Being a huge fan of Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond, I have to admit when I first saw The Batman series that I wasn’t feeling the way it looked nor with the new takes on classic villains. But once I gave it a chance, it quickly grew on me and i’m so glad it’s finally in high-definition with The Batman: The Complete Series Blu-ray set that brings this underrated show home with style just in time for the new Batman film.
Featuring all five seasons consisting of 65 episodes on six discs, this 2004 show that started out on Saturday mornings on Kids WB and went to Cartoon Network not long after follows Bruce Wayne (voiced by Rino Romano) in his early 20s and has only been Batman for three years. Since he’s young and just starting to get the hang of being the caped crusader, viewers get to see him take on classic villains such as Bane, the Joker, Penguin, Catwoman, Mr. Freeze, and more for the first time, but with crazy new twists to them.
A perfect example is the Joker who is a straitjacket wearing, acrobatic lunatic this time around that’s just as fast and nimble as Batman (and voiced by famed Black voice actor Kevin Michael Richardson to boot), and the Penguin knowing martial arts that makes Batman slip up a few times during their battles. I have to admit that this was one of the main things I love about this series as it’s nice to have villains that normally couldn’t match fighting skills with Batman to finally do so.
If that wasn’t enough for Bruce to deal with, he also has to contend with his best friend Detective Ethan Bennett (Steve Harris) and his partner Detective Ellen Yin (Ming-Na Wen) being on his tail and trying to arrest him when he’s fighting crime as Batman while also making sure they never suspect it’s him under the cape and cowl. Thankfully Bruce has plenty of help from his computer dubbed the “Batwave” that alerts him when there’s trouble in Gotham and syncs his utility belt to all of his weapons, gadgets and vehicles, as well as his best friend and butler Alfred (Alastair Duncan) who always has his back.
For a TV series that aired on TV almost twenty years ago, everything looks gorgeous in high-definition, most likely due the show being digitally animated and drawn. The audio is also great as being in Dolby HD makes sure you hear every line, kick, punch, and explosion perfectly clear. There’s also loads of special features to take a look at as well.
A brand new extra made for this collection is “The Dark Dynasty Continues” that goes into Batman and how he became the famous dark knight that’s known for both his wit and brawn. The other extras are pulled from the previous DVD season releases with ones going into how the later seasons had Batman teaming up with other DC superheroes, the new look and direction the series went in, interviews with supervising producer Duane Capizzi and other crew members discussing the later seasons, and more.
Some fans may be disappointed to know that The Batman vs Dracula movie isn’t included with this release, but having and going through all 65 episodes will keep most happy with The Batman: The Complete Series Blu-ray set. As long as you’re willing to give it a chance, it’ll quickly grow on you with its anime-like artwork, tuned up villains, and catchy soundtrack (I love the intro music by U2’s The Edge) that easily makes it one of the best and severely underrated takes on Batman out there.