Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The New Batman Adventures

After a long two years the WB network premiered "The New Batman Adventures" to the world in 1997. (This show is also referred to as "Batman Gotham Knights".) But this wasn't simply a rehash of BTAS -- the overall tone had changed. It appeared to be more action oriented -- the fight scenes more outrageous. The daytime sky was a permanent blood red. But the most obvious change was the update in character design. I would say that most of the cast appeared as they had before but with less detail and a few changes in color schemes.

The two villains who changed most dramatically were the Scarecrow...and Poison Ivy. The Springtime greens of the original Ivy's costume were replaced with a wicked black theme. The hair color remained a brilliant red but the new green(ish) skin took many by surprise. This change split Ivy fans into three camps. Those who loved it, those who hated it, and those who eventually got used to the green. I was in the third camp. I was hesitant to receive this new Ivy but now I can't imagine her not being a part of Poison Ivy history. Also (and thankfully) Diane returned to voice Poison Ivy. Though I must say...I think she cut back on the "sex appeal" this time around.

I've heard various reasons as to why things were switched up in such a way. Some whisper that FOX held certain rights to the specific designs of Batman: The Animated Series. So in order to carry these characters over to the (now defunct) WB they needed to be reinvented. While others claim that it would have been foolish to not try something new. Timm has gone on record as saying that the original BTAS Poison Ivy was drawn incorrectly by the overseas animators. Apparently she was always supposed to be pixie-like in nature as opposed to the BTAS buxom bombshell. This was his opportunity to correct her overly curvy proportions. To perfect this version of Poison Ivy Timm sought out the skills of artist Shane Glines. A brilliant idea. Glines is renowned for his stylized and gorgeous drawings of the female form.

This was the second venture for an animated Batman series with a Timm aesthetic and sadly the last. The New Batman Adventures was cancelled in 2000. However, the animated Ivy would continue to live on in Gotham Girls webtoons and in the pages of various DC Comics with animated designs.

Out of the 24 episode run of TNBA Poison Ivy appears in only three episodes. That may seem like a small number but comparatively speaking that is about the same percentage of BTAS (85 episodes) appearances. Though, she is only given one spotlight episode. Regardless, we were given a few more episodes to feature a favorite villain -- and another version of Poison Ivy to love.

In early 2003, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn (surprisingly) appeared on the cartoon Static Shock. The episode was titled "Hard as Nails" -- this would be the last true animated pairing of these two bad girls.

That same year, Poison Ivy would cameo in an episode of "Justice League" titled "A Better World Pt.2" -- and that's all folks!


Anonymous said...

This will always be my favorite version of Ivy. It's just the perfect storm for me. Her voice, her look, her personality.

I am trying to make a cosplay of this exact costume for when I get to go to a con.

I also use this one as the base for when I draw Ivy!

Case in point:


Hope you like! I love your site, BTW. <3

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