Batman The Animated Newsletter #53

Batman: The Animated Newsletter
Weeks of January 17 – January 22/23, 2000
Volume 3,
Rated: PG for some “low-key coarse language and occasional griping”

THIS ISSUE’S SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE: “YOU DRIVE ME CRAAAYYYYY-ZEEE!
I JUST CAN’T SLEEP – I’M SO EXCITED, I’M IN TOO DEEP…” – The torment in Batman’s mind is released in song when he addresses the Arkham bunch.
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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!

MAKE US LOOK LIKE FOOLS AND SEE YOUR NAME IN PRINT!

Yeah, that’s right. Over the past 52 issues, my hasty editing procedures has always left not just a few, but sometimes a whole hord of simple errors, grammatical problems, untrue facts, and whatnot. Here’s where YOU come in. If you can find any mistakes in this issue (we’re not purposely making mistakes – any mistakes you find will be ones we were too blind to see), we’ll print your name in the following issue in a special column. Sound fun?

Come on. Make us look like idiots. We dare ya. Grrrr.

-Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
the tremendously warped editor
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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING…
New episodes are on the horizon! Here’s what we can expect in the near future…

‘EYEWITNESS’
Batman Beyond #27
Air date: January 22, 2000
Because Commissioner Gordon thinks he sees Batman involved with the untimely death of Mad Stan, Batman must run from the law. Fortunately, Bruce uncovers the truth and proves Batman to be innocent: the murder was a hallucination, engineered by Spellbinder.

‘LEGACY (Pt. 1 & 2)’
Superman #44, 48
Air date: February sweeps, 2000?
This two-parter features the final showdown between Superman and Darksied in which he strips Superman of his memory and adopts him as a son in an effort to take over Earth. This is being touted as the FINAL Superman episode EVER. However, I must say that I’ve read a synopsis of the episode, and it’s a doozie.

For synopses of all other upcoming second season BATMAN BETOND episodes, check out of BTAN at this address:

//www.toonzone.net/wbc/newsletters/btan
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WB ANIMATION SCHEDULES:
(courtesy of Brian Cruz and/or the official BTAS/STAS site)

THE NEW BATMAN/SUPERMAN ADVENTURES airs Mondays thru Saturday; BATMAN BEYOND also airs on these days. Check local listings each day for what show is on at what time.

//www.batman-superman.com/batman/cmp/episodes.html
//www.toonzone.net/brian/schedules/
//www.ktla.com/backstage/programming/kids_framed.frm

THIS WEEK:
Mon 01-17-00: Batman #104 Legends of the Dark Knight
B-BEYOND #22 Rats

Tue 01-18-00: Superman #04 Fun and Games
Batman #89 Double Talk

Wed 01-19-00: Batman #70 House and Garden
Superman #19 Target

Thu 01-20-00: Superman #08 The Main Man (Pt. 1)
Superman #11 The Main Man (Pt. 2)

Fri 01-21-00: Batman #103 The Demon Within
B-BEYOND #10 Dead Man’s Hand

Sat 01-22-00: Superman #45 The Demon Reborn
B-BEYOND #27 Eyewitness ———> NEW!!!!

All episodes #86 and onward of BATMAN are considered THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES while the original 85 are considered BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (BTAS) episodes.
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CANADIAN EPISODE SCHEDULE
(BTAS/BEYOND on YTV)
(courtesy of our friends at YTV)

-To find the episode guide and airing schedule of BATMAN and BATMAN BEYOND on YTV then please go to //www.ytv.com and click on the YTV GUIDE icon at the bottom of the screen. To check out the schedule then click on BATMAN or BATMAN BEYOND in the time grid and it will have the schedule for the current week.

BTAS will air at 7:30am on weekday mornings (in all time zones), and BATMAN BEYOND will air at 2:30pm on Saturday and Sunday. YTV has the rights to show all 109 BTAS episodes. They also have the rights to air the first 26 episodes of BATMAN BEYOND (all of season 1 and the first half of season 2).

THIS WEEK:
Mon 01-17-00: BTAS #90 You Scratch My Back

Tue 01-18-00: BTAS #91 Never Fear

Wed 01-19-00: BTAS #92 Joker’s Millions

Thu 01-20-00: BTAS #93 Growing Pains

Fri 01-21-00: BTAS #94 Love is a Croc

Sat 01-22-00: BEYOND #05 The Winning Edge

Sun 01-23-00: BEYOND #10 Spellbound
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CARTOON NETWORK WB ANIMATION SCHEDULE:
“Yabba Dabba Doom”
(courtesy of Brian Cruz)

THE CARTOON NETWORK was able to get the exclusive rights to 52 episodes of the classic BTAS, as well as both animated movies. BTAS airs Monday-Friday at 6pm (ET) and then repeated again at midnight. If our schedule listings is not complete or up to date then please go to either of these sites for the schedule:

//www.toonzone.net/brian/schedules/batman-cn.html
//homes.acmecity.com/animation/saturday/352/schedule.html

To see the 52 episodes that the CARTOON NETWORK does show, go to this link:

//www.toonzone.net/brian/eplists/batman-cn.html

NOTE: The schedules at Brian Cruz’ site are currently unavailable; if anyone knows of any other place where people can get listings for BTAS on the Cartoon Network, please e-mail us!
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EPISODE REVIEW: (SPOILERS!)
(by Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton)

