Although the series borrows many elements from previous Batman storylines, it does not follow the continuity set by the comic books nor that of the previous Batman: The Animated Series or its spin-offs. Also, the animation style bears a strong resemblance to that of Jackie Chan Adventures (as both are based from designs by artist/producer Jeff Matsuda), with the designs of many characters, like the Joker, the Penguin and the Riddler, being very different from those of their comic counterparts.
The series made its world premiere on Kids' WB in the United States on September 11, 2004. First-run episodes are broadcast during Kids WB's Saturday morning lineup. Repeats of the show have aired on Toonami and/or Cartoon Network worldwide.
A spin-off comic book series, The Batman Strikes!, is based on the world of The Batman.
In the first season of The Batman, Bruce Wayne (voiced by Rino Romano) is 26 and in his third year as the Batman, protector of Gotham City. A younger Batman confronts familiar foes for the first time, with the aid of Alfred Pennyworth (Alastair Duncan), who guides both Bruce Wayne and Batman when needed, and the technology he has secretly developed, such as the Bat-Wave.
Season One features new interpretations of Rupert Thorne (Victor Brandt), Joker (Kevin Michael Richardson), Catwoman (Gina Gershon), Penguin (Tom Kenny), Mr. Freeze (Clancy Brown), Clayface (Steve Harris), Firefly (Jason Marsden), The Ventriloquist and Scarface (Dan Castellaneta), Man-Bat (Peter MacNicol), Cluemaster (Glenn Shadix), and Bane (Joaquim de Almeida).
The first season also introduces two new characters, Detectives Ethan Bennett (Steve Harris) and Ellen Yin (Ming-Na), charged with capturing the vigilante Batman for Chief Angel Rojas (Edward James Olmos in his initial appearance, Jesse Corti in all his subsequent appearances). This is somewhat reminiscent of Detective Harvey Bullock and Officer/Detective Renee Montoya of Batman: The Animated Series, who similarly sought to catch Batman, but eventually end up in a tenuous alliance against crime. At the end of Season 1, Ethan Bennett, also an old friend of Bruce Wayne, is turned into Clayface. Adam West, who played a camp version of the Caped Crusader in the live action series of the 1960s, provides the voice for Gotham’s Mayor.
Season 2 introduced other fan-favorite characters with brand new origins, including a sinister version of the Riddler (Robert Englund), Professor Hugo Strange (Frank Gorshin, replaced by Richard Green after Frank's death), Ragdoll (Jeff Bennett), Spellbinder (Michael Massee), Killer Croc (Ron Perlman), and Solomon Grundy (Kevin Grevioux). At the end of the season, Ellen Yin is found out to have been working with Batman, and their partnership ends when Commissioner Gordon (Mitch Pileggi) is introduced. This is the last we see of Ellen Yin. Gordon changes the GCPD's view of Batman and asks Batman to help him make Gotham a safe place for his daughter.
Season 3 introduces a young Barbara Gordon, who becomes Batgirl (Danielle Judovits) and plays a major role along with her father, James Gordon. More villains are added to the series, such as Poison Ivy (Piera Coppola) - who is originally Barbara's best friend in this continuity, a different version of Gearhead (Will Friedle), and a more threatening version of Maxie Zeus (Phil LaMarr).
Several brand new villains for the series are introduced this season: Cosmo Krank/Toymaker (Patton Oswalt), Prank (Michael Reisz) - Joker's response to Batgirl's addition to Batman's family, Temblor (Jim Cummings) and D.A.V.E. (Jeff Bennett) - a H.A.R.D.A.C.-like supercomputer created by Hugo Strange to emulate the worst villain minds in Gotham.
Season 3 brings the cliffhanger regarding professor Hugo Strange: in "A Fistful of Felt", Batman uncovers that the chief psychiatrist of Arkham cured Wesker only to turn him back into a criminal. In GUCM (Gotham Ultimate Criminal Mastermind) Strange is brought to justice but apparently following in season four Strange New World, Strange went to Arkham only because it was there he could bring up his new schemes.
Another part of the intrigue is Batgirl. The Dark Knight refuses to have a sidekick but in many episodes, he works alongside Batgirl regardless. Although he is sometimes annoyed by Batgirl's presence, like in "The Apprentice," Batman seems to allow her to work with him but it isn't until the episode "Thunder" under Alfred's advice that he agrees to take Batgirl as an actual partner.
