Shiny Shelf


The Batman

By Jim Smith on 24 September 2004

The prospect of a ‘Batman’ cartoon show in which old flappy ears isn’t voiced by Kevin Conroy is enough to give some people the shivers. Sadly the absence of the all-time great Batman is the least of your worries when watching the first episode of ‘The Batman’.

It’s “Batman: The Anime Series” essentially with an palette of colours and backgrounds seemingly drawn from Japanimation and character designs that seem to come via ‘Digimon’ or ‘Ultimate Muscle’. I must admit to hating the re-designed Joker more or less completely and the physicality of the character – he swirls, he twirls, he pirouettes and climbs up ropes using his bare feet – is just wrong. This isn’t the Joker, it’s some other character entirely. A far less interesting, well-designed and compelling one.

Normally I’m all for re-invention, I can be into contradictory versions of the same character simultaneously (I adore both the Frank Miller and Dick Sprang Batmen, for example) and I’m certainly not of the opinion that you shouldn’t try and innovate, but it’s worrying to see just how much has gone wrong with this show already. It’s scruffy-haired Pokemon player Bruce Wayne, armed with Bat-Wave (a pager) just doesn’t convince and even at twenty minutes the piece seems over-stretched.

Good points included the presentation of the GCPD as major – and interesting – players and the Norm Breyfgole influenced look of Bats himself. The music isn’t bad, either. In all, though, it’s not a patch on even the most mediocre Dini/Timm stuff. ‘The Batman’ is a major misfire.


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