Date: Sunday, October 04, 1998 6:35 PM
Batman: The Animated Newsletter
Week of Oct 5 – 10/11, Oct 12 – Oct. 17/18
Volume 1, Issue #8
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!
HISTORY OF THE ANIMATED BAT
The five-time emmy-winning Batman: The Animated Series (BTAS) debuted in September of 1992; it ran on FOX 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, airing only on Saturday, adding only 15 new episodes to the series. 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.
The series was top-notch, and fans were sad that it wouldn’t go on – but it was an excellent run. In 1997, BTAS was pulled from the FOX network. Was BTAS dead?
We were all proven wrong.
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 unpredictable 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…
SPECIAL IN THIS ISSUE
Nope, no “special” interviews this issue, but all our usual articles and features are here!
Just two weeks ago, in Issue #7, we reported that Roddy McDowall was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Today, with a heavy heart, I must report that Mr. McDowall is dead at the age of 70. He died on Oct. 3, 1998 – a mere month after he was diagnosed with the disease. Let us all have a moment of silence to remember this wonderful man, and actor.
*MOMENT OF SILENCE*
Mr. McDowall, best known for his roles in the “Planet of the Apes” movies, has more recently provided voices on “Pinky & the Brain”. His Batman-ties are two-fold: He played “The Bookworm” on the 60’s series, and the Mad Hatter on “Batman: The Animated Series”. Just last weekend a Mad Hatter episode debuted, entitled “Animal Act”. Watch it – Roddy’s speeches are magnificent. His last appearance as the Mad Hatter will be on Oct 10/11, in the Superman episode, “Knight Time”.
He will not be forgotten. Rest well, Roddy. You were the best.
BATMAN:THE ANIMATED ARCHIVES
Christmas-time has come early! For all of you new BTAN readers you can now catch up on the previous newsletters! A great friend of mine has offered to hold back issues of our newsletter at her site, for all to enjoy! The site is called “The Warner Bros. Club” and features tons 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! Definitely worth bookmarking!
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.
Air date: October 10/11, 1998 (USA)
This episode, also known as “World’s Finest 2”, most definitely should be a two-parter. In this episode, Bruce Wayne is put out of commission somehow by Brainiac, so it’s up to Robin and Superman (dressed in the Bat-suit) to find him, fighting the Penguin, Riddler, Mad Hatter, Bane, and Roxy Rockett along the way. Sound like a lot for just 22 minutes? I think so, but it should be fun. Superman also finds that he likes wearing the Bat-suit TOO much, so he goes over the edge in trying to duplicate Batman’s macho behavior, and…well, you’ll have to wait and see!
‘LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT’
Air date: October 10/11, 1998 (USA)
Done in the vignette-story-telling style also seen in “Almost Got ‘Im”, this episode deals with a group of kids talking about their interpretation of Batman…one finds him as a campy hero out of the 60’s era, another finds him a dark, gritty, questionable hero in the style of Frank Miller, and by the end of the episode the group discovers he’s a combination of both. This episode is destined to be an instant classic and should be viewed, even if it means skipping your job or something…or, failing that, set the VCR!
‘GIRL’S NIGHT OUT’
Air date: October 17/18, 1998 (USA)
Written by Hilary J. Bader.
As you can tell, this episode focuses on the girls of Gotham…and Metropolis. Livewire teams up with Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy to bring Gotham to it’s knees, and only Batgirl – teamed up with Supergirl – can stop them. This episode seems like too much for just 22 minutes, so only time will tell if it’s pulled off well. The Penguin also makes an appearance. No word on whether Batman and Superman even make cameos.
WB ANIMATION SCHEDULES:
(courtesy of Brian Cruz)
The New Batman/Superman Adventures premiered this past year with ratings and critical success! KidsWB 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 September or October, so watch the SCHEDULE and NEWS section for upcoming information!
10-05-98: Superman #14 Blasts From the Past: Part I
Superman #17 Blasts From the Past: Part II
10-06-98: Batman #070 House & Garden
Superman #05 A Little Piece of Home
10-07-98: Batman #082 Lock-Up
Superman #36 Warrior Queen
10-08-98: Superman #20 Identity Crisis
Batman #090 You Scratch My Back
10-09-98: Batman #103 The Demon Within
Superman #19 Target
10-10-98: Superman #45 Knight Time——————NEW!!!