All of Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton’s reviews of the new-style BTAS episodes and BATMAN BEYOND can be found via these links, which link to “Two-Face’s Tower of Tranquility and Terror”:

MAIN PAGE: //www.angelfire.com/tx/TimTwoFace/index.html
BTAS PAGE: //www.angelfire.com/tx/TimTwoFaceText/bats.html

NOTE: ALRIGHT! I’ve been messing up WHO is writing WHAT for this column for too long now. If you wanna see who’s writing each review, just go to the bottom – they all sign it there. Sorry Zanna and Justin! I feel so foolish…agh…*HALF OF MY FACE BLUSHES*

NOTE: To make up for last week’s lack of a review for a new episode, I decided to put one review from each of our reviewers, Zanna and Justin, in this issue. It’s a two-for-one deal, everyone! Stop complaining already!

BABEL
Written by Stan Berkowitz
Directed by Curt Geda
Animation by Koko, Dong Yang
Original airdate: January 8, 2000
My rating: **** 1/2 (Out of five stars)

First, all Gotham’s animals go crazy. Then its citizens lose the ability to speak to each other and havoc reigns over the city. Commissioner Gordon gets an ultimatum she can’t ignore. Shriek is back. He’s out for revenge and he’s stronger than ever.

Good points:

This was a wonderful episode. I enjoyed this story on many levels. First, it’s not another addiction, teenage problem, or genetic mutation story. Most of those were good episodes, but sometimes, a Batman as a detective, chasing a regular human is a welcome change.

BABEL showed us more of the relationship that has developed between Bruce and Terry. Terry may not live with Bruce as his other “sons” did, but Bruce obviously cares just as much for Terry as the others. Bruce is also proud of him and is just as uncomfortable in showing it as he ever was.

The actors had great lines, and not just for laughs either.

Shriek’s new weapon is inventive and effective. Without physically touching anyone or anything, Shriek can disable an entire city.

The writers and artists cleverly depicted the speech distortion. The difference between the sound when the word is spoken and when it is heard is illustrated visually and audibly. Normal words are used when the speaker talks and then the visual cues and camera angles, as well as the sounds are changed when the words are heard at the other end of the conversation. Even when Terry and Bruce communicate through the computers, Terry’s computer screen is red and Bruce’s screen is blue – almost like having different voices.

Bruce is still Batman, even without the costume. When Barbara delivers Shriek’s ultimatum to Bruce, Bruce volunteers to give himself up. He refers to Terry as the “kid” and then restrains Terry from responding to the ultimatum, at least at first.

The viewer sees that Terry is still haunted by his father’s death, even if it isn’t shown every episode. He has not recovered from it and it is a factor in his taking up the mantle.

Bruce and Terry both miss the fact that other animals, especially zoo animals, could be affected. Max is sharp enough to have thought about the larger effects of the problem. She is a worthy addition to the Bat family.

Terry figures out where Shriek is transmitting before Bruce does. Not even Bruce should be perfect all the time, and it serves to illustrate Terry’s intelligence as well.

Shriek isn’t killed off at the end of the episode. Only one sound disk is recovered in the rubble, paving the way for future battles with Shriek.

Terry really behaved like Batman in this episode. He was willing to give himself up for an ungrateful city, but first, he will try to outthink and outfight the villain. He is able to slip away when conversing with Bruce (reminiscent of Bruce’s disappearances when dealing with Jim Gordon). Even the ending is typical Batman.

I also liked how the ending mirrored the beginning.

Bad Points:

Terry still doesn’t make use of all the gadgets available to him when dealing with problems.
At the zoo, he didn’t use any tranquilizers on the animals; he relied on the suit’s strength enhancement for all the encounters. At least, he did use the boosters in his boots and the invisibility setting in his suit. Later, when going to fight Shriek, why didn’t Terry have some kind of sound protection for his ears? He should have known that he would be vulnerable to sound attacks.

I would like to have seen more development of Shriek’s character and insanity.

Why couldn’t Shriek feel the massive vibrations of the towers when they began to fall? It should have felt like a large earthquake standing that close to the towers.

While Terry tried to warn Shriek about the falling towers, why didn’t he just zoom over and pull Shriek out of harm’s way?

Still, these are relatively minor flaws in a very enjoyable story.

Reviewed by Zanna
( Zanna_Z@NOSPAMyahoo.com remove NOSPAM to email)

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TERRY’S FRIEND DATES A ROBOT
Written by Paul Dini
Teleplay by John McCann
Directed by Dan Riba
Original Air Date: January 15, 2000
Rating: *** out of 5

I’ll admit that I was skeptical about this episode like many others when I first saw it’s name. Unlike the short but meaningful titles of those before, this one just didn’t flow. Plus it sounded like a pretty corny premise, so I cringed at the thought of reviewing this. But thankfully the only thing ridiculous about this episode is its name.

The opening sequence was…amazing! We see Terry in the middle of an intense training session, facing off against robotic replicas of the Riddler, Two-Face, and Killer Croc. Bruce’s voice rings in the background, giving the younger fighter advice on how to deal with these situations. It was cool to see Terry in a 20th century Gotham facing off against classic Batman foes, even if it was only a simulation. However, Terry seems to be hitting to kill here…some of those tactics he uses are quite lethal, such as knocking a live grenade back to the Riddler, and kicking the head off of Croc.

