Tag Archives: Batman

Star Trek vs. Batman (Trivia Answer)

Trivia Question from Yesterday:

There were a number of notable actors who gave their voice talents to Batman: The Animated Series including at least 7 from the Star Trek films and movies. Can you name them all? Hint: As far as I know TOS, TNG, DS9 and VOY are represented as well as at least two actors from the movies.


The Riddler (voiced by John Glover)


Played Verad Dax in DS9’s “Invasive Procedures”


Leslie Thompkins (voiced by Diana Muldaur)


She’s actually been in two Star Trek series TOS and TNG. Her TOS episodes were “Return To Tomorrow” and more notably “Is There in Truth No Beauty?”


But she’s probably best known (if not best loved) for her role as Dr. Katherine Pulaski on Season 2 of The Next Generation. Personally I like her McCoy-like personality in the TNG-verse and think she’s underrated.


Red Claw (voiced by Kate Mulgrew). This one I didn’t know till I saw it on the Wikipedia page for Batman.


Even before she was the first female Captain in a Star Trek show, Kathryn Janeway was a tough lady.


And now she’s Red again (in Orange is the New Black).


How colorful.

Ra’s al Ghul (voiced by David Warner)


Portrayed Chancellor Gorkon in my favorite Star Trek movie “The Undiscovered Country”.


As well as Gul Madred in the two-part TNG episode “Chain of Command”. There are four lights!


Also he played an ambassador in Star Trek V, but that’s best forgotten.

Mr. Freeze (voiced by Michael Ansara)


Portrayed Kang in TOS and DS9.


But not this Kang.


Lucius Fox (voiced by Brock Peters)


Played Admiral Cartwright in Star Trek IV and VI.


As well as Captain Sisko’s father Joseph in DS9.


Dr. March (voiced by Rene Auberjonois). He appears in the first animated series episode “On Leather Wings”


And all the time on DS9 as Constable Odo.


Never looks very happy.

Can you name any more that I’ve missed?


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Memories of an X-Millennial: Batman – The Animated Series

So I thought a good irregular feature here on the blog would be talking about something I remember from my childhood in the 90’s and looking into how it holds up now, as a guy in my 30’s. I’ll admit to owning more than my fair share of 90’s media on DVD and reading and watching things that are “technically” too young for me.

A word about the term X-Millennial. I’ve spoken before about not really feeling part of either Gen X or the Millennials. Technically speaking I’m probably a Millennial, though I’m not what most people think of when the use the term. And I’m not alone. There’s a group of us who have some of the values of the X’ers, and the idealism of the Mille’s. I’ve heard this called the “Oregon Trail” generation, but I’m trying on a new term today.

First up in the wayback machine … Batman – The Animated Series

Image Source: Wikipedia

Image Source: Wikipedia

According to Wikipedia this show ran from 1994-1995 (producing about 90 episodes), but I know it was in re-runs for years after that.

This show defined my early perception of the character and tone of Batman and his rogues gallery. It’s been pointed out to me that Joker is a little more impotent than his comic book form, the WB show didn’t allow for the depiction of murder which is kinda Joker’s thing. But any loss in tone is more than made up for in Mark Hamill’s gleeful performance. It’s not a coincidence that most of this voice cast showed up in the popular Batman games of the last few years starting with Arkham Asylum.

Watching the episodes now I can feel what might be perceived today as slow pacing in a couple of episodes, but this seems reflective of the Batman titles of the era. Indeed this was my first introduction to some classic tales by Frank Miller, Marv Wolfman and Max Allen Collins without even knowing it. I tend to favor a more light-hearted dark knight, without descending into full Adam West absurdity. We definitely see Batman’s angst in movies like Mask of the Phantasm and encounters with The Scarecrow. Guilt over believing he has broken his code of not killing it was destroys a Batman robot duplicate (from some of my favorite episodes involving the robo-cloning computer HARDAC).

My favorite episodes still are Blind as a Bat in which a temporarily blinded Batman must face off against the Penguin, the aforementioned HARDAC episodes particularly His Silicon Soul which features robot-Batman, the whole Mr. Freeze saga (starting with Heart of Ice), Harley and Ivy featuring the Joker’s girlfriend (sort of) teaming up with Poison Ivy on their own crime spree free of men.

Watching these again I don’t think I realized how many recurring characters and elements ran in the background, particularly Rupert Thorne and the gangster elements. The origins of most rogues are told, notably Harvey Dent as DA and eventual turn to Two-Face. The show isn’t just a series of one-off adventures, but does build on one comes before.

Overall, these are good as remember them, maybe not as good as some of the best of the comics, but they hold their own nonetheless. And despite some deliberate pacing, there are other storylines that are told more tightly and dramatically than serial comics can manage.

