Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Batman - The Complete Fourth Season |
DC Comics Kids Collection
Actors: Rino Romano, Evan Sabara, Danielle Judovits, Alastair Duncan, Louis Gossett Jr.
Directors: Anthony Chun, Brandon Vietti, Matt Youngberg, Vinton Heuck
Genres: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Television, Mystery & Suspense, Animation
Season 4 features a redesign of Bruce Wayne/Batman, that is more reminiscent of the DCAU (Bruce Timm) Batman. The season also introduces Dick Grayson as Robin (Evan Sabara) into the series as well as other characters such ... more »
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H. Bala | Carson - hey, we have an IKEA store! - CA USA | 08/23/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Season 4 finds THE BATMAN at its most accessible and fan friendly. Lots of folks (and I was one of 'em) weren't too enthused with this younger Dark Knight version when he first came out in 2004. So, with The Batman - The Complete First Season (DC Comics Kids Collection) having left me and others in a lukewarm and sulky state, I never thought the series would last to a fourth season, let alone a 5th, which is just around the corner. But, perhaps because of the dearth of animated superhero stuff on TV - what with only the occasional animated film released by Marvel and DC, leaving us with LEGION OF SUPERHEROES (enjoyable) and FANTASTIC FOUR (kinda shady) as the other viewing options - well, I've started watching THE BATMAN more and more.
There's been a decided upgrading in quality to the episodes. Also, the additions of Batgirl (debuted in Season 3 and now officially in the Bat family) and of Robin (debuts this season) provide a more consistent element of levity and color to the show, nicely offsetting ol' Batface's grim and dour tendencies. In fact, for me, the show's trump card are these kid crimefighters, whose presence and bicker-and-banter act enliven things tremendously. Great sibling rivalry unfolding here. I find myself having a change of heart regarding this series. I like it now.
As the seasons progress, the show continues to serve up increased depth to the storyline and deeper character development. In addition to Robin, making their debuts to the series are Lucius Fox, the new Clayface, Black Mask, and Harley Quinn. Noteworthy episodes (for me, anyway) are the amusing "Team Penguin," the horror-tinged "Strange New World," "Artifacts" (which features a much older Batman ala THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS), "Seconds," and the big one, "The Joining, Parts One and Two." "The Breakout" is also a fun and funny episode, focusing on Batgirl and Robin's personal and working relationship (Batgirl: "Suggest a 2102: procurement of snacks from police lobby." Robin: "Roger that!").
Another bid for fan friendliness is the animators' redesign of the Batman's look as they restructure his jawline to more closely resemble the Batman from the '90s animated series. Works for me, although I didn't really have a problem with how he looked before. THE BATMAN: THE COMPLETE SEASON 4, covering episodes 40 to 52 of the series, boasts vocal guest stints by Brandon Routh, Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Robert Englund, Brooke Shields, Dave Foley, and the great Ron Perlman. As for our regular voice cast, Danielle Judovits and Evan Sabara are pitch perfect as Batgirl and Robin. Rino Romano will never be Kevin Conroy. Heck, he'll never be Adam West. But, of late, I find myself thinking "Well, he doesn't really stink up the joint." I guess I'm getting used to him as the Dark Knight. Kevin Michael Richardson makes for a good Joker, and would've had a shot at becoming THE definitive voice of the Clown Prince of Crime, if not for Mark Hamill. Mitch Pileggi (THE X-FILES's Director Skinner) is solid as Commissioner Gordon and I wish he had more lines this season.
Okay, here are the 13 episodes:
Episode 1 - "A Matter of Family" - This one introduces and retells the origin of the young and very spirited Dick Grayson; guest-starring the voices of animation greats Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill.
Episode 2 - "Team Penguin" - This is a very funny episode. To combat Batman, Penguin decides to improve his odds by forming a supervillain group, consisting of Killer Croc, Firefly, Ragdoll, and the hapless Killer Moth. Batgirl and Robin meet for the first time, and they have issues ("So, you got a new partner. It's because I changed the presets on the Batmobile radio, isn't it?").
