BatmanThere is a new bat in town and she’s wreaking havoc amongst Gotham’s criminal element – the only problem is that she isn’t associated with the real Batman or even Bruce Wayne in any way whatsoever.

Her methods increasingly violent and with scant regard for human life, it is up to Batman to try and figure out her identity and stop her before things get to far out of hand and she ends up hurting him and his identity in the process. However, suspects as to her identity are plenty and it is going to take some time to solve this mystery, time that Batman and the GCPD may just not have available to them – but time that playboy billionaire Bruce Wayne might.

Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman is a 2004, straight to DVD, animated film based on the DC Comics character Batman and is the third film set in the same universe as Batman: The Animated Series. The movie is written by long time Batman Animated scribes Alan Burnett and Michael Reaves and is directed by Curt Geda.

On the story front, Alan Burnett crafts a multi-layered story that happens to build up quite a nice mystery that keeps the details nicely hidden right until the end of the movie where everything finally gets revealed. As a viewer you are kept on the edge of your seat trying to guess what is going to happen and at the same time you get entertained as Batman presses on to solve the mystery surrounding the identity of Batwoman while Batwoman continues her crusade against villainy and the team-up of Penguin, Thorne and Carlton Duquesne try their best to stay ahead of the vigilante pair in order to get their weapons shipped off before things go down the toilet.

Combined in with all these story elements is a hint of romance for Bruce Wayne and this adds a further element to what is already quite a, enjoyable story. And if all of the above still isn’t enough, all the trademark action, quips, gadgets and adventure is stuffed in as well, resulting in what can only be described as a thoroughly entertaining movie for both young and old alike.

Visually, Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman sticks very closely to the overly simplified, extremely stylish look that was first made famous in the Batman: The Animated Series cartoon and then refined over the years as the various DC Animated Universe series’ took off. The look carries extremely simple lines that are often more angular than not and combine with simple colour palettes to produce a very clear and pleasing on the eye image that gets the job done and gets it done well.

The animation itself is very smooth and the choreography, particularly the fighting scenes, all look pretty spectacular. As per usual there is a host of explosions and punch ups, and all of these end up looking pretty great on screen.

If there is one thing that has become synonymous with the animated Batman world then it is without a doubt the voice of Kevin Conroy as Batman and thank goodness this movie sticks to its source material and brings back all the familiar voices that fans have come to know and enjoy over the years. Included amongst the voice acting cast appears quite a large acting and television personality contingent, including names like Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Tara Strong, Bob Hastings, David Ogden Stiers, John Vernon, Héctor Elizondo, Kevin Michael Richardson, Kyra Sedgwick and even TV presenter Kelly Ripa herself!

Lolita Ritmantis is responsible for the score and produces some brilliant moody compositions that captures the feel of the movie perfectly, and this combines well with the great material provided by French pop and dance music artist, Cherie.

In summary, Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman is a great new addition to the line of animated Batman movies set in the Batman: The Animated Series universe. The story is well-written, intriguing and will keep you guessing all the way until the end, while the visuals capture that great, clean and ever so stylish look that the original animated series made so popular in the first place.

A more than worthy addition to any animated feature lover’s collection and it will certainly appeal to both old and young alike! :)

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