Comic Book: The Batman Adventures
The Batman Adventures
was the official tie-in comic of Batman: The Animated Series
. It started in October, 1992 and was re-launched several times to match the various retoolings of the TV series, becoming successively The Batman and Robin Adventures
, Batman: Gotham Adventures
, and finally Batman Adventures
(this last in the style of the Justice League
TV series). Lasting to 2004.
Being a printed work, it was much less hampered by censorship (so that, for example, Batman could actually be shown outright punching criminals, whereas the TV series turned him more into a Combat Pragmatist
). And just as the animated series had introduced viewers to Harley Quinn, Lock-Up, and sundry other original characters, The Batman Adventures
gave us the thrillseeker Roxy Rocket and a trio of bumbling
, lovable villains
in Mastermind, Mr. Nice, and the Professor (or "Perfesser").
There were also a number of special issues, such as an adaptation of SubZero
, the Eisner Award winning Mad Love
, which detailed Harley Quinn
for the first time, and the miniseries The Lost Years
, which detailed the events that occurred during the three-year Time Skip
between The Adventures of Batman & Robin
and The New Batman Adventures
. Mad Love
was later adapted as an episode
of The New Batman Adventures
, as was another anthology issue that became "Holiday Knights"
The various series were a critical and fan favorite, especially given their relatively light and simple, yet engaging artwork and plots while The Dark Age of Comic Books
was in full swing. The book was still going strong, both a critical and financial success, when it was canceled to make way for The Batman Strikes!
, the official tie-in comic of The Batman
, a new, unrelated Batman animated series.
It is unrelated to DC's year-long official webcomic Batman: Shadow of Sin Tzu
, a prequel to the Batman: The Animated Series
video game spin-off Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu
The Batman Adventures
, in its various incarnations, provides examples of:
- Aborted Arc: The Red Hood is introduced as the Man Behind the Man to the False-Face Society...and then that arc is completely dropped, never to be heard from again. At least the Penguin as mayor of Gotham arc got a resolution.
- Abusive Parents: Lester Dent in Gotham Adventures #2, who used to beat or spare his son Harvey depending on the results of his coin flips.
- Actually a Doombot: One of the last issues of Batman Adventures applied this retcon to a character whose appearance and power set were significantly changed between Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures; the issue ends with the two versions of the character meeting, and a reveal that the BTAS version is the real one and the TNBA version is a Doombot (or, more precisely, one of Poison Ivy's plant-clone-creatures which she'd left to fill in for her when she quit town).
- Adaptation Expansion: Lost Years is an expanded adaptation of The New Batman Adventures episodes "Old Wounds" and "Sins of the Father", turning both episodes into one longer story arc and adding scenes that expand on Dick's ideological differences to Batman and a trip to South America and Asia as part of his origin as Nightwing, as well as scenes that make Tim more similar to his comics counterpart by showing him to be a Batman fan who spies on him with binoculars.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Gotham Adventures #30 shows that Clayface is mercilessly mocked by the other Arkham inmates.
- All There in the Manual:
- Ancient Grome: In-Universe example in Gotham Adventures #34. Maxie Zeus kidnaps a team of Hollywood set designers; inspired by an obvious Gladiator Expy film they made, his goal is to have them rebuild Rome.
Crew Chief: You know what? I'm an idiot. I'm an idiot who doesn't deserve to be in your mighty and, uh, infallible presence so I'm going to leave now.
- And Then What?: The Annual # 1 of the comic Study Hall: shows Scarecrow at Arkham asking this to himself at the beginning of his Redemption Failure:
''What will happen when I am too old or too infirm to engage with the Batman at our usual duel of wills? Then what? I was a teacher once…
- Appeal to Nature: In Gotham Adventures, one issue features an "all-natural" breakfast cereal that is taking Gotham by storm. Turns out that it's just so packed with organic, untreated plant matter that Poison Ivy can control anyone who eats enough of it.
- Badass and Baby: Gotham Adventures #26
- Banana Peel: In The Batman and Robin Adventures #5, "Second Banana", the Joker is captured at the end after slipping on his own banana peel.