Episode 3 - "Clayfaces" - Clayface again claims to have reformed and wants another chance. But can his friend Bruce Wayne believe him? Meanwhile, someone with Clayface's abilities begins committing crimes.
Episode 4 - "The Everywhere Man" - Batman and Robin go up against a costumed art thief who can duplicate himself. The Everywhere Man is voiced by SUPERMAN RETURNS's Brandon Routh.
Episode 5 - "Strange New World" - Cool episode with a horror element. Hugo Strange releases a toxin on Gotham City which turns the populace into the undead. Batman has 48 hours to administer the antidote before the zombified state becomes permanent.
Episode 6 - "The Breakout" - Somewhere in Gotham City, a bomb has been placed by the crime boss Black Mask. With Batman out of commission, it's up to Batgirl and Robin, without adult supervision, to somehow save the day.
Episode 7 - "Artifacts" - Another nice episode, this one involves a far flung futuristic episode. In the year 3027, Dr. Freeze had managed to survive and is once more running amok. Meanwhile, archaeologists unearth the old Batcave, which just might offer up an anti-Freeze solution. Appearances by Nightwing and Oracle.
Episode 8 - "Two of a Kind" - Harley Quinn finally debuts in this series, as a psychologist with a wacky talk show. Can Mr. J be far behind?
Episode 9 - "Seconds" - A time travel story. Batman finds himself continually stumped by a common criminal.
Episode 10 - "Riddler's Revenge" - Batman and the Riddler (Robert Englund) have a conversation on the bottom of the ocean.
Episode 11 - "Rumors" - An armored vigilante named Rumor (Ron Perlman) is kidnapping Gotham's supervillains.
Episode 12 - "The Joining, Part One" - A police detective new to town hints that he may be privy to Batman's secrets. Later, the Dark Knight investigates him and bumps into another superhero, who informs Bats that Gotham is about to face its most perilous threat: an alien invasion. The debut of Lucius Fox (Louis Gossett, Jr.).
Episode 13 - "The Joining, Part Two" - Thinking it too dangerous for them, Batman forbids Batgirl and Robin from getting involved as he continues to combat the mechanical aliens. But the Caped Crusader finally realizes that even he can't do it alone. The finale to this episode suggests very good things for the future of THE BATMAN.
With season 5 projected to guest star Superman and the JLA, I'm glad to see this particular Batman's universe continue to expand and evolve. Bats went from being initially a loner to a dynamic duo with Batgirl, and here, a trio with the addition of Robin. In episode 13, Batman utters a very promising closing statement which made me pump a fist in the air: "You've put together quite a League. Let's get to work." Hell, yeah.
But, listen, the Batwave device still sucks."
It just keeps getting better
A. Gammill | West Point, MS United States | 12/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OK, so unlike several others here, I liked THE BATMAN from the beginning. Even so, I have to say that I think it's gotten even better over the years. As of this writing, I haven't seen any of season 5 (I prefer to wait for the DVD's so I can get 'em all at once), but season 4 is by far the best season yet.
Hardcore Batfans have traditionally been slow to warm-up to the "sidekick" characters of Robin and Batgirl. And I'll admit I was initally reluctant to embrace either of them in ANY incarnation of Batman. So imagine my surprise when, after only 3 or 4 episodes, I found that the interplay between Batgirl and the Boy Wonder is among my favorites things about this season. They're really just kids, after all, and their good-natured sibling rivalry is handled with wit and intelligence.
There's not really a bad episode in the bunch, but I'll mention a few favorites: "Strange New World" calls to mind the excellent feature-length Batman vs. Dracula and is among the most exciting episodes of the entire series; "Artifacts" and the "The Joining" (easily the best episode) feed fans' appetite for glimpses of the future with appearances by Nightwing, Oracle, and the Justice League; and "Two of a Kind" re-imagines Harley Quinn for a new generation of Batman fans. Even the recurring rogues' gallery gets some standout stories: We get more background on the Riddler in "Riddler's Revenge," and Bruce Wayne's old friend Ethan Bennett (a.k.a. Clayface) gets a chance at redemption in "Clayfaces."
