Rounding off my final reviews of The New Batman Adventures are not one but two movies (plus a mini-scene for the hell of it) that also sees me dipping my toes into the world of Batman Beyond as well. Without further ado here goes ....
Return Of The Joker (2000)
It might be a while before I get around to watching/reviewing Batman Beyond but watching this movie as part of my rewatch of The New Batman Adventures was certainly a good way of getting the ball rolling. It's amazing but not implausible that Terry McGinnis's version of the uncaped Crusader spent more time not being aware of his mentor's most iconic of villains until the arrival of the Jokerz gang (featuring by the Clown Prince's granddaughters, the two Dee Dees) in Gotham brought up memories from the past, including Bruce Wayne being attacked in the Batcave by the 'Joker' himself and Terry's own loved ones being targeted as well. It led to some rather gruesome flashbacks where we learned that years ago, both the Joker and Harley kidnapped and brainwashed Tim Drake's Robin into being their son (Joker Jr) and it not only scarred Tim, but also Batman and Batgirl in the process. Having this information meant that the eventual reveal as to whom the new Joker was made a lot of sense and led to a satisfying final battle between the new Clown Prince (of sorts) and Batfake himself (I like Terry's Batman but I had to get that in there). It's a strong movie, incorporating successful elements from both shows with some nice little Easter eggs thrown into the mix as well. It's also pretty dark as well, maybe one of the darkest animated movies done in this universe too. 8/10
Mystery Of The Batwoman (2003)
As both Penguin and Bullock mention - do we really need another Bat person on the scene? Well, for this movie, it would seem yes. Anyone hoping for a faithful adaptation of the comic versions of Batwoman (this movie preceeded the more well known Kate Kane version) might be slightly disappointed but personally, I loved the concept behind this movie's version of Batwoman. Having three different kinds of women - computer geek Roxanne Ballatine, detective Sonia Alcana and daughter of gangter, Kathy Duquesne (who also gets romantically involved with Bruce), all with sound motives to get back at Rupert Thorne, the Penguin and Carlton Duquesne by posing as the vigilante worked a treat and design wise, I quite liked the grey and pink look for Batwoman as well. I also liked that with the exception of Kathy, that the movie didn't go overboard with trying to sell a Batman/Batwoman romance though. Also, much as I liked seeing Bane, I'm not really sure he was all that needed for the movie but he was still better served here than Batman & Robin though. 8/10
Chase Me (2003)
Needless to say I am a bit of an unashamed Batman/Catwoman shipper and while the latter appeared in enough (ish) episodes in Batman: The Animated Series, I really felt she could've been better used and featured in at least a few more episodes in The New Batman Adventures. Added as an extra for the Mystery Of The Batwoman DVD, Paul Dini came up with a delightful six minute scene where Batman literally tears through half of Gotham chasing Catwoman while brooding at a party. The scene is gorgeously shot and while there isn't a trace of dialogue in the slightest, there's some truly beautiful jazz music to really heighten the mood instead. It's a wonderful little vignette for the complicated lovers. 9/10
I'll get around to watching and reviewing Batman Beyond at some point. Not going to confirm when though.