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Comic Book / The Batman Adventures

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The Batman Adventures was the official Batman tie-in comic of Batman: The Animated Series. It started in October 1992, primarily written by Kelley Puckett and drawn by Ty Templeton and Mike Parobeck, 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 (with no "The"). This last version was cancelled in 2004 as part of the general deck-clearing as the DC Animated Universe drew to a close.

In 2020, DC launched a digital-first comic, Batman: The Adventures Continue, set in the DCAU, drawn by Templeton and with writing handled by Batman: The Animated Series writer/producers Alan Burnett and Paul Dini.

Being a printed work, it was much less hampered by censorship—for instance, Batman could actually be shown outright punching criminals, whereas the TV series preferred indirect attacks. And just as the animated series had introduced viewers to Harley Quinn, Lock-Up, and 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; Bruce Timm and Paul Dini's Eisner Award-winning Mad Love, which detailed Harley Quinn's origin for the first time; and the miniseries The Lost Years, which depicts 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".

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:

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  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: Deconstruction. According to The New Batman Adventures episode "Cold Comfort", after Nora Fries was cured of her terminal illness, she waited for her missing and presumed dead husband Victor Fries for some time before she gave up waiting, marrying her doctor Francis D'Anjou and leaving Gotham for good. However, Nora still loves Victor, and despite Francis's best efforts, eventually leaves for the Arctic to find him. After Francis tries to frame Victor for sending a robot to attack him, Batman and Batgirl attempt to apprehend Victor, only for his head falls into the Arctic Ocean during the battle. Nora continues searching for Victor's head, but Victor does not return to her because his condition has completely destroyed his body and he believes he can never be with her, even though Nora does not care and still loves him.
  • 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 (note that this still makes him a better human being than his mainstream DCU counterpart, who used a double-headed coin for the "game").
  • Actually a Doombot: One of the last issues of Batman Adventures applied this retcon to Poison Ivy, whose appearance and power set were significantly changed between Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures. According to this story, Pamela Isley had left town during BTAS and replaced herself with one of her plant duplicates. The issue ends with both versions of the character meeting.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Lost Years combines The New Batman Adventures episodes "Old Wounds" and "Sins of the Father" into one larger story arc. It also adds new content, such as 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. Tim is shown to be a Batman fan who spies on him with binoculars, making him closer to his mainline comic incarnation.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • As opposed to the Smug Snake he was portrayed as in the cartoon, here Hugo Strange is presented as a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds acting out of despair and grief after Rupert Thorne had his son David murdered.
    • In The Adventures Continue, Jean-Paul Valley is still the dogmatic "Avenging Angel", but he worked with Bruce during his early years and the two team up to find an item missing from the Order of St. Dumas.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: In the series, Scarecrow is pretty underdeveloped compared to the other villains being more or less a petty sadist even in his origin story, but in the comics, it's shown that he has a genuine passion for teaching and will unleash hell if you treat those he cares about least Depending on the Writer.
  • Adaptational Villainy: The Adventures Continue, Season Two reveals former Mayor Hamilton Hill has revived Gotham City's extinct Court of Owls and plotting to takeover and rule Gotham.note 
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: For some reason, in the first two-thirds of the Gotham Adventures series, the redesigned Joker tends to be depicted with blue skin rather than his normal white. This is corrected for the final third of the series' run, however.
  • Age Lift: In the original comics, Jean-Paul Valley was a college student slightly younger than Dick Grayson when he became Azrael. In The Adventures Continue, Jean-Paul is presented as around the same age as Bruce, making him older than Dick.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Gotham Adventures #30 shows that Clayface is mercilessly mocked by the other Arkham inmates.
  • All Part of the Show: After saving Boston Brand's life in Issue #15 of The Batman and Robin Adventures, Dick Grayson tells him to bow to the audience so they won't know of the danger.
  • All There in the Manual: The second annual of the original run shows Batman’s first meeting with Etrigan (the story having them work together to thwart Ra's al Ghul's scheme of summoning a demon to destroy the world), while the series never explained how they knew each other.
  • 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: Okay, but why Rome? Aren't you, y'know... a Greek god? I mean, if you were a Roman god, wouldn't you be called Maxie Jupiter?
    (Maxie glares directly at him)
    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?:
    • In the Annual #1 of the comic, "Study Hall" shows Scarecrow at Arkham asking this to himself at the beginning of his Redemption Failure:
      Scarecrow: 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...
    • Poison Ivy also asks one of them to herself at the end of Batman and Robin Adventures #24, Touch of Death. This one shows how disconnected Poison Ivy is from her true motivations to save a Brazilian boy who is a Poisonous Person from a Government Conspiracy and brings him back to his home.
      Poison Ivy: And with the kid, I could... (Beat) ...Poison people FASTER? ...What was I thinking?
  • 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.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: In Issue #28, Batman asks if the Joker really wants to make him psychotic. That makes the Joker back down.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In Gotham Adventures #36, Robin enters the Batcave to find Superman. After the initial surprise, he wonders what brings Superman to Gotham and begins listing possible reasons: Alien invasion, interdimensional demons, nuclear disaster, planets out of alignment, and Metropolis playing Gotham for the Stanley Cup.
  • Asshole Victim: No tears would be shed for the Jerk Jock that assualted and is heavily implied to have raped Professor Crane's favorite pupil once the Professor decides to subject him to his Scarecrow routine.
  • Badass and Baby: In Gotham Adventures #26, all the world's criminal syndicates and intelligence agencies are trying to get hold of a baby with MacGuffin DNA. The baby's parents ask Batman to protect him, and Batman ends up carrying the baby around all night while he foils robberies, rescues runaway buses, etc.