Batman #104 Legends of the Dark Knight—NEW!!!
10-12-98: Batman #94 Love Is A Croc
Superman #28 Father’s Day
10-13-98: Superman #04 Fun And Games
Batman #79 Riddler’s Reform
10-14-98: Batman #80 Second Chance
Batman #81 Harley’s Holiday
10-15-98: Superman #15 Ghost In The Machine
Batman #98 Mean Seasons
10-16-98: Superman #33 Apokolips Now (Pt. 1)
Superman #35 Apokolips Now (Pt. 2)
10-17-98: Superman #24 Solar Power
Batman #??? Girl’s Night Out————NEW!!!
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 Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton)
This section lets me tell you about my favorite rerun airing this week! You are not to miss this episode at all cost! Tape it if possible! All Batman and Superman episodes which have at least been shown once are eligible – but try to catch the new episodes if you can!
A LITTLE PIECE OF HOME (#05)
– Superman fights Lex Luthor, oh, but again, and discovers his one weakness – just as Luthor ALSO discovers it.
Airs Oct. 6, 1998
– Dude, pretty much ALL the episodes this week are worth watching! You won’t be disappointed by anything you see this week!
THIS WEEK’S EPISODE TO MISS:
WARRIOR QUEEN (#36)
– A warrior queen (hence the name) searches far and wide for a suitable hubby, and her eyes fall on Superman – so she does whatever she can to have him. Ugh.
Airs Oct. 7, 1998
NEXT WEEK’S EPISODE TO MISS:
FATHER’S DAY (#28)
– This is the only NOT SO GOOD episode this week. One of Darkseid’s first appearances, where his son goes out to kill Superman, to get his father’s permission. Not bad, but not great.
Airs Oct. 12, 1998
CARTOON NETWORK WB ANIMATION SCHEDULE:
“Yabba Dabba Doom”
It seems that about every month or so the schedule for Batman changes again! So please be patient. We may not be able to get the new episode schedule up in time but here’s the most current schedule for Batman:TAS on CARTOON NETWORK: It airs Monday thru Friday at 6 & 6:30pm and a midnight repeat (of the 6pm episode) Monday thru Thursday. We’ll note of any change.
10-05-98: #12 I’ve Got Batman in My Basement
#15 See No Evil
10-06-98: #13 The Cat and the Claw (Pt. 1)
#16 The Cat and the Claw (Pt. 2)
10-07-98: #19 Prophecy of Doom
#22 Joker’s Favor
10-08-98: #20 Feat of Clay (Pt. 1)
#21 Feat of Clay (Pt. 2)
Episode schedules for the Cartoon Network for any later dates were unavailable at the time of mailing this newsletter. Expect the episodes to air in episode-number order, more or less, though.
NOTE: Most of the episodes airing now on the CARTOON NETWORK won’t be airing on KidsWB for quite some time! If you want to complete your collection then get as many as these episodes on tape as possible! Just some friendly advice.
SPECIAL NOTE: “Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero” will air on November 21, 1998.
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:
Bob Evatt has now returned with more reviews of new BTAS episodes! Also, seeing how this issue of BTAN is dedicated to Roddy McDowall, I thought it would be fitting to also include MY review of the most recent Mad Hatter episode, “Animal Act”.
Story by Steve Gerber.
Written by Joe R. Lansdale.
Directed by Dan Riba.
Animation by Dong Yang
Originally aired on Sept. 19, 1998
“Holy cow!” – Robin
“You had to say it.” -Batgirl, during the mutant cow rampage.
Farmer Brown was a simple man with a big dream–to help feed the world better by genetically engineering larger livestock. But after one of his giant sheep goes on a rampage at the Gotham Agricultural Expo, he is ordered by the courts to shut his project down. Embittered, Farmer Brown has now developed a new dream–to destroy Gotham City with monstrous livestock.