Season 4 features a redesign of Bruce Wayne/Batman, that is more reminiscent of the DCAU (Bruce Timm) Batman. He is now drawn with a stronger chin structure and somewhat smaller nose. The season also introduces Dick Grayson as Robin (Evan Sabara) into the series as well as other characters such as Lucius Fox (Louis Gossett Jr.). More villains appear such as Tony Zucco (Mark Hamill), Killer Moth (Jeff Bennett), Black Mask (James Remar) & Number One (Diedrich Bader), Rumor (Ron Perlman), theEverywhere Man (Brandon Routh), Harley Quinn (Hynden Walch), Francis Grey (Dave Foley), and a new Clayface (Wallace Langham). Batgirl returns this season as well, and is now officially part of Batman's team. One episode is set in the future, taking place in 2027 Gotham, where Barbara Gordon has become Oracle (Kellie Martin), Dick Grayson is Nightwing (Jerry O'Connell), and Batman resembles Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns version of the character, complete with a new tank-like Batmobile. The season finale featured another superhero from the DC Universe; Martian Manhunter J'onn J'onnz and his alter ego Detective John Jones (Dorian Harewood) when he warned Batman of an invasion by an alien race called The Joining. Batman, Robin, Batgirl and the Martian Manhunter were successfully able to rid the Earth of The Joining. Hawkman, Green Arrow, Flash and Green Lantern also appeared in the Season 4 finale in a cameo at the very end where Batman agreed to join them, Leading some to believe that this is The Batman version of The Justice League. The fourth season of The Batman has been referred to by the creators as the most "Fan Friendly" season.
The fifth and final season was said by producer Alan Burnett to be the show's "Batman The Brave and The Bold season." This season primarily focused on the Dynamic Duo (Batman and Robin) teaming up with members of the Justice League. Batgirl and Commissioner Gordon were dropped from the show as main characters, and only appeared rarely as guests or cameos.
The opening to Season 5 has Batman team-up with Superman (George Newbern). Other team-ups for the season included Green Arrow (Chris Hardwick), Flash (Charlie Schlatter), Green Lantern (Dermot Mulroney), Martian Manhunter and Hawkman (Robert Patrick). The series finale featured the entire Justice League.
Villains for this Season were a combination of rogues from the superheroes appearing on the show with some Batman villains. Villains included: Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown), Mercy Graves (Gwendoline Yeo), Metallo (Lex Lang), Count Vertigo (Greg Ellis), The Wrath (Christopher Gorham), Toyman (Richard Green), Shadow Thief (Diedrich Bader), Sinestro (Miguel Ferrer), Mirror Master (John Larroquette), and the Terrible Trio (David Faustino, Grey DeLisle, and Googy Gress). Also, Firefly becomes Phosphorus. The Joining returns in the finale in alliance with Hugo Strange as The Joining's leader is revealed. The final episode is a forty-minute movie, featuring all the members of the Justice League who have made an appearance in the show. The two final episodes were aired on March 8, 2008.
The Batman vs. Dracula
Joker and Penguin escaped from Arkham Asylum to find the treasure that is hidden in Gotham Cemetery. Batman persuades Joker while Penguin went to Gotham Cemetery to find the treasure. When he opened a coffin, he bleeds himself with his umbrella and a drop of his blood fell in Dracula's corpse which brings him to life. Dracula then hypnotized Penguin to become his servant. Batman lost Joker when the joy buzzard electrocuted him in the water & drowned. The TV news reported that "The Lost Ones" are disappearing around Gotham. Batman discovered that "The Lost Ones" are vampires and were too tough to fight. Dracula went the Wayne Manor ball as Dr. Alucard and meets Vickie. Bruce later found out that Dr. Alucard is actually Dracula. Vickie reported that Batman was behind The Lost Ones' disappearances. Dracula snatched all the S.W.A.T team units in an empty building and meets Batman on the rooftop. After a battle with Dracula, Batman was hurt and injured. That night, Bruce had a nightmare about his parents getting shot (possibly Joe Chill) offscreen and sees a vampired Batman standing on an opened window before waking up. Joker somehow appears to be alive and folds Penguin that a fisherman found him tangled in his net. When he opened the coffin, Dracula snatched Joker in and turned him into a vampire. Joker breaks into a blood bank and attacks the nurse offscreen. Batman defeated Joker and brought him to the Batcave to find the cure for vampirism. He made the cure and cured Joker. The next night, Batman went to Dracula's underground cave and cured all his victims. Batman stops Dracula from using Vickie's soul to revive his bride, Carmilla. Batman runs to the Batcave underground while Dracula is chasing him. Alfred shot Dracula with an antidote needle, but it doesn't affect him and knocked him out. Batman defeated Dracula with Sun solar energy beat him to bones. Penguin was free from Dracula's control and found the treasure, but the S.W.A.T team show up and he was arrested. The news reporter stated that "The Batman was unfairly blamed for Penguin's crime". Batman continues his duty to defend Gotham from any criminals.
