Batman: The Animated Series returns as a comic book this spring

Photo: Batman and Harley Quinn.. Image Courtesy DC Universe, Warner Bros. Productions.
Photo: Batman and Harley Quinn.. Image Courtesy DC Universe, Warner Bros. Productions. /

Batman: The Animated Series regaled audiences for four seasons, won an Emmy and redefined the Dark Knight for a generation and, now, DC Comics heralds its return this April and May.

Because it debuted in 1992 on Fox Kids, it’s difficult to find anyone who was alive during that time who didn’t watch Batman: The Animated Series. It not only reintroduced Batman to a generation who only knew the character from reruns of Batman ’66 or Super-Friends, but it christened the dawn of more serious animated projects, which would later inspire shows such as Gargoyles. Despite having switched networks in 1997 and spawning a more expansive universe with subsequent shows produced by the same people, the popularity of “BTAS,” as some call it, has never waned.

According to a scoop from Entertainment Weekly, DC Comics and two of the TV show’s original writers and producers will reunite to continue that legacy as a comic book. Titled Batman: The Adventures Continue, this six-issue miniseries will be released digitally in April and begin to see printed editions in May. It will be written by Paul Dini and Alan Burnett, who both co-produced and wrote for the original show. Ty Templeton, an artist who has won multiple Eisners for his previous work on an animated Batman comic, will return to draw the run.

According to an interview with the creators, they plan to do a story that will involve some characters they never got to utilize in either the original animated series or the years of comics dedicated to it. Jason Todd, Azrael, and Deathstroke will all appear within the story. Preview pages also include images of Lex Luthor, utilizing his armor which he would acquire in the first season of Justice League circa 2001.

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A comic book based on Batman: The Animated Series is nothing new for DC Comics. The Batman Adventures, a comic based on the art and style of the cartoon, first debuted in 1992 and ran through various incarnations all the way to 2004. Often dismissed as “kiddie books,” the comics were often quite good and, at least at their debut, appealed to fans outside of the regular comic book shops (since until 1994, comics were often sold in grocery stories, pharmacies, and other retailers). Several stories, such as Mad Love and the Christmas Special, began as comic book issues. The character of Roxy Rocket also first debuted in 1994’s Batman Adventures Annual; she would later appear in two animated episodes.

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It remains to be seen how well these will sell or whether this is a one-time engagement or a hint at something more. At any rate, fans of this particular era of Batman will have something fresh in their hands again.