The story centers around a boy at school named Howard Groote. He’s a geeky overweight fellow, but seems to want attention. He’s hosting a party this weekend, and invites popular kids like Nelson, Chelsea, and Blade. Naturally they turn him down, but he can’t seem to get that.
Fortunately, Terry and Dana willingly accept Howard’s offer and attempt to remind him that popular kids aren’t necessarily good friends.

Terry gives Howard a ride home, but stops by at a local factory to pick up some synthoids (highly advanced robots). While Terry is preoccupied with paperwork, Howard discovers a shady employee designing a robot for a customer…except this one looks just like a woman, and a good looking one at that. The man is willing to offer his services illegally, and Howard jumps at the chance to get a hot girl devoted to him, even if she’s fake.

As a result, Howard’s popularity rises dramatically at school. Now everybody wants to come to his big party. Nelson Nash tries and fails to get a date with “Syn-thia”, as Howard names her.
Nelson makes an insulting comment about her, and she gets quite angry. Later, as Nelson enters the locker room after sports practice, Synthia uses her artificial strength to push over a row of lockers, crushing the jock underneath. The hockey pads save his life, but he’s badly injured. The next day as the students discuss Nelson’s injury, Synthia’s lack of sympathy cause Terry and Max to become suspicious. Terry and Max notice a set of handprints on the lockers in the boy’s room, but they lack fingerprints.

From here on, several more incidents cause Terry to conclude that Synthia is a robot. His investigation leads him to the illicit employee and an interesting battle takes place there.
Meanwhile at Howard’s party, the relationship is falling apart. Synthia’s getting far too possesive, but she can’t see the problem with that, since she was programmed to be totally dedicated to Howard. A major battle ensues and his house is trashed before the synthoid finally goes down.

I felt that this episode was in the middle of the pack. Nothing particularly deep or important, although it was quite funny in some circumstances, like Max in the boy’s locker room. The ep also explores popularity issues, although way too many episodes have been about some kind of teen problem. That trend needs to stop in my opinion. But right now, I suppose we could use a lighthearted break from the dark revenge-laden stories like “Babel”.

By Justin Chen, aka The Overseer
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EDITORIAL
(by Kelly Tindall)

THE DEREK POWERS ARC

As I finally sat down to watch “Ascension” (whereas I finally finish last season’s crop of Batman Beyond episodes), I had a strange sense of completion. This was it. I knew that the producers were adamant that Blight/Powers was not going to appear this season, so I realized that this was it. The end, as it were, of the Big Villain. Unlike the Joker or Lex Luthor, Blight/Powers was done for, at least for a while.

And what an episode it was! As I watched Powers be done in by his own son and saw his fragile empire crumble to ashes around his feet, I noted that the story arc was almost Shakespearean in nature. A grandiose man, on top of the world, done in symbolically by his own power-madness and greed. Like King Lear, Powers was ruined by a child he was convinced would help save him.
Like Hamlet, Powers found himself in a court of lies. And like Iago, he found his evil manipulations of weaker souls such as Fixx, Inque and Shriek to factor into his own undoing.

The most tragic element of it all was when Miss Winston, the only one of Powers’ people still loyal, gave him a single sandwich. He shot her a hostile glance, and she shrank back as he consumed it. One can only imagine the pain, the rage, and the indignity that Powers must have felt. Trapped in a submarine, no better that a common thief. Trapped in a prison of his own design, in more ways than one.

The question I find myself asking is, “What has this betrayal done to him?” Will Powers re- emerge in one year’s time, a stronger menace and a natural force, his radiation powers more deadly than ever? Or has the trial of facing his only son clad in rotting skin and tarnished clothing changed him? Will we see a man beaten by circumstance, who lives only for petty revenge?

Will we ever see Derek Powers again?

Powers’ descent into madness was handled very well, with a discipline and maturity like I’ve never seen in a children’s animated television show. Sherman Howard certainly deserves an Emmy nomination for a man whose oily confidence slowly and deliberately slid into raging fury. It’s some of the best work I’ve ever heard.
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AND THAT’S THE FACTS
(by “Reliable Source”)

(Yes, I understand that the title is grammatically incorrect. So sue us. Actually, nix that. Don’t sue us.)

(DISCLAIMER: For those of you who are not yet familiar, Reliable Source is an anonymous character who first surfaced on Batman: The Animated Message Boards, spewing forth ridiculous predictions about the future of Batman Beyond under the guise of spoiler warnings. His controversial posts created quite a buzz, and have landed him a temporary column with this newsletter. The thoughts and ideas expressed by this shady character are in no way officially connected to Kids WB, Batman Beyond, this newsletter, or anything that is decent or holy. That said, on with the show.)

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BATMAN: THE ANIMATED TRIVIA
(by Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton)

This is one of my favourite sections, where I get to boggle the minds of all our readers! *EVIL LAUGH* This trivia is all animated-related in some form, and can deal with ANY aspect of the show or comics based on the show. Remember, answer the questions WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE ANIMATED CONTINUITY. Now have fun – let’s see how well you do! Answers are provided below.

