In honor of Batman‘s 75th Anniversary we continue to look back at the more memorable moments of the 1966 Batman TV-series starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin.”The Joker Goes to School” and “He Meets His Match, the Grisly Ghoul” are two of the goofier paired episodes in the show’s three seasons. The Joker returns to trouble Gotham City once more, this time targeting the students of Woodrow Wilson High School. His plans involve not only recruiting high school students for his new gang the Bad Pennies but also rigging milk vending machines to give free money to students in an attempt to corrupt them into a life of crime (as, of course, one does in 60s Gotham City).
I was ecstatic when I heard Bruce Timm was returning to DC for a new animated feature. One of the creators behind Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited, the animated DCU just hasn’t been the same since his departure. When I heard the premise of the movie, however, I was more skeptical. It turns out I need not have feared that Bruce Timm might be corrupted by the grit of the New 52 that’s turned so much of DC’s comic and video output to shit. Timm certainly delivers a darker and more adult story than expected but it’s still grounded in a profound understanding and love for these characters that is far too often lacking in much of DC’s current output.
Although the word Elseworlds doesn’t appear in its title that’s exactly what Justice League: Gods and Monsters is: a story set in an alternate version of the DCU vastly different from the any we know. The result is as unexpected as it is enjoyable. It may not be classic Timm, but the man certainly hasn’t lost his knack for characters, design, or storytelling.
DC rolled out its first official Batman v Superman trailer at San Diego Comic-Con. The extended look sets up the basic conflict between the two heroes, suggest the people of Metropolis are equally miffed about Supes’ behavior in Man of Steel as the rest of us, and gives us a good look at Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), and Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens in theaters on March 25, 2016.
Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts is odd to say the least. Cobbled together from a variety of Batman storylines over the years, Batman Unlimited cherry-picks pieces of DCU continuity to offer a new (but not really fresh) take on the characters involved. Set in the not-so-distant future of Gotham City (with a definite Batman Beyond vibe) the straight-to-video movie opens with Batman (Roger Craig Smith) clad in a Beyondish red and black costume before eventually donning his more classic colors.
Created by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff way back in 1959, Bat-Mite has given the Dark Knight Detective his share of headaches over the years. An imp from the Fifth Dimension who believes himself to be Batman‘s biggest fan, Bat-Mite is usually more trouble than helpful when he shows up.
The first issue of the new six-issue mini-series sees Bat-Mite banished from the Fifth Dimension to Earth where it’s unclear, other than the power of flight, just how much of his near infinite abilities the character still possesses especially when he’s so easily captured by the villainous Doctor Trauma whose plans the imp ruined while taking the Batmobile for a spin (over a cliff).
I’ve always had a soft spot for Bat-Mite who I remember fondly co-starring on The New Adventures of Batman when I was younger (a show that hasn’t aged as well as I’d like). I have no problem with the character getting his own mini-series but this toned down version without his abilities feels like a shadow of his former self. For fans.
Spiraling out of the events of Convergence and Future’s End, the new Batman Beyond ongoing series stars Tim Drake trapped in a future where Gotham is the only known city standing after Brother Eye‘s attacks. Picking up the mantle of Batman following the death of Terry McGinnis, Tim Drake begins protecting this new future Gotham which is similar to that of the television show but different in several important ways beyond just the identity of the man behind the cowl.
The truncating of the Bat-Family’s chronology in the New 52 reboot left a glut of former and current Robins all roughly the same age and not enough room for each to operate. Mercifully released from that regrettable Teen Titans title, I would have preferred Drake to have spun off his own book in the present but this at least affords him the opportunity to prove himself in new ways. Drake plus the Batman Beyond Universe, with a more dystopian feel, is an odd mix, but writer Dan Jurgens (at least initially) sells me on the concept while artist Bernard Chang shows he has what it takes for the series’ unique visual look. I’ll be curious to see where things go from here. Worth a look.