Friday, August 20, 2004
THE BATMAN: THE CHARACTERS
Following is a rundown of the main characters in The Batman. Click on the thumbnails for larger images. Voice actors are in parentheses.
Only in his third year, pre-"Bat Signal," The Batman currently operates as a vigilante. Under the cape and cowl can be found a younger Bruce Wayne in his 20s. The media is more likely to catch him courtside at a Gotham Gators game or strapping on a helmet to drive his own racecar for a charity than in front of City Hall cutting a ribbon. But don't confuse the swinging bachelor persona for the real Bruce -- he's intense, driven and completely focused on his life's mission to serve as the Dark Knight. Aided by technology he's secretly developed -- including the operating system known as the Bat-Wave -- and driven by the childhood memory of the loss of his parents, Batman takes to the streets in order to bring Gotham's new breed of super villains to justice.
Within the confines of his role as butler to the Wayne estate, Alfred raised Bruce and, on occasion, continues to provide him with veiled wisdom. Like The Batman, Alfred is younger, in his early 50s, and more physically robust, yet not quite the unflappable Alfred of usual Batman lore. The cape and cowl are new enough that Alfred is still growing accustomed to them. Thus, we witness his genuine concern for Bruce's safety when Bruce goes up against the likes of Joker, Penguin, Mr. Freeze and the will of the Rogues Gallery.
Catwoman, a.k.a. Selina Kyle, is Gotham's greatest cat burglar. She gets her name not only because of her profession but also because of her cat-like qualities. Cunning, stealthy and mysterious, she is neither super hero nor arch villain. Unlike most of The Batman's foes, Catwoman is not out for mass destruction or domination of Gotham. She's in it for the money...and the thrill of the hunt. She has even been known to do the occasional good deed -- when it's in her best interest. Despite The Batman's efforts to capture her, Catwoman seems to enjoy her encounters with the Dark Knight, proving to be a flirtatious rival.
For Chief Rojas, The Batman is nothing less than a black eye to his police force. Believing there is no room for vigilante justice in Gotham, Rojas has made capturing the Dark Knight a top priority.
Detective Ellen Yin is as physically adept as any male cop she knows. Ellen may be new to the Gotham beat, but she's no rookie. Previously head of her department in Metropolis, she transferred to Gotham looking for new challenges. Shešs a career cop at the top of her game, true blue and by the book. Not warming to Bruce Wayne so easily, Ellen doesn't have it out personally for The Batman. It's simply cut-and-dried. As a vigilante, he's breaking the law. Not seeing past his swinging billionaire persona, she despises his seemingly silver-spoon arrogance.
If Bruce Wayne could call anyone his best friend, Ethan Bennett is it. They've been friends since high school. Whereas his partner, Detective Ellen Yin, sees things in black and white, Ethan sees the grey in most everything -- and is more willing to allow The Batman to co-exist with the Gotham P.D. In fact, he often finds himself pondering if this caped vigilante he is chasing is actually helping the city.
The arch nemesis of The Batman, Joker is a maniacal harlequin whose bizarre appearance and unerring instinct for the absurd have earned him a reputation as "the most dangerous criminal in the annals of crime." For Joker, each transgression he commits is an elaborate joke in which he tries to leave his victims dying with laughter - literally. More than any other enemy, Joker becomes inextricably linked to The Batman, as the crazed clown's plots begin to take increasingly more personal tolls on our crime fighter.
Grange, the mayor of Gotham, is a close friend of the Wayne family. A shrewd politician, he nonetheless buys into the irresponsible bachelor image Bruce cultivates, creating some grief for the young billionaire.
Mr. Freeze is a villain who uses his ice technology as a means of stealing the objects of his passion: the rarest, most valuable diamonds. Formerly Victor Fries, Mr. Freeze is a ruthless criminal who The Batman thought had met his demise in a cryogenic accident that reduced the villain's body temperature to that of neither living nor dead, creating a walking cryogenic monstrosity! Ice, in all forms, has become his obsession -- along with making Gotham Mr. Freeze's very own Kingdom of Ice!
Oswald Cobblepot, like Bruce, is an ostensible billionaire in his 20s -- but the similarities stop there. Unlike Bruce, "Ozzy" is rude, selfish, arrogant and homely -- a grotesque penguin-bodied character -- essentially, the "anti-Bruce!" While Gotham's other villains may have it out for The Batman, Cobblepot is unique in that his scorn is often directed at Bruce Wayne, who serves as a constant reminder of everything Cobblepot is not. Employing the use of highly trained birds and an arsenal of deadly umbrellas, Penguin, as he calls himself, is determined to rebuild the Cobblepot fortune by criminal means.
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