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|Character||First Appearance-Last Appearance||Info|
|Batman/Bruce Wayne||"The Bat in the Belfry"||Under the cape and cowl can be found a younger Bruce Wayne in his 20s. The media is more likely to catch him courtside at a Gotham Gators game or strapping on a helmet to drive his own racecar for a charity than in front of City Hall cutting a ribbon. But don't confuse the swinging bachelor persona for the real Bruce – he's intense, driven and completely focused on his life's mission to serve as the Dark Knight. Aided by technology he's secretly developed – including the operating system known as the Bat-Wave – and driven by the childhood memory of the loss of his parents, Batman takes to the streets in order to bring Gotham's new breed of super villains to justice.|
|Robin/Dick Grayson||"A Matter of Family"||After the tragic loss of Dick's parents, Bruce Wayne took young Dick under his wing. To bring justice to the criminal’s responsible for his parent’s death; Dick joined The Batman's side as Robin. A young but highly skilled and energetic acrobat, Robin has become an asset to the fight alongside The Batman and Batgirl.|
|Batgirl/Barbara Gordon||"Batgirl Begins, Part One"||Batgirl – known as Barbara Gordon – the teenage daughter of Gotham's Commissioner Gordon, is a strong-willed, stubborn teen with an ironic wit. Inspired by her first contact with The Batman, she dons the cape and cowl to become Batgirl to help save her father from the hands of former friend and now villain - Poison Ivy.|
|Alfred Pennyworth||"The Bat in the Belfry"- "What Goes Up..."||Within the confines of his role as butler to the Wayne estate, Alfred raised Bruce and, on occasion, continues to provide him with veiled wisdom. The cape and cowl are new enough that Alfred is still growing accustomed to them. Thus, we witness his genuine concern for Bruce’s safety when Bruce goes up against the likes of Joker, Penguin, Mr. Freeze and the will of the Rogues Gallery.|
|Commissioner James Gordon||"Night and the City"||The new Commissioner Jim Gordon believes that The Batman is truly a force for good in Gotham City. Unlike Chief Rojas when The Batman is needed, Gordon will gladly allow The Batman to apprehend criminals that are considered highly dangerous and extremely difficult to apprehend.|
|Chief Angel Rojas||"The Bat in the Belfry" - "Night and the City"||For Chief Rojas, The Batman is nothing less than a black eye to his police force. Believing there is no room for vigilante justice in Gotham, Rojas has made capturing the Dark Knight a top priority.|
|Ethan Bennett||"The Bat in the Belfry" - "Clayfaces"||If Bruce Wayne could call anyone his best friend, Ethan Bennett is it. They've been friends since high school. Whereas his partner, Detective Ellen Yin, sees things in black and white, Ethan sees the grey in most everything – and is more willing to allow The Batman to co-exist with the Gotham P.D. After a tragic attack from The Joker, Ethan was left physically altered - becoming The Clayface.|
|Ellen Yin||"The Bat in the Belfry" - "Night and the City"|| Detective Ellen Yin is as physically adept as any male cop she knows. Ellen may be new to the Gotham beat, but she's no rookie. Previously head of her department in Metropolis, she transferred to Gotham looking for new challenges. She’s a career cop at the top of her game, true blue and by the book. Not warming to Bruce Wayne so easily, Ellen doesn't have it out personally for The Batman.|
Yin no longer appeared after season 2, though it is implied she becomes Police Commissioner in the near future during the fourth season episode "Artifacts"
Justice League of America
At the conclusion of season four's finale "The Joining", Batman is taken to an orbiting satellite (resembling the Hall of Justice from Superfriends) where he meets members of the Justice League of America. Season Five featured the JLA in major crossover episodes, with Superman appearing in a two-part season opener.
Note: Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Hawkman and Flash's first appearance is actually in the episode "The Joining, Part 2", but only in a cameo, so their main episodes about them can be considered their first appearances.
|Character||First Appearance-Last Appearance||Info|
|Martian Manhunter||"The Joining, Part 1"||A Martian, John Jones came to Earth in an attempt to prevent The Joining from destroying it. While undercover for the majority of his stay, he eventually joined forces with Batman to destroy the Joining. In the final episode of "The Batman", he brings the Justice League to rid the galaxy of the Joining for good.|
|Green Lantern||"Ring Toss"||Member of the Green Lantern Corps, The Green Lantern uses his power ring as his source of powers. With it he is able to create various weapons and defensive shields with it.|
|Hawkman||"What Goes Up..."||A Thanagarian, Hawkman has the ability of flight with his hawk-like wings. He uses his mace as his main weapon.|
|GGreen Arrow||"Vertigo"||Green Arrow is armed with an arsenal of arrows ranging from regular to explosive. Though Green Arrow has no superpower of his own, he is known to never miss a target.|
|The Flash||"A Mirror Darkly"||
The fastest man alive, The Flash uses his superspeed as his attack.