  • Back for the Dead:
    • Season 2 of Batman: The Adventures Continue starts with Hamilton Hill, the mayor during the animated run, killed by a Talon. Subverted later on as it's revealed his faked his death.
    • In a later issue of Season 2, we see the return of James "The Jazzman" Peake who's defeated and captured by Batgirl. At the end of the story, it's heavily implied once he's locked up that Huntress kills him.
  • 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.
  • The Bard on Board: Batman and Robin Adventures #1's key plot is eerily similar to Othello (Harvey Dent/Two-Face as Othello, Joker as Iago, Harvey's fiancee Grace Lamont as Desdemona, Bruce Wayne as Cassio, and even Harley Quinn as Emilia)
  • Batman Cold Open: Mad Love opens with a sequence where the Joker impersonates the dentist at Commissioner Gordon's mandatory check-up and threatens him with a pair of pliers and an enormous drill.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • In Mad Love, Harley manages to capture Batman himself with a Batman gambit, claiming to have seen the light and be willing to betray the Joker to the authorities, then setting up a fake retaliation attack from the Joker. Batman springs into action to protect her, which means he's (a) physically close and (b) distracted, which gives her an opportunity to get him with a sedative.
    • How Batman gets out of Harley's trap in Mad Love is also an example, because it depends on him having precise knowledge of how Harley and the Joker can be manipulated by playing on their insecurities.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: Deconstruction. Barbara Gordon respects the Bat Family's avoidance of firearms. However, she is a cop in her day job and is willing to tote a gun when she and Batman infiltrate the base of the Sensei in Gotham Adventures #9, which Batman isn't happy about and asks her to get rid of it, feeling that she does not need it and that using it will be a mistake. It turns out that Batman was right; when Batgirl tries to use it to threaten Sensei, he saw that she was unwilling to use it to seriously hurt him if there was a chance to kill him. After calling out Batgirl for bring a weapon she was unwilling to use, he disarms her and throws the gun away.
  • 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.)
  • Bland-Name Product: The first annual has a throw-away line about how all kids want to watch these days is shows like "Mega Metal Power Clones".
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Not anything new, but in issue #13 this is lampshaded by a one-shot villain after he leaves them tied up in a burning building and they easily escape immediately after he steps outside.
    Hassan: I could have just shot him, but no! I must lock him in a burning building! Why?! Why must I have so much style?
  • Breaking the Bonds: Batman breaks through a whole lot of rope in a single SNAP! in The Batman Adventures #3.
  • Bullying a Dragon: In Gotham Adventures #51, Roland Daggett (still not learning his lesson) tried to trick both Mr. Freeze and Clayface into doing the work for him in one more scheme.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: In Batman and Robin Adventures #1, Harvey Dent is on the verge of real recovery from his insanity until the Joker makes him think Bruce Wayne and Dent's girlfriend, Grace, are seeing each other behind his back. When Batman asks Joker why he did it, Joker says, "Because it was Tuesday!"
  • The Cameo:
    • Clayface tries to psych out Robin by making it appear Annie has returned; Robin isn't fooled.
    • Deadshot and Captain Boomerang are among Harley's invited party guests, though it's never been shown that Quinn met them in this continuity.
  • Canon Foreigner: Mastermind, the Perfessor, and Mr. Nice were created for the tie-in comic and never appeared in the animated series.
  • Canon Immigrant:
    • Roxy Rocket started out in The Batman Adventures, graduated to the animated series, and then appeared in the original comics.
    • A version of the Wonderland Gang appeared in Harley Quinn: Harley Loves Joker, a one-shot in the DCAU-comics continuity, and were brought back in The Adventures Continue.
    • The Adventures Continue has many of these, bringing Jason Todd, Deathstroke, and Azrael over to DCAU continuity.
      • Issue #16 has Harley and Ivy inviting a bunch of fellow Rogues to a Christmas party, and included among them are King Shark and Kite-Man.
      • Season 2 brings in the Court of Owls.
  • Cassandra Truth: In Gotham Adventures #35, Bruce Wayne is by chance summoned for jury duty, for a trial against a minor criminal he helped to catch as Batman. When the judge asks him whether there's any reason he shouldn't be on the jury, he answers: "Yes. I'm Batman." Cut to a later scene with Batman and Robin discussing the scene:
    Robin: You did not.
    Batman: Of course I did. What else could I do? I was under oath not to lie.
    Robin: So... what happened? I mean, I assume you're not on the jury.
    Batman: After everyone stopped laughing, the judge told me this was a serious matter and I should refrain from any further jokes. And then they put me on the jury.
  • Chalk Outline: In The Batman Adventures #6. When Batman knocks out the murderer, he lands sprawled out on the outline.
  • Characterization Marches On: When Francis D'Anjou, Nora Fries' new husband, first appeared in Batman: Gotham Adventures #5, he was a scientist that greatly respected Victor Fries, having read everything he ever wrote, was grateful when Victor rescued him because he was Nora's new husband, and even shows that he knows that Nora still loves Victor and was respectful of her feelings for him. In his next appearance in Batman: Gotham Adventures #51, Francis is now greatly resentful to Victor and is jealous of Nora for having feelings for him, going so far as to hide all the letters Victor has been sending Nora asking for her to see him one more time. In his final appearance in 'Batman Adventures'' #15, Francis goes as far as to frame Victor for attacking him by having a robot freeze him, hoping to convince Nora to see Victor as a monster. This backfires when Nora refuses to believe Victor was behind the attack, and Nightwing discovers the truth, leading to Francis being arrested and sent to prison, with Nora leaving him.
  • 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.
  • Complexity Addiction: The Joker's tendency to this is lampshaded in Mad Love, with him reacting angrily when Harley suggests skipping the elaborate deathtraps and just shooting Batman. At the end, after Harley manages to capture Batman by herself, the Joker comes close to letting Batman go just because he doesn't have a death trap ready that lives up to his artistic standards. Then he decides that having Batman at his mercy is an opportunity not to be passed up, and maybe he'll give this "just shoot Batman" idea a go after all. It doesn't work out well for him.