- Batman Gambit: Batman explains how he did one to the Joker in "Mad Love".
- Because I'm Good at It: Mr. Nice is a career criminal despite his highly moral inclinations, because he is incredibly good at it. (Seriously. You simply will not believe just how good.)
- Berserk Button: While Batman never cared for guns, here he often gets extremely angry and a lot more threatening once a thug brandishes a gun at him.
- Breaking the Bonds: Batman breaks through a whole lot of rope in a single SNAP! in The Batman Adventures #3.
- Canon Foreigner: Mastermind, the Perfessor, and Mr. Nice.
- Canon Immigrant: Roxy Rocket started out in The Batman Adventures, graduated to the animated series, and then appeared in the original comics.
- Chalk Outline: In The Batman Adventures #6. When Batman knocks out the murderer, he lands sprawled out on the outline.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: In The Batman Adventures #6, it was a plot point that Bruce Wayne is capable of an unassisted ten-foot vertical jump. The world record is four.
- Chronic Villainy: Subverted. The reformed Riddler struggles with his compulsions, and begins to leave riddles for Batman — without doing anything illegal. Batman manages to stop him before he begins to commit crimes again by giving him a mystery to solve.
- Continuity Nod: Numerous examples; it often feels like the comic has more continuity than the animated series. For example, in Gotham Adventures #5, Batgirl hurts her leg. In the next issue, which details the origin of Deadman, Barbara is shown with crutches and bandages on her leg. The next issue mentions the murder case of Boston Brand (Deadman).
- Continuity Snarl: The comic is supposedly canon to the DCAU, but...
- The Batman Adventures #25 features guest appearances from mullet Superman and beard-and-full-head-of-hair Lex Luthor, with Batman and Superman already knowing each other and having a professional relationship free of animosity. While the character designs are obviously meant to reflect the state of affairs in the main comics at the time, Superman: The Animated Series went with the more iconic clean-cut Superman and Bald of Evil Luthor, and Batman and Superman don't meet until World's Finest, where they develop a strained relationship.
- The Batman & Robin Adventures #16 features Thomas Blake (Catman), a muscular blond man and a former big-game hunter who admires Catwoman from afar and decides to become a copycat criminal. Blake would later appear in The New Batman Adventures without the Catman identity and with a completely different character design (more slender, with dark hair) and background (the leader of a cat cult).
- The Batman & Robin Adventures #19 features the origin of Helena Bertinelli, the Huntress: her family is killed by agents from five other mafia families during her adulthood; Helena decides to don a costume to take down the Bertinelli family's various criminal operations. The origin shown when the Huntress debuts in Justice League Unlimited has the Bertinellis killed during Helena's childhood on the orders of one man, Steven Mandragora, and her main goal upon becoming the Huntress is to kill Mandragora.
- The Corpse Stops Here: The Batman Adventures #6 begins with Bruce Wayne found standing over a fresh corpse.
- Creator Cameo: In Gotham Adventures #58, minor characters that resemble Dan Slott and James Fry (the writer and artist of the story) appear.
- Criminal Amnesiac: "Catman", actually Batman rendered amnesic by Hugo Strange and duped into being Catwoman's partner in crime, in an issue of The Batman Adventures.
- Cut Short: The "Shadows and Masks" arc in Batman Adventures culminated in an awesome Sequel Hook revealing that The Man Behind the Man was the Red Hood. And then the series was canceled.
- Darker and Edgier: Believe it or not. Though still leagues less violent than the regular comic book (especially at the time the series started, when The Dark Age of Comic Books was in full swing), the more relaxed standards of printed comics let the writers get away with much more than they would have in the cartoon. Some of the violence can actually be pretty cringe-inducing (like the Joker hitting a man with all his might using a mallet on the back of the head, which can kill a regular man instantly), and there's also many instances of Getting Crap Past the Radar. Adult readers will be surprised.
