaos or they are simply not violent enough, or both. Poison Ivy, Riddler, Penguin, Mad Hatter, Mr. Freeze, Catwoman, Bane, Ra’s al Ghul, Croc – all of these foes are either too tame, are glorified thugs, or have a logical mind and sense of order almost as fine as Batman’s.
Three others give me pause to consider. Two-Face’s violence and split personality give him a chaotic unpredictability, and being Bruce’s old friend makes the antagonism one of personal pain to Batman. Yet his obsession with duality lends a method to his madness, allowing Batman to combat him more easily. Moreover, he does not fit the role of the impersonal monster that being Batman’s nemesis necessitates: his human side, so often poignantly portrayed, belies this.
Scarecrow is a masterful harbinger of fear. He delights in using fear to create chaos and death, and because of this is a chilling enemy. Yet even he has an odd rationality about his crimes: they are, after all, grand experiments in the name of science. He, too, is therefore disqualified.
And Mr. Zsasz also disturbs me – the man who kills because he believes most humans are herd-minded animals and should be eliminated to make way for the greater will of the superman (notice no capital “S”). Sick? Yes. But at least it’s a reason for his crimes, which makes him not a force of chaos, but Nietzsche with a knife.
Which leaves us with the Joker. A cold-hearted murderer, Joker causes death and destruction because…because…well, I can’t think of a good reason why, and it’s not because of the antihistamines. Bloodthirsty, violent, and self-serving, he doesn’t even consider, much less care about, the cost of his actions to others; he doesn’t kill for personal gain, or for a philosophical mission, but because he wants to. That’s all. Kind of like a macabre Apple Jacks commercial: he likes it because…he just DOES.
How do you fight this kind of madman – one who follows his chaotic jumble of desires without reason, but with deadly skill? The Joker is a master of executing the kind of senseless violence that destroyed Bruce Wayne’s life; he is a destructive force of chaos, operating without reason or remorse. He represents that unfathomable dark side of humanity that Batman knows he can never completely defeat. And every night Bruce dons the cowl – his true face – the Joker is the dark shadow in his mind that reminds him of not only what he must fight, but what he himself, should his own reason ever fail, could become. And that is why the Joker is Batman’s greatest nemesis.
Hope this answers your question, Tim.
Tim: Thank you Laura! You sure do have a way with words! *ENVIOUS GRRRRRR*
BATMAN:THE ANIMATED TRIVIA
This section tests your knowledge of (Before and during WB) Batman episodes. (Remember: The new episodes that air on WB are in the same continuity as the older ones). The questions can be anything from the littlest thing mentioned by someone or what happened to who in which episode and how. The majority of these questions will be multiple choice. So start rackin’ yer brain! Here goes!
Answers are provided beneath the “Animated Batman/Superman Sites” section.
11. In what BTAS episode was the “questionable” word “sex” ever used? (Man, this is childish!)
A: HARLEY & IVY
B: HEART OF ICE
C: CAT AND THE CLAW (PT. 1 or 2)
D: SHADOW OF THE BAT (PT. 1 or 2)
E: THE DEMON’S QUEST (PT. 1 or 2)
12. In the original 85 (old style) episodes, which villain ever made Batman bleed?
A: KILLER CROC
E: THE JOKER
13. Which of the following villains did NOT appear in the episode “Trial”?
A: THE VENTRILOQUIST
B: THE RIDDLER
C: THE SCARECROW
D: THE PENGUIN
E: THE MAD HATTER
14. On BTAS, which villain dislikes Lock-Up the most?
A: HARLEY QUINN
C: THE JOKER
D: THE VENTRILOQUIST
E: THE SCARECROW
ANIMATED NEWS AND RUMORS
-The BATMAN SUPERMAN MOVIE is now on video and prices are suprisngly low!They range from 7.99 to only 12.99!Pick this tape up if you can!Its definatly worth it!
-Also it looks like BATMAN:THE ANIMATED MOVIE #3 is a definite YES!(woohoo!) – and rumors still state that it will either involve Two-Face, Scarecrow, or Ra’s Al Ghul/Bane.
-“Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero” will air on the CARTOON NETWORK on November 21, 1998.
– BATMAN: ANIMATED hits comic store and book store shelves on Sept. 23rd. This date is, of course, subject to change. Written by Paul Dini and Chip Kidd.
