Recently I was going through my Batman: the Animated Series boxed sets again (I own volumes one and three).

Credit where credit is due: the show is a fun little comic book romp.

But, am I the only person who thinks this show is a little, well, over-rated? I'm always hearing about how deep the writing was and how so many bars were raised but.. I just don't see it. IMO its actually kind of a step back, in some ways, from efforts like He-Man in terms of writing and characterization.

Like, for example, how all these villains are locked up in Arkham and yet they somehow STILL have the funding and resources to make fear toxins, mind-control chips, or rocket-propelled Christmas trees. I mean, are they given these things as part of their therapy or something?

Or all the changed character premises... like how Jervis Tetch (did I spell his name right?) starts out as basically a good guy who fell victim to temptation, but in later episodes is just another villain with a gimmick. Poison Ivy too--has a very specific purpose at first, but near the end she's just a crook with plants. About the only crook who has any sort of real development or consistency is Mr. Freeze (though it is kind of bizarre that his wife is clearly dead but then they turn and say "Oh she's alive").

[Speaking of which, question of personal curiosity: Have any storylines--comics or otherwise--ever explored what would happen if Two-Face knew who Batman was?]

Another issue I kinda have is that... Batman never really needs effort, like He-Man often does. He just depends on the grace of the writers, and sometimes they really suspend logic for the ol' caped-and-cowled one. There's a really blatant example of what I mean in the Clock King episode (not gonna spoil it, but anyone whose seen that episode probably knows what I mean).

I don't really get that about superhero shows: One, why do the criminals even bother when the city is being patrolled by a tough-jawed vigilante who has cars, boats, and planes (not to mention an assortment of gizmos that would make Buck Rogers jealous)? Or why does Batman even bother when he just ends up having to recapture the same criminals again and again without any hope of permanent resolution (I mean, besides being crazy and all)?

Anyway, there's my ramble.