Is The Batman animated series from 2004 underrated?

The Overlord

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Is The Batman animated series from 2004 underrated? It got slammed by some Batman fans back in 2004, probably because came out a couple of years after BTAS finally ended and was compared to BTAS. But now, decades later, is the Batman worth re-evaluating? I saw this video ranking various animated Batman series and The Batman comes in at number 2, and the video makes some good points on why it deserves the second spot.

 

ABrown

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I've said this before. The Batman wasn't a bad show, I just didn't have a need for it so quickly after The New Batman Adventures and Batman Beyond had come to an end. Plus, Batman was still being featured as a main character on Justice League Unlimited when The Batman premiered. So it's not like kids didn't already have a way to get their Batman fix at that time. I found much more entertainment in Batman: the Brave & the Bold, once I caught on with what it was trying to do.
 

KeldeoKitty

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I get the Batman 2004 was not the most popular. But probably one of the better Kids WB shows in it’s later years.
 
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The Batman was only hated in the past because BTAS fans did not like it for not being apart of the DCAU. It's being rediscovered and now people understand its not a bad show.
 

M.O.D.O.K.

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Is The Batman animated series from 2004 underrated? It got slammed by some Batman fans back in 2004, probably because came out a couple of years after BTAS finally ended and was compared to BTAS. But now, decades later, is the Batman worth re-evaluating? I saw this video ranking various animated Batman series and The Batman comes in at number 2, and the video makes some good points on why it deserves the second spot.


Beware the Batman below the Filmation show with Bat-Mite? Seriously? :rolleyes:

Anyway, this might've been true back when the show was coming out and even a few years after it ended. But it's been resurging in popularity and appreciation. There's posts about it all the time, the recent complete series release got a decent amount of buzz, and I can't go online for long without seeing blogs and video essays about why the show is good or underrated. I think part of it is also that the generation that grew up with it now sees it with the same nostalgic bliss older generations did with B:TAS. I don't think the impact is anywhere as big as B:TAS, but there's definitely some similar fondness.

Sharing the exact title with the recent hit movie also definitely helped put some eyes on it. ;)
 

Pooky

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Underrated? I would say yes, at least among people my age.

Like I'm sure a lot of people, I had a knee-jerk negative reaction to this at the time because it seemed like both an unnecessary change from (what we now call) the DCAU/the Timmverse. The art-style seemed like a step down, and I disliked the then-trendy "edgy" elements and the seeming emphasis on action over story, mood and character. I don't entirely retract all that but I can see there is more merit to this show than I gave it credit for at the time. If this show came out now people would absolutely flip their lids for it.

I also think people overlook the incredible voice cast; Ming-Na Wen, Mitch Pileggi, Gina Gershon, Robert Englund, Louis Gossett Jr., Edward James Olmos to name but some of the most famous, plus a lot of great voice acting staples and Adam West and Frank Gorshin to top it all off!

That said I wouldn't rank it second; hit and miss as it was, I feel The Brave & the Bold was a better, more distinctive show. I think Batman Beyond is kind of overrated in some ways, but I would probably still rank it above this. But unlike me this guy has seen every episode of all of these shows, so perhaps I should note this is subject to change.
 

Fone Bone

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In hindsight, there were a lot of surface problems wrong with the show. The music was awful, the backgrounds pea-soup green and brown and ugly, the character designs were odd, and the choice to make Bruce Wayne a nacho eatin', rock lovin' hipster the kids can relate to was an obnoxious one. But if I'm being totally honest, the writing itself isn't that big of a step down from BTAS. And I'm not saying that to compliment The Batman. I'm saying the writing on BTAS is probably overpraised. It does not pass the test of time the way Dwayne McDuffie's JLU dialogue does. It's pretty painful in places. But The Batman probably got more crap than it deserved because people misjudged BTAS as a perfect series when it's not. And frankly BTAS doesn't HAVE to be perfect to have value. So there. .

Me? I was always comparing The Batman negatively to JLU at the time, which made my dislike of the show feel a bit honest and earned. JLU IS practically perfect, if you ask me.

Do you know what's weird? I think The Batman's fourth season is one of the best single seasons in DC Animation history. Up there with JLU Season One. The first three seasons were generally awful, but that fourth season was just so damn clever and inventive the entire way through. What was frustrating to me is that the fifth season went right back to sucking. The show was four underwhelming, (bordering on sucky) seasons and one amazing one. And I can't ever really think of a good reason why Season Four is that great while the other seasons are that bad. At the time it was airing, I was like "Oh, the producers just realized they could actually deliver a great Batman show if they decided to. That's not actually up to the people who created the toyline." But if that were really the case, Season Five would have been amazing too. It puzzles me a bit in hindsight. I don't get it.
 

Yojimbo

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Do you know what's weird? I think The Batman's fourth season is one of the best single seasons in DC Animation history. Up there with JLU Season One. The first three seasons were generally awful, but that fourth season was just so damn clever and inventive the entire way through. What was frustrating to me is that the fifth season went right back to sucking. The show was four underwhelming, (bordering on sucky) seasons and one amazing one. And I can't ever really think of a good reason why Season Four is that great while the other seasons are that bad. At the time it was airing, I was like "Oh, the producers just realized they could actually deliver a great Batman show if they decided to. That's not actually up to the people who created the toyline." But if that were really the case, Season Five would have been amazing too. It puzzles me a bit in hindsight. I don't get it.
I don't remember the exact reason, but I think there was some turnover between The Batman season 4 and 5? I do know for sure that Duane Capizzi was the story editor for season 1-3 then Michael Jelenic took over in the final seasons or only season 4. Since The Batman and Batman: The Brave and The Bold were close to each other, Jelenic may have gotten more focused on developing the latter with James Tucker.
 