  • Conspicuous Trenchcoat: Selina wears one when trying to escape Gotham via the airport. When Batman shows up to catch, she ditches it to reveal she had her Catwoman costume underneath all along.
  • Consulting Mr Puppet: The Ventriloquist and Scarface are played like this. In the first annual, Wesker goes straight and gets a job performing a frog puppet on a kids' show, and likewise treats the frog puppet as a separate person, who gives him friendly and encouraging advice. After Wesker is tempted to pick up Scarface, the climax of the story is a confrontation between the two puppets, fighting over his future. Unfortunately, Croaky is "killed" and Wesker reverts to being Scarface's meek flunky.
  • 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).
    • Possibly. In The Batman Adventures #23 Poison Ivy's seduced an Arkham orderly into repeatedly sneaking her potted plants, apparently using a special lip balm to keep him under her thrall. After she offers to "reward" him for his latest acquisition with another smooch, we smash cut to Batman suddenly being in front of Ivy saying this:"No thanks." Given the angle (we mostly see Bats mouth) and Pam's closed eyes & puckered lips it's likely he's thinking back to the kiss they shared not too long ago. Clearly, he isn't in a hurry for seconds.
  • Continuity Snarl: The comic is supposedly canon to the DC Animated Universe, but there are a number of continuity issues, usually resulting from the comic making a call on something that hadn't appeared in the TV series yet, and the TV series subsequently deciding to go a different direction. And even The Adventures Continue, which takes place years after the DCAU had its television run, has a few moments that don't quite gel with what's portrayed on the shows.
    • Issue #4-5 of The Batman Adventures makes The Scarecrow way more sympathetic than he ever was in the actual show, using his Curse of Babel plot not just for extortion, but to remind Gotham to not take education and literacy for granted (his methodology is also out of the ordinary; later writers would probably have given such a scheme to the Mad Hatter).
    • Issue #7 does the same to Killer Croc. Cartoon depiction: a cold-blooded sociopath already guilty of several murders before Batman ever heard of him. Comic depiction: a morally-ambiguous underground wrestler whom Batman lets off with a warning.
    • It's a small thing, but Scarface displays his replacing-all-b's-with-g's Character Tic from the regular comics in his appearance in Issue #14. He explains it's due to the gash on his cheek, but he never had a problem saying 'bat' in the show despite that wound also being present there. Then again, he's just a ventriloquist's dummy.
    • The Batman Adventures #25 features guest appearances from mullet Superman and beard-and-full-head-of-hair Lex Luthor, with Batman and Superman already having a professional relationship that wasn't exactly warm but seemed perfectly fine. 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. Meanwhile, Batman and Superman meet for the first time in 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.
    • Averted with the Actually a Doombot reveal about Poison Ivy and the appearances of the still-human Ivy working with a still-human Alec Holland, along with Harley Quinn's vow to kill Ivy for betrayals, all near the end of Batman Adventures (2003). As some years pass until what happens in Batman and Harley Quinn, by then the real Ivy's been physically changed and Holland's become Swamp Thing, and Ivy seems to have patched things up with Quinn for the most part.
    • Batman repeatedly scoffs at the existence of aliens, UFOs, magic, ghosts, and the like, even though he's dealt with Superman, Brainiac, Etrigan, Klarion the witch-boy, etc. Contrast the Batman Beyond episode "Revenant", where he tells Terry that he's seen too many paranormal phenomena to dismiss the possibility out of hand (but doubts that this particular case involves a ghost).
    • The Adventures Continue #9 gives us the introduction of Jason Todd as the second Robin in the middle of a fight between Batman and Firefly. What makes this problematic is that Firefly didn't become a supervillain until TNBA, when Tim Drake was already Robin. Unless it was another guy not named Garfield Lynns in a prototype costume of some sort, good luck making sense of this continuity-wise, because the only possible way it can make sense is if one believes the events of "Torch Song" have been ret-conned by this series as having happened between "Old Wounds" and "Sins of the Father", since Tim Drake and Dick Grayson are absent in the episode.
    • Issue #3 in Season Two of The Adventures Continue gives us a moment that's practically impossible to reconcile with the DCAU proper. We see the return of Jimmy "The Jazzman" Peake and Batgirl finally meets Huntress, with there being a mention of how Huntress was in the Justice League. Then we're introduced to Helena's backstory which showed her family being gunned down while Helena escaped and how Jazzman played a role in the killing by playing the piano while the Bertinelli family was murdered. Evidently, the JLU episode "Double Date" where Helena wasn't shown with a brother, Steven Mandragora killed Helena's parents with his bare hands involving no firearms, and Jazzman had no direct or in-direct involvement whatsoever in the murder (much less play a piano tune to the killing) should be completely ignored.
  • The Corpse Stops Here: The Batman Adventures #6 begins with Bruce Wayne found standing over a fresh corpse.
  • Corrupted Character Copy: Zig-zagged in The Adventures Continue with the Joker's henchman Straightman. Being a well-built blond man who is said to have been involved in an experiment to create the ultimate soldier, he is clearly a pastiche of Marvel's Captain America and it is also revealed that Hugo Strange had been backing the project behind his augmentation, but emphasis is made on the fact that the only reason Straightman is working for the Joker is because the Joker sabotaged the procedure so he'd be compelled to follow his orders and Straightman ultimately succeeds in redeeming himself and defying the Joker's control.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: In The Batman Adventures #34, Catwoman, in her Selina Kyle ID, overhears Professor Hugo strange giving directions to a cab driver and hurriedly jots the details down in lipstick on her compact mirror.