This episode was just about as silly as the synopsis makes it sound. It’s a pretty generic “mad scientist creates mutant creatures” story, only the mad scientist is a farmer and his creatures are barnyard animals. I’ll admit that Farmer Brown’s country mannerisms were nicely done, making him a fairly interesting character (though his “revenge on Gotham” motivation was weak). And his barn with the painted blue sky was an interesting touch. Unfortunately, his creatures are over the top. They look genuinely threatening (particularly the vulture-chickens), but the viewer can never forget the fact that Batman and company are fighting farm animals, which completely ruins any drama and sense of danger. For example, the scene where Bullock is running away from the mutant hog in the pigpen should have invoked a feeling of terror, since he is running for his life. Instead, it just seems ridiculous.
In fact, the serious and the ridiculous are constantly at war with one another in this episode, which distracts the viewer from the story, which is weak to begin with. However, there is a way to enjoy this episode. Pretend that this isn’t a Batman story, but a horribly done B-movie. Yes, this is one of those films that is so badly done that, if you don’t take it seriously, can be oddly amusing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s badly done.
(THIS review by Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton)
Written by Hilary J. Bader
Directed by Curt Geda
Animation by Dong Yang
Original air date: September 26, 1998
My rating: ***
The episode begins on a rooftop where Batman and Robin are searching the city for crime. Nightwing shows up out of the blue, to help out. This first scene was actually quite cool – I liked Batman and Nightwing’s exchanged vocabulary here…and seeing the old Robin and the new Robin side by side is kinda cool.
Soon after, the dynamic trio sees a man climbing a radio tower. Something is obviously awry, so they all go to investigate. After a short rooftop chase, Nightwing catches up with the perpetrator, only to discover it’s a gorilla – in fact, a gorilla he recognizes from Haley’s Circus (where he worked as a child, where his parents were killed). What an intriguing development…
The following day, Dick and Tim visit Haley’s circus, which is currently in Gotham. After exchanging greetings with various performers and being harassed by one of the clowns, Dick runs into an old friend of his – Miranda, who trains and looks after all the animals. She denies the fact that the gorilla, Peaches, was out of her cage the previous night.
That night, Batman meets Nightwing in his loft just as a burglary is in process; two bears have broken into a car manufacturing plant, stealing microchips and such. Batman and Nightwing show up, and, keeping animal-rights-activists in their minds, find a humane way to stop the bears and save the day.
The bears are returned to Haley’s Circus. After some time passes, the clown at the circus sneaks into the cages and pulls two microchips out from the back of the bears’ heads; Miranda catches him, only to discover that the clown is none other than the Mad Hatter.
I won’t spoil the ending, but I must say that, on the whole, this episode is a definite crowd-pleaser. This is a definite for any fan of Nightwing, who receives excellent treatment by Bader, just as in the “Lost Years” comics. Batman and Robin’s interaction with Nightwing is equally excellent – you can still feel the animosity Nightwing has towards Bruce in many of the scenes they share together. The Mad Hatter also receives good treatment…he looks a lot more like his old design (aside from colour of his attire and height) than he did in “Over the Edge”. As always, Roddy McDowall gives us an excellent and memorable vocal performance as the Hatter.
I know I’m in edgy territory here, but I just hope that this isn’t Roddy’s last BTAS appearance. He is due to be in the upcoming “Knight Time” STAS episode, but that’s it. This episode was good, but certainly did not compare to other Hatter episodes like “Mad as a Hatter” and “The Worry Men”. Everyone here receives great treatment, but, by far, this episode is geared towards Nightwing fans. The re-visiting scenes to Haley’s Circus are a nice touch (since “Robin’s Reckoning” I don’t even remember hearing the circus be mentioned), and, as already mentioned, the scenes with Batman and Nightwing working together (which is a questionable word) are terrific.
And the animation isn’t that bad, either. Dong Yang has churned out pretty average animation in the new style in episodes like “Critters” and “Cold Comfort”, but this episode flows very smoothly – and is almost as good as Dong Yang’s best animated episode, “Second Chance”. We can also see that Curt Geda’s directing skills have improved quite a bit in these past 12 months…last year at this time, he gave us the average “Sins of the Father” – compare that episode to this one – no comparison!!!
A must see. Plain and simple.