– Harley Quinn is rumored to make a major comeback in “Batman: Gotham Adventures” within 12-15 months.
-During the San Diego ComicCon, Paul Dini revealed that he will be writing a story arc for NO MAN’S LAND that will introduced Harleen Quinzel into the mainstream world. She will be introduced as a therapist at Arkham Asylum but she won’t be making her debut as Harley for quite a while. Is this a good thing? Only time can tell. Also the introduction of Batgirl #2 during NO MAN’S LAND seems very true. (news courtesy of NEWSARAMA DAILY at the MANIA site)
-The Mad Hatter is now slated to appear in at least one future Batman episode as the main villain.
-Here’s a recap of all the known upcoming episodes this season (sorry, no Superman episodes were available):
– OLD WOUNDS
Dick Grayson recounts what made him leave Batman and more…
– KNIGHT TIME (World’s Finest 2) (2 or 3 pts).
Superman becomes Batman to save Batman!
– ANIMAL ACT
Nightwing and Batman versus…zoo animals?
Farmer Brown’s little critters versus Batman!
– THE ULTIMATE FILL..I mean THRILL
Introducing Roxy Rocket into the animated series.
– LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT
3 points of view of the Dark Knight detective!
– MAD LOVE (2 parts)
The DIRECT adaptation of the hit award-winning B:TAS special!
– NOW FOR SOMETHING CREEPY
– WORLD’S FINEST WOMEN/GIRL’S NIGHT OUT (1 or 2 pts)
Harley, Ivy, and Livewire team up against Batgirl and Supergirl.
– RISE OF THE DEMON (World’s Finest 3) (2 or 3 pts)
Batman and Superman take on Ra’s Al Ghul.
Also look for the return of Zatanna and Bane, plus the Scarecrow will be returning to terrify our hereos! The Riddler will have 3 whopping appearances as well. Catwoman will head her own team to counter Batman’s. The Judge will be introduced and more of Batman’s Rogur gallery will return.
– Plus some BATMAN BEYOND news…
aside from findin’ out what happened to Tim Drake and Dick Grayson it is very possible that we’ll be introduced to Ra’s Al Ghul and SUPERMAN(!) in the second season!
(Thanx for Brain Cruz’s WB Cartoon page for the URLS!)
– WB feels that “Batman Beyond” will be a huge success, so they’ve already planned 13 episodes for the series’ second season.
– A JLA (Justice League of America) series does NOT look likely at this point in time. My personal opinion…YAY!
– News about the “future” of the JLA series can be found if you follow this link:
OTHER BATMAN RELATED NEWS (unchanged)
-No new news – it looks like WB’s proposed press release of the future of Batman 5 will NOT be on this month’s schedule. Oh well. But we will surely not see a Batman movie for 2 more years (3 years from when “Batman & Robin” was released). I quite like the 3-year gap between the first three Bat-movies – and part of the problem B&R failed was because it only took 2 years to produce, and therefore recieved a rushed job.
BATMAN: THE ANIMATED FIGURES
(by Kevin Smith)
“FREEZING IVY, CROCS OF CLAY, AND A BIG OL’ DICK”
The third wave of figures saw a change in the card art; the backdrop no longer faded from yellow to orange to red, but from yellow to white to blue, which looked better, in my opinion. But more imporantly, more figures were released:
First up was Mr. Freeze. He was an excellent figure who looked exactly like he did in the show. I would have preferred the helmet be removable, but how it came was A-OK. He came with Firing “Ice” Blaster, which was a weak water gun. However, the gun looked a lot like the gun he used in the show, so it’s not that bad, and besides, the tube connecting the gun to the backpack helped to balance him. The card art was great too. It looked like either the artist improved, or was replaced.
Then there was Clayface with Launching Spiked Ball, who was also a surprise, but welcome regardless. I mean, who WOULDN’T want more villains? One of his hands had what looked to be “metal” claws, and his other hand fired a spiked ball when his body was squeezed – both of which were seen in his first animated appearance, “Feat of Clay”. However, his legs didn’t move, his head didn’t turn (which I’ll give to them, since he doesn’t really have a neck!). The card art was done well, too. It had a sense of action and movement with it and again looks like he does in the show.