  • 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.
  • Curse of Babel: Inflicted by the Scarecrow in issues #4-5 of The Batman Adventures.
  • Cutlery Escape Aid: In The Batman Adventures #14, the Ventriloquist tunnels his way out of Arkham Asylum with a spoon. Almost. His tunnel emerges a few feet short of the gate and Scarface berates him for his stupidity.
  • Cut Short: The "Shadows and Masks" arc in Batman Adventures featured the return of Phantasm (Andrea Beaumont) and culminated to 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). Adult readers will be surprised.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Robin and/or Batgirl were occasionally the stars of an issue. Issue 14 of the original series, for example, is about what happened while Batman was in Paris the previous issue.
  • Daydream Surprise: The backup story for Batman Adventures volume 2 issue 11 has the Riddler spontaneously decide to rob a bank while getting impatient waiting and get confronted by Batman, afterwards it turns out he was only daydreaming about it when the bank teller shakes him out of his fantasy by telling him it is his turn.
  • 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.)
  • Depraved Dentist: The Batman Cold Open of Mad Love has the Joker impersonating the dentist at Commissioner Gordon's mandatory check-up and threatening him with a pair of pliers and an enormous drill. Batman arrives just in time to save him by breaking through the window.
  • Depraved Kids' Show Host: A story in the first annual revolves around a children's show whose host is all sweetness and light on camera, but in real life is an egotistical tantrum-prone jerk who ruins a man's life to serve her own selfish purposes and takes out a hit on the show's producer when he tells her he's planning to close the show down.
  • Destination Defenestration: At the end of Mad Love, the Joker throws Harley out of a fifth-story window for the terrible offense of being better at killing Batman than him.
  • 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.
    • The penultimate issue of the same series — along with the Actually a Doombot revelation about Poison Ivy — reveals the real Pamela Isley spent the years working with Dr. Alec Holland in Louisiana before his becoming the Swamp Thing.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: In the Batman Adventures era, the origin of Batman's Dead Person Impersonation of Matches Malone retains the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths detail of Matches actually being dead (not just Faking the Dead like in Post-Crisis), the death itself was changed from Matches accidentally killing himself trying to kill Batman to Matches being gunned down by hitmen working for Rupert Thorne.
  • 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": In The Batman Adventures #6, It's not Professor Crane. The name is Scarecrow.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: In Mad Love Joker gets annoyed when Harley explains a joke trap she set up, although it's implied he wouldn't accept it anyway because it was her idea and not his.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: Bullock is shown eating a donut in issue 58 of Gotham Adventures.
  • Dragged by the Collar: Joker drags Harley by the nose in Mad Love.
  • 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.
  • Emerging from the Shadows: The first two issues of The Batman Adventures have first Penguin, then Catwoman, receiving a two-way video screen which puts them in communication with a shadowy figure... who is revealed as the Joker when one of his minions turns on the lights. Each time, the Joker pulls a gun and shoots the offending minion, then resumes the conversation.
  • End-of-Series Awareness: The 60th issue of Gotham Adventures has the cover include a caption stating that the comic is going out with a bang.
  • Engineered Public Confession: The Penguin has one in The Batman Adventures #1.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The last arc of the original series revolves around Hugo Strange developing technology that erases memories, his intention being to rid himself of the traumatic memory of seeing his own son David fatally shot by one of Rupert Thorne's underlings.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The first Annual sees a Jerk Jock find himself on the wrong end of the Scarecrow's wrath when the Scarecrow, having decided to assume a false identity and take up teaching again learns his favorite student was beaten and possibly raped by the jock.
  • 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.
  • Faking the Dead:
    • In Issue #17 of The Batman and Robin Adventures, the Mad Hatter fakes his death as part of a plan to abduct his love interest.
    • The second season of The Adventures Continues sees Hamilton Hill do this as part of taking over the Court of Owls.
  • 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."
    • Crosses over with Exact Words. Of course the real murderer knows 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.
  • Flexibility Equals Sex Ability: Implied in Mad Love. During Harley's backstory dump, her acrobatic abilities as a gymnast and immediately juxtapositioned with her seducing her psychology teacher, and from what we see of it, she rocked his world.
  • Flipping the Bird: Batman: Gotham Adventures #14 has Harley Quinn make shadow puppets near the Bat-Signal to get the Batfamily's attention, with one particular gesture not being shown and only known from Batgirl's description.
    Robin: Whoops!
    Batgirl: That hand gesture's not hard to figure out. Only one finger.
  • 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.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: 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!
  • Framing Device: The main story in the first annual has a frame story where Roxy Rocket is released from prison claiming to be reformed, causing Batman to reflect on others who have made the same claim only to slip back into their old ways. At the end, Roxy seems to have gone back to a life of crime, but it turns out, appropriately for a frame story, to be a Frameup.
  • Freudian Couch: Used by Joker and Harley when they were having psychoanalysis sessions when they first meet. It starts with him on the couch, but as he twists her mind, later scenes have the Joker as the psychiatrist, with Harley on the couch.
  • Friendly Enemy: The Riddler. Sometimes a little too friendly.
  • The Full Name Adventures: All of the comic books have "[Name of show] Adventures" as their title.
  • Fun with Acronyms: A fan letter published at Issue #16 has "Batman Adventures - Terrific covers Magnificent Artwork Never A Dull moment Very Exciting New stories The Ultimate Rendition of Everyone's favorite Superhero. I Salute you!!! #1
  • Gardening-Variety Weapon: In The Batman And Robin Adventures #8, Harley Quinn breaks a hoe across Robin's head before attempting to stab with with a set if hedge clippers.
