Absolutely fantastic animated television, keeping alive the awesome work laid out in seasons 1 and 2, and more importantly, bringing even more to the table with season 3. If you enjoyed the first two seasons of the Jeff Matsuda designed, action packed The Batman television series, then you can sit back happily in the knowledge that you’ll absolutely love season 3! (And even if you haven’t seen the first two seasons, you’ll still enjoy it, so no worries there either)
With season 3 we now have a Batman who has been at it a bit longer than the original season, meaning a more assured Batman, an even bigger arsenal of weapons, greater police trust and of course even bigger capers from his ever increasing Rogue Gallery, this time being padded with some new faces like Poison Ivy, Gearhead and Toymaker. (Of course, the regulars like Penguin and Joker are still thrown in there, so you don’t have to worry about that).
However, the element which elevates this season even higher than the first two is the introduction of Barbara Gordon as Batgirl, the young, tenacious and more importantly, unwanted and unasked sidekick who slowly manages to worm her way into Batman’s crime fighting world, and in the process inject some light-heartedness into what was threatening to become a very dark show (even if it was known for including puns and one-liners before!).
(You might be wondering why Batgirl before Robin, but thanks to the legalities around him appearing in Teen Titans which was airing around the same time… well you get the picture.)
Although the series still doesn’t feature an overarching storyline structure and pretty much sticks to the villain a week format, at least it maintains its own continuity and events from previous episodes have consequences in the subsequent episodes. The writing remains as fresh as always, meaning capers which are bound to spring a surprise or two on you, and the action, adventure and witty banter are top class as per usual.
Jeff Matsuda continues to excite with his distinctive character designs which dictates the cartoony but very stylized look of the show, and the animation is fluid, colorful and well presented, even if it follows the model of simple is better.
And while the entire voice cast does a great job of bringing their respective characters alive, it must be mentioned that Rino Romano continues his excellent work as Batman/Bruce Wayne, and newcomer Danielle Judovits also does a fantastic job at capturing the tone of the youthful Barbara Gordon/Batgirl. In-episode music remains top notch and although the theme music we’ve enjoyed up until now in the form of The Edge’s Batman track has been replaced, the lighter 1960s-esque theme does a good job of announcing the slightly lighter tone of the new show.
Overall, it is very difficult not to like The Batman. The animation is unique and engaging despite its simple, cartoony lines, the action if phenomenal with some well written episodes, the antagonist characters are all appealing in their redesigns and rewrites, and the introduction of Batgirl opens up the franchise to even more viewers by making it a little more accessible to girls. Thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining and a definite recommendation to anyone who enjoys their animated television or just cape and cowl adventures in general!
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Batman_%28TV_series%29#Season_3