- Decoy Damsel: The Catwoman successfully used this ploy on Batman in her very first appearance in the comic (issue #2). At the behest of The Joker, she steals the Crown Jewels of London. Batman chases her across London's rooftops, finally cornering her atop the Big Ben clock tower. Catwoman, realizing that there's no easy way to escape, pretends to attack Batman but then "accidentally" falls off the tower ledge, hanging on for dear life from one of the clock's giant hands and begging Batman to save her. He does so... whereupon she shouts "SUCKER!" and clocks him in the jaw, knocking him off the ledge and nearly killing him. Batman survives - and saves the Crown Jewels in the bargain - but then he is forced to watch in frustration as Catwoman makes a clean getaway, in what would prove to be one of many, many Karma Houdinis for her. (This issue was also notable for showing the normally non-homicidal Catwoman nearing killing Batman, even if it was just part of a mean-spirited prank.)
- Destined Bystander: Eel O'Brien plays a supporting role in the Black Mask arc of the last Batman Adventures series, but the series was canceled before it could built up to his becoming Plastic Man.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Joker tries to beat a henchman to death with a bunch of bananas over a $20 wager on the World Series.
- Do Not Adjust Your Set:
- The Joker broadcasts to every television in Gotham in The Batman Adventures #3. "Same Joker time, any channel at all."
- The Scarecrow breaks in on television and radio broadcasts to announce his scheme and demand a ransom in The Batman Adventures #4.
- Do Not Call Me Paul / Insistent Terminology: In The Batman Adventures #6, It's not Professor Crane. The name is Scarecrow.
- Don't Explain the Joke: Joker gets annoyed when Harley explains a joke trap she set up, although it's implied he wouldn't accept it anyway.
- Dramatic Unmask: In The Batman Adventures #3, the Joker catches Batman and rips off his mask on live television, to reveal District Attorney Harvey Dent, who had been pretending to be Batman while Batman was pretending to be him.
- Dying Clue: In The Batman Adventures #6, the dying man whispers "Rose..." What he wanted to say, but didn't have the energy, was "The rosewood grandfather clock conceals a secret passage, and that's how the killer got in and out." It would have been much less cryptic if he'd skipped the adjectives and just said "the clock".
- Edible Bludgeon: Issue #5 of The Batman and Robin Adventures opens with the Joker breaking out of Arkham and trying to club a henchman to death with a bunch of bananas because he welshed on a trivial bet over the World Series they had made before Joker was arrested. Joker eventually regrets this decision - not out of any moral concern, mind you, just the fact that bananas aren't sturdy enough to make an effective truncheon. When he tries to kill Riddler at the end of the issue, he uses plantains instead.
- Eenie, Meenie, Miny Moai: An issue of Batman Adventures had Batman fighting Ra's al Ghul in a secret underground base on Easter Island. The base was under a field of head-and-neck moai, and when the action moved underground it was revealed that they had proportionally large bodies which formed the pillars supporting the roof of the secret base.
- Engineered Public Confession: The Penguin has one in The Batman Adventures #1.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Poison Ivy has a few instances, notably in Gotham Adventures #53, when Ivy assumes Batman is threatening the Amazon rainforest to get her to cooperate. He later tells Robin that he never even told her he was going to do anything; she just assumed that he would go to the same extreme lengths she would to get what he wanted.
- False Reassurance: In The Batman Adventures #6, the true murderer is the one who'd told Dick "I'm the last person you have to convince Bruce is innocent."
- Flanderization: When the Mastermind, Mr. Nice, and the Professor first appeared, they were depicted as normal (well, normal for Gotham, anyway) criminals hatching fairly routine criminal plots (smuggling, hijacking, and burglary, respectively). But in future issues their traits were wildly exaggerated: Mastermind's ego mounted to godlike proportions; Mr. Nice went from someone who was merely Badass Normal to "killing machine able to fight off entire armies of soldiers" (and in fact the writers had to lampshade this and come up with a pseudo-scientific explanation for it after a reader pointed out how ridiculous it was in the letters column); and the Professor, formerly just a smug intellectual wannabe, became almost literally a walking encyclopedia who knew everything about everything. Their crime capers (they teamed up twice) also got increasingly outlandish and even cartoonish, until they were behaving more like characters in a 1960s Disney family comedy than like Batman villains.