  • Gave Up Too Soon: In Gotham Adventures #9, Batman and Batgirl come to arrest Sensei for his role in the murder of Boston Brand. Tracking him down to the League of Assassins headquarters in Tibet, they battle with him. The battle is stopped by Ra's al Ghul, who orders Sensei not to kill them. When Batman refuses to leave without the Sensei, Ra's orders the Sensei to go with Batman. Neither wishing to get in the way of Ra's plans nor to spend the rest of his days in prison, the Sensei chooses a third option and quietly walks out one of the windows of his mountain hideaway, falling to his death. Ra's reveals that while he was going to let Batman and Batgirl take him, he was not going to let them keep him.
  • The Ghost: Dr. Emile Dorian, who only ever appeared in one Animated Series episode, "Tyger, Tyger" (along with one Adventures comics story), doesn't appear but is mentioned by The Penguin in The Adventures Continue, and has apparently taken Dr. Achilles Milo's place as the Gotham City underworld's resident Mad Scientist for hire.
  • Girl's Night Out: If an issue is spotlighting Batgirl, there's a decent chance Harley & Ivy will be the villains, and Batman nowhere to be seen.
  • Gold Digger:
    • Harley tricks The Joker into believing she inherited a fortune so he'd marry her.
    • Bruce discovers his girlfriend Julie Madison is one.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The young Harleen Quinzel's attempt to become famous by writing a tell-all book about working at Arkham Asylum, as depicted in Mad Love.
  • 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.
  • Happy Ending Override: The tie-in comics did this for several characters in the series proper who either got a happy ending, didn't quite get a happy ending but still got enough of a Hope Spot that things can change for them down the line, or at least survived an episode with something of a Bitter Sweet Ending.
    • Tygrus was implied to have died in an explosion following a three-way battle against Man-Bat and Anthony Romulus.
    • Kirk Langstrom was trapped as being Man-Bat despite surviving the explosion with the caveat that he'll live as Man-Bat for the rest of his life and never see Francine again. However, Kirk was lucky enough to have his tie-in Downer Ending reversed in TNBA where he had a cameo with Francine in "Chemistry" but there's no word on whether or not Tygrus or Romulus survived.
    • The Joker ensured that Harvey would never be cured and destroyed his relationship with Grace, with Grace deciding that she and Harvey are permanently through.
    • Sometimes, one tie-in installment can even override a previous installment, with Batman Adventures having Nora and Mr. Freeze reunite, with the ending showing that Nora will go to the ends of the earth to bring Victor back. The Adventures Continue later reveals that Nora died from her illness coming back.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The Riddler goes straight during Batman Adventures.
  • Hidden Depths: In a TV show full of Tragic Villains, the Scarecrow is only a sadistic Jerkass, but The Batman Adventures #4 and the Annual gave him Character Depth with a Tragic Dream with his genuine desire to teach again and become a true Save Our Students teacher.
  • Hostage Situation: In the first annual, Catwoman holds Roxy Rocket hostage, threatening to slash her throat with her claws if Batman doesn't let her go. When Batman says she's no killer, she starts nicking Roxy's neck to show she means it.
  • 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.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: In Mad Love, The Joker's reaction to Harley's attempt to seduce him with sweet talking and a sheer negligée is entirely limited to irritation that she's getting between him and his deathtrap blueprints.
  • Imagine Spot: Harley has a couple in Mad Love where she imagines herself and the Joker getting married and raising a family of adorably homicidal tykes.
  • Implied Rape: While the story "Study Hall" in Batman Adventures Annual 1 implies a female student Scarecrow grew fond of was raped by her boyfriend, the story doesn't actually come out and say it, only saying that she tried to push him away.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Issue 33 of Gotham Adventures has The Phantom Stranger show Batman what life would be like if he had never become Batman. In spite of the more drastic changes, the Joker still exists in this timeline and a Harvey Dent who never became Two-Face has still orphaned Tim Drake.
  • Instant Sedation:
    • When Talia shoots Batman and Jason Blood with sleeping darts, they both pass out almost instantly.
    • Batman goes down immediately when Harley stabs him in the neck with a needle in Mad Love.
  • 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 Never Got Any Letters: According to The New Batman Adventures episode "Cold Comfort," after Nora Fries was cured of her terminal illness, she waited for her missing and presumed dead husband Victor Fries for some time before she gave up waiting, marrying her doctor Francis D'Anjou and leaving Gotham for good. This was expanded in Batman: Gotham Adventures #51 and Batman Adventures #15. Batman: Gotham Adventures #51 shows that Mr. Freeze has been sending letters to Nora asking to see her one more time, but Francis has been hiding all the letters from Nora. Then Nora visits Victor Fries in Arkham Asylum and tells him that she still loves him and wants to be together with him. Nora breaks Victor out, and they work on a formula to restore him to normal. After a battle with Batman and Batgirl, it is revealed that Nora is really Clayface, who is manipulating him to make a cure for his condition; furious at the deceit, Victor Fries destroys the formula and leaves. Mr. Freeze figures that Nora couldn't possibly love him anymore; he wrote one more letter to her to say goodbye and that she's made the right choice by moving on, escaping Gotham for a life in the Arctic. The issue ends with Nora Fries arriving at Arkham Asylum asking for Victor Fries with a letter he sends her in her hand. Batman Adventures #15 revealed that Nora discovers that her new husband, Francis D'Anjou, was hiding the letters Victor was sending her and is angry at him, but Francis is attacked by a robot that freezes him. Refusing to believe that it was Victor, Nora refuses to believe that Victor was behind the attack and leaves for the Arctic to find him. Victor confirms that he was not responsible and he would never hurt Francis because she loves him. Nora believes him, and it is revealed that Francis, jealous of Nora's feelings for Victor, frames him for attacking him by having a robot freeze him, hoping to convince her to see Victor as a monster. Unfortunately, Victor is lost after a battle with Batman and Batgirl; Nora visits Francis D'Anjou in prison and leaves him. After talking with Victor's former assistant Koonak, Nora returns to the Arctic, hoping to find Victor's head.