SPECIAL ARTICLE IN THIS ISSUE #1:
“BATMAN BEYOND PREVIEW”
It’s fifty years from now and there is no Dark Knight in Gotham until a tragic car accident changes the life of one boy. Who? Adolescent Terry McGinnis. He’s a high school kid with problems, which are about to get worse… And where is Bruce Wayne in Gotham’s future? Nobody knows…until “Batman Beyond”, a NEW animated Batman series (brought to you by the creative teams behind “Batman” and “Superman”) debuts this November! Check out this exclusive sneek peak:
Ed Wiser (firstname.lastname@example.org)
When the Batman Beyond series was announced most fans believed that the new series would hurt TNABS…”We are getting too few shows and they are to far apart!” was the common reply to the revived series this past fall. Would the creative team have enough time and creative energy to do three quality weekly cartoon series? These questions and concerns are and will be a cause of concern over the course of the next year.
As a long time fan of BTAS I rejoiced when the new shows started appearing last fall. We had a good group of shows over the course of this year. Some great, matching the best of the original series and in some cases surpassing them. I, like many other fans, enjoyed the new designs for the show. The sleeker designs fit with the new show’s direction and made for some great animation.
Recently at the San Diego Comic Con, Paul Dini, Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett showed the Model sheets and spoke for the first time with fans of BTAS about Batman Beyond. As a regular reader of Toymania News (//www.toymania.com/news/), I was able to keep track of the goings-on in San Diego. A transcript of Paul, Bruce and Alan’s discussion was posted which included model sheets of some of the characters from the new show (//www.toymania.com/sdcc98/batmanbeyond.shtml). The Mania web site also posted an article highlighting their discussion (//www.mania.com/columns/amhh/amhh081498.html).
Responses to the new show and Model sheets drew several positive reviews on internet message boards. The new designs by Bruce Timm are spectacular! The Batmobile is sleek and hovers similar to the landspeeder from Star Wars. Villains like the Jokerz Gang, Inque, Royal Flush gang and Derek Powers are drawn with a nod to the past, but with a futuristic twist that Bruce (Timm, not Wayne) pulls off just right.
One concern that most fans had was the comment that the new shows where to be aimed at younger viewers. “Who wants to see a show where Batman is toned down to be a PC caped crusader to keep from upsetting anyone” most fans groused. Perhaps Bruce Wayne’s financial status and reason for no longer fighting crime in the new show illustrates this fact best.
Bruce Wayne had a heart attack when trying out a new modified Bat-suit.
How does a hero who is healthier than most Olympic athletes have a heart attack? Also, when have you ever heard of a billionaire loosing all his wealth due to some shady business dealings? I guess grim and gritty vigilante by night and wealthy playboy by day would not fit in to a new PC revision of the Batman myth. These two twists framing the new series could only be pulled off with Paul Dini writing the show. Most fans of BTAS agree that Paul has written some of the best Batman stories ever done outside of the comics realm. To me, the thought of Paul playing god with a whole new Batman world is exciting. Fortunately, the creators of BTAS have a good feel for Batman storytelling. I think that we will be in for a real treat this fall with not only a bunch of great new BTAS and STAS shows, but a view to the future of Batman’s world in Batman Beyond.
This column will be dedicated to examining Batman Beyond and related topics. I am anxious to hear what you fans (and non-fans) of BTAS and Batman have to say about this Else-Worlds style view of the future of the Batman legend. Send your comments, questions and concerns to me at email@example.com and we’ll address them in this column.
To see a great pic of BATMAN BEYOND check out this URL (thanx to Cinscape Online)
Coming In November…
(by Laura Hysert, aka “Phoenix”)
Sadly, Laura was unable to submit an editorial this week, but she will be back in full-force in time for the next newsletter! (We’ll all miss her though! *SIGH*)
BATMAN:THE ANIMATED TRIVIA
(by Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton)
This is one of my favourite sections, where I get to boggle the minds of all our readers! *EVIL LAUGH* This trivia is all animated-related in some form, and can deal with ANY aspect of the show or comics. Some are easy, some are not. Now have fun – let’s see how well you do! Answers are provided beneath the “Animated Batman/Superman Sites” section.
