Review by Win Wiacek
The Batman Animated television series masterminded by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini revolutionised the Dark Knight and led to some of the absolute best comics adventures in his nigh 75-year publishing history. This selection of adventures crafted by Ty Templeton, Rick Burchett and John Beatty features the entire TV Batman family cast in exploits set directly following Batman Adventures: the Lost Years.
‘With a Price on his Head’ kicks things off in high gear as a millionaire victim puts an open bounty on the Joker, and Batman’s protective custody plan goes horribly wrong. With the Clown Prince loose in the Batcave and the team hunting down assorted opportunistic super-criminals, only Alfred and Batgirl can save the day at home.
Two-Face commandeers a live game-show in a powerful, stylish tale of parenting entitled ‘Lucky Day’ whilst Batman is saved by his own boyhood hero the Grey Ghost in ‘Just Another Day’, a seductive shocker featuring the Scarecrow.
Catwoman deals savagely with a millionaire-model who enjoys animal-testing in the surprising edgy and hard-hitting ‘Claws’ and tragic Mister Freeze returns still seeking love and vengeance in ‘Polar Opposites’ before the metropolitan magic concludes with ‘Last Chance’ as Nightwing returns to his circus roots and meets the legendary ghost of Boston Brand – better known to all comic fans as Deadman.
Without ever diluting the power and mood of the characters, these tales perfectly honed the grim hero and his team into a wholly accessible and memorable form that the youngest of readers can enjoy, whilst adding shades of exuberance and style that only the very rarest of “real” Batman comics have come near to achieving. Pure Bat-Gold.