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Kids’ WB! Brings on The Batman

The caped crusader is back in new animated adventures from Warner Bros. TV Animation in the new series, THE BATMAN, which premiered at 10:30 am, Sept. 11, 2004, on Kids WB!. Based on the famed DC Comics superhero, he has a new look and a new range of experimental Bat-gadgets and an amped-up Batmobile. It also features a new theme song composed and performed by The Edge from multi-Grammy Award-winning sensation U2.

THE BATMAN picks up his story in year three: in his mid-twenties, just finding his way as protector, defender and Dark Knight, while balancing his public persona as billionaire bachelor Bruce Wayne. Dwelling under the cloak of darkness and cradled in the Batcave, resting beneath a souped-up, loft-style pad on a hill overlooking Gotham, Bruce is consumed with fighting crime as the masked vigilante, The Batman.

Living in Gotham, a metropolis where shadows run long and deep beneath elevated train tracks and within a 150-year-old drainage system, this younger, Robin-less Batman will confront updated takes of familiar villains Joker, Penguin, Catwoman, Mr. Freeze, Riddler and Man-Bat, among others. The war on crime jumps to the next level with a new arsenal at the Dark Knights disposal, all operated and linked by an advanced remote-controlled invention he dubs the Bat-Wave.

The young Dark Knight has to face new challenges using his wits as much as his gadgetry as he takes on this new lethal breed of super villains and learn to become a superhero.

The re-design of Batman features a knobby, rather than heroic, squared off chin. The effect gives him a less assured, perhaps hero-in-the-making affect that ties in with the basic theme of this version of Batman. The dashing, good-looking Bruce Wayne he is not.

The show and its logo have a rich retro style and great color palate, enhancing the dark themes and moods of the show, but the new design of the Joker conflicts with this look. Action is plentiful; the gadgets and his wheels are hot. Exec producers are Sander Schwartz and Alan Burnett, supervising producers are Duane Capizzi and Michael Goguen, producers include Glen Murakami and Linda M. Steiner plus producer/art director Jeff Matsuda. Animation directors are Seung Eun Kim, Brandon Vietti and Sam Liu.

The show is cast and voice directed by Ginny McSwain. The lead voice talent includes:

Rino Romano (The Batman/Bruce Wayne) Alastair Duncan (Alfred)Steve Harris (Detective Ethan Bennett)Ming-Na (Detective Ellen Yin)Edward James Olmos (Chief Rojas)Kevin Michael Richardson (Joker)Tom Kenny (Penguin)Gina Gershon (Catwoman)Clancy Brown (Mr. Freeze)Adam West (Mayor Grange)