- Flashback Nightmare: The Scarecrow has one in The Batman Adventures #5, showing how he came to his current scheme.
- For the Evulz: In one issue Harvey Dent, the criminal Two-Face, has reformed and is starting a romance with his lawyer Grace Lamont. Joker hints to Harvey that Lamont is dating Harvey's friend Bruce Wayne, and is just seeing Harvey out of pity. Then he gets his assistant Harley Quinn to leak to a newspaper that Lamont is planning to marry Bruce, and delivers the newspaper to Harvey. One breakdown, jailbreak, attempted murder, and broken heart later, Batman asks the Joker why he caused such a horrible disaster. He said he did it because it was Tuesday.
- The Full Name Adventures
- Genre Savvy: Joker attempts to speed up the ceremony when he and Harley are getting married, much to her annoyance. Poison Ivy crashes through the window, shouting "I object!" Joker annoyingly yells "I knew it, I KNEW IT!"
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: As Bane prepares to kill Thorne and his lieutenants, he tells Candice that he'll kill her second since he knows how she "likes to watch".
- Gold Digger: Harley tricks The Joker into believing she inherited a fortune so he'd marry her.
- Goofy Print Underwear: The Joker in The Batman Adventures #16
- Grievous Harm with a Body: Robin at one point smacks one of Scarecrow's thugs with a mannequin. The whole mannequin.
- Heel-Face Turn: The Riddler during Batman Adventures.
- Hypocrite: In the TV show, Poison Ivy advocates the causes of environmentalism and feminism, but those are only excuses to display her real sadistic urges of control and manipulation. Then we have a refreshing inversion at "Batman and Robin Adventures" # 24, "Touch of Death", where Poison Ivy rescues a Brazilian boy who is a Poisonous Person from a Government Conspiracy and brings him back to his home. She claims it is because she wants to manipulate the boy, sincerely unaware that she Wouldn't Hurt a Child, not even claiming Even Evil Has Standards nor I Was Just Passing Through.
- Involuntary Shapeshifting: The Creeper, in his Batman: Gotham Adventures appearance
- It's a Wonderful Plot: In Gotham Adventures #33, The Phantom Stranger shows Bruce what life would be like if his parents survived and he never became Batman. (In short: he, Selina and his family live very happy lives, but Dick, Tim and everyone in Gotham... straight down the crapper.)
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Mr. Freeze, in any comic that involves Nora after she's been cured. First he rescues her new husband when Grant Walker kidnaps him because he thinks D'Anjeou makes her happy, and then, after being convinced that she will never return his affections ever again, moves away to the Arctic so she can live life without him bothering her. He seems to have reversed this stance by his final comic, targeting D'Anjeou to get her back, but he was framed.
- Joker Immunity: Deconstructed in "Laughter After Midnight", a story by Paul Dini in The Batman Adventures Annual #1. It begins with the Joker falling out of a police blimp after a climactic fight with Batman. First, he survives by falling into a park's lake (and even says "Don't worry, I'm all right"). Understandably angry that his archenemy threw him from a blimp, he begins a massacre of Gotham's midnight denizens while buying donuts and a paper. He asks Harley to pick him up, but the police are with her. Then a Red Shirt patrolman tries to arrest him and the Joker steals his patrol car. The comic ends in an eerie scene with the Joker trying to get home.
The Joker: I wonder whose home it's gonna be?
- Love Triangle: Several issues of Gotham and Batman Adventures (the first by Ty Templeton, the latter two by Jason Hall) explore one involving Mr. Freeze, his ex wife Nora, and her new husband Dr. D'Anjeou.
- Mad Love: The Trope Namer
- The Man Behind the Man: In the "Shadows and Masks" story arc of Batman Adventures, Batman brings down the mob boss Black Mask, but it turns out at the end that Black Mask was actually an underling and front for somebody else.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The Batman & Robin Adventures Annual #2 demonstrates Zatara and Zatanna using what is ambiguously presented as actual magic, instead of the simple stage illusions they use in Batman: The Animated Series.
