Batman: The Audio Adventures; AKA The Bat-Cast by Luke S.
Every Tuesday, I drive to the Naperville Graham Crackers location to get the Diamond order as well as any special orders that might have been made throughout the week. It’s about a 4 hour round trip, which can get pretty boring without something good to listen to. I generally either jam out to my Spotify playlist, or listen to some podcasts. Most of the podcasts I enjoy listening to are narrative fiction podcasts like Welcome to Nightvale and Voyage to the Stars. On Batman Day however, DC and HBO Max released a brand new Batman podcast (exclusive to HBO Max subscribers) based around the 1960s version of the comic. There’s been quite a bit of hype surrounding the podcast and the voice cast involved, so I decided to check it out.
You start off with one of my favorite voice actors, Chris Parnell (Archer, Rick and Morty), giving the intro for the series. Parnell is the narrator for the series, giving valuable information throughout the episode and setting up every scene. Based on the ambiance, the background video of an old-timey radio, and the general feel of the characters and dialog, this feels a lot like the 90s Batman the Animated Series. You then get Seth Meyers (SNL), who plays Jack Ryder, a T.V. journalist getting the scoop about batman on the streets of Gotham. He interview various people on the street before being mugged by one of the interviewees. Batman then swoops in and, with some perfectly campy sound effects, beats the muggers into submission. This is the first segment of the podcast, setting the scene for the rest of the episode.
In the next segment, we are introduced to this series’ Catwoman, portrayed by Rosario Dawson (The Mandalorian, DC Animated Wonder Woman), as she robs a small time crime boss named King Scimitar played by Fred Armisen (Portlandia, SNL). This segment didn’t grab me as much as the first, but it was a decent and short introduction to a new character. In between some of these segments, we get some ads for Wayne Enterprises and the Iceberg Lounge, which I found really enjoyable and a good piece of world building.
We are then taken into my favorite segment, and the center of the majority of this first episode. Two-Face, played by Ike Barinholtz (Suicide Squad), is up to his old tricks again, and decides to hold up a Chinese Restaurant named the Yin and Yang Dim Sum and Dumpling House on February 2nd, two years after the accident that made him the criminal he is today. Classic Two-Face. We also get Batman, Jeffery Wright (What If…?, Westworld), and Robin, Melissa Villaseñor (SNL, Ralph Breaks the Internet) planning on the best way to take out Two-Face and his goons. The interaction between Batman and Two-Face really highlight the top-tier characterization and writing behind this podcast. On top of that, the acting is phenomenal. If the rest of this series is as good as this one part, then I am very excited for the rest.
For the epilogue, we get a little snippet of this series’ Joker, played by Brent Spiner (Star Trek: The Next Generation). From the small bit we are given, it seems like this joker will be in the line more sadistic than funny, a la Killing Joke. But, as we are only given a minute or two of interaction, I can’t say much of the character yet. Overall, this podcast was very well done. The production, acting, and story all make for a very enjoyable listen if you enjoy comics and podcasts. And, if you enjoy both of those, make sure to pick up the Batman: The Audio Adventures One-Shot from DC when it releases October 12, 2021.