The Batman (TV series)

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For the 1960s live-action series, see Batman (TV series). For the 1990s animated series, see Batman: The Animated Series.
The Batman
The Batman.PNG
Genre Superhero fiction
Created by Michael Goguen
Duane Capizzi
(supervising producers)
Based on Batman by Bob Kane
Voices of Rino Romano
Danielle Judovits
Evan Sabara
Alastair Duncan
Steve Harris
Jesse Corti
Mitch Pileggi
Adam West
Theme music composer The Edge (Season 1–2)
Andy Sturmer (Seasons 3–5)
Composer(s) Thomas Chase Jones
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 65 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Alan Burnett
Sander Schwartz
Producer(s) Jeff Matsuda
Glen Murakami
Linda M. Steiner
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) Warner Bros. Animation
Original network The WB (2004–06)
The CW (2006–08)
Cartoon Network
Picture format 4:3
16:9 (iTunes)
Original release September 11, 2004 (2004-09-11) – March 8, 2008 (2008-03-08)
Preceded by Batman Beyond
Followed by Batman: The Brave and the Bold

The Batman is an animated television series produced by Warner Bros. Animation and based on the DC Comics superhero Batman. It ran from September 11, 2004 to March 8, 2008, on the Saturday morning television block Kids' WB. Although the series borrows many elements from previous Batman storylines, it does not follow the continuity set by the comic books, the film series, nor that of Batman: The Animated Series and its spin-offs. The character designs were provided by Jackie Chan Adventures artist Jeff Matsuda (who also directed the ending), with many of the supervillains, like the Joker, Penguin and Riddler, being very different to those of their comic counterparts by featuring new interpretations of them.

The first five seasons are available on DVD. A Direct-To-DVD movie titled The Batman vs. Dracula, based on the series, was released in on October 18, 2005 and made its television debut on Cartoon Network's Toonami block on October 22, 2005. There is also a spin-off comic book series, The Batman Strikes!, published by DC Comics which is set in the same continuity and style of The Batman. The series won six Daytime Emmy Awards.[citation needed]


Bruce Wayne (voiced by Rino Romano), who while presenting himself as a playboy bachelor billionaire, secretly operates as the Batman, protector of Gotham City, which at the start of the first series he has been doing for three years without being publicly acknowledged to exist by the police until the start of the first series. Along with a secret Batcave, high-tech Batmobile and supercomputer, called the Bat-Wave, he has his trusty butler Alfred Pennyworth (voiced by Alastair Duncan), who guides him when needed.

Season 1[edit]

By the start of the first series, crime in Gotham is at an all-time low, yet Chief of Police, Angel Rojas (voiced by Edward James Olmos in his initial appearance, Jesse Corti in all his subsequent appearances), has no room for vigilantes, acknowledging the existence of Batman while tasking his officers to apprehend him when possible, despite one of his detectives, Ethan Bennett (voiced by Steven Harris), being at odds with him by believing that Batman is needed. Bennett is assisted by a new partner from Metropolis named Ellen Yin (voiced by Ming-Na) at the start of the series, who slowly becomes torn between her belief in law and order and her personal feelings toward the Batman; the pair are charged with capturing the Batman throughout Season 1. During this series, Bruce Wayne finds himself torn between his responsibilities as the Batman and his own life, though the latter is given further support by Gotham’s Mayor, Marion Grange (voiced by Adam West for the first four seasons, who previously played Batman in the 1960s Batman TV series). By the end of the series, Bennett is tortured and inadvertently mutated by the Joker, transforming into Clayface, and forced into hiding, while his partner Yin finally realises his views on the Batman were right and, from this point on, becomes allies with him.

Batman's villains introduced in this series with new interpretations included Rupert Thorne (voiced by Victor Brandt), The Joker (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson), The Penguin (voiced by Tom Kenny), Catwoman (voiced by Gina Gershon), Mr. Freeze (voiced by Clancy Brown), Firefly (voiced by Jason Marsden), Ventriloquist and Scarface (voiced by Dan Castellaneta), Man-Bat (voiced by Peter MacNicol), Cluemaster (voiced by Glenn Shadix), and Bane (voiced by Joaquim de Almeida in the first appearance, Ron Perlman in the second, and Clancy Brown in the third).

Season 2[edit]

Throughout the second series, Bruce continued to be on the outside of the law, although is grateful for having an ally in the police in the form of Yin, and soon slowly begins to make a name for himself as being a force for good; when Batman saves a group of policeman from certain doom, the officers chose to cheer him rather than pursue him. In the series finale, Rojas finally uncovers Yin's involvement with Batman, forcing her to go on the run with him. Around this time, Commissioner James Gordon (voiced by Mitch Pileggi, and one of the main characters of the Batman mythos to be introduced in this series) shuns Rojas' belief in labelling Batman a criminal, instead believing him to be an ally for Gotham's police, particularly when Batman brings down Joker, Riddler and Penguin, and has a special light, the Bat-Signal, allowing Batman to know that the police are firmly on his side.

