Friday, February 10, 2006

A new spin on the Dark Knight

Speaking of The Batman (which I was just a few days ago), Warner has finally released on DVD the complete first season (13 episodes) of The Batman, the spiffy cartoon series now appearing weekly on Kids’ WB. This show has gotten a very bad rap from fans of the Bruce Timm animated series from the 1990s, and I think that’s undeserved. Here’s what I wrote about The Batman in September 2004, after seeing just two episodes:

“Friends, this half-hour show kicks serious butt, and it stands proudly alongside the Timm series. It’s as dark, if not darker, than Timm’s — which is a BIG plus when you’re still fighting the old Adam West image — and although it may be too early to judge, this show seems to me every bit as good. Jeff Matsuda produces the series and serves as its art director, so the animation is top-notch. Set just three years into The Batman’s career, the program depicts a younger Dark Knight than we’re used to. The new Batmobile rocks. Characters have been intriguingly redesigned. The most radical makeover so far is the Joker, with his shocking green dreadlocks, yellow-toothed smile, and a truly chilling, high-pitched cackle. I’m looking forward to seeing Matsuda’s takes on Penguin, Two-Face, Catwoman, and others. This Batman is a keeper.”

And it’s still a keeper. If you enjoy Batman and haven’t seen these cartoons yet, take a look.


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