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 1992. After decades of Batman the super friend, the guy who hung out with Scooby-Doo, the guy who talked like your favorite uncle, Batman: The Animated Series gave us a Dark Knight that lived up to that moniker. He was mean, 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 did B: TAS different from all other previous Batman cartoons—and most of the children’s cartoons of that era—was its richly detailed visuals. Where most animated TV series from the 90s were made cheaply and quickly, Batman: The Animated Series looked beautiful, with rich colors, dark shadows and fluid character movements. Part of the overall visual package was the show’s opening title card. Each of B: TASThe ’85 episode came with its own striking artwork to accompany the opening credits.
In honor of the show’s 30th anniversary, we’ve collected and ranked them all. You will notice that the list has 79 entries instead of 85; that is because Batman: The Animated Series had seven two-part episodes, and six of the seven simply reused the same title card twice with a “Part II” slapped on the bottom. Also, if you’re wondering why there aren’t any New Batman Adventures on the list, there’s a very good reason: They didn’t have opening title cards.
Honestly, the placement of the title cards doesn’t matter that much in this case (although we think there are a handful of pieces that were clearly the best of the bunch). What matters is taking the time to recognize the time and effort that went into these beautiful works of art. Batman: The Animated Series didn’t have to do these for every episode, but it helped establish the gothic feel of the show.
Every ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ title card, ranked
We ranked each one by Batman: The Animated Series‘ open title cards, from the least inspired (that’s white letters on a black background!) to the very best.