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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 3) Animation | My Reviews 30 NOV 2011

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

Review: The Batman (Season 2) Animation | My Reviews 10 MAR 2011

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. 13 action packed episodes of awesome, featuring Batman and his butler take on a host of villains straight out of his classic rogue’s gallery – albeit all sporting new buffed up Jeff Matsuda designs of course. The writing is fun, the series picks up from exactly where the first one ended (and notes its continuity) and most of all, the stories all happen to be clever, usually quite witty, and filled to the brim with action and adventure (and gadgets!).

Although simple in terms of lines, the snappy designs mix well with the stylized backgrounds, making for a very polished visual spectacle to take in. Aurally, Rino Romano continues to command your attention as a very capable Bruce Wayne/Batman, as does the rest of the vocal crew. And then of course there is still that awesome musical track to absorb courtesy of The Edge (of U2 fame).

Summary. I dare you to find a kid (boy) who doesn’t like this, and more importantly, Batman fanboys of all ages will drool over this. Well worth spending your money on.

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Review: The Batman (Season 1) Animation | My Reviews 03 MAR 2011

Before he became known as the Dark Knight, Gotham’s silent and steely protector, Bruce Wayne, or rather the Batman, needed to first establish himself and his fearsome reputation amongst both Gotham’s criminals and law-abiding citizens alike. These were the early days, when the detective had just begun, still able to make mistakes, but with youth and a vast array of technology at his disposal to help him confirm his concrete legacy against the numerous villains who were just beginning to crawl out of the woodwork…

2004 saw the first explosive 13 part season of The Batman hit our screens, courtesy of Warner Bros. Animation and supervising producers Michael Goguen and Duane Capizzi.

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