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The least of the four volumes, but still good.
on March 17, 2016
Here we have the fourth and final season of Batman the Animated Series; although it really is the Batman episodes of what became the new Batman/Superman Adventures (as it air on the WB network years ago).
Of the four volumes, to me this is the weakest. That's not to say it isn't good, just for the most part not as good as the rest.
This volume, we find that Batman has expanded his team beyond just occasionally Robin: Dick Grayson has become Nightwing, Barbara Gordan has officially been initiated into the team, and a new younger Robin (Tim Drake) has joined the cause. These characters take up more screen time than they would have previously, as the show is a little more team based, which I don't have so much a problem with.
However, I don't care for the character changes to Batman himself. He seems a little more harsher than he used to be. The previous volumes show him having more heart; gone are stories like "The Forgotten" and "It's Never Too Late", which deal with themes such as forgiveness, redemption and compassion.
There have also been several changes to the designs of the characters, ranging from minorly annoying to terrible. Batmans' cape and cowl have gone from being dark blue with black shadowing to simply black, and as Bruce Wayne he has a different facial appearance. I found this minorly annoying. The Joker is now drawn minus his trademark red lips and Killer Croc has been redesigned with a green scheme. To me, the worst redesign was with Catwoman; gone is the shapely grey catsuit she wore, she's drawn in an all black suit, with pale skin and an exaggeratedly skinny silhouette; which just looks like lazy drawing for this show. Admittedly, even from the beginning, the Bruce Timm shows depicted these characters with angular, exaggerated proportions, but I think what the did was unnecessary.
That being said, there are certainly some good points about this volume: "Double Talk" and "the Jokers' Millions" were both episodes that did interesting things for some of Batman's' villains.
And I actually found the twist with the final episode, "Judgement Day", to be pretty enjoyable (I'd even seen the episode years earlier, and was still surprised having forgotten it and watched it again).