I have no real theme for this edition of the quiz. Just go and knock yourself out, K?

251. Which of the following villains has Bane NOT interacted with on BTAS?

A: Killer Croc
B: The Joker
C: The Scarecrow
D: The Riddler
E: The Mad Hatter

252. How many stories has Paul Dini written for BATMAN BEYOND as of the delivery date of this newsletter? (One story = one episode; one comic book issue, etc.)

A: TWO
B: THREE
C: FIVE
D: SEVEN
E: None. He is only capable of writing really bad Harley Quinn stories and since she hasn’t
appeared on the series yet, he’s written SQUAT.

253. Who is the writer of the BATMAN BEYOND comic series?

A: Paul Dini
B: Alan Burnett
C: Hilary J. Bader
D: Frank Miller
E: Ty Templeton

254. In the opening title for the “The New Batman/Superman Adventures” batch of episodes, which Batman characters make an appearance in the OLD drawing style, and NOT the new style?

Answer: _________

255. “This isn’t one of those Riddler questions again, is it, sir?” Alfred says this to Batman at some point on the series. In what episode is this? And who asks the “riddle” in the first place?
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ANSWERS TO THE TRIVIA

Answer to #251: B, C
Answer to #252: B (REBIRTH, both parts, and TERRY’S FRIEND DATES A ROBOT)
Answer to #253: C
Answer to #254: Two-Face, Mr. Freeze (are there more?)
Answer to #255: Batman says it in THE WORRY MEN.

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LITTLE FACTS AND BLOOPERS
(by Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton)

Here is a section that just points out various little facts and bloopers that we have noticed while watching BTAS and STAS countless times. If you have anything to contribute, feel free to do so! Enjoy!

CONBTRIBUTED BY STAFF:
We’s blind! We’s blind!

CONTRIBUTED BY OTHERS:
(by “Grey Eyes”)
1) Los Angeles Times, on Friday December 17, 1999, in “Section Gee!” (Humor section), the “WEIRD POLLS BUREAU” had this to say: ” A reader survey in COSMOPOLITAN MAGAZINE said that 38% of women wanted to sleep with Batman while 33% would prefer Superman” (The blurb was printed under a picture of a WB animation style Batman and Superman picture)

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MERCHANDISING: WHERE THE REAL BAT-CASH IS MADE
(by anyone that wants to contribute)

This article by: Craig “Gookie” Crumpton

Re: BATMAN BEYOND BATLINK FIGURES

The new Batman Beyond Batlink action figures have been out for a few weeks now, but after seeing them up close, I decided they were crappy and didn’t interest me. And then I noticed that the “Deluxe” Energy Surge BatmanTM came with “a dual audio CD/CD-ROM” that included (as stated on the package) “SCREEN SAVERS! AUDIO SOUNDTRACK! BATLINKTM AUDIO ADVENTURE!”

Sounded cool, I thought – like buying a CD and getting an action figure for free. And the “audio adventure” interested me – I like that voice actor stuff, y’know. I have no plans to replace my Iron Giant screensaver anytime soon, but I figured I’d check these out anyway.

Using what was left on a gift purchase card I recieved for Christmas, I bought the crappy figure, mostly hoping the CD included would be the redeeming quality. So I get home and the CD loads with no problems. I’m expecting to see some “video” since the back of the package says “use [CD] in a computer to hear audio and see video”.

What passes for “video” on this disc is nothing more than cut-and-paste comic book images which have been manipulated to appear as though they are “animated”. If you thought Filmation animation was bad, you haven’t seen “bad” yet.

But perhaps I’m a bit too harsh – after all, what can you expect from a “freebie”? And the limited animation is actually better than a lot of crappy web cartoons I’ve seen. It’s just that the art is too cartoony and doesn’t look like either the comic book or the animated series.

It may not exactly be “video”, but it does make a decent screensaver – with character profiles of Terry, Bruce, Dana, Barbara Gordon, The Jokerz Gang, Inque and Blight (who looks like a glowing green skeleton of Homer Simpson). There are also some limited-animation “action” scenes of Batman battling each villain in turn. Because it’s so simply-rendered, it’s actually amusing to watch. Add your own sound effects and cheesy superhero dialog and it’s really quite entertaining… provided you’re easily amused.

The disc also includes one sample of desktop wallpaper, available in 3 different sizes. It’s nearly identical to what you find on the homepage when visiting batmanbeyond.com – the “Batman Beyond” logo and Batman in an action pose. Too bad there aren’t a few more samples available.

More misleading than the “video” advertised on the package is the “audio soundtrack”. There are two tracks on the CD in all – the “soundtrack” is none other than the opening theme for the show (a cool thing if you don’t already own the CD from Kids Rhino). It gives the option of loading the screensaver with or without music. I’d advise *without*. I think the theme rocks hard, but any song will annoy in heavy rotation (like Lou Bega’s “Mambo #5”). I should mention that if you let the disc run, it will play a slight variation of the theme. It will hold your interest for a full 15 seconds at least.

The other track is the “BatlinkTM Audio Adventure”, which is disappointing because it’s nothing more than a narration (accompanied by background music and sound effects), which in reality is a 5-minute (approximately) toy commercial for Hasbro’s BatlinkTM action figure line. It’s what I should have expected.