27. Which of the following characters on BTAS have NOT been voiced by more than one voice actor?
A: THE SCARECROW
B: KILLER CROC
28. Which of the following actors from the 60’s “Batman” show have provided a voice for BTAS?
A: ADAM WEST (Batman)
B: BURT WARD (Robin)
C: CESAR ROMERO (Joker)
D: BURGESS MEREDITH (Penguin)
E: ALAN NAPIER (Alfred)
29. Which of the following actors from BTAS have also appeared in a live-action BATMAN movie?
A: RICHARD MOLL (Two-Face)
B: ARLEEN SORKIN (Harley Quinn)
C: JOHN GLOVER (Riddler)
D: ED BEGLEY, JR. (Charlie Collins)
E: ADRIENNE BARBEAU (Catwoman)
30. Which two of these characters have voice actors who ALSO appeared in “Titanic”?
A: THE PENGUIN
B: THE RIDDLER
C: RA’S AL GHUL
D: ROBIN/NIGHTWING (Dick Grayson, not Tim Drake)
E: THE DEMON
This column is just basic humor. Nothing special to it, it’s just here to make you laugh a bit before we delve into serious things (yeah, like grown men in tights!). Enjoy!
However, this week, Gookie was unable to submit a new humour column, but will return in the next issue! Check out the BTAN Archives at the following address, and go to Issue #7 to read last issue’s humour column – it’s great!
* First off, I must apologize to Kelly Tindall for not crediting her with two of the “little facts” in the last issue. Sorry about that, Ms. Tindall – a thousand apologies! She has also supplied the first two “little facts” for the list in this issue:
KELLY: 1) In “You Scratch My Back”, Nightwing uncovers a statue that bears a striking resemblance to the Scarecrow’s brand new skull-face mask.
KELLY: 2) In “Torch Song”, Batman’s gun (which he uses to put out Firefly’s fires near the end) has the same design as Mr. Freeze’s original gun, from “Heart of Ice”, “Deep Freeze”, and “Sub-Zero”. I prefer to think of it AS the original!
3) Bruce Timm, producer of the series, has actually done some voices for the series, too! He was “The Mad Bomber” – the toy-obsessed child – in the episode, “Beware the Gray Ghost”.
4) Also, in “Beware the Gray Ghost”, Adam West (who played Batman in the 60’s series) played the part of Simon Trent/The Gray Ghost.
5) “Melrose Place” heart-throb Heather Locklear has also provided a voice for BTAS. She played the role of “Lisa” in the episode, “Prophecy of Doom”.
6) Everyone probably knows this already, but Lois Lane and Andrea Beaumont are both voiced by the same woman – Dana Delaney!
ANIMATED NEWS AND RUMORS
-Also it looks like BATMAN:THE ANIMATED MOVIE #3 is a definite YES!(woohoo!) – Boyd Kirkland says that there are no potential plot outlines available just yet.
-“Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero” will air on the CARTOON NETWORK on November 21, 1998.
-“Batman: Mask of the Phantasm” will likely air on Kids WB sometime this season – no exact date has been given, yet.
– BATMAN: ANIMATED, Written by Paul Dini and Chip Kidd, was due to hit stores back on Sept. 23, but, alas, is not on schedule. It’s tentative release date is now October, so expect to see it popping up everywhere within the next four weeks! Reserve your copy NOW!
– Harley Quinn is rumored to make a major comeback in “Batman: Gotham Adventures” within 5 months, where she finally writes her tell-all book about the Joker and other Arkham inmates! There’s also a BIG surprise in store…but we’re not saying what it is!
-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)
-Rumors still seem to be flying about the Spoiler becoming Batgirl #2…but now with her baby? Hmmm…
-Here’s a recap of all the known upcoming episodes this season (sorry, no Superman episodes were available):
-Look for the return of Zatanna and Bane, plus the Scarecrow will be returning to terrify our heroes! 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 Rogues 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
-Brendan Frasier (who played George in “George of the Jungle”) is the latest name being tossed around for playing Batman in the next live-action movie. George Clooney is still tied to the project, so unless we hear he’s been let go (which would be BIG news), he’s still the front-runner for the role, again.
– 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 received a rushed job. *CROSSES FINGERS*
BATMAN: THE ANIMATED FIGURES
(by Kevin Smith)
THE FINAL SERIES OF “OLD STYLE” BTAS FIGURES (WAVE SIX)
After Crime Squad (Wave 5) was released (yawn) the D.U.O. Force line came out. Again, we got swamped with repaints, but this time a Mr. Freeze repaint was released. Although I didn’t buy him, I thought it was good, since all the people who weren’t able to catch him the first time around could buy this one. Instead of his chest being gray, this new figure’s chest was metallic silver and silver boots. The light purple rings on his arms and wrists were painted light blue. His back pack acted as a weapon launcher. Overall, he looked pretty good.