This series introduced more villains, including Riddler (voiced by Robert Englund), Rag Doll (voiced by Jeff Bennett), Spellbinder (voiced by Michael Massee), Killer Croc (voiced by Ron Perlman), and Solomon Grundy (voiced by Kevin Grevioux). Although a villain, Hugo Strange (voiced by Frank Gorshin, the original Riddler from the 1960s Batman TV series, replaced by Richard Green after Gorshin's death), is portrayed as a secondary character in this series, while Yin and Angel Rojas made their final appearances by the end of the series.

Season 3[edit]

In the third series, the show introduced a young incarnation of Barbara Gordon (voiced by Danielle Judovits), and featured a two-part story that focused on her slowly becoming Batgirl, with much of the series seeing her try to become Batman's sidekick in order to be as good an ally as her father, a notion he refuses to accept despite her being a reliable ally in some of his cases in the series, until eventually she proves herself to him by the end of the series. Batgirl becoming Batman's first sidekick, differs to the comic story-line in which Dick Grayson becomes Robin and pairs up with him in that role first; the overall decision to have Batgirl as his first sidekick was due to Robin being used in the Teen Titans animated series at the time, which limited his ability to appear in other shows. Another element in the series was Batman's original Batmobile being lost in this series during the episode, "RPM" and the creation of a brand new one.

Several new interpretation of villains from the Batman mythos were introduced in this series, including Poison Ivy (voiced by Piera Coppola), a different version of Gearhead (voiced by Will Friedle), Maxie Zeus (voiced by Phil LaMarr), Toymaker (voiced by Patton Oswalt), Prank (voiced by Michael Reisz), Temblor (voiced by Jim Cummings) and D.A.V.E. (voiced Jeff Bennett). Hugo Strange eventually becomes a villain in this series, after being found to have orchestrated events in "A Fistful of Felt" and "Gotham's Ultimate Criminal Mastermind", the latter episodes eventually leading him to become a patient in Arkham Asylum; Season 4's "Strange New World", revealed more about his criminal behaviour by revealing that the reason he went to Arkham in the first place was to come up with more new schemes.

The introduction of Batgirl led to the intro sequence for the show being changed, along with the series' theme music, which swapped the original theme (performed by The Edge) for a lighter, 1960s-esque theme, performed by Andy Sturmer.

Season 4[edit]

Robin, Batman and Batgirl as they appeared in the Season 4 intro.

The fourth series saw the introduction of Dick Grayson (voiced by Evan Sabara) into the show; this was due to the Teen Titans animated series had been cancelled early in the year before this season started. The opening episode of the series focused on his origins as Batman's sidekick, Robin, from the loss of his parents, to being adopted by Bruce and eventually assisting him to bring down the man responsible for his parent's death. The second episode led to Batgirl being made part of the team and each member's secret identity being revealed to each other, with both her and Robin beginning a sibling-like rivalry between each other. One of the highlights of the series was the episode, "Artifacts", which described a possible future in 3027, with flashback scenes in 2027 featuring an older Batman, Dick Grayson now operating as Nightwing (voiced by Jerry O'Connell), and Barbara Gordon now bound to a wheelchair and having become the Oracle (voiced by Kellie Martin); the episode featured elements from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, including the designs of both The Batman and the Batmobile. The series finale featured an alien invasion by entities called "The Joining", which Batman helps to thwart alongside another superhero from the DC Universe, Martian Manhunter/J'onn J'onzz (voiced by Dorian Harewood), allowing him to become part of the Justice League of America.

More villains with new interpretations were introduced, including Tony Zucco (voiced by Mark Hamill, who voiced the Joker in the DC animated universe), Killer Moth (voiced by Jeff Bennett), Black Mask (voiced by James Remar), Rumor (voiced by Ron Perlman), Everywhere Man (voiced by Brandon Routh), Harley Quinn (voiced by Hynden Walch), and Francis Grey (voiced by Dave Foley). The series brought an end to Ethan Bennett's version of Clayface with a storyline that redeemed and cured him of his condition, while introducing Basil Karlo's version of the villain (voiced by Wallace Langham in the first appearance, Lex Lang in the second appearance). This series featured a redesign of Bruce Wayne, with a more square facial and chin structure, making him reminiscent of the DC animated universe Batman design, while alongside Martian Manhunter, the series finale featured cameos by Hawkman, Green Arrow, Flash, and Green Lantern.