Oh, how naive I was.

What’s worse is the narrative style in which this is written. It’s what my Advanced Creative Writing instructor called “overwriting” – an exaggerated, melodramatic style which sounds juvenile and is always a sure sign of writing inexperience. A lot of you know what I’m talking about – overuse of modifiers and awkward “then suddenly” transitions.

The audio adventure on this disc is so bad, it’s funny. That may seem odd, but not when you consider that this is a toy commercial disguised as an “audio adventure”. (The voice artist is a complete unknown to me, in case you were curious.)

To those who have been wondering if the BatlinkTM toys would in any way be connected with the series, I think you have nothing to worry about. The only continuity in which these characters or this plot will appear is on this disc. And I have no idea why Robin is included in the toy line because he doesn’t appear in the story at any time. (I guess for the name and familiarity clause Hasbro is so fond of using to sell toys with no regard for continuity.) The CD is just a commercial to push yet another line of figures that appeal only to a younger demographic.

Here’s the plot, as given by the narrator:

===
While trying to hack into Wayne Enterprises’ computer system, Jokerz leader, J-ManTM, encounters Virtual JokerTM – a deadly computer virus created by a team of evil computer geniuses… programmed to help The JokerTM hack his way into the biggest and best computers in Gotham… but was almost completely destroyed by the Wayne Anti-Virus Security SystemTM.

Virtual JokerTM offers J-ManTM a deal – if helps to rebuild Virtual JokerTM, Virtual JokerTM will help J-ManTM take control Gotham’s computers. And if J-ManTM controls Gotham’s computers, he rules Gotham City.
===

I can already hear you groaning (Joker as a “techie”?), so I won’t subject you to much more of this. By the gratuitous use of the trademarked names, it becomes clear right away that they want kids to listen and then buy the other toys in the set so they can “act out” the adventure as they listen. I’m sure of it. I assume they thought this would qualify as an “interactive adventure”.

But just to show how amusing this little adventure is (because it’s so bad), allow me to share some of my “favorite” moments, which, if anything, are laughable. Bear in mind, these are quotes are verbatim. As Dave Barry says, I am not making this stuff up.

===

Meanwhile, in the BatcaveTM, Bruce WayneTM and Terry McGinnisTM are using the powerful BatcomputerTM to surf the ‘net, searching for any crimes.

===

===

[I’m not adding the exclamation points below for emphasis – it’s actually where the narrator himself emphasized.]

As Power Grid BatmanTM, Terry is able to see and move in cyberspace, as if he were really there! Plus, because Terry is really still in the BatcaveTM, and only Power Grid BatmanTM is in cyberspace, he can get advice from Bruce WayneTM!

===

[Here come the toys…]

Power Grid BatmanTM puts on his Universal Drive CapeTM…

Bruce WayneTM uploads The Electronic Smart BatTM…

…uploads the Mega-Batmobile NetrunnerTM – the ultimate cyberspace transportation.

…uploads the Codebuster Batman GearTM.

===

[This is classic cheese – like a bad episode of “Super Friends”.]

If the J-ManTM and Virtual JokerTM get into the power company computer, they can shut of any of the electricity in Gotham City they want to!

Using his Universal Drive CapeTM, Power Grid BatmanTM races to Police Headquarters, charging through computer circuits as if they were the streets of Gotham.

[That’s one of the worst metaphors I’ve ever read.]

===

[And finally, the most laughable line in the entire story.]

Virtual JokerTM seems unstoppable… until suddenly, J-ManTM is back online! Oh, no – he found a new modem!

===

I’m sure you’re all burning to hear how the story ends, so I’ll go ahead and spoil it for you.

In a completely unexpected and unexplained plot twist, J-ManTM suddenly decides he wants revenge against Virtual JokerTM “because he wanted to rule the city”, but then quickly scampers away when he sees “Bruce and Batman are too much for him to handle”. Batman then dispenses Virtual JokerTM with some virtual laser blasts or something and Bruce finishes him off (and I am not making this up) by hitting the DELETE key.

Seriously.

In the aftermath, Terry muses that there might have been a small fragment left of Virtual JokerTM as there was the first time he had been defeated, leaving room for the kiddies to act out a sequel to this riveting “cliff-hanger” of a tale, or to avoid having the kids think they wouldn’t have to bother buying Virtual JokerTM since the character had already been destroyed.

And there you have it – a 5-minute (or so) commercial for kids to nag their parents to buy them more worthless pieces of plastic.

I’ll admit that if I were a kid again, I’d think these toys were pretty cool – they’re all techie-looking and futuristic, and transparent too… kinda like rock candy (though they don’t taste anything like it), and my Energy Surge BatmanTM figure is the first I’ve seen of Hasbro’s line that’s articulated at the waist, rotating an entire 360 degrees, something none of us can do, certainly.

But then I see the bowlegs, the crooked Bat logo on the chest (every package on the peg was the same way), the lack of similarity to the look of the animated series and the collector in me recognizes this figure as the worthless P.O.S. it truly is. The gimmick of the transparent plastic is if you purchase the Virtual Bat (with plug-in and light-up interface)TM, your figures glow like your cheeks do when you put a flashlight in your mouth. I suppose that’s cool if you like to play in the dark (or enjoy putting flashlights in your mouth).

