New Batman Cartoon Gets Edgy Theme From U2 Guitarist

WB project comes nine years after band gave song to 'Batman Forever.'

Again the Bat Signal has beckoned, and again the Edge has answered its call.

Nine years after U2 contributed the song "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" to the "Batman Forever" soundtrack, the band's guitarist has composed and recorded the theme song to "The Batman," a new animated series that premiered Saturday on the WB network.

The series is set in year three of millionaire Bruce Wayne's adoption of his vigilante Batman persona, when he confronts supervillains like the Joker, Riddler, Catwoman and Mr. Freeze for the first time. Gotham City's most eligible bachelor must juggle his dual identities as civic-minded crime fighter and high-living 20-something playboy.

When it came to penning the song heard over the show's opening credits, the Edge had to tailor a tune suitable for the "Kids' WB!" Saturday-morning lineup while maintaining a tone suitable for one of the darker superheroes around. It helped that he could relate to the Batman saga's fundamental theme.

"It was really just a case of creating a bedrock of something tough and slightly menacing that wasn't necessarily too heavy and dark," the Edge said. "The great thing about the whole Batman idea is that it strips down life to the battle between good and evil. You can relate to different sides of that battle at different times."

TV's original Batman, Adam West, who played the caped crusader in the 1960s live-action series, lends his voice to the character of Mayor Grange, while Gina Gershon ("Face/Off," "Prey for Rock & Roll") purrs life into Catwoman.

"I've always been obsessed with Catwoman," Gershon said. "I really wanted to play her. I'm not really a villain in this; I'm just kind of mischievous. I'll go off and steal something, but I'm not out to ruin or take over the world. I'm not trying to destroy things. She just wants things for herself; she's a little self-centered."

Having finished "The Batman" theme, the Edge will put the finishing touches on U2's next album, the follow-up to 2000's All That You Can't Leave Behind. Although the album, due November 23, remains untitled, its first single, "Vertigo," is expected to surface in early November.