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Cartoon Review: "The Batman" Season 2 (2005)

Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

"The Batman" season 2 official DVD cover.

"The Batman" season 2 official DVD cover.

Quick Info

Director: Various
Distributor: Warner Brothers Animation
Released: September 12, 2006
Runtime: 338 minutes
Availability: On DVD, available for digital purchase on Amazon, iTunes, and other stores, streaming on HBOMax

Story Summary

Batman and Detective Ellen Yin continue working together in secret, taking on new criminals in Gotham City like the Riddler and Ragdoll. Meanwhile, villains like Catwoman, Mister Freeze, and Firefly continue to go on crime sprees. Ethan Bennett tries to reform himself but finds that being Ethan Bennett is hard and being Clayface is easier.

This season also introduces the audience to Doctor Hugo Strange, the head psychologist at Arkham Asylum. Many Batman fans remember him as the main villain in the video game Batman: Arkham City.

Chief Rojas tries to arrest Batman as Commissioner Gordon decides that the G.C.P.D. should think outside the box when it comes to fighting crime in Gotham City.

Everything Improves in Season 2!

The Batman started off on a decent foot, but it wasn’t amazing. This season improves on everything in the first season. The storytelling and writing are much better, silly puns and all, but the stories and characters are even more compelling than the previous season.

One of the gripes I had in the previous season was the use of silly villains, and they even improved on that, choosing obscure villains that aren’t used a lot. They didn’t pick silly characters like Cluemaster.

They also picked good choices for villains like bringing Hugo Strange into the story, since this was before Batman: Arkham City was released. Hugo Strange was in Batman: The Animated Series, so fans did know who he was.

As the series goes on, the episodes improve and it’s nice to know that this turned into a great cartoon on its own.

Joker decides he wants to "fight crime" as "Batman".

Joker decides he wants to "fight crime" as "Batman".

Batman vs. Penguin vs. Joker!

The Animation Improved As Well!

In The Batman season 1, I did complain about how the fights were just okay. They were not really as exciting as they could be. Season 2 improved on them and the fights have improved choreography. Batman is getting better as a fighter and it’s showing, which is a nice touch.

The creative team also has villains do unique things that make the fights interesting, such as Joker impersonating Batman to “fight crime” for money.

I liked these creative decisions because it’s not just relying on, “We’ve made our villains know martial arts now,” since fans weren’t really thrilled about the Penguin and the Joker suddenly knowing martial arts in this cartoon when they never did in any other adaptation of Batman.

Fans also didn’t like all the character redesigns this series did. While I think some of them are weird, like the designs for the Joker, I did love the redesign of the Riddler. He looks like a goth punk and not so much a guy wearing a green hat. He actually looks imposing.

Killer Croc is also more intimidating and not portrayed as being dumb, which is a neat change that makes him an interesting villain as well.

Overall, everything improves, and the animation is better for it.

The Voice Acting Is Great!

The same voice cast reprises their roles and they do a great job. Rino Romano, Kevin Michael Richardson, Tommy Kenny, and Ming-Na Wen are all great in their roles, as Batman, Joker, Penguin, and Detective Ellen Yin respectively.

Ming-Na Wen left the show after season 2 and Detective Ellen Yin didn’t appear in the later seasons. I miss the character, but she was a great addition to the Batman mythos for this cartoon.

Alastair Duncan voiced Alfred Pennyworth. I actually forgot to mention him in my last review, but I really enjoyed his voice work in this cartoon. I enjoyed his take on Bruce Wayne’s butler and he was entertaining voicing this character.

Ron Perlman voiced Killer Croc, and he made him entertaining as well. His Cajun accent is rather funny, but he did a good job in this role.

Robert Englund was the surprise voice actor voicing the Riddler. I don’t normally hear him doing voice acting, since well, he’s associated with playing Freddy Kruger in the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. He is not really known for his voice work.

He brought a unique quirk to the role of the Riddler that I enjoyed a lot. He did a great job in this role.