I have to say, though, that these figures have an awful lot of pointy places on them. Throw one at someone hard enough, and it really could make them bleed.

But my advice to fans and collectors – don’t waste your money. Buy the Batman Beyond soundtrack from Kids Rhino and download much better screen savers/wallpaper from high-quality fan sites.
And if you really want to buy a figure, get Hasbro’s Riddler or Mr. Freeze figures in the style of “The New Batman Adventures” – they’re outstanding. But if you want to buy a CD that’s gimmicky at best, wait until the Batlink figures have been discounted.

Like the average crappy Geocities homepage, Batlink will be a “dead link” in no time at all.

Virtual GookieTM
–now with deluxe water-squirting action.

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COMIC REVIEWS
(GOTHAM ADVENTURES by Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton)
(BATMAN BEYOND by Tim Wan)

BATMAN BEYOND (ongoing)
ISSUE: “Two Of A Kind” (#4)
WRITTEN BY: Hilary J. Bader
PENCILLED BY: Craig Rousseau
INKED BY: Rob Leigh
ISSUED: December 22, 1999 (cover date, Feb 2000)
RATING (out of 5): ***

Ten and the Royal Flush Gang have been by favorite villains in the Batman Beyond Universe, and I was overjoyed when I saw them on the cover. Unfortunately, the story and plot are so amazingly unbelievable that they should just banish this entire comic from continuity.

The story revolves around two sets of Royal Flush Gangs. The original King, Queen, Ace, Jack and Ten are still imprisoned and awaiting parole, but the Royal Flush Gang is still committing crimes at the same time. Is there a set of imposters? Or is the Gang escaping nightly from jail? It’s up to Batman to find out.

As with all Royal Flush Gang appearances, Ten takes center stage, but the relationship between Melanie and Terry is never really expanded. Terry is constantly defending Ten from Bruce, but Terry and Melanie never get a chance alone together, although there are some tense moments between Batman and Ten. It’s obvious that both Melanie and Terry still have feelings for each other; it’s unfortunate that they don’t get to express them in this issue.

Additionally, the comic is a bit unclear on whether it’s after “Dead Man’s Hand”, or after “Once Burned”. I’d suspect the comic takes place after DMH since Ten’s in prison, and Ten wasn’t captured at the end of Once Burned.

The problem with the issue is that the plot twist is out of a bad soap opera. The only reason I enjoyed the comic is because I have a strong “RFG-bias”, and I’ll admit that it was highly entertaining. It doesn’t make any sense, and probably ruins continuity, but at the core, it’s a fun read. I’d recommend picking the comic up based on how outrageous it is, but in my mind there are only two “real” Royal Flush Gang appearances.
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COMIC SCHEDULES & COVERING THE BASICS

This section gives a little bit more indepth look into each monthly issue of BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES and SUPERMAN ADVENTURES. Below each comic listing is a link to the cover of that comic. TALK ABOUT SERVICE! The price is $1.99 in the US and…grrrrr…a whopping $3.25 in Canada. (Both our editors and many subscribers are Canadian, hence the “grrr”.) If we are unsure of the exact date of when an issue is being released, just check out “DIRECT CURRENTS” at //www.dccomics.com for details.

BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES #23
February 2nd?
Synopsis: Northern Canada is the backdrop, the kidnapping of oil is the crime, and Ra’s Al Ghul is the villain.
Cover: //www.comicscontinuum.com/stories/9911/16/bmga23th.jpg

NEXT MONTH:
Synopsis: Batman and Batgirl must track down the missing Nightwing and Robin, who are being held by a villain who has outwitted them both. Batman can track the heroes down, but will he follow their footsteps right into a trap? This issue also features Killer Croc.
Cover: Unavailable

BATMAN BEYOND #5 (ongoing)
January 26th
Synopsis: Leaping from the TV screen: the sound-manipulating villain called Shriek! Deafened and imprisoned after his defeat by Batman, Dr. Shreeve has escaped! Now he’s developed a device that uses sound waves to disrupt and disintegrate Batman’s equipment… and he’s a decibel away from destroying the Bat-suit and the man underneath
Cover: //www.dccomics.com/directcurrents/comics/covers/bmb5.jpg

FOLLOWING MONTH: Issue #6.
Synopsis: The Stalker returns.
Cover: Unavailable

SUPERMAN ADVENTURES #42
January 12th
Synopsis: Unavailable
Cover: Unavailable

NEXT MONTH:
Synopsis: Unavailable
Cover: Unavailable

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NEWS AND RUMORS

ALL-ENCOMPASSING/OTHER
-KIDS’WB! is expected to make their mid-season announcemnt soon, as well as their fall 2000-2001 season announcement within the next six weeks. It’s still unsure if (or how many times) BATMAN/SUPERMAN will return, due to the fact that KIDS’WB! has about 4 to 5 new series on the way.
-KIDS’WB! has announced one certain thing about their fall-lineup next year: There will ne NO X-Men cartoon. Other then that, it is not known how many new BATAMN BEYOND episodes will air, or if BATMAN/SUPERMAN will return with new episodes.
-Terry Beatty has been and will be selling Gotham Adventures and Batman Beyond original art on ebay. His Seller ID is: wlee@muscanet.com Do yourself a favor and check out some great art!

