For a certain generation of fans, Batman: The Animated Series is the definitive version of the character. It struck just the right balance between Batman’s modern grimness and the wackier adventures he had before the ‘80s made him a cranky asshole. A lot of that appeal can be pinned on Bruce Timm, the show’s co-creator and mastermind of the DC Animated Universe, including the Superman and Justice League cartoons.
Timm has since stepped down from his role as a producer on DC’s animated films, but he’ll finally be returning to Batman with an all-new animated short in honor of the character’s 75th anniversary. (So, it’s just for this one time—but that’s OK, right?) The news comes via UPROXXP, which reports that the new short, Batman: Strange Days, will be an adaptation of a story that first appeared way back in Batman #1 (from 1940, not from 2011) in which evil scientist Hugo Strange uses some kind of serum to turn a horde of insane asylum patients into giant monsters—all of which sounds like the perfect job for the world’s greatest detective. The choice of this particular Batman adaptation is interesting, given that Batman #1 also features more historically significant stories such as Batman’s origin, Catwoman’s first appearance, and a Joker tale that reads like an early version of The Dark Knight.
It doesn’t seem as though voice actor Kevin Conroy is involved, so this won’t be a proper The Animated Series reunion. Still, at least you’ll be able to see the Dark Knight in Timm’s signature, angular, top-heavy style once again. The short will reportedly air April 9 as part of Cartoon Network’s DC Nation block.