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The Batman - The Complete Fourth Season

1 rating: 3.0
Action & Adventure and Animation movie directed by Anthony Chun, Brandon Vietti, Matt Youngberg, and Vinton Heuck

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 as Lucius Fox (Louis Gossett … see full wiki

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure
1 review about The Batman - The Complete Fourth Season

The Gap Has Been Bridged

  • Jan 17, 2008
Rating:
+3
To begin, let me apologize for the lateness in my review of the 4th series. I had no idea so many fans out there appreciated my reviews of the first three seasons.

The Complete 4th season of The Batman is certainly a step in the right direction. It is commonly known that the entire prose of The Batman is endlessly compared to the early 1990s Batman: The Animated Series (TAS). Needless to say, these are some incredibly big shoes to fill. The Batman hasn't shown what I would consider a linear climb but it has had flares of potential along the way. That said, the 4th season is the closest yet to achieving the type of depth and character interaction we TAS fanboys have been longing for.

The 4th season finally introduces us to Robin (the Dick Grayson version for those who wonder). And while I'm one of those viewers (minority perhaps) who feel like Robin and Batgirl destroy the darkness and vengeance that fuel Bruce Wayne's quest for justice, I must confess that the show's writers did do an adequate job. The Robin they developed for this series very closely resembles the Robin of Teen Titans fame both in terms of physical appearance and personality (with a cool split cape design). Since Batgirl was brought to us in the third season, the show shifts gears with a more "Bat-family" atmosphere in that Bruce is a stern father figure while Robin and Batgirl share a sibling rivalry. Surprisingly, it works better in reality than it sounds. Maybe because the show's plots have become much deeper and better fleshed out. Finally, we aren't overdosed in Joker and Penguin plots and in fact are treated to a pretty evenly mixed share of established villains and newly made up ones.

Even the made-up antagonists are getting better. Most interesting is the well-crafted Everywhere Man. Also showing up this season are the very Red Skull-esque Black Mask, corny Killer Moth and Rumor who was clearly inspired by the Predator.

Among the returning classic rouges, expect some very nice work from the Riddler and a more appropriate version of Clayface. Ragdoll, Killer Croc, and Firefly make some noteworthy appearances and Mr. Freeze gets some serious screen-time in a very interesting episode that takes place in the future. The biggest news however comes from the fact that the show decided to bring the ever-popular (if not highly annoying) Harley Quinn to the roster. Rather than risk butchering the plot, they wisely signed on TAS mastermind Paul Dini to write the episode. Suffice to say, it is done well.

In my opinion the biggest news (read carefully as there are some spoilers ahead) comes in the season finale in the 2 parter called The Joining. The scope of the impending alien invasion is literally on par with recent Justice League efforts and ends with The Batman being transported to the Watch Tower where he's invited to join a (Super Man and Wonder Woman-less) Justice League. Martian Manhunter makes up a majority of the show and is done to perfection. I would personally love for the show to switch into a more Justice League style presentation over Bruce babysitting the kids.

Also further closing up the gap between The Batman and TAS, voice direction is handled by none other than Andrea Romano who does nearly all of the recruiting for the entire DCAU (DC Animated Universe). Brandon Routh, Mark Hamill (Joker from TAS), Brooke Shields, Dave Foley, Ron Perlman, and Kevin Conroy (Bruce Wayne from TAS) all lend their voice talent this time around. These little touches show!

All in all, this season of The Batman has literally bridged the gap that existed between it and The Animated Series up until this point. The writing has matured immensely and the plots themselves are vastly superior to past offerings.

Included on this set are the following episodes:

A Matter of Family
Team Penguin
Clayfaces
The Everywhere Man
Strange New World
The Breakout
Artifacts
Riddler's Revenge
Rumors
The Joining, Part One
The Joining, Part Two

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