Also released in this wave was Dick Grayson/Robin. The card read “Transforms into Robin with High-Tech Gear!” It was a worthy effort, since it was nice to get a Dick Grayson figure. They handled the Robin mask well, which was rubber and fit over his head, but the tech gear was really silly, and as usual, he had a racing outfit on, though it could almost, almost work. Another complaint, is that Dick Grayson has the same wild hair look as Robin instead of the tame combed back hair, which helped to further distance the two identities. The card art was passable, and at least it looked like Robin this time.
Another unexpected addition to this wave was Poison Ivy. True to form, she was relatively short, and yet, still slim. She came with Snapping Venus Flytrap and Dart Weapon. The dart weapon was just a plastic crossbow, but it was the closest we’d get to the little wrist dart thing she has. The Venus Flytrap thing was kind of dumb. I mean, carrying a large Venus Flytrap? I recall it being a plant, and therefore requiring planting. Oh well, it’s her mutant breed. Like Catwoman, she had this weird in-step pose, but not as bad, so it was easier to balance. I liked the fact that when posing without the flytrap, her hand was on one hip. The card art was adequate, though the artist did a bad job of trying to make her hair windblown.
Killer Croc was a late release. This figure really sucked. The sculpting sucked, (What are proportions?) the painting sucked, (a grand total of three colors used!) and the dumb crocodile accessory sucked. (It was the size of a baby crocodile. What a challenge for the great Killer Croc to wrestle!) He also had a Power-Punch arm that sucked too. They didn’t give his eyes any detail, which were simply yellow. Also, they failed at capturing his face, although I’ve discovered that it looks more like Killer Croc if you color eyes on him. They got the body ok, but the arm punch action was really weak. The card art was equally terrible. His only saving grace, was that he was a much needed villain in a wave filled with asinine Batman variants, which included Power Vision Batman, Ground Assault Batman, Anti-Freeze Batman, Decoy Batman, Mech Wing Batman, Lightning Strike Batman, Knight Star Batman, (which was later released in a two pack with a similar Robin) and the worst, Total Armor Batman( black and purple).
The vehicles were the stupid Aero Bat and Hydro Bat, and the really kewl Batplane. Stay tuned for Wave Four!
(by Aaron Maurer)
BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES
ISSUE: “Polar Opposites” (#5)
WRITTEN BY: Ty Templeton
PENCILED BY: Rick Burchett
INKED BY: Terry Beatty
ISSUED: August 5, 1998 (Cover date is October)
RATING: **** (out of 5)
“We’re sending in the junior partners brigade and the walking popsicle instead of real cops?” – Bullock’s reaction to Nightwing, Batgirl, and Mr.Freeze going into Oceana to look for hostages.
SUMMARY: Mr. Freeze is being subjugated to poking and proding of his lab by Waynetech scientists since his suit was made from their parts (which were stolen, of course). They are going to try to use the cryogenic research to save lives. Bruce Wayne and Tim Drake arrive and meet the head of the project; Dr. Francis D’Anjou. Suddenly, Grant Walker (last seen in the episode “Deep Freeze”) arrives after escaping from the iceberg he was previously trapped in. He kidnaps all of the scientists so that they might save his body from decaying like Freeze’s did. When Bruce tries to stop him, Walker freezes his head to the ground. Tim grabs a pipe and breaks it, but Bruce is out cold.
Tim calls Nightwing and Batgirl, and the former races to the scene. When Bruce comes too, he reveals that D’Anjou was taken. Freeze demands to be hooked up to his body that instant so that he can save D’Anjou, who turns out to be Nora Fries’ current husband.
Nightwing, Batgirl, and Mr. Freeze enter the ruins of Oceana (Grant Walker’s defunct perfect world of the future, also seen in “Deep Freeze”). When Batgirl is pinned under some rubble, Freeze leaves her and Nightwing behind. Freeze breaks in and battles Walker. He is about to kill him when Nightwing and Batgirl come and stop him by engaging a safety switch that shuts down his suit. Freeze pops out of the suit and walks away on his spider legs, but D’Anjou tells Nightwind to let him go. He says, “I owe him… not only for coming to my rescue… but also for Nora… for saving her life… and because Victor Fries was Nora’s husband… and she loves him.”
COMMENTS: Wow. As anyone who’s read my review of “Cold Comfort” on my website knows, I hated it. I don’t like the redesign, I don’t like the fact that Nora’s remarried, and I really don’t like that Freeze is just a head. However, I really liked this issue. It actually worked! It showed that even though Freeze is mad at the world, he’s still the compassionate, tragic villain we came to know in the original series.
