Batman The Animated Series: A Timeless Classic

 

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Batman the animated series a cartoon series that debuted in the early 90s, that helped fuel my love for DC comics. This series is the beginning of the DC animated universe, and what an amazing start. It originally aired on Fox Kids from September 5, 1992, to September 15, 1995, with a total of 85 episodes. The series had a truly unique feel to it embodying a timeless quality, mixing early 20s noirish feel with modern sci-fi elements. It borrows heavily from Tim Burtons Batman films. The visual style of the series was based on the artwork of Radomski, although Timm is often mistakenly given credit because the characters were based on his designs. However, the gothic backgrounds and look and feel of Gotham City were based on the initial designs laid out by Radomski.

A couple of another interesting fact about the series is that it was more adult-oriented than previous superhero cartoons. It depicts outright physical violence against antagonists, including realistic firearms, no other cartoon series had done this in the modern era. Batman The Animated Series was also to credit for the recreation of a few of Batmans old villains most importantly, in my opinion, Mr. Freeze. Freeze’s origin was lackluster to say the best, Freeze is a rogue scientist whose design for an “ice gun” backfires when he inadvertently spills cryogenic chemicals on himself, resulting in him needing subzero temperatures to survive. He was a hokey villain dressed in a yellow and purple jumpsuit with a freeze gun. The animated series origin was much better, so much so that not only the comics but other medias has adopted it as well. The animated series origin is ,Cryogenic scientist Victor Fries was working for Gothcorp and embezzled funds for an experiment in order to save his terminally ill wife Nora Fries by cryogenically freezing his wife until a cure could be found. However, the company’s CEO Ferris Boyle (voiced byMark Hamill) broke into the lab with guards, demanding an end be put to the experiment. When Fries desperately grabbed a security guard’s pistol to aim at Boyle, the corrupt CEO kicked him into a table of chemical beakers filled with cryogenic substance, leaving Victor to die. He survived but was severely mutated by the substances. Unable to live outside subzero conditions, he wears a cryogenic suit to survive and also triples his strength.

So when I started this article, I decided to review my favorite episodes of the overall series. But that has grown into quite a substantial list, so what I am going to do is go over each season and give my overall favorite episodes for that season.

On to the season that started it all, Season one. Like I said it started on September 5, 1992, with the Debut episode

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On Leather Wings, :this was the first episode of the series to feature the villain Man-Bat and was also Man-Bat’s first screen appearance.A mysterious bat-like creature terrorizes Gotham City, causing the police force to pursue Batman. The Dark Knight must find the real perpetrator to clear his name.

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Feat of Clay pt 1 and 2: Bruce Wayne is framed for the attempted murder of Lucius Fox. The real perpetrator is an actor and master of disguise named Matt Hagen, who was disfigured in a car accident years ago. In order to keep his fame, he secretly started working for Roland Daggett, who provides him with a monthly supply of an addictive face cream known as Renuyu (a pun on “Renew You”) that can temporarily reshape his face back to normal, and who wants to take Wayne Enterprises over for marketing expansion. For botching the murder, Hagen’s supply is cut off, and when he breaks into Daggett’s lab for more Renuyu, he pays the price dearly when Daggett’s men drench his face in the formula and force him to swallow liters of it to avoid drowning. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne is arrested and taken into custody, charged with the assault on Fox. Bruce Wayne is released from prison on bail. Hagen, as it turns out, survived the murder attempt on him, but at a high cost: the formula entered his body and soaked every single one of his cells, turning him into a shape-shifting mutant. With his newfound powers, Hagen, now calling himself Clayface, decides to take his revenge on Daggett and his men.Heart of Ice: This is the origin story episode in the series of Mr. Freeze. This episode rocketed the series to fame after it won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program. The episode is about a bitter scientist Victor Fries, as Mr. Freeze, attacks several divisions of GothCorp, each time stealing a piece for a secret weapon he intends to build. Batman investigates the connections and discovers that the start of Freeze’s vendetta against GothCorp was a bitter falling out between Fries and GothCorp’s CEO, Ferris Boyle (Mark Hamill), during which Boyle almost killed Fries (mutating him into Freeze) and presumably killed Fries’ terminally ill wife, Nora. Batman must find a way to bring Boyle to justice before Freeze carries out his revenge

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Two-Face: Part 1: Mobster Rupert Thorne attempts to use Harvey Dent’s secret split personality to blackmail him. But when Dent meets with Thorne at a chemical plant, “Big Bad Harv” takes over, and the resulting confrontation leads to an explosion that horribly scars half of Dent’s face.

Two-Face: Part 2:Harvey Dent, now calling himself Two-Face, resurfaces and starts robbing Rupert Thorne’s illegal businesses, preparing for a final confrontation with the crime boss, and Batman must stop his former friend before he and Thorne kill each other.

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Beware the Gray Ghost: Simon Trent, (played by Adam West) an actor best known for his past role as “The Gray Ghost”, is on the verge of bankruptcy thanks to his declining career. To save himself, he sells off all of his Gray Ghost merchandise. Immediately afterward, a series of crimes related to the old show begin to occur. Batman, having himself been inspired partly by the show to become the crimefighter he now is, goes to Trent for help, and they team up to put an end to the crimes and also revive Trent’s career.

That’s all I have for the first season, I absolutely love this show even as an adult I still watch them 24 years later. If you some reason you have not seen them do yourself a favor and pick up a season, You cant go wrong its a wonderful show great for all ages. I myself prefer the first two but hey who am I kidding they are all good.