Frank Gorshin voiced Hugo Strange and I liked his voice work for this character, although he was replaced by Richard Green for the rest of the series. He did a great job for this character for the first appearance.

Mitch Pileggi voiced Commissioner James Gordon and he did a great job as the character. He does imitate Gary Oldman a little in his vocal performance, but I liked it.

Overall, the voice acting is great and the cast is nice, so you can’t go wrong with the voice cast.

The Batman - Season 2 Intro

The Music Is Good

Thomas Chase’s soundtrack is good, but it’s not the best I’ve ever heard. It does sound good, but all the electric guitar tracks start to sound similar to each other when you watch the season.

It is good music, but it’s not too memorable or outstanding for this season. It still sounds good. It’s not bad music, but it’s not amazing either. It’s good for what the show is and it does sound nice.

Joker, Riddler, and Penguin have a competition to unmask and defeat Batman.

Joker, Riddler, and Penguin have a competition to unmask and defeat Batman.

Some of the Character Redesigns Are Weird

I didn’t mention this as much in my previous season review, but one of the reasons people didn’t like this show when it first started airing was because the animators and character designs made drastic redesigns to classic characters.

Some characters just look weird, like the Joker, Penguin, and Mister Freeze. Their designs are so different that it’s one of the reasons people remember the cartoon, whether they liked it or not.

While some of them look good, some of them are just too weird, like the above examples. One redesign I liked a lot was the Riddler because he actually looks scary.

I definitely understand why fans didn’t like the redesigns, but if you give the cartoon a chance, you’ll get used to them. Otherwise, you can skip it.

The “Bat Embargo” Is Still in Effect

The “Bat Embargo” was a policy that DC Comics had in effect during this time that certain characters being used in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy could not be used in other Batman media, including this cartoon.

They could not use characters like Ra’s Al Ghul, Scarecrow, and Two-Face, so they had Hugo Strange as a stand-in for Scarecrow, but he was still his own character.

They also used a lot of villain team-ups to make up for the fact that they had a limited number of characters from Batman's rogues' gallery they were allowed to use. It did make for interesting stories, but it does feel weird considering how much characters like Two-Face, Ra’s Al Ghul, and Scarecrow were used throughout Batman: The Animated Series’ run.

It is something you get used to, but it feels very weird, especially when you know why.

A Step up From the Previous Season, That Keeps Improving

Everything about The Batman has improved, from the stories to the fights and the overall feel of the cartoon. It’s not a perfect adaptation of Batman, but it is fun to watch and I enjoyed it.

I am happy that the stories get better because it felt like the first season couldn’t quite figure out what it wanted to be, but this season has improved on everything, especially the fight scenes.

New characters have better redesigns and are interesting additions to the series and I enjoyed them too.

Doctor Hugo Strange meets Bruce Wayne.

Doctor Hugo Strange meets Bruce Wayne.

Reader Poll

Quick Summary

What Works:What Doesn't Work:

Improved stories, characters and world-building

Weird charcter designs

Improved animation and fight scenes

Soundtrack is good but not memorable

Great voice acting

My Grade: B

The Batman is considered a classic now, but not when it came out because people were nostalgic for the original Batman: The Animated Series. While I think that Batman: The Animated Series is the superior series, The Batman is not a bad series at all.

I do think that this is a series that every Batman fan should at least try. If you don’t like it you can always watch another Batman series. I enjoyed it for what it is and it’s just a fun way to watch Batman in his early career. That’s not something a lot of Batman series show, so it’s a nice change from other animated incarnations of Batman.

It is worth your time and money if you want to spend it since the series is extremely cheap at $14.99 on DVD and $12.99 for a digital copy. The Batman is also streaming on HBOMax if you want to watch it without paying a lot for it.

The Batman is a fun series that I enjoyed, and I have had in my DVD collection for years. I’m happy that I decided to rewatch it again. While it’s not the best series, and it’s got its flaws, it’s still fun to watch and I hope that every Batman fan will give it a try. You might end up liking what you see.

My Rating

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