- The Mentally Disturbed: One strength these comics have over the animated series is their tendency to portray the various Arkham inmates as people who are sick and have the possibility of rehabilitation. While the cartoon did apply this to a few of the rogues (most notably Harvey Dent, Victor Fries, and Harleen Quinzel), the rest were for the most part portrayed as simply evil.
- Miniature Senior Citizens: The Sensei.
- Monumental Battle: The Batman Adventures #2 has a showdown on the Westminster Clock Tower.
- Morton's Fork: One issue told the story exclusively from Commissioner Gordon's perspective as he went on a mission to rescue a cop named Miller, who had been captured by gangster Rupert Thorne while trying to infiltrate Thorne's gang. Batman shows up just in time (disguised as one of Thorne's goons, complete with a lifelike latex mask) and saves the day by beating the crud out of all of Thorne's assassins, of course, but the climax is more memorable for a brilliant psych-out on Gordon's part. Thorne and Gordon each grab a pistol, and Thorne tries to force Gordon to drop his gun by threatening to shoot Miller (who is still tied up). Gordon simply pretends to be a Cowboy Cop, telling Thorne that if he shoots Miller, Gordon will just retaliate by shooting him - so either way, whether Thorne tries to shoot Miller or Gordon, he'll get killed. Thorne falls for the trick and surrenders like a coward.
- My Rule-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours/Loophole Abuse: There's a story arc in Batman Adventures where the new mayor (Oswald "The Penguin" Cobblepot) has declared Batman an outlaw and ordered the police to arrest him on sight. Commissioner Gordon continues as normal except that he closes his eyes or looks the other way when he's talking to Batman.
- Mythology Gag: In Batman Adventures #10, Catwoman's closet is shown to have not only her BTAS and TNBA costumes, but the caped Silver Age version and goggled modern version as well.
- In Batman: Gotham Adventures #1, Joker is being kept in the Batcave. When Batman leaves Batgirl to keep an eye on him, Joker looks at her, and the red/shadowy art style of the panel almost certainly looks familiar.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Harley came this close to killing Batman, until he got her to bring the Joker in, who then effectively ruins the deathtrap (which Batman had counted on).
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Batman & Robin Adventures #12 features the televised reunion concert of the Beat Brothers, who have a hit named "Love Is What We Need". The Scarecrow's attempts to co-opt the broadcast and the ensuing fight with Batman and Robin at the studio leads the band to cancel the concert outright out of fear for their lives.
- Oblivious to Love: In Gotham Adventures #24, Catwoman sets up an elaborate scheme just for a chance to try and reconcile with Batman following the incident described under All There in the Manual/We Used to Be Friends. He seems confused and just tries to arrest her. When Batgirl explains the situation to him later, he still seems to have literally no idea what Catwoman was getting at.
- Origins Episode: The Lost Years serves as one for Dick as Nightwing and Tim as Robin.
- Orphaned Punchline: In The Batman Adventures #2:
Security guard: ... so the bald guy says, "What? No shaving cream?"
- Out-Gambitted: In "Mad Love"
- Perp Sweating: Detective Bullock attempts to sweat a wrongly-accused Bruce Wayne in The Batman Adventures #6.
- Placebo Effect: Or rather, nocebo effect. In one issue, the Scarecrow claims on television that he's infected all of Gotham with fear toxin. Mass panic ensues even though he only really gassed the people in the building he was broadcasting from, and doesn't stop until Batman gets his confession on camera.
- Plant Person: Poison Ivy
- Play-Along Prisoner: The Joker in Batman: Gotham Adventures #1.
- Properly Paranoid: In Batman & Robin Adventures #13, Batman is practically insane with paranoia after a particularly bad dose of fear gas, to the point of refusing what he thinks could be poisoned food from Alfred, and keeps himself awake for days on end to figure out the Scarecrow's latest scheme—which he gets correct, down to the letter.
- Pungeon Master: Catman certainly loves his cat puns...
