The New Batman Adventures—Season 1

batman the animated series volume 4 cover episode guide list
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Solid superhero cartoon

Not quite up to the original Batman: The Animated Series

 
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There’s a new Robin in town!

The darkness in Gotham is growing, but Gotham has allies.  With a new Robin named Tim Drake, Batman patrols the city with his “Bat Family”.  Battling Mr. Freeze, Joker and Harley Quinn, the Scarecrow, and others from his rogue gallery, Batman, Nightwing, Robin, and Batgirl fight to keep Gotham safe…at any cost!

The New Batman Adventures—Season 1 ran from September 13, 1997 to July 11, 1998 in syndication.  The series was a spin-off of the acclaimed Batman:  The Animated Series and was collected under than title for retail.

Batman:  The Animated Series was awesome.  It was one of those series that lived up to comic fans’ dreams.  With such a great series, you always are wary when someone tinkers with it.  While The New Batman Adventures doesn’t tweak the system much, it doesn’t quite feel like the original series.

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Wait…does new Robin mean I’m out?!?!

The stories (for the most part) are similar to the original run.  The New Batman Adventures episodes focus more on the Bat-Family which means more Batgirl, more Robin (the new Tim Drake version), and more Nightwing.  As a result, it sometimes feels a bit unbalanced.  Though I love Batman’s supporting cast (probably more than Batman), the series feels like they should just be supporting him.  “The Holiday Knights” episode aired before Robin’s actual introduction in “Sins of the Father”.

The show continues to have a great cast of vocal actors behind Kevin Conroy’s Batman.  Mark Hamill, Ron Perlman, Marilu Henner, Tress MacNeille, Arleen Sorkin, Robert Hastings, Richard Moll, Peter Jason, Ken Berry, Adrienne Barbeau, George Dzundza, Billy Barty, Robert David Hall, Paul Williams, Barry Bostwick, Sela Ward, Laraine Newman, Tippi Hedren, Dennis Haysbert, Billy Zane, and Roddy McDowall all lend their voices this season (among others).  When you consider many other cartoon TV series (especially the daytime shows), it is quite impressive.

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Just another crazy night out with Catwoman…

Fortunately, the visuals of the show were largely untouched and continue to get a little cleaner.  There are a few character redesigns that have happened over the seasons, but the strength of the series maintains the cool, classic serial look that made the show famous.

The New Batman Adventures—Season 1 is a good continuation of the animated series.  I wish the whole show hadn’t been rebranded, but rebranding is also part of life in TV.  Despite the ability to continue virtually forever, The New Batman Adventures ended with The New Batman Adventures—Season 2.

The New Batman Adventures—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

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“Holiday Knights”

1.1       Holiday Knights Airdate:  09/13/97

It’s Christmas and Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy are out looking for fun…which means kidnapping Bruce Wayne.  Montoya and Bullock go undercover at the mall but find help from Batgirl when Clayface strikes.  Batman and Robin face Joker in a New Year’s Eve attack.

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“Sins of the Father”

1.2       Sins of the Father Airdate:  09/20/97

Tim Drake is targeted by Two-Face due to his father’s dealings.  When Batman saves him, Tim finds himself taken to Batman’s cave where he could find his dreams can come true.

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“Cold Comfort”

1.3       Cold Comfort Airdate:  10/12/97

Freeze is attacking art and museum exhibits around Gotham, and Batman, Batgirl, and Robin cannot determine why.  When Freeze targets Bruce Wayne, his secret might be revealed!

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“Never Fear”

1.4       Never Fear Airdate:  11/01/97

The Scarecrow’s back and has a new “no fear” inducing gas that causes people to engage in risky behavior…when Bruce breathes the gas, it could be problems for Batman and Robin.

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“You Scratch My Back”

1.5       You Scratch My Back Airdate:  11/15/97

Nightwing investigates going-ons at the docks and finds a surprising ally in Catwoman.  While Batgirl questions Catwoman’s motives, Nightwing vows to go it alone…but who is playing who?

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“Double Talk”

1.6       Double Talk Airdate:  11/22/97

The Ventriloquist Arnold Wesker is released from prison and placed under the watchful eye of Bruce Wayne.  As Wesker tries to break from his past the return of Scarface might be inevitable.

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“Joker’s Millions”

1.7       Joker’s Millions Airdate:  02/21/98

King Barlow wills Joker millions of dollars…which means Joker must clean up his act to get it.  Batman, Nightwing, and Batgirl question Joker’s angle but finds they might have to protect him.

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“Growing Pains”

1.8       Growing Pains Airdate:  02/28/98

Robin encounters an amnesiac runaway girl who is tied to a new supervillain in Gotham.  As Robin tries to protect her, Batman helps uncover the girl’s identity.

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“Mean Seasons”

1.9       Mean Seasons Airdate:  04/25/98

Calendar Girl is on the attack and targeting people she feels wronged her.  As Batman looks into Calendar Girl’s past, Bruce begins to question his own mortality.

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“The Demon Within”

1.10     The Demon Within Airdate:  05/09/98

Batman and Robin find themselves caught between a battle of control between the Demon and Klarion the Witch-Boy, and Batman must save Etrigan and Jason Blood before Gotham pays the price!

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“Over the Edge”

1.11     Over the Edge Airdate:  05/23/98

Batman, Robin, and Nightwing find themselves on the run after Barbara Gordon is killed by Scarecrow and Batman’s identity is revealed.  As Bruce’s life spirals out of control, Gordon takes desperate measures, but everything is not as it seems.

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“Torch Song”

1.12     Torch Song Airdate:  06/13/98

Singer Cassidy is targeted by her pyrotechnics man Garfield Lynns.  When Lynns is fired, he becomes Firefly and Batman and Batgirl must stop him before Cassidy is caught in his flames.

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“Love Is a Croc”

1.13     Love Is a Croc Airdate:  07/11/98

Baby Doll finds herself a new teammate in Killer Croc, and it is up to Batman and Batgirl to stop them before their plans gets too dangerous.

Related Links:

The New Batman Adventures—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Batman:  Mask of the Phantasm (1993)

Batman Beyond—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Batman Beyond—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Batman Beyond—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Batman Beyond:  Return of the Joker (2000)

Superman:  The Animated Series—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Justice League—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Justice League—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Justice League Unlimited—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Justice League Unlimited—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Justice League Unlimited—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

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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