  • 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?
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In issue #16, the Joker finds out about an In-Universe comic, Gotham Adventures, in which he is terrified of Batman. Disgusted, he kidnaps the comic's artist and forces him to create comics that mirror Joker's real exploits, while essentially daring Batman to stop him. When Batman finally does catch up to him, Joker captures him and straps him to a rocket,then says, "I realize that being chained to an exploding rocket triggered by a golf ball is a silly way to die, but hey — that's comics!"
  • 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.
  • Marrying the Mark: In issue #16, 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 smart enough to realise it will cause the Joker to marry and murder her, but mad 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.
  • 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.
  • Mistaken for Own Murderer: Downplayed. In Issue #8, Summer Gleeson is supposed to have a date with a man who, unbeknownst to her, was Clayface under a disguise but arrives on time to see Clayface being arrested and wonders what happened to her date.
    Summer: I was supposed to meet somebody here. Tall, blond... handsome. But I don't see him anywhere. Did... that thing...
    Batman: No, Miss Gleeson. The person you described... was never here.
  • 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 Grandma Can Do Better Than You: In issue #7, Killer Croc's manager tells him "my mutha slams better than that". Croc's adversary says he considers it "particularly painful".
  • 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: 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.
    • 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 and Robin Adventures #6, a trashy tabloid publishes a story about Batman supposedly firing Robin. Several people dress up as Robin and try to convince Batman to hire them in his place, including one resembling Carrie from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.

  • Never Found the Body:
    • Invoked by Batman in Mad Love, when he points out that the deathtrap won't leave identifiable remains and suggests that nobody will ever believe that Harley really did kill the Batman.
    • Played straight at the end of Mad Love, after the Joker falls off a roof into a factory chimney.
  • Never Mess with Granny: "Natural Born Losers" starts with a POV character's Private Eye Monologue seeing him lose his patience with a pair of elderly women at a pay phone going over a recipe, charge at them to get them off the phone and take a set of brass knuckles to the head; the incident goes down as "75-YEAR-OLD-GRANNIE KO'S WOULD-BE MUGGER".
  • Never My Fault: In Mad Love, Harley reflects that her life is actually pretty terrible, and it's obvious who's to blame — clearly it's all Batman's fault.
  • 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:
  • No-Sell: In Batman: The Adventures Continue Season 2, Deadman attempts to possess a Talon three times and all three times the Talon prevents him from doing so.
  • No Sympathy: In Batman: Gotham Adventures #22, Commissioner Gordon and Barbara hunt down a violent criminal who's broken out of see his dying mother. Due to their interference, he doesn't make it in time, and tearfully asks why they couldn't have given him a break so he could have had five minutes with her. Gordon's having none of it, and coldly tells him that if he wasn't a multiple murderer, he could have spent the last twelve years with her, and none of his victims got the chance to say goodbye to their loved ones.
  • 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.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In "Gotham Adventures" #2, Two-Face takes a live game show studio hostage explicitly without flipping his coin to decide if he wants to go through with it for once. This is because the person he's targeting this time is someone that both sides of him hate, very, very much.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Near the end of Mad Love the Joker escapes Batman and the police by jumping onto the roof of a passing train. He waves and calls a taunting farewell, then turns around — and Batman is standing on the train roof right behind him.
  • One Last Job: In "The Last Riddler Story" (The Batman Adventures #10), the Riddler, frustrated at being outsmarted and defeated by Batman, decides to quit. His henchmen convince him to give it one last try. Batman catches him again... by happenstance while pursuing another villain trying to steal the same object. The Riddler considers this a victory since Batman didn't solve his riddle, and cheerfully goes back to prison.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: The Joker takes this attitude toward Batman in Mad Love. When Harley manages to catch Batman in a deathtrap all by herself, he's furious.
  • Or My Name Isn't...: A visiting Doctor from Dusseldorf brags that the newly-arrived patient "vill be completely cured in one week" or his name isn't Heinrick Heimlich. It isn't. "Dr. Heimlich" is Harley in disguise.
  • Origins Episode:
    • The Lost Years serves as one for Dick as Nightwing and Tim as Robin.
    • Mad Love serves as Harley Quinn's origin story and was even adapted to an episode of the source material during the cartoon's New Adventures retool.
  • Orphaned Punchline: In The Batman Adventures #2:
    Security guard: ... so the bald guy says, "What? No shaving cream?"
  • Out-Gambitted: In Mad Love, Harley manages to Batman Gambit Batman and get him into a death trap he's physically incapable of escaping. He points out that the death trap won't leave identifiable remains, and persuades Harley that the Joker will never believe she really killed Batman unless he's there to see it himself — knowing that the Joker's ego will never stand for someone else killing Batman, and counting on the resulting argument to give him an opportunity to get free.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Hugo Strange, who then creates a machine to remove the memory of his son's death, but it only made him go nuts (or nuttier). At one point he walks into a crowded street and sees his son's face in every single person.
  • Outside Ride: In The Batman Adventures #9, Batman vaults over the top of a gangster's car as it attempts to run him down, then lands on the back and perches on the rear bumper to tagalong with the gangsters to where they are going.
  • Papa Wolf: The story "Study Hall" sees the Scarecrow, who resumed teaching under an assumed name after escaping, become fond of a student, only to go off on her boyfriend and resume being the Scarecrow after it's implied the boyfriend had abused and raped her.
  • Perp Sweating: Detective Bullock attempts to sweat a wrongly-accused Bruce Wayne in The Batman Adventures #6.