- Redemption Failure: The Central Theme for the Annual # 1, with four stories:
- Going Straight: Framing Device where Batman investigates Roxy Rocket, a criminal escape artist that Batman was sure was reformed, but who seems to have come back to crime. Roxy claims to be framed and demands to Clear My Name.
- Puppet Show: The Ventriloquist finds work as a puppeteer in a kid's show and even has Croaky, a frog puppet who supports and encourages him to get straight, but a White-Dwarf Starlet Depraved Kids' Show Host knows about his past, and tries to tempt him.
- 24 Hours: A Day In The Life of Harley Quinn, the day she is released from Arkham and wants to go straight right until she meets the Joker again. Only two pages long, maybe a Poorly Disguised Pilot for "Harley's Holiday".
- Study Hall: After subjecting himself to an And Then What?, Scarecrow escapes Arkham to become a teacher in an university, but when a Jerk Jock rapes his favorite student, Crane will become the ultimate Sadist Teacher.
- Revenge: Played with in the story Fear Itself, where Joe Chill is obsessed with the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne, because by the time he realized who he'd killed, the boy that he spared had become an "untouchable millionaire", with Chill spending the rest of his life living in utter terror of someone as rich and powerful as Bruce Wayne finally remembering his face and taking vengeance on Chill for killing the Waynes, to the point where Chill starts hallucinating Bruce Wayne appearing everywhere. Ultimately, when Batman is unmasked while trying to rescue the dangling-from-a-balcony-railing Chill, the latter freaks out and falls to his death, believing that Bruce is a hallucination. Bruce is left utterly baffled as to what just happened, as he hadn't recognized Chill nor tied him to the Wayne murders.
- Riddle of the Sphinx: Used in an issue featuring — who else? — the Riddler.
- In The Batman Adventures #5, two men appear in the Scarecrow's nightmare who look remarkably like Cain and Abel.
- The Batman Adventures #6 is a murder mystery with shout-outs to The Third Man, Citizen Kane, and the works of Alfred Hitchcock, who makes a Creator Cameo receiving an Armor-Piercing Slap.
- In Gotham Adventures #1, as the Joker attempts to escape Batgirl's custody, he remarks, "I could've gotten out of [these handcuffs] any time I wanted; I just had to wait until it was funny!"
- In Gotham Adventures #4, we see Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer stealing a car.
- In Gotham Adventures #10, Harley Quinn checks into a hotel under the pseudonym Elise Archer. Also, one of the other writers hiding out there is "Mr. Rushdie."
- An issue of Gotham Adventures features ice-9, although it's never actually named.
- "Study Hall," a Scarecrow-centric story, contains multiple further references to Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." The Jerk Jock is named Bromley after Brom Bones, and Jonathan Crane's alias as an English professor is Irving Diedrich.
- Gotham Adventures #35 has Bruce Wayne as the sole holdout on a jury trying to convince the others that the defendant is... guilty (he knows because he's Batman). At the end of the issue, he has a conversation outside the courthouse with a fellow juror—who, like Juror #9 in Twelve Angry Men, is an elderly man.
- Small Name, Big Ego: The Penguin. In the very first issue, the Penguin asks his henchmen to share a new word they have learned ("because being a criminal doesn't mean being dumb"). This patronizing attitude backfires on him because the Penguin doesn't know what a word means, so he lies to them and makes it up. One of henchmen dared to complain, with unfortunate results. In Batman Adventures Vol. 2, a subplot for issues 1 to 13 was the Penguin winning Gotham's election for Mayor... but Batman discovers that it was another revenge scheme by the Clock King to ruin (ex) Mayor Hill's life. The Penguin really believed that the people liked him and had elected him (he actually came in sixth). Then we have this resignation speech:
- Something Completely Different: In their third appearance in the comic, the Mastermind, Mr. Nice, and the Professor get involved in a Zany Scheme to find a giant pearl that seems more like something out of a screwball comedy than an action-adventure comic book. Batman barely even appears!