While I like believing that “Cold Comfort” never actually happened, I had no problem with this issue. Grant Walker’s return was fun, and I liked the fact that Batman and Robin never appeared in the story. This issue had a lot of Nightwing, which I like.
The true hero of the story was Mr. Freeze. He risked his own life to save Nora’s husband, just so she could be happy. Even though he is mad at having lost her, he still will do whatever it takes to make her happy, which is very touching. I also liked the nice touch at the end with D’Anjou telling Nightwing and Batgirl that Nora still loves Freeze. That was a beautiful moment which helped me accept Nora’s remarriage. Also, I think this issue’s cover is the best so far.
CRITICISMS: I don’t really see anything wrong with the story, except the Freeze redesign and fact that he’s only a head:)
BOTTOM LINE: If you’re a huge Mr. Freeze fan, or you were until you saw the monstrosity that was “Cold Comfort,” this is the issue for you. It redeems Mr. Freeze and tells a great, moving story.
This section shows what current Batman related comics (and Superman Adventures) are being shipped and when. The price is $1.99 US ($2.95 in Canada..GRRRRRRR!) unless otherwise stated.
This section gives a little bit more indepth look into each monthly issue of BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES and SUPERMAN ADVENTURES. The price is $1.99 in the US and..grrrrr….$2.95 in Canada
BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES #6
While pefroming beside Dick Grayson, Deadman is killed…for real! Now Nightwing and Batman must help solve this murder with the most unlikeliness of help…DEADMAN himself! (Confused? Me too!)
NEXT MONTH:In issue #7 we see the return of DAGGER DIXON (Batman & Robin Adventures #14) and it may have dire consequences on Robin’s crimefighting career! Also appearing are the Penguin and Two-Face.
SUPERMAN ADVENTURES #25
Bruce Wayne is missing! Its time for another WORLD’S FINEST team-up…with Batgirl? Superman and Batgirl team up to find Bruce Wayne before its to late!(you see..someone’s tryin’ to kill him)
NEXT MONTH:In we see the return of Mr. Mxyspti..ah whatever and he travels back in time to tell a young Clark Kent the tyrant he’ll grow up to be (which isn’t true). Find out what happens!
Currently, Batman and the Gotham vigilantes brood and complain while still saving citizens who are trapped in rubble. Also Batman’s rogue gallery is coming back full force in the wake of the big quake!
BATMAN: BATGIRL-relist (4.95 US)
BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT #1,000,000 (1.99 US)
JLA: ROCK OF AGES tradepaperback-relist (9.95 US)
JLA/WILDC.A.TS: CRIME MACHINE-relist (5.95 US)
YOUNG JUSTICE #1,000,000 (2.50 US)
NIGHTWING #1,000,000 (1.99 US)
AZREAL #1,000,000 (2.25 US)
BATMAN #1,000,000 (1.99 US)
JLA: YEAR ONE #11(of 12) (1.99 US)
DETECTIVE COMICS #1,000,000 (1.99 US)
JLA #1,000,000 (1.99 US)
BATMAN: MASTER OF THE FUTURE-relist (5.95 US)
BATMAN: TOYMAN #1(of 4) (2.25)
CATWOMAN #1,000,000 (1.99 US)
ROBIN #1,000,000 (1.99 US)
BATMAN: BLACK & WHITE HC-relist (39.95 US)
BATMAN: LOTDK #112 (1.99 US)
BATMAN: TWO FACES (5.95 US)
CATWOMAN #4 (of 4) (2.50 US)
JLA IN CRISIS SECRET FILES #1 (4.95 US)
BATMAN: ANIMATED – Released on Sept. 23rd.
And that’s what’s shipping in September!
HELPFUL COMIC-FINDING HINT!
(by Ed Wiser)
Hey I have a tip about the SubZero comic. I couple of weeks ago I sent a note to Act II about not finding the Subzero comic and how I was a loyal user of their product and also a Big Batman fan. Well today in the mail came my reply.
Thank you for your letter requesting the Batman comic. This promotion was what we call a flow through, which means, weship the product to certain stores and when the shipment is depleted that is all there is. That may be why you could not find it.
I am enclosing one for you.”
Golden Valley Microwave Foods
7450 Metro Boulevard
Edina, Mn 55439
So I suggest sending a nice note to Golden Valley and you just might get the Subzero comic.
