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Review: The Batman | Season 5 (2007-2008) My Reviews 22 MAR 2012

The final 13 episodes of what truly is an enjoyable animated series featuring everyone’s favourite vigilante dressed up as a bat, season 5 departs in a big way from what has up until now been a very Batman-centred universe, and instead introduces a number of different heroes from the DC universe Justice League line-up, turning this outing into very much a “Brave and the Bold” season!

Of course this means character and world development is out of the window in favour of super-powered team-ups and big brawls, which is not really that much of a drawback when you consider just how awesome and action-packed these resulting episodes actually are!

Interestingly enough, all of a sudden mainstays of the previous three seasons, Commissioner Gordon and Batgirl get sidelined to cameo appearances, with the Bat line-up settling into a more traditional Batman and Robin setup for just about the whole run.

In terms of the heroes we get to see on screen, we start things off with Superman, before being followed by the likes of Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, The Flash and Hawkman, never mind the entire Justice League who show up for the final story arc! Of course, the injection of new heroes comes with new villains for Bruce to tackle, including the likes of Lex Luthor, Mercy Graves, Metallo, Count Vertigo, The Wrath, Shadow Thief, Sinestro, Mirror Master, and the Terrible Trio (who actually aren’t all that terrible after all).

As per usual, Jeff Matsuda’s unique character design influence comes across strongly in the animated visuals, leaving us with a simple but extremely pleasing to the eye visual adventure that is jam-packed with action, intrigue, and of course a laugh or two, courtesy of course from a stellar panel of writers which includes the likes of Alan Burnett, Stan Berkowitz and Alexx van Dyne.

Overall this is a great looking show with an excellent voice cast (though I still lament the loss of the first season’s theme music from U2’s The Edge), backed by enjoyable and action-packed stories that bring the five year long franchise to a satisfying conclusion.

A lot lighter in tone than season 1 (a trend that happened across the seasons), season 5 of The Batman will definitely entertain all the boys, plus their comic book enjoying dads! :)

(Not so sure about the girls though – wifey didn’t really enjoy the last couple of seasons of the show. Too silly for her she said…)

(Complete Viewing)

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Batman_%28TV_series%29

Review: The Batman (Season 4) Animation | My Reviews 29 DEC 2011

After three very solid seasons before it, the hit animated television series featuring everyone’s favourite caped crusader is back, and this time around it brings even more to the table.

With the Teen Titans show finally having closed its curtains, finally we get Robin added into the mix, and the decision is made to bring in a very young Robin, far younger than Batgirl who was introduced last season. One can only assume that the decision around this was twofold, one to carry on from where Teen Titans left off and try and poach those fans into coming over to this show, or two, try and broaden the market of kids actually watching the series.

Anyway, the addition of the young daredevil Dick Grayson brings even more light hearted moments to the show, and the childish and fun interactions between Batgirl and Robin adds another enjoyable dimension to the series, following the same “pulling back a little from the overwhelming dark” pattern that was first established by the third season when the decision to add Barbara and use her a bit like a comedic foil was carried out.

Nevertheless, despite this very apparent lightening of the tone of the show as a whole, Batman continues his further descent into the darkness, visibly maturing as he becomes even more confident and assured in his abilities as a vigilante, as well as in his role of being team leader to his young recruits.

As with the other seasons of the series, this season packs in 13 very cleverly written and action packed stories, though it still doesn’t feature an overarching storyline and instead opts to go the villain of the week approach. However, this series does pack in some brilliantly executed and pretty heavy stories, making it one again a thoroughly engaging and enjoyable watch from start to finish.

There are a couple of new characters thrown into the mix, and as such Jeff Matsuda once again manages to come up with some fantastic character designs, the result of which is a fairly stylized but well animated television show that uses its simple line approach to its fullest and provides the view with some brilliantly choreographed and then executed fight sequences!

Once again the voice artist team is top notch with Rino Romano leading the way as Batman/Bruce Wayne, backed up by a great soundtrack and theme music.

In summary, The Batman season 4 contains some of the strongest stories yet (like Artifacts and Seconds for example), features excellent action sequences with loads of new gadgets as per usual, and successfully expands on what is already a winning franchise – with the added bonus of some more than normal quips and light heartedness to make for an all around enjoyable and engaging show.

In other words, there is simply no way that comic book fans won’t be able to enjoy this one! :)

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Batman_%28TV_series%29

Comic Book Art: Nightwing (post reboot) by Michel Mulipola Comic Book Art | Comic Books 20 DEC 2011

Samoan comic book artist (and professional wrestler to boot!) Michel Mulipola, put out this great piece showing off the new DC Comic’s Nightwing character (in other words, post their big reboot), featuring the now armoured red and black fighting suit which replaces the old blue and black garb we were so used to seeing Dick Grayson appear in over the years.

Very simple pencils following by very simple, if present at all, lines makes for a stunningly vivid piece of art. Also, note the subtle bit of symbolism in the sky.

Beautiful, just plain beautiful.

Review: Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (1998) Animation | My Reviews 12 MAY 2011

A thoroughly enjoyable film, even if the main stars are more Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon than the Batman!

It tells the story of Mr. Freeze, who is now eking out an existence in the Artic alongside the cryogenically preserved body of his wife. An unfortunate encounter ruptures his wife’s preservation tank and so Mr. Freeze is forced to return to Gotham in a hurry, in order to try and save his wife’s life. The end result? The need for an emergency full organ transplant operation, a procedure which unfortunately will kill the donor.

The only problem is, his wife has a very rare blood type, one with very few matches, though it turns out that there is a potential close by – one Barbara Gordon… daughter of police commissioner Gordon and someone who is perhaps better known as Batgirl to Gotham’s many street thugs.

What follows is a action-packed kidnap chase from Dick Grayson (Robin), a desperate search to find Barbara before it’s too late, a final climatic battle between the plucky Batgirl and the emotionless Mr. Freeze and of course a thrilling escape from certain fiery death to end it all off!

A thoroughly engrossing and well written story that keeps you guessing for the most part, and at the same time features plenty of fisticuffs and action for those viewers more easily appeased, complemented by some great animation and visuals, all styled from the same book as the immensely popular Batman: The Animated Series television show.

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