- Story Arc: There are several short arcs of two or three issues. Batman Adventures also has Masks and Shadows, which featured the False-Face Society (and ended up aborted) and the arc of the Penguin's impossible victory in the Gotham mayoral election.
- Stupid Good: Hate to say it, but.... Bruce got suckered into teaming up with the sexy, sinister Talia twice, only for her to betray him both times and side with her father, Ra's al-Ghul, in his latest plot to destroy the human race. (And keep in mind that he had already learned that Talia was willing - if not always eager - to do her father's bidding on an episode of the animated series.) Ra's even lampshaded this fact in the second of the two issues with "Is she not her father's daughter?"
- Superpower Meltdown: At the outset of Batman Adventures, Poison Ivy is shown to be becoming more and more plantlike when a stab wound is shown to do her no harm. In her penultimate issue her hair has been replaced by red vines, and she's gained the ability to shoot thorns from all over her skin. In her last issue, she's covered in buds and flowers and can no longer live without sunlight, and dies during the night. However, it's also revealed that she isn't Pamela Isley at all; see Actually a Doombot.
- Talking the Monster to Death: In The Batman Adventures #5, Robin manages to make the Scarecrow cry (and give him the antidote) by calling him Professor Crane and playing on his secret desire to teach again. He doesn't, however, manage to convince him to surrender, and the latter runs out the door and straight into Batman. Cut to Arkham, where a fuming Scarecrow refuses to answer to Crane.
- Terrible Trio: The Threatening Three (Mr. Nice, Mastermind, and the Perfesser), a group of comical criminals (designed to resemble Archie Goodwin, Mike Carlin and Dennis O'Neil) who made at least one appearance per Adventures series until their final appearance in Gotham Adventures.
- Three Act Structure: Used without shame; the original thirty issues or so of The Batman Adventures even had helpful little blurbs spelling out where each act starts and ends.
- Til Murder Do Us Part: Played with in Batman Adventures #16, where the Joker starts reciprocating Harley Quinn's affections, and even proposes to her — just after she receives a letter informing her she's inherited a fortune. The twist is that the letter is a fake, which Harley sent herself; she's Genre Savvy enough to realise it will cause the Joker to marry and murder her, but crazy enough to believe that if she reveals the truth once they're married, he'll have no reason to murder her and they'll live happily ever after.
- Amazingly, she's right. The Joker finds the whole deception romantic and agrees to marry her anyway. About as close as they ever get to Unholy Matrimony.
- Time Skip: Between each incarnation of the book, perhaps most obviously with Batman Adventures, which establishes several changes to the status quo like the Penguin having been elected mayor and outlawed Batman.
- Tragic Dream: Scarecrow wants to be a Save Our Students type of teacher... a dream available to everyone but him, because his true nature is the Sadist Teacher.
- Translation Convention: The tried and true comics convention of <italics in pointy brackets>.
- Unknown Rival: Bruce never found out who killed his parents, so he doesn't understand why Joe Chill was scared enough to fall to his death when he accidentally unmasked Batman.
- Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Batman's plan to stop the Joker kidnapping Harvey Dent in The Batman Adventures #3.
- Upper-Class Twit: Bruce is a much stronger example of this here than in the animated series proper. When attending a science awards gala:
Socialite: Bruce, this is wonderful! I had no idea you were interested in science!
Bruce: I'm not, but the publicity is great for my image.
Socialite: (rolls eyes) Of course. Silly me.
- Villainous Breakdown: The Riddler at the end of Gotham Adventures #11.
- Villains Out Shopping: Averted by The Joker at The laugh after Midnight when after surviving his last fight with Batman he only wants to come back home, buy some donuts and a paper, call to Harley to pick him... while killing the vendors with Joker Venom.
- Why, Thank You, X!: In Batman: Gotham Adventures #1
- Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Thanks to the Scarecrow, the Beat Brothers will never do a reunion show again. His fellow prisoners are not happy, to say the least.
- With This Ring: An idiosyncratic version for the idiosyncratic Joker and Harley Quinn in Batman Adventures #16
- Zorro Mark: The Cavalier, in Batman Adventures #1