COVERING THE BASICS…
This section will help you figure out (as if you need anymore help! *S*) what comics to pick off the news-stands. All picutres are courtesy of Brian’s WB home page or the Bruce Timm Artwork Archive. Here we go! To see the covers just click on the URL under the comic title!
SUPERMAN ADVENTURES #25
SUPERMAN ADVENTURES #26
BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES #6
BATMAN: ANIMATED (new and improved pic!)
SITE WORTH CHECKING OUT
This is one of the best Batman/Superman sites on its net…what makes it different is that it’s the OFFICIAL site, which is odd seeing how offical sites for shows usually suck. This sites offers background info on characters (greatly needed to understand a lot of the newer episodes, esp “The Demon Within”), plus schedules, games and much more. The layout is superb and real easy to manuver but you’ll need an updated browser to get a lot of the special extras on the site
BATMAN/SUPERMAN ADVENTURES:THE OFFICAL SITE
BRAIN’S BATMAN PAGE
This site has undergone a huge and recent revamp for the better. The new layouts are amazing and the links are much clearer than before (and they were excellent before!). The animation section is better then ever and if you’re a person who only likes to look at the new stuff then check out the UPDATES section. It gives the info on all the recent updates on the site. The revamp keeps it orignal feel but adds stuff aplenty!
The URL is in the BATMAN/SUPERMAN website section.
ANIMATED BATMAN/SUPERMAN SITES:
THE NEW BATMAN/SUPERMAN ADVENTURES
BATMAN:THE ANIMATED SERIES
TWO-FACE’S TOWER OF TRANQUILITY AND TERROR
BRIAN’S BATMAN PAGE
THE ANIMATED BAT
BATMAN: THE ANIMATED HOMEPAGE
SUB-ZERO: THE DEFINTIE GUIDE
RAVING TOY MANIAC
CHARACTERS ON THE ADVENTURES OF BATMAN & ROBIN
THE ADVENTURES OF BATMAN & ROBIN F.A.Q. SITE
THE BRUCE TIMM ARTWORK ARCHIVE
HARLEY’S HAVEN OF HEDONISM
BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (unofficial site)
These are some of the best BTAS sites on the web at this time. Most sites are updated or have been recently and all are up and running. If you’ve watched Batman on WB there’s a fair chance you’ve watched Superman as well. This show has picked up 40% more viewers this past season thanx to Batman. This series is one of the most underrated shows on TV becuase it’s stuck under Batman’s (pun intended) shadow. There’s one website that treats it as its own show and its a damn good website! I recemmend all who have seen this show to check out this site:
ANSWERS TO THE TRIVIA
Answer to #11: ‘C’
Answer to #12: ‘B’
Answer to #13: ‘D’
Answer to #14: ‘E’
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE:
BATMAN and all related property is a registered trademark of DC Comics. Visit DC Comics website at:
DC Comics is owned and operated by Warner Brothers. Visit their website at:
Kids’WB! is a part of Warner Brothers. Visit the Kids’ WB! site at:
If I’ve left any out I’ll probably be suee and homeless within a year so please tell me.
TO ALL GOOD THINGS…
…there must be an end. Well our newest installment of the newsletter has now been completed. Tim and I would like to thank the endless contributors for contributing their editorials, columns, news, and reviews and other articles. We also hope you enjoyed all of the regular columns as well!
See ya next time!
CREDITS FOR BATMAN: THE ANIMATED NEWSLETTER
CONCEPTIONISTS: James Grayson-Harvey and Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
EDITORS: James Grayson-Harvey and Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
AIR DATE SCHEDULES: Brian Cruz
BTAS REVIEWS: Bob Evatt
EDITORIAL: Laura Hysert
COMIC REVIEWS: Aaron Maurer
THIS MONTH’S VOTING POLL: Brian Davis
TOY REVIEW: Kevin Smith
“BATMAN BEYOND” PREVIEW: Ed Wiser
“BTAN ARCHIVES” MODERATOR: Eileen Delgadillo
PROMOTIONS AND JUST GETTIN’ THE WORD AROUND: Brian Cruz, Brian Davis, Eileen Delgadillo
THOSE WHO FILL IN FOR OTHERS WHEN THEY FOUL UP:-P James Grayson-Harvey and Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
BATMAN CREATED BY: Bob Kane (who else?)
SPECIAL THANKS to MARK MILLAR for participating in our interview for this issue!