This series was the last to be done by Jeff Matsuda and Michael Jelenic, both of whom departed from the show after the series finale.

Season 5[edit]

The fifth and final series focused primarily on Batman and Robin, with the pair teaming up with some of the DC Universe's characters and tackling with villains that they fought. These team-ups included Superman (voiced by George Newbern), Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow (voiced by Chris Hardwick), Flash (voiced by Charlie Schlatter), Green Lantern (voiced by Dermot Mulroney), and Hawkman (voiced by Robert Patrick); producer Alan Burnett described the series as the show's "The Brave and the Bold season.".[1] Both Batgirl and Commissioner Gordon were relegated to either guest or cameo appearances during this series, with Barbara having graduated from high school and now attending college. The series finale featured all the members of the Justice League who made an appearance in the series,[2] along with Batgirl, as they fought against a renewed effort of the Joining to invade Earth, with the final episodes shown as a 40-minute movie.

Most of the villains featured in this series were new interpretations of those that fought against the DC heroes that teamed-up with Batman, including Lex Luthor (voiced by Clancy Brown), Mercy Graves (voiced by Gwendoline Yeo), Metallo (voiced by Lex Lang), Count Vertigo (voiced by Greg Ellis), The Wrath (voiced by Christopher Gorham), Toyman (voiced by Richard Green), Shadow Thief (voiced by Diedrich Bader), Sinestro (voiced by Miguel Ferrer), and Mirror Master (voiced by John Larroquette). Only the Terrible Trio (voiced by David Faustino, Grey DeLisle, and Googy Gress),[3] and Phosphorus are new interpretations of Batman villains, the latter of whom differs from the comic version in that Firefly mutates into him, having his same radioactive skills and becoming insane, but does not have a visible skeleton.


List of Episodes[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 13 September 11, 2004 May 7, 2005
2 May 14, 2005 September 10, 2005
3 September 17, 2005 May 13, 2006
4 September 23, 2006 May 5, 2007
5 September 22, 2007 March 8, 2008

DVD releases[edit]

All the DVD releases are in 4:3 aspect ratio. However, the entire series is available in 16:9 on Amazon Video and the Xbox Video Store. The first two seasons and The Batman vs. Dracula movie are available on iTunes in 16:9.

  • The Complete First Season (2 discs, episodes 1-13)
  • The Complete Second Season (2 discs, episodes 14-26)
  • The Complete Third Season (2 discs, episodes 27-39)
  • The Complete Fourth Season (2 discs, episodes 40-52)
  • The Complete Fifth Season (2 discs, episodes 53-65)
  • The Batman vs. Dracula (1 disc, feature-length animated movie)


Main cast[edit]

Additional voices[edit]

The Batman Strikes![edit]

The Batman Strikes! is a DC comic book series featuring Batman and is a spin-off comic book series of The Batman. Part of the DC's younger reader line, the series survived for 50 issues in total, with the last issue shipping in October 2008.[4]


Title Material Collected ISBN
Volume 1: Crime Time #1-5 SC: 978-1401205096
Volume 2: In Darkest Night #6-10 SC: 978-1401205102
Volume 3: Duty Calls #11-14, 16-18 SC: 978-1401215484



The Batman received Annie Award nominations for Best Animated Television Production in 2005 and 2006, and for Best Music in a Television Production in 2006.[5]

The Batman was nominated for twelve Daytime Emmy Awards during its five-year run, winning six times. In 2005 it was nominated for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program, Outstanding performer in an Animated Program (Kevin Michael Richardson as the Joker), Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition, and Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing - Live Action and Animation (for which it won). In 2006 it was nominated and won Outstanding Special Class Animated Program and Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing - Live Action and Animation. In 2007 it was nominated for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program and won Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing - Live Action and Animation. In 2008 it was nominated for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program and Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program (Kevin Michael Richardson as the Joker), and won Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing - Live Action and Animation, and Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing - Live Action and Animation.[5]

The Batman was also nominated for Motion Picture Sound Editors "Golden Reel Awards" for Sound Effects Editing in 2005, 2008, and 2009, winning in 2008.


The Batman also received its share of criticism with critics and fans. IGN commented in the article "A History Of Batman" that The Batman's "characters have a much more kiddie and cartoonish feel than those seen in the Animated Series and its kin," and that the "various Batsuits and gadgets and many action scenes" were intended to "inspire toys for kids to buy."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Harvey, James (2008-02-25). "The Batman" Series Finale To Air March 8, 2008". The World's Finest. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  2. ^ "at". Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  3. ^ "CBR News - The Comic Reel". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  4. ^ ""The Batman Strikes" Concludes With Issue #50". Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  5. ^ a b "The Batman (2004) Awards". Retrieved 2010-07-04. 

External links[edit]