The 1990s proved to be a boon for animated superhero series, with the likes of Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, X-Men, and Spider-Man all becoming a regular part of Saturday morning cartoons for many kids at the time. But easily the most loved series of this decade was Batman: The Animated Series, which debuted on Fox Kids in September of 1992.
The show was developed by Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski and helped define the overall look, in terms of animation style, that’s been associated with the overall DC animated world for the last two and a half decades. Batman in particular was praised for its intricate storytelling and mature themes – especially for what was ostensibly just “a kid’s show” – as well as for its film noir-ish style. Its massive success on television led to two feature films being developed, 1993’s Mask of the Phantasm, and 1998’s Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero.
The original show ran for 85 episodes between 1992 and 1995, but is still cited today as one of the most influential superhero stories as well as overall animated series ever produced.
Fans of the show can get a piece of it for themselves through Hake’s Auctions, with numerous framed animation cels and prints hitting the auction block. One cel highlight is from the 1992 episode “Moon of the Wolf” which features full-body images of Batman swooping in towards a large werewolf. The hand-painted background shows the Gotham City skyline at night.
The print standout is a large framed print from the opening sequence of Batman: The Animated Series, specifically the key moment in which Batman is illuminated by a flash of lightning. This print has been hand-signed in white pencil by Bruce Timm, executive producer Tom Rueger, producer/writer Paul Dini, producer/director Eric Radomski, and producer/editor Alan Burnett. It was originally released as part of a limited series of just 500 in 1994, and accordingly is hand-numbered “51/500” in the lower left corner.
Fans will also certainly appreciate the impressively large 21” x 47” frame that contains the hand-painted production animation original art of Gotham, a stunning panoramic nighttime skyline of the city as seen in the very first episode of the animated series.
These are just a few of the full lineup, which can be found at the Hake’s Auctions website. These lots for cels and prints will be closing on Thursday, November 15, 2018, so interested collectors are encouraged to get their bids in soon.