A Riddler repaint came out too, which I also did not get. He had black pants and a green blazer that had less blue in it than his first “animated” figure. He came with a question-mark contraption that attached to his back and was a helicopter pack.
The saving grace of D.U.O. Force was Wind Blitz Batgirl. Finally, we got a Batgirl figure! Unfortunately, the paint scheme was so unlike her actual look, it wasn’t funny… She came with an accessory that could change from powered glider, to a sailing vehicle. I’m sure everyone did exactly what I did and bought some model paint and painted her in a correct color scheme. Mine looks great now, and I’m glad they left her cape and cowl blue. The card art is atrocious. It reminds me of the crap that came out for “Batman and Robin” the movie in the animated style.
Along with news of a new Batman show came two very great figures. The Joker (otherwise known as “Machine Gun Joker”, so it won’t be confused with his three previous BTAS figures) with machine gun and Joke-A-Matic Time bomb was an awesome edition! It was the Joker in his famous trench coat and hat, and his face was even white, and not the minty green which was always used before! The only gripe I had with his figure is that he’s missing the shadowing around his eyes. Otherwise a perfect figure, and the card art is superb.
Along with this Joker, one of the most popular characters from the show, Harley Quinn, FINALLY got her own figure. I spent the entire summer of ’97 looking for this figure, until I finally found her at the end and had to be sedated in the aisle. This was such a wonderful figure! She came with Knockout Punching Glove and Trick Pistol, which were acceptable accessories. She looks great next to the Joker or Poison Ivy. The only negative point is that she’s a little tricky to balance, but nothing a little persistence can fix. The card art is pretty good too, although she looks a little stiff.
Finally, the “Arkham Breakout Set” was released. Offered only in comic stores and on the net, this set featured repaints of the original Joker, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, the Scarecrow, Killer Croc, Clayface, Man-Bat, and the Phantasm figures. For all new toy-collectors, this set was a must, because it was far easier (and cheaper) to buy this set of figures instead of searching for these same figures separately.
And this wraps up the final installment of “Batman: The Animated Figures”, featuring the old style. Next issue we start reviewing the figures in “The New Batman Adventures” series’ – be there!!!
(by Aaron Maurer)
ISSUE: “(Almost) The World’s Finest Team” (#25)
WRITTEN BY: Mark Millar
PENCILED BY: Mike Manley
INKED BY: Terry Austin
ISSUED: September 9, 1998 (Cover date is November)
RATING: ***** (out of 5)
“I’m not going back to Arkham. That place is full of lunatics!”
–The Mad Hatter as he evades Batgirl
SUMMARY: Bruce Wayne has been kidnapped by the Mad Hatter who demands Batman’s cowl (he’s collecting rare headpieces) or he will shoot him. Nightwing is in Louisiana capturing Killer Croc, and Robin has also been captured by the Hatter. Superman responds to the Bat signal after hearing about the trouble. He tells Commissioner Gordon that Batman is out of town and that he will help out. He tracks down Batgirl and assists her in the capture of some of the hatter’s goons, but none of them will tell where the hatter is. They find a man who is a ‘real estate’ agent to many criminals after they break out. He says that the Hatter didn’t need his help and would be in the last place anyone would look for him. Batgirl and Superman figure out that the place is the police headquarters, but the Mad Hatter creates a diversion; he sends a mind-controlled Robin to take a ride in the Batwing. While Superman stops Robin, Batgirl ends the hatter’s games by knocking of his hat with a batarang. The Mad Hatter retreats into the sewer, but Superman lures him out by offering him Batman’s cowl (he’d been to the Batcave…).
Later, Batman thanks Superman, and the latter takes off for Metropolis.
COMMENTS: As a fan of the Mad Hatter’s as well as the Superman animated series, I really enjoyed this issue. I thought the story was engaging and original and that the art was very well done. The coloring of this issue was also excellent. Even if you don’t like Superman, I highly recommend this issue.
BOTTOM LINE: A great issue that is just as fantastic as any issue of Batman: Gotham Adventures or episode of The New Batman Adventures.
