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 series had introduced viewers to Harley Quinn, Lock-Up, and sundry other original characters, The Batman Adventures gave us a new trio of bumbling, lovable villains in Mastermind, Mr. Nice, and the Professor (or "Perfesser").There were also a number of special issues, including the Eisner Award winning Mad Love, which detailed Harley Quinn's origin for the first time (and was later adapted as an episode of the TV series).The book was still going strong, both a critical and financial success, when it was canceled to make way for the official tie-in comic of a new, unrelated Batman animated series, The Batman.It is unrelated to DC's year-long official webcomic Batman: Shadow of Sin Tzu, another spin-off of Batman The Animated Series.The Batman Adventures, in its various incarnations, provides examples of:
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).
Ancient Grome: In-Universe example in Gotham Adventures #34. Maxie Zeus kidnaps a team of Hollywood set designers; inspired by an obvious GladiatorExpy film they made, his goal is to have them rebuild Rome.
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 Snarl: The comic is supposedly canon to the DCAU, but one issue of The Batman Adventures features appearances from mullet Superman and pre-baldness Lex Luthor, with Batman and Superman already knowing each other and having a professional but friendly relationship, all of which is presumably retconned by World's Finest.
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.
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, manyKarma 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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
Monumental Battle: The Batman Adventures #2 has a showdown on the Westminster Clock Tower.
My Rule Fu Is Stronger than Yours: There's a story arc in Batman Adventures where the new mayor 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.
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.
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.
Revenge: Much like Batman, one issues shows how Joe Chill also obsesses over the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Not learning their identities until later, Chill spends the rest of his life living in utter terror of someone as rich and powerful as Bruce Wayne taking bloody vengeance on him for killing his parents, to the point where he starts hallucinating Bruce Wayne appearing everywhere. Ultimately, when Batman is unmasked while trying to rescue Chill, who's dangling from a balcony railing, the latter freaks out and falls to his death. Bruce is left utterly baffled as to what just happened, as he hadn't recognized Chill.
In Gotham Adventures #10, Harley Quinn checks into a hotel under the pseudonym Elise Archer.
Small Name, Big Ego: 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... And 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!
Stupid Good: Hate to say it, but.... Bruce got suckered into teaming up with the sexy, sinister Taliatwice, 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?"
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.
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.