Dusty

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Is The Batman animated series from 2004 underrated? It got slammed by some Batman fans back in 2004, probably because came out a couple of years after BTAS finally ended and was compared to BTAS. But now, decades later, is the Batman worth re-evaluating? I saw this video ranking various animated Batman series and The Batman comes in at number 2, and the video makes some good points on why it deserves the second spot.


It was absolutely underrated. Besides BT’s JL, The Batman was my favorite show, design, and version really. I loved Jeff Matsuda’s designs before the JLU crew came in and too many changes occured, I loved The Batman seasons 1-3, but I despised the redirection and them screwing Jeff’s original design. I loved JLU, but I liked having a completely different Batman in terms of style and story.
buuuut, my opinion is usually pretty unpopular. lol
 

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(first time viewer here) I watched the first episode on HBO Max and haven't been in a big hurry to watch more. Does it improve?
 

M.O.D.O.K.

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(first time viewer here) I watched the first episode on HBO Max and haven't been in a big hurry to watch more. Does it improve?
Honestly, I find most of season one forgettable until the two-part finale. Seasons two and three are a mixed bag, mostly worth seeing for the Clayface and Hugo Strange episodes. Season four is probably the strongest season. Season five is mostly okay, but you can tell they were running out of steam by then.
 

SweetShop209

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I don't remember the exact reason, but I think there was some turnover between The Batman season 4 and 5? I do know for sure that Duane Capizzi was the story editor for season 1-3 then Michael Jelenic took over in the final seasons or only season 4. Since The Batman and Batman: The Brave and The Bold were close to each other, Jelenic may have gotten more focused on developing the latter with James Tucker.
I remember this tweet from Thomas Perkins, where he talked about not being sure of the show making it past season 3, meaning it was likely meant to be a 3 season show before newer people came in to work on the last two seasons. I think Michael Jelenic did have heavy involvement in season 4, but I think he didn't work on season 5 due to having a larger role on Legion Of Superheroes.

 

SilentYoda

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I watched The Batman and it was alright, but not awesome when compared to BTAS and show style looks weird.
 

Fone Bone

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(first time viewer here) I watched the first episode on HBO Max and haven't been in a big hurry to watch more. Does it improve?
Season four is the only one worth watching. The show is pretty self-contained so you can probably skip right to it with no real problems. Seasons 1-3 and 5 are utter dreck.

Also, The Batman Vs. Dracula is surprisingly solid.
 

Marvelman02

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I didn't care much for the first season. But, the show picked up in season 2. I also loved the opening from season 2 inwards. Overall, I rate this series as good but not great. It is bad only in comparison to B:TAS.
 

Yojimbo

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I think when Commissioner Gordon showed up in the season 2 finale, that was almost like the big sign the show was starting to improve.
 

-batmat-

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I think when Commissioner Gordon showed up in the season 2 finale, that was almost like the big sign the show was starting to improve.
I don't know about that. I really liked Ellen Yin and Chief Rojas, I definitely missed them. Gordon showing up in the season 2 finale was great, but sadly he didn't have much to do in the series after that.

Also, Season 3 is probably my least favorite season.
 

Yojimbo

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I don't know about that. I really liked Ellen Yin and Chief Rojas, I definitely missed them. Gordon showing up in the season 2 finale was great, but sadly he didn't have much to do in the series after that.

Also, Season 3 is probably my least favorite season.
I didn't say improved because of the absence of Ellen Yin who just left the show for some reason. I didn't like that. Rojas on on the other hand, meh. Yeah, I'm not saying season 3 was the best, just it felt like a tonal shift and the show reached its apex in season 4 then... ended on a meh note. I do agree, the police sort shifted to the background to focus on the Bat-Family. The movie was also pretty good (still waiting for it on Blu-ray <grumble><grumble> someday).
 

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In hindsight, there were a lot of surface problems wrong with the show. The music was awful, the backgrounds pea-soup green and brown and ugly, the character designs were odd, and the choice to make Bruce Wayne a nacho eatin', rock lovin' hipster the kids can relate to was an obnoxious one. But if I'm being totally honest, the writing itself isn't that big of a step down from BTAS. And I'm not saying that to compliment The Batman. I'm saying the writing on BTAS is probably overpraised. It does not pass the test of time the way Dwayne McDuffie's JLU dialogue does. It's pretty painful in places. But The Batman probably got more crap than it deserved because people misjudged BTAS as a perfect series when it's not. And frankly BTAS doesn't HAVE to be perfect to have value. So there. .
Oh come on. The dialogue in the first seasons of "The Batman" is literally a constant stream of bad one-liners followed by a electric guitar going TUDUM. Honestly this cartoon is better if you can't understand English and just read the subtitles in another language. B:TAS doesn't come close to that amount of "cringe". If there are one-liners at all in a B:TAS episode, they are usually said by a villain.
Do you know what's weird? I think The Batman's fourth season is one of the best single seasons in DC Animation history. Up there with JLU Season One. The first three seasons were generally awful, but that fourth season was just so damn clever and inventive the entire way through. What was frustrating to me is that the fifth season went right back to sucking. The show was four underwhelming, (bordering on sucky) seasons and one amazing one. And I can't ever really think of a good reason why Season Four is that great while the other seasons are that bad. At the time it was airing, I was like "Oh, the producers just realized they could actually deliver a great Batman show if they decided to. That's not actually up to the people who created the toyline." But if that were really the case, Season Five would have been amazing too. It puzzles me a bit in hindsight. I don't get it.
Agreed.
 

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