Not much in the way of extras this time around, just a brief featurette on season 4, and a preview of the upcoming direct-to-video Justice League movie.
If you still haven't discovered this high-octane reinterpretation of the Batman mythology, season 4 is a great place to start. Highly recommended."
The Batman's animated evolution continues..in the right dire
Enos L. Nickens | Heathsville,Va | 12/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like so many others who watched this show intially, I was not impressed. One reason was that I had a problem with the way some of Batman's rogues gallery were drawn or made over(especially The Joker and Bane). The one redeeming makeover was The Penguin. I really liked how he was portrayed to be just as formidible as he was vain. But overall it was a show that I would occasionally watch. But as the second and third seasons premiered and progressed, I was pleasantly surprised. But it was Season Four, where everything shifted into fifth gear.
The make or break move for this show was how they were going to implement Robin into this show after it was announced that he
would be introduced in season four. I must say that Robin's introduction exceeded my expectations. I thought that The Boy Wonder would have a 2 part episode that would provide his origin and drag out over 67 yrs of history. Not so. The opening episode "A Matter of Family" not only summed up everything in 30 mins or less but with Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series,Batman Beyond,Justice League and Justice League Unlimited)providing the voice of Robin's father John Grayson, it seemed like he was passing the vocal torch of Batman to the current voice of The Dark Knight, Rino Romano, who himself has evolved vocally throughout the course of this series.
The other episodes are great and do not disappoint but the 2 part "The Joining" with the great Dorian Harewood as J'onn J'onzz, The Martian Manhunter(Harewood's vocals would make Carl Lumbly,who provided J'onn's vocals for Justice League, very proud)is the crown jewel for this season and lays the groundwork for Season Five with appearances by Superman,Green Arrow,The Flash and on 12/8/07 Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) which have been nothing short of outstanding.
This is a must for any Batman fan but most importantly, like its predecessors Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond,it stands alone and creates a new era and interpretation for Batman that all will enjoy.
Worthy of the name Batman
Steven Scott | L.A., CA | 01/22/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I never took this animated version of Batman seriously. I grew up on Timm/Dini's series and the redesigns of the villains was an instant turn off. I had never really given this series a chance as I was blindly devoted to the old series.
This is the fourth season where they introduce Robin into the series but what really peaked my interest was the knowledge that BTAS scribe Paul Dini would be writing the episode introducing Harley Quinn into the series. Dini is the character's creator so it would only make sense that he be the one to reinterpret her. To my surprise, I found that particular episode a bit of a let down. I was also curious to see how they would interpret Black Mask as he was never in the old series and I hated his voice. They should have hired Jeffrey Combs who voiced The Question in JLU and the redesigned Scarecrow in BTAS. That's how I also imagined his voice in the comics. However there were some classic episodes in this season that really stand out.
The first episode introducing Robin is great and also boasts two former BTAS voice actors, Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, who voiced Batman and The Joker respectively. However after that, the next few episodes didn't really do much in the way of inovating. Team Penguin was pretty lame, as I can't stand his redesign and overall the plot was non-existant. Just an excuse for a bad guy team up. And the introduction of the new clayface was ok, but nowhere near the impact of the the two parter "Feat of Clay" of the former series.
Once you get to "Strange New World", that's when things really pick up. What a great story. After that is "Artifacts" and "Seconds", both excellent. The season concludes with "The Joining" 2 parter. It's a very cool way to end it with shades of The New Frontier apparent with the introduction of Martian Manhunter. I can't give it 5 stars because I don't consider it a perfect season from start to finish but it beat my expectations by a lot. If you haven't checked out The Batman because you were skeptical like me, this may be the best season to start with. I may end up working my way back and checking out the previous seasons after this."