ANIMATED SERIES (BTAS, STAS, BEYOND)
-It looks like KIDS’WB! won’t be airing LEGACY in January as originally predicted, but could air during Febuary sweeps. We’ll keep ya posted!

ANIMATED COMICS
-The Terrific Trio story slated for BATAMN BEYOND #3 might still be published, and could be published befpore the first 12 issues are complete.
-Terry Beatty will be penciling an upcoming issue of GOTHAM ADVENTURES.

OTHER COMICS
-Talia will be appearing in DETECTIVE COMICS somewhere around 0. This issue is also proposed to be a double-sized issue.
-The new villain Whisper D’Aire (created by Greg Rucka) also shares a connection to Ra’s Al Ghul.
-Greg Rucka will be writing a Batman/Wonder Woman crossover later this year.
-BATMAN #577, Larry Hama’s third outing as the writer of the series, features Bruce and Alfred combatting rats in Wayne Manor. Huh?

MOVIES
-Rumours of Uma Thurman’s return to the Bat-franchise are accumulating. The Oscar-nominated actress stated: “Even though the public LOVED my part in Batman & Robin, I admit that I felt ripped off. Why? Arnold got all the better lines. I never got to kiss anyone for real – just fake PLASTIC lips. Where’s the fun in that? And EVERYONE got nippled costumes EXCEPT me!
Where’s the justice? I felt so overlooked – I could feel the pain Tommy Lee Jones felt. Poor guy.
“I want to return in the near future – alongside Jenny McCarthy as the Joker’s Wife (that’s what she’s called, right?) and show that I am a real bad-ass. Really. I might actually use some plants to fight the Bat-team in this movie. No more of that pink smokey stuff.
“Oh, and I hope Jeep comes back, too, as a bad-ass at my side. He looked too cute in the movie – looked like all he needed to be pointed down the straight and narrow was a hug. It’s sad, I know. I want to do justice to the awesome animated SUPERFRIENDS show in my next outing.
That’s what Umers thinks. Conversely, it would seem that the WB is still humming and hawing over a BATMAN BEYOND script – but we won’t hear news about that for some time. Why? The WB still needs to recieve the results of their “Who is the hottest male actor at the moment” poll so they can begin casting the role of Terry. Proposed villains? Said exec, “We’re gonna be using old favourites from the original series like Farmer Brown and his daughter, Amy-Lou, and the heavies. Also, expect to see a certain man that loves timepieces to appear – you could say that he’s the king of clocks – but we won’t say any more, or else we’d be spoiling it.”
As for the BRUCE WAYNE TV series, word has it that the show has been indefinately put on hold until someone Jake Lloyd is old enough to play the part. “If you thought that emotionless prepubescent Anakin was awesome,” said Lloyd, “wait until you see me as a real kick ass bad guy. May the force be with ME! Mwuhahahahaha!” After Lloyd stopped laughing at his funny joke – I’m in stiches – his agent told him that Bruce Wayne was on the side of good. Pitiful.

TOYS, BOOKS, AND OTHER MERCHANDISE
-A 9″ BATMAN BEYOND figure with a cloth costume will be released later this year.
-Starting January 3, Burger King & Batman Beyond teamed up for four weeks of action figures and kids meals. Once BK is done with Pokemon toys, they will start a four month promotional Batman Beyond Kids’ Meal pack. These will include all-new action figures made spefically for the fast food franchise. Go to //www.burgerking.com for details.
-We have just learned that all WB Stores in Europe will be closing down, except for locations in England.
__________________________________
FEATURED BAT-SITE FOR THIS ISSUE

???
___________________________________
ANIMATED BATMAN/SUPERMAN SITES:

* – indicates a shameless plug for a site a certain double-faced editor created with his bare hands – in other words, a cheap advertising technique.

OFFICIAL SITES
————————
THE NEW BATMAN/SUPERMAN ADVENTURES
//www.batman-superman.com
BATMAN:THE ANIMATED SERIES
//www.batmantas.com
BATMAN BEYOND
//www.batmanbeyond.com
BATMAN BEYOND VIDEO SITE
//www.batmanbeyondvideo.com
YTV’S BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES PAGE
//www.ytv.com/shows/batman_animated/
YTV’s BATMAN BEYOND Page
//www.ytv.com/shows/batman_beyond/
SUB-ZERO: THE DEFINTIE GUIDE
//www.batman-subzero.com
KID’S WB
//www.kidswb.com
DC COMICS
//www.dccomics.com
TOON ZONE
//www.toonzone.net
PSYCOMICS
//www.psycomics.com
RAVING TOY MANIAC
//www.toymania.com
VOICE CHASERS
//www.voicechasers.org

