The Batman was the weakest of the modern Batman animated shows to date (at least, the ones about Bruce Wayne as Batman -- I was never that crazy about Batman Beyond)
BLASPHEMY! BURN THE WITCH!
I'm kind of surprised you don't care for Batman Beyond. Hell, in many respects it shared much more in common with Silver Age Batman stories (fantastical and "wierd" enemies, Batman running around carrying an Eggbaby
), but with the added bonus of down-to-earth, albeit teenage/high-school personal drama, which even now resonates a lot with me, and especially growing up with it as I did with the original B:TAS and TNBA (which is actually the series that I consider the weakest
aside from JLU, due to some very questionable character design changes, terrible
recasting on some secondaries and villians, and more often than not making Batman a hardened dick-hole, even though this aspect made for a perfect setup for Beyond.)
It was also a fascinating character study on Terry, since it was the first time I had the opportunity to explore how/why a non-Wayne would take up the cape-and-cowl, which is essentially the entire point of Return of the Joker. In many ways, it legitimizes the point that Bat-mite makes in TB&TB; that the persona and character of Batman is just as "true" as a hardened costumed psycho, stern detective, or jovial man-child. Hell, the thesis to "A Bat Divided!" is that Batman is a great hero because
he's more complex than any single genre trope. It's actually my favorite Batman episode of any show to date
, primarily for how adeptly it gets that point across.
Oh, and "Epilogue" never happened. I don't care that the conceit that the storyline was supposed to be the next DTV movie after ROTJ; it's stupid, world-shrinking, and destroys any and all dramatic and narrative weight to the entire series. Ace's death scene was not worth three years
of good television down the tube.