Trivia Question: There were a number of notable actors who gave their voice talents to this show including at least 7 from the Star Trek films and movies. Can you name them all? Hint: As far as I know TOS, TNG, DS9 and VOY are represented as well as at least two actors from the movies.


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Review – Gotham Academy Vol. 1

Gotham Academy Vol. 1: Welcome To Gotham Academy

Writers – Becky Cloonan & Brenden Fletcher, Artist – Karl Kerschl


School is back in session, and Olive Silverlock must contend with more than just her soon to be ex-boyfriend’s kid sister. She’ll have to be wary of the ghosts of dead Cobblepots, a weird bat cult, the mysterious sounds from the North wing, and that damn bat signal that keeps flying in the sky. And what happened over the summer that she can’t remember?

This has the feel of what the Runaways did for Marvel. We get a corner of the DCU that has connections to some of the familiar trappings, we have Batman, the bat signal, allusions to the Penguin and Arkham Asylum, but we also have a tightly focused narrative focusing on young children with stories and motivations of their own. It’s refreshing sometimes to read a comic that is superhero adjacent, but isn’t concerned with masked vigilantes. In fact, the main character of this book hates Batman for reasons that I won’t spoil for you, but that are completely understandable.

Not to keep comparing this to Marvel, but the art has the feel of titles like Spider Man Loves Mary Jane, or X-Men First Class, though with a darker Gotham edge. Characters are bright and effusive even when their surroundings are not. Oddly though, there’s one character here who is not as darkly portrayed as I’m used to seeing them (again I won’t spoil, but suffice it to say I’m not talking about the Joker). This character is usually shown as being somewhat animistic and viscous, but here is sympathetic and protective. This again reinforces the portrayal that Batman might be picking on would-be criminals, and that some people deserve a second chance.

I like the possibilities this series opens up, particularly the question of whether the main character will choose to be good or not? But it’s also just a solid mystery, with a lot of the charm that was appealing about the exploration of large old academies in the early Harry Potter books.

So, Runaways meets Harry Potter? Sorry DC, I’ll stop doing that. Volume 2 promises to incorporate Damian Wayne, so this title definitely has places to go.

(5 stars | Batman really is a jerk sometimes)

* I received a free ARC from NetGalley in return for my honest review

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Review: Grayson Vol. 1

Grayson Vol. 1: Agents Of Spyral

Writer – Tim Seeley, Artist – Mikel Janin


Dick Grayson was the first Robin, then struck out on his own as Nightwing. Then Nightwing’s identity was revealed and Dick was thought murdered. Staying dead to protect his family, Dick infiltrates a secret spy organization known as Spyral. Spyral’s mission is to gather the Paragon organs which grant the ability to duplicate the powers of the Justice League, and determine their secret identities. He is partnered with Helena Bertinelli, daughter of a notorious Italian crime family, and assumed identity of the heroine huntress (who in reality is the Helena Wayne from Earth 2). Grayson must fight alongside Spyral, while feeding information back to Batman, his only connection to his past life and the only one who knows he is still alive.

This collection contains Issues 1-4, the Secret Origin story and a Futures End tale (this last was not included in my eGalley). The Secret Origins tale does a good job explaining where we are in the New 52 continuity for those of us not up to date on the latest developments of the Forever Evil storyline. However, because it is mostly plot exposition, interspersed with odd sixties psychedelic trappings, this leading part of the book drags a bit.

When we get the ongoing series Issues the pace picks up, as Dick deals with what it means to be a spy and not a hero. It’s obvious that Dick is having a hard time on this mission, enjoying the ability to stretch his legs without endangering his family, but he’s not comfortable with the compromises he has to make to get the mission done.

The third and fourth chapters are probably the best, as the series learns to drop the sixties affectations in favor of playing the story straighter. Issue 3 actually manages to make a character who can only see through the barrels of his guns human and relate-able and 4 is a playful tale, as Dick encounters the girls who are in the finishing school part of Spyral, training to be the next members of Moussad and other spy organizations.

I like the design of Bertinelli’s outfit, which hearkens to her alter-ego yet another person Huntress. Her relationship with Grayson should be interesting in future issues. However, the full page spread on issue 3 involving the correct usage of “Wing-night’s” name was unnecessary. There’s no reason to try to make this book Saga, and you can’t be naughty enough to get even close anyway. The alternate covers at the back (particularly the Lego cover) were a treat.

Overall, an interesting corner of the DCU. Titles like this and Gotham Academy give us a look at super-heroes from a more human scale level. Just with twisty faces.

* I received a free ARC from DC and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

(3.75 Stars | Dinged it 0.25 stars for use of “You don’t know Dick” and “Dick!” said in ecstasy in Issue 3.)


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