UNOFFICIAL SITES
—————————–
*TWO-FACE’S TOWER OF TRANQUILITY AND TERROR
//www.angelfire.com/tx/TimTwoFace/index.html
BATMAN, SUPERMAN, & BEYOND :THE WORLD’S FINEST DISCUSSION CENTER
//welcome.to/worldsfinest
THE DISCUSSION CENTER (same as above)
//www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/Taping/2928/boards.htm
BRIAN CRUZ’ WB CARTOON PAGE
//www.toonzone.net/brian/index.html
BATMAN UK (BRIAN’S BATMAN PAGE)
//www.batmanuk.freeserve.co.uk
RA’S AL GHUL’S THE LAZARUS PIT
//zap.to/lazaruspit
THE DARK KNIGHT
//www.darkknight.ca
BATMAN BEYOND: WELCOME TO THE FUTURE
//www.batmanbeyond.net
TIM WAN’S BATMAN BEYOND
//come.to/batmanbeyond
DCU ANIMATED
//www.DCUAnimated.zzn.com
HARLEY’S HAVEN OF HEDONISM
//www.angelfire.com/hi2/harlequinhideaway
GOTHAM CITY LIMITS
//www.batman.gexner.net
BATMAN: DEFENDER OF GOTHAM
//www.fandom.com/batman
THE RIDDLER – EDWARD NYGMA’S PUZZLE WEBSITE
//perso.wanadoo.fr/prospero.milan/nygma
THE BATMAN ACTION FIGURE PAGE
//www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Boulevard/7659/
CHARACTERS ON THE ADVENTURES OF BATMAN & ROBIN
//www.xse.com/leres/batman.html
ARKHAM ASYLUM
//animation.acmecity.com/saturday/352
JOKERZ TERRITORY
//members.xoom.com/Jokerz84/index.htm
THE BATZONE
//www.batzone.cjb.net/
JLA: THE ANIMATED SERIES
//animation.acmecity.com/character/375
ANIMATED TALES
//www.geocities.com/Area51/Dunes/2294/at
A TRIBUTE TO BATMAN
//www.angelfire.com/ny2/russkafin/batman.html
BATMAN CEL SITE
//animation.acmecity.com/carbon/111
DARK JUSTICE
//www.mania.com.au/~grahark/darkjustice/
THE VAULT
//dmoz.org/Arts/Animation/Voice_Actors

NEWSGROUPS
————————
news:alt.comics.batman
news:alt.animation.batman
news:alt.comics.superman
news:rec.arts.sf.superman
news:alt.tv.cartoon-network
news:rec.arts.animation
news:alt.animation.warner-bros

_______________________________________
QUESTIONS, SUBMISSIONS, AND FAN-MAIL

If you have any questions, problems, links do not work, or anything else then please e-mail this address with your problems and we’ll try to fix them as soon as possible. Also if you’d like to send any fan-mail then please send it to this address:

juno@direct.ca

As for submissions, feel free to submit an article or opinion on anything pertaining to BTAS.
Keep in mind that as the editors, we have the right to edit your submissions if we deem it necessary. Such instances would include problems with length, grammar, and language. If we do feel we must edit something, however, we will do our utmost to ensure that the opinion and the basic message of the submission does not change, as that is the most important part of any artcile, and everyone is entitled to it. And if you do submit something, please don’t just submit a basic review of an episode or a comic or something (because we have people writing for those purposes already) – write about an issue you’d like to discuss.
________________________________
BATMAN: THE ANIMATED ARCHIVES

The very kind people at TOONZONE were nice enough to give us our own little section of their huge and diverse website. The archives contain past newsletters and is semi-regularly updated with the latest one. To check it out go here:

TOONZONE’s BATMAN: THE ANIMATED NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES
//www.toonzone.net/wbc/newsletters/btan
_____________________________________________________
LIKE WHAT YA SEE? WANNA SUBSCRIBE? HERE’S HOW!!!

For those of you who are seeing this at the WBC HOMEPAGE BTAN ARCHIVES section, and want to subscribe just follow these simple instructions:

To subscribe email juno@direct.ca, put SUBSCRIBE in the subject line, and put the e-mail address you’d like the newsletter to be sent to in the body of the message.

For more information the newsletter just email juno@direct.ca
Thank you for your time, and thanks for reading! Tell your friends!

-Tim TWO-FACE Leighton and Dick Grayson, editors
__________________________
TO ALL GOOD THINGS…
…there must be an end. We would like to thank the endless amount of contributors for contributing their editorials, columns, news, jokes, reviews and other articles. We hope you’ve all enjoyed it as much as we’ve enjoyed making it! See ya next time!

CREDITS FOR BATMAN: THE ANIMATED NEWSLETTER

EDITOR: Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
EDITOR AT COLLEGE: “Dick Grayson”
AIR DATE SCHEDULES: Brian Cruz, RiddlerWB (at the official BTAS/STAS site), and YTV.com
EPISODE REVIEWS: Zanna/Justin Chen, and occasionally Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
EDITORIAL: Kelly Tindall
COMIC REVIEWS: Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton, Tim Wan
MERCHANDISE REVIEW: Various
“BTAN ARCHIVES” MODERATOR: Eileen Delgadillo
TRIVIA: Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
PROMOTIONS AND JUST GETTIN’ THE WORD AROUND: Dick Grayson, Eileen Delgadillo, Brian Cruz, Brian Davis
THOSE WHO FILL IN FOR OTHERS WHEN THEY FOUL UP:-Y Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
DELIVERY: Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
E-MAIL RECEPTION HANDLING: Tim “TWO-FACE” Leighton
BATMAN CREATED BY: Bob Kane & Bill Finger (who else?)

Batman and all related indicated are trademarks of DC Comics, Copyright c 2000.
_______________________________________

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