This section gives a little bit more in-depth 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 #7
Dagger Dixon (B&RA#14), who used to work with Tim Drake’s father, encounters Robin and instantly realizes who is under the mask. The Penguin also appears.
NEXT MONTH:In issue #8 we see Batman and Batgirl on the trail of the “League of Assassins”! Wooohaa!
SUPERMAN ADVENTURES #26
In stores on ???
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!
Comics released on
(All prices are the American cover price)
BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES #7 ($1.99)
BATMAN / JUDGE DREDD: DIE LAUGHING #1 ($4.95)
BATMAN / JUDGE DREDD ($4.95-$5.95)
BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT #80 / AZREAL: AGENT OF THE BAT #47 ($3.95)
BATMAN: SWORD OF AZRAEL TP ($9.95)
LEGENDS OF THE DC UNIVERSE 3D GALLERY #1 ($2.95)
SECRET ORIGINS 80-PAGE GIANT #1 ($4.95)
YOUNG JUSTICE #3 ($2.50)
BATMAN: ANIMATED – To be released in October sometime.
NOTE: Any later October release dates were not available to us at the
publication of this newsletter.
COVERING THE BASICS…
This sections helps you, the reader, find the best on the newsstand or comic shop. The covers below are covershots for BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES, SUPERMAN ADVENTURES, and/or related comic book/book merchandise. I hope this section makes it easier for you to find true quality. The covers are provided by DC CURRENTS, and TOON ZONE. Any other source will be given their dues.
BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES #8
BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES #9
SUPERMAN ADVENTURES #26
no cover at present time available
SUPERMAN ADVENTURES #27
no cover at present time available
BATMAN: ANIMATED (new and improved pic!)
SITE WORTH CHECKING OUT
(We have two this time around!)
1st UNOFFICIAL JUNIOR-PRESS-STRIP FAN PAGE
(The Online Dutch Comic Database)
This site is a god-send for any Dutch comic fans! This site catalogues ALL Dutch versions of our favourite comic book heroes, neatly in a nice little package – VERY easy to use! I loved it!
Check them both out! You won’t regret it! It might be awhile before this section is updated but stay tuned!
ANIMATED BATMAN/SUPERMAN SITES:
THE NEW BATMAN/SUPERMAN ADVENTURES
BATMAN:THE ANIMATED SERIES
TWO-FACE’S TOWER OF TRANQUILITY AND TERROR
BRIAN CRUZ’ WB CARTOON PAGE
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 because 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 recommend all who have seen this show to check out this site:
ANSWERS TO THE TRIVIA
Answer to #27: ‘C’
Answer to #28: ‘A’
Answer to #29: ‘C, D’
Answer to #30: ‘C, 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 sue and homeless within a year so please tell me.
LIKE WHAT YA SEE? WANNA SUBSCRIBE? HERE’S HOW!!!
Now that this newsletter is archived at THE WBC HOMEPAGE, those who haven’t subscribed have been asking how to do so. Well here it is for those who would like to subscribe:
To subscription requests email firstname.lastname@example.org and that’s all ya do. Just put ‘subscribe’ and your email address in the email message.
A little cash donation would be appreciated, but it’s not obligatory.
Also if you want to ask question about BATMAN/SUPERMAN or this newsletter then please send those as well! WE will address them in the newsletter, or to you directly.
Thank you for your time, and thanks for reading!
TO ALL GOOD THINGS…
…there must be an end. Our newest installment of the newsletter
has now been completed. We would like to thank the endless
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
AIR DATE SCHEDULES: Brian Cruz
BTAS REVIEWS: Bob Evatt
EDITORIAL: Laura Hysert
COMIC REVIEWS: Aaron Maurer
TOY REVIEW: Kevin Smith
“BATMAN BEYOND” ARTICLE: Ed Wiser
“BTAN ARCHIVES” MODERATOR: Eileen Delgadillo
TRIVIA: Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
PROMOTIONS AND JUST GETTIN’ THE WORD AROUND: Brian Cruz, Brian Davis,
THOSE WHO FILL IN FOR OTHERS WHEN THEY FOUL UP:-P Tim “TWO-FACE”
BATMAN CREATED BY: Bob Kane (who else?)
Rest well, Roddy.