WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Batman: The Adventures Continue #3 by Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Ty Templeton, Monica Kubina and Joshua Reed, available now.
Batman: The Adventures Continue takes place in the DC Animated Universe, and it’s meant to serve as a continuation of Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures. In the first two issues of the comic series, the Dark Knight went up against a familiar foe: Lex Luthor, who has been as big a villainous presence in the regular DC Universe as in the DCAU. And along the way, The Adventures Continue has also featured appearances from other fan-favorite enemies such as Bane, Brainiac, and Clayface.
And now, Batman: The Adventures Continue #3 also delivers the DCAU debut of another popular supervillain: Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke. On top of that, this issue also includes nods to some of the DCAU’s more forgotten DCAU villains.
Batman: The Adventures Continue #3 starts out with a confrontation between Batman, Robin, and Batgirl against Clayface. The villain is eventually subdued, thanks in no small part to Deathstroke, who arrives to lend a helping hand. However, Slade is only appearing to be a friend — in truth, he is attempting to recruit Tim Drake and Barbara Gordon to his side. But throughout these big story developments, the issue also features a nod to two villains who debuted in the DCAU.
The first reference comes after Deathstroke’s introduction. After helping Robin and Batgirl take care of Clayface, the three are soon joined by Batman, but Slade rapidly leaves by jumping on top of a speeding van. On the side of the van, the sign indicates that it belongs to “Farmer Brown” which deals in “Fresh Produce.” Farmer Brown, aka Enoch Brown, debuted in an episode of The New Batman Adventures. He was a microbiologist who attempted to solve world hunger through genetic manipulation, and he carried a pitchfork into battle against Batman.
Then, later in the issue, a televised news segment shows that Batgirl fought with Roxy Rocket in the Gotham City sky before the villain was eventually caught. Roxy Rocket is also a character who made her debut in the DCAU.
After first appearing in The Batman Adventures Annual #1 comic book, Roxy Rocket made the jump to the small screen in The New Batman Adventures. While Farmer Brown only had one appearance, Roxy would make further appearances in Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League Action, and she would even join the main DC Universe.
Both Farmer Brown and Roxy Rocket are small-time criminals in the Batman mythology. In the grand scheme of things, they are far from comparing to the likes of Lex Luthor, Joker, and the Penguin. While neither of these two villains repeated Harley Quinn’s path to multimedia dominance, they were both distinctive parts of Batman’s corner of the DC Animated Universe. While that doesn’t mean that either character will suddenly become a main threat in The Adventures Continue, but it shows that the new comic series is not afraid to make relatively obscure nods into the DCAU’s specific Batman history.
Over three issues, the series has already spotlighted obscure villains like these alongside other DCAU deep cuts like Veronica Vreeland. Even though the series was billed on the DCAU introductions of characters like Jason Todd and Deathstroke, it’s still going out of its way to celebrate the cartoon world’s other villains.
Batman: The Adventures Continue picks up where Batman: The Animated Series left off, and it just featured fun nods to some forgotten DCAU villains.