The New Batman Adventures “The Demon Within” (part 1 of 3)

SUMMARY: Batman and Robin join forces with Etrigan the Demon, the single most obscure character in DC Comics history (not counting that guy who could see with his fingertips). Together, they defeat a sinister witch boy who uses his astounding mastery of magic and sorcery to help himself to lots of free ice cream and cake.

It’s time once again for another thrilling episode of The New Batman Adventures! I won’t go into all the background info on The New Batman Adventures, because Ed already covered all that in his previous recap. Which is a good thing, because prior to about two weeks ago, I had never actually seen an episode of this show, so I don’t know the first thing about it. And judging by the six episodes on the disc that contains the current episode, I haven’t been missing out on much.

Whereas the Saturday morning cartoons of the ‘70s were mind-bendingly stupid, and the Saturday morning cartoons of the ‘80s were mind-bendingly stupid with a message, the cartoons of the ‘90s took great pains to not insult the intelligence of their target audience. As such, they pretty much destroyed all the fun to be had in mocking Saturday morning cartoons.

Once you take away the insanely convoluted plots, the horrid continuity errors, and the misdirected moralizing, these shows are pretty bland. After watching six episodes of The New Batman Adventures, I can tell you with great certainty that it’s smarter than The SuperFriends, but not quite smart enough to hold the interest of anyone over the age of ten. Of course, your mileage may vary.

Alas, there’s no denying that regular visitors to this site want to read about two things: 1) ‘90s cartoons, and 2) Batman. Put the two together, and you’ve hit recapping paydirt. So join me now as I take an in-depth look at an episode I more or less picked at random, “The Demon Within”, which originally aired May 9, 1998.

The New Batman Adventures "The Demon Within" (part 1 of 3)

The episode starts with the credits, which are not so much “credits” (they don’t even include the title of the show) as a one-minute dialogue-free mini-episode where Batman takes out a few common criminals, while we hear a score very much like the score from the Burton/Schumacher Batman films. It’s my understanding that this is actually the credit sequence for the earlier Batman animated series, but they slapped it onto the DVD release of The New Batman Adventures to make it look like this is “season four” of that show.

The big tipoff is that Batman in the opening credits has a yellow circle behind the bat logo on his chest, whereas Batman in the actual episode does not. I don’t know why they ditched the yellow circle, but I do pity DC Comics. All that money spent promoting the New Look back in 1964, all down the drain.

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Multi-Part Article: The New Batman Adventures "The Demon Within"
TV Show: The New Batman Adventures

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