- Michael Goguen supervising producer
- Duane Capizzi supervising producer
- Glen Murakami producer
- Jeff Matsuda producer
- Linda M. Steiner producer
- Sander Schwartz executive producer
- Alan Burnett executive producer
- Kimberly A. Smith associate producer
- The Edge theme music creator
- Many of the voice actors on The Batman have previously played characters in other interpretations of the Dark Knight, which include:
- Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, who played Batman and the Joker respectively in Batman: The Animated Series, other Batman shows, and Justice League Unlimited, plays John Grayson, Dick Grayson's father and Tony Zucco, again respectively.
- Will Friedle, who played Terry McGinnis, the second Batman, in Batman Beyond, plays the villain Gearhead.
- Adam West, who played Batman in the campy 1960s Batman series and the Gray Ghost in Batman: The Animated Series, plays Gotham's mayor, Marion Grange.
- Ron Perlman who played Clayface in Batman: The Animated Series played both Killer Croc and Rumor.
- Frank Gorshin, who played Riddler in the live-action television series, played Dr. Hugo Strange until his death.
- Kevin Michael Richardson, who played The Mutant Leader in the episode Legends of the Dark Knight, and Carlton Duquesne in Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, plays The Joker.
- Tara Strong who voiced Barbra Gordon/Batgirl in The New Batman Adventures and Gotham Girls, plays Vicki Vale.
- Jeff Bennett who played H.A.R.D.A.C. in Batman: The Animated Series, and The Creeper in The New
- Batman Adventures, plays D.A.V.E., Rag Doll, and Killer Moth.
- In addition, actors from other DC Series have played parts in The Batman
- Clancy Brown who played Lex Luthor in Superman: The Animated Series, plays Mr. Freeze and reprise as Lex Luthor again.
- Jason Marsden, who played Snapper Carr in Justice League, Richie Foley/Gear on Static Shock, and a young Burt Ward/Robin in Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt plays Firefly.
- Hynden Walch, who played Starfire Blackfire, and Madame Rouge in Teen Titans and Ace on Justice League & Justice League Unlimited, plays Harley Quinn to some critical acclaim.
- Robert Englund, who played Felix Faust in Justice League plays The Riddler.
- James Remar who played the Manhunter robots in Justice League and Hawkman in Justice League Unlimited plays Black Mask.
- Phil LaMarr, who played the John Stewart Green Lantern on Justice League & Justice League Unlimited and Virgil Hawkins/Static on Static Shock, plays Maxie Zeus.
- Peter MacNicol who played Chronos on Justice League Unlimited on plays Kirk Langstrom, Man-Bat's human form.
- Glenn Shadix, who played Steven Mandragora on Justice League Unlimited and The Brain & Monsieur Mallah on Teen Titans plays Cluemaster.
- Grey DeLisle, who played both Downpour and Shifter of the Ultimen on Justice League Unlimited, plays Mary Grayson, Dick Grayson's mother.
- Allison Mack, who played Chloe Sullivan in Smallville plays Clea.
- Brandon Routh, who played Superman in Superman Returns plays The Everywhere Man.
- The Batman features 3 former Crash Bandicoot/Spyro the Dragon cast members, Kevin Michael Richardson, Clancy Brown, and Tom Kenny.
- Two-Face, Scarecrow, Hush, Mad Hatter and Victor Zsasz were planned to be featured in the show, but were later written out due to Two-Face and Scarecrow being used in Christopher Nolan's Batman films (ironically, Victor Zsasz appears in Nolan's first film Batman Begins but only in a cameo). Hush was gonna be featured in The Batman special Batman vs Hush but this was later scrapped. Mad Hatter didn't appear on the show because of unknown reasons.
The Batman received the Annie Award for Best New Animated Television Show 2004.
In 2006, The Batman won two Daytime Emmy awards. One for Outstanding Achievement In Sound Editing and another for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program.
- The Batman vs. Dracula (Series' animated film spin-off)
- Batman: The Animated Series (Different animated show franchise)
- Batman Beyond (Sequel series to The New Batman Adventures in a different franchise)
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold (Different animated show franchise)