The Batman—Season 1

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6.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Improves over the course of the season

Makes you wish for Batman: The Animated Series

 
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The Bat patrols the night!

For three years, the Batman has been waging a secret war against crime in Gotham City.  The police deny his existence but have a Ethan Bennett and the newly reassigned Ellen Yin out to find him.  Things are changing in Gotham.  The low crime-rate and everyday thugs are turning into supervillains like the Joker, the Penguin, and Bane.  Can Batman stop the rising crime or is he the cause of it?

The Batman—Season 1 aired from September 11, 2004 to May 7, 2005.  The series aired on Saturday mornings on the Kids’ WB and served as the basis for the spin-off comic book The Batman Strikes produced by DC Comics.  It won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Sound Editing with nominations for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program, Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition, and Outstanding Performance in an Animated Program for Kevin Michael Richardson’s role as the Joker.

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Apparently the moon is made of green cheese!

I loved, loved Batman:  The Animated Series and even liked Batman Beyond.  I love the concept of the Animated DC Universe and that all the shows are connected…which makes me sad when DC relaunches series like The Batman.  With misgivings, I decided to check it out.  It does have problems, but it also does get better.

The series starts out pretty weak.  It is a bit of an origin series with Batman meeting his biggest enemies for the first time after battling small-time thugs for three years.  The show feels like Batman:  The Animated Series…Lite.  The show isn’t as edgy or as dangerous.  I will say however that the show does improve through the course of the season.  The underdeveloped and paper-thin characters introduced throughout the season start to take shape and begin to become more rounded.  By the end of the season, I actually was rather hooked.

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Introducing the psychedelic Joker!

The show has more of a “kiddy” feel to it and the art follows suit.  I can’t say I like it.  The colors and the style of the film are really in your face and more over the top than the previous Batman series.  I don’t like the character designs (especially the Joker who looks “wacky” versus scary-cool).

The Batman shows potential this season though the season itself is a rather mixed bag.  Batman:  The Animated Series had the luxury of a long syndicated season and more time for development.  The Batman doesn’t get this opportunity so with only thirteen episode seasons, it has a long road ahead of it to come close to matching other DC Animated entries.

The Batman—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide:

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“The Bat in the Belfry”

1.1       The Bat in the Belfry (Episode 1) Airdate:  09/11/04

Bruce Wayne has been waging a war against crime as the Batman for three years.  While the police continue to downplay his existence, Bruce’s friend Detective Ethan Bennett and Ethan’s new partner Ellen Yin have been assigned to bring him in.  As Bruce Wayne tries to balance his life as a playboy and his secret life as a vigilante, he learns that a new threat has come to Gotham in the form of insane criminal called the Joker.

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“Traction”

1.2       Traction (Episode 2) Airdate:  09/18/04

Gotham’s mob has called in help to deal with the Batman…and it has taken the form of Bane.  Facing off against Bane, Batman finds himself overwhelmed and broken.  Bane terrorizes the city and Bruce and Alfred consider the Batman’s future.

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“The Call of the Cobblepot”

1.3       Call of the Cobblepot (Episode 3) Airdate:  09/25/04

A series of robberies by birds leads Batman to investigate an international thief.  When Oswald Cobblepot comes to a gala at Wayne Manor, Alfred begins to wonder if the former Pennyworth employer could be behind the robberies.

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“The Man Who Would Be Bat”

1.4       The Man Who Would Be Bat (Episode 4) Airdate:  10/02/04

Bats lead Ethan and Ellen to Wayne Enterprises where they discover Kirk Langstrom working on a bat serum.  With the police investigating, Bruce decides to investigate his scientist himself…and uncovers Kirk has plans to become a monster to rival Batman.

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“The Big Chill”

1.5       The Big Chill (Episode 5) Airdate:  10/30/04

The arrival of a super-villain calling himself Mr. Freeze cause Bruce to rethink his decision to be Batman when he learns Batman is responsible for his crimewave.

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“The Cat and the Bat”

1.6       The Cat and the Bat (Episode 6) Airdate:  11/06/04

A burglar calling herself Catwoman creates problems for the Batman when police question if there is a connection between them.  When Catwoman steals Batman’s utility belt, Batman must find her…but the Yakuza is also searching for Catwoman!

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“The Big Heat”

1.7       The Big Heart (Episode 7) Airdate:  11/13/04

As Bruce tries to maintain Wayne Industry’s sponsorship of a cause important to his father, he faces new danger from a pyromaniac villain called Firefly.

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“Q&A”

1.8       Q&A (Episode 8) Airdate:  11/20/04

Someone is humiliating and kidnapping respected citizens in Gotham.  When Batman ties it all to an old cancelled quiz show, he discover someone named the Cluemaster has a grudge that he intends to act out.

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“The Big Dummy”

1.9       The Big Dummy (Episode 9) Airdate:  11/27/04

As Alfred tries to encourage Bruce to date, the Batman finds himself facing off against a new criminal mastermind named the Ventriloquist.

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“Topsy-Turvy”

1.10     Topsy Turvy (Episode 10) Airdate:  02/05/05

The Joker is on the loose again…or is he?  As the Batman investigates the escape, he could be walking into a trap, and Ethan and Ellen could pay the price.

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“Bird of Prey”

1.11     Bird of Prey (Episode 11) Airdate:  02/12/05

Bruce Wayne is forced to do an all-out expose on himself to keep the press off his trail as the Batman.  Unfortunately, the Penguin is back and is plotting revenge for Batman and Alfred.

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“The Rubberface of Comedy”

1.12     The Rubberface of Comedy (Episode 12) Airdate:  04/30/05

The police are declaring war on all criminals and vigilantes…which includes the Batman!  Ellen and Ethan have orders to bring in the Joker and Bruce realizes that the danger could mean that he needs to reveal his Batman identity to Ethan.

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“The Clayface of Tragedy”

1.13     The Clayface of Tragedy (Episode 13) Airdate:  05/07/05

The Joker’s gas has altered Ethan turning him into a monster called Clayface.  Batman and Ellen must track down Ethan and stop him from doing something he will live to regret.

Related Links:

The Batman—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The Batman—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The Batman vs. Dracula (2005)

 

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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