2022 marks the 30th anniversary of Batman: The Animated Series, the landmark cartoon from Warner Bros. that rewrote the rules of superhero animated series when it debuted in September of 1992. After decades of Batman the Super Friend, the guy who hung around with Scooby-Doo, the dude who talked like your favorite uncle, Batman: The Animated Series gave us a Dark Knight who lived up to that nickname. He was grim, he was angry, he always knew how to find a shadow to stand in, and he sounded (thanks to actor Kevin Conroy) like gravel rubbed on sandpaper.
Another thing that made B:TAS different from every other previous Batman cartoon — and most of the kids cartoons of that era — was its richly detailed images. Where most animated TV series of the ’90s were done on the cheap and quick, Batman: The Animated Series looked beautiful, with rich colors, dark shadows, and fluid character movements. Part of that overall visual package were the show’s opening title cards. Each of B:TAS’ 85 episodes came with its own striking artwork that accompanied the opening credits.
In honor of the show’s 30th anniversary, we’ve collected and ranked them all. You will note the list has 79 entries instead of 85; that’s because Batman: The Animated Series had seven two-part episodes, and six of the seven simply recycled the same title card twice with a “Part II” slapped on the bottom. Also, if you’re wondering why there are no New Batman Adventures on the list, there’s a very good reason: They didn’t have opening title cards.
Honestly, the ranking of the title cards doesn’t matter all that much in this case (although we do think there are a handful of pieces that were clearly the best of the bunch). What matters is taking the time to acknowledge the time and effort that went into these beautiful pieces of art. Batman: The Animated Series didn’t need to make these for each episode but doing so helped establish the show’s gothic mood.
Every ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ Title Card, Ranked
We ranked every one of Batman: The Animated Series’ opening title cards, from the least inspired (it’s white lettering on a black background!) to the very best.