  • Pet the Dog: In Batman and Robin Adventures #7, Riddler, after his escape plan fails, still tips Batman off to the fact that Scarface, who escaped, intends to kill a member of the Ventriloquist's family.
  • Pillow Pistol: In The Batman & Robin Adventures #19, Helena Bertinelli is asleep in her bedroom when she hears a creak and suddenly Wake Up Fighting with her crossbow in hand, but the intruder (Batman) is already gone. It also shows she wears nothing to bed but her cross necklance and the crossbow under her pillow.
  • 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: As in the show, Poison Ivy starts out as a plant-themed but firmly human villain, but over time gains direct control over plants in her surroundings. The comic eventually takes it even further; in Batman Adventures she can basically ignore a stab wound much like a plant, bleeds green, and can generate and shoot out thorns. Near the end of the comic it's revealed that the Ivy in the The New Batman Adventures era is actually a plant-based clone with Pamela Isley's memories, and she manages to seek out the real, still human Isley only to die on her doorstep.
  • Play-Along Prisoner: The Joker in Batman: Gotham Adventures #1.
  • Poison Ring: Poison Ivy, appropriately, utilized rings and bracelets with toxin-tipped needles in Batman and Robin Adventures #24, when she was still depicted as a Badass Normal with only toxin & disease immunity, and not the plant superpowers like later.
  • Police Are Useless: Averted in The Batman & Robin Adventures #19 when the cops arrest those involved with the illegal operations left behind by the late Don Bertinelli.
  • Posthumous Character: Adventures Continue reveals Nora Fries' illness relapsed and she had died, making Mr. Freeze obsessed with resurrecting her.
  • Pronouncing My Name for You: An issue had Commissioner Gordon seeking out a crime informant named "Wiesel". Gordon, like every other character this man had ever encountered, pronounces the name to rhyme with "weasel". He tries to tell Gordon that the accent is on the second syllable, but gets cut off.
  • 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.
  • Pun: Harley gets jealous of how touchy-feely Ivy is getting with a mind-controlled Robin, and accuses her of "cradle robin".
  • Pungeon Master: Catman certainly loves his cat puns...
  • Race Lift: Quiz and Query, Riddler's longtime hench-wenches, are now comely twin African-American women who aid him in a Bad Santa scheme.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: The story "Study Hall" in the first annual sees the Scarecrow tormenting a young man who is heavily implied to have raped one of his students. Batman stops him, but his ending narration indicates that he agrees with Scarecrow that the young man was worse.
    "I suppose Crane was trying to help Molly in the only way he knew how, with fear, intimidation and force. All in all, not that different from Bromley's methods... Except Crane has always had the decency to wear his mask on the outside."
  • Redemption Failure: The Central Theme for first annual, with four stories:
  • Remember the New Guy?: Throughout the DCAU's entire run, Jason Todd was never implied to have existed in the continuity and Tim Drake was always made out to be the second Robin, being a bit of a Composite Character with traits of both Jason and Comic Tim Drake, up to and including his own version of A Death In The Family in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. The Adventures Continue finally establishes Jason Todd as being the second Robin that Batman never talked about out of shame.
  • 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.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Most stories had three acts; issue #22, featuring Two-Face, had two.
  • Sanity Slippage: As mentioned above, what happens to Hugo Strange. By the end of Vol. 1's final arc, he's literally seeing his son's face in everyone he looks at, as a result of tampering with his own memories. He tried to remove the one of his son's death, but wound up also removing the one of the memory-removal itself, thus he started obsessively removing every single memory he had. And it still didn't help one bit.
  • Schrödinger's Canon: Every different installment of The Batman Adventures essentially functions as this, being expanded universe works that officially should take place within B:TAS and the broader DCAU but their canonocity isn't completely set in stone and the official shows can override (or officially canonize in rare cases like "Mad Love") whatever is written in the tie-in comics at a later date.
  • Self-Deprecation: Issue #16 of the original series involves the Joker discovering there's a comic book detailing Batman's adventures. Cut to versions of the creative team, editors and all. Biting-the-Hand Humor ensues.
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • In The Adventures Continue #8, Mr. Freeze returns and tries to resurrect his late wife. How he came back is a serious mystery as Batman Adventures (2003) #15 last show Freeze’s head sinking in the Arctic, saying Nora’s name.
    • Adventures Continue also seems to disregard the entire Actually a Doombot reveal about Poison Ivy, and Penguin ever being Gotham's mayor.
  • Sextra Credit: According to Mad Love, the only reason Harley managed to pass her psychology degree was by sleeping with the professor.
  • Shark Pool: The death trap in Mad Love features a large tank of piranhas. The initial version involves luring Batman onto a trapdoor and dropping him in; Harley's refinement has him lowered slowly in, upside-down, so that the piranhas' downturned mouths will look like smiles.
  • Shear Menace: In The Batman And Robin Adventures #8, Harley becomes jelaous of the brainwashed Robin being Poison Ivy's new favourite and attempts to stab him with set of hedge clippers.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Small Name, Big Ego: The Penguin. In the very first issue of The Batman Adventures, 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, 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:
    The Penguin: So I resign. You don't get Oswald Cobblepot to kick around anymore! ... At least not until the fall election, you've seen what I can do as Mayor, Gotham City. When the time comes, I'm sure to come back in a landslide!! ... Now, NO further questions you vultures! I'm done with you!
  • Smokestack Drop: In the one-shot Mad Love graphic novel, a punch from the Batman during their Traintop Battle sends the Joker tumbling from the roof of the train and down a smokestack. This story was later adapted into an episode The New Batman Adventures.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Subverted. In The Batman and Robin Adventures #15, Dick foils a murder attempt on the acrobat Boston Brand, who in the mainline comics was murdered during a show and becomes the ghostly superhero Deadman. However, Brand returns for another guest appearance in Gotham Adventures #6, when he does get killed and becomes Deadman.
    • Like in the original story within the mainstream DC comics, Jason Todd takes a crowbar beating from The Joker in The Adventures Continue. Unlike the original story, he doesn't get killed by an ensuing explosion and returns without the need for any Lazarus Pit to resurrect him.
  • Start of Darkness: Mad Love features a flashback showing how Harley started out as a young and ambitious psychologist hoping to get famous by working with one of Arkham's notorious inmates, who fell under the Joker's spell.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: In Mad Love, while the Joker is obsessing over plans for his next elaborate deathtrap, Harley asks, "Why don't ya just shoot him?" This triggers an angry rant about how that wouldn't be artistically satisfying.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: In Batman: Gotham Adventures #1, the Riddler is in his hideout working on a device.
    Riddler: Where is my Phillips head screwdriver?
    [a gloved hand gives him the screwdriver from offscreen]
    Riddler: Oh, thank you!
    [a question mark appears over his head, then he's yanked out of the panel by Batman]
  • Stolen by Staying Still: In The Batman Adventures #2, Catwoman 'steals' the Crown Jewels from their temporary display gallery by hiding them under the podium to make people think they've been stolen; planning to return and steal them for real once the security globe has been turned off.
  • 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 Femme Fatale Talia al Ghul 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?"
  • Stupid Sacrifice: In Gotham Adventures #9, Sensei fight Batman and Batgirl, who come to arrest him for his role in the murder of Boston Brand. Their battle is stopped by Ra's al Ghul, who orders Sensei not to kill them because Ra's requires Batman for his plans, and when Batman refuses to leave without the Sensei, Ra's orders the Sensei to go with Batman. Sensei refuses, not wanting to spend his final years in prison. Ra's tells him that it's an order and he does not have a choice; not wishing to disobey his master, but at the same time not wanting to go to prison, the Sensei chooses a third option and quietly walks out one of the windows of his mountain hideaway, falling to his death, to everyone's shock. Ra's calls Sensei a fool, revealing that he had planned to let Batman take Sensei, but not keep him, and calls him an infuriating waste of a useful agent.
  • Sudden Principled Stand: Invoked in Mad Love, when Harley sends Batman a message claiming the Joker's latest plan is too much even for her to accept; it turns out to be a trick to get close to Batman.
  • 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.
  • Team Rocket Wins: The Batman Adventures #10 is this for The Riddler.
  • 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 realises 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.
  • Traintop Battle: Batman and the Joker at the end of Mad Love.
  • Translation Convention: Foreign languages are rendered in English with the tried and true comics convention of <italics in pointy brackets>.
  • Uncertain Doom: In The Batman Adventures #21, Tygrus, Man-Bat, and Anthony Romulus (the werewolf) were all caught in an explosion during a fight and the issue ended without any of them being confirmed dead. Considering how Man-Bat came back in a later issue and made a cameo as Kirk Langstrom in "Chemistry" during TNBA, there's the remote possibility that Tygrus and Romulus also survived, though with no official confirmation of them being dead or alive either way.
  • 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 got close to one at the end of The Batman Adventures #10, until Batman admits that he never solved the riddle (he was pursuing The Threatening Three, who just happened to be doing a heist at the same time and place as the Riddler). The Riddler then goes from despair to elation — he won, capture and reincarceration notwithstanding.
    • The Riddler at the end of Gotham Adventures #11. After breaking out of Arkham, he's decided to change the game a little and spend the issue giving Batman clues to capture other criminals, without committing any of the crimes himself. He's devastated when Batman and Nightwing find his secret hideout and he realizes that through his other riddles he's subconsciously given them clues as to where he is. At first he gets angry, then he just totally deflates and just looks broken:
    "You don't understand... I really didn't want to leave you any clues. I really planned never to go back to Arkham Asylum. But I left you a clue anyway. So I... I have to go back there. Because I might need help. I... I might actually be crazy..."
  • 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.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Gotham Adventures #4 explains why Catwoman cut all ties to the Bat-Family between Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures: Batman saw her disfigure a Rich Bitch cosmetic entrepreneur for using Animal Testing. The catch is that Catwoman doesn't feel so bad about that until she realizes someone like the Batman would never forgive such an act.
  • Wham Line: Issue 14 of the 2003 Batman Adventures series starts with a boy skipping school to meet Simon Trent at a convention and state how he appreciates Trent as an actor for his role as the Gray Ghost. Things take an interesting turn when Trent signs the boy an autograph.
    Simon Trent: Now who should I make this out to.
    Boy: To Matt! Matt Hagen!
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Harley Quinn provides the trope name and the page picture from the story "Mad Love". When Joker is trying to think of a way to kill Batman, Harley suggests that Joker just shoot Batman. Joker gets angry at the suggestion, saying that "the death of Batman must be a masterpiece" and "the height of my comedic genius", refusing to kill his Arch-Enemy in such a conventional way.
  • 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.
  • Witch with a Capital "B":
    • The 4th issue of Gotham Adventures has Amy Mercedes call Catwoman a "witch" when she catches her breaking into her bedroom.
    • The 29th issue of Gotham Adventures has Robin remark to the Penguin that he'd give up his mother. The Penguin replies "I wasn't going to jail for that witch".
  • With This Ring: An idiosyncratic version for the idiosyncratic Joker and Harley Quinn in Batman Adventures #16.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Two-Face pulls one off against his estranged abusive father in #2; either he killed the man directly, or he would blow up his father’s $2.2 million lottery winnings in a manner that means his father won’t actually get the money.
  • Zorro Mark: The Cavalier, in Batman Adventures #1.

Alternative Title(s): Batman Adventures, The Batman And Robin Adventures, Batman Gotham Adventures, Batman The Adventures Continue