Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Cartoon Heroes

At Devon's suggestion, I gave "The Batman" cartoon another try, because, after all, Devon erreth not.

I'm glad I did! The show seems to have hit its stride. The manga (or is it japanime? Whatever...) influences seem to have been toned down. The addition of Robin is an enormous help (as I suppose it was in 1940); nice to see him as both The Kid Who Saves Batman's Butt and the Kid Who Batman Needs to Save While the Villain Gets Away.

The series seems to be leaning toward more tradition; in this most recent episode, down-and-out actor Basil Karlo was introduced as the new Clayface, which is as it should be. I also noticed the earsplitting opening "music" has been replace by an actual theme, one that subtly employs both the familiar bass lick and the "POW!" music stings from the 1960s show; well played.

All that's missing now is Two-Face, I think...

I also saw the Legion cartoon for the first time, and I liked it. Good characterization, good mix of people and powers, and young Superman's big ears are the cutest thing I've ever seen.

Initially, I wasn't keen on the idea of an android Brainaic 5. But then it occurred to me that when Brainaic 5 was introduced in the comics, it wasn't yet known that Brainaic was an android. An ersatz explanation (several in fact) was crafted as to how (and why) an android would have a humanoid descendent, but the entire thing always felt strained. Even for the Legion, where origins include space whales, electrified rhinos, and parents deceiving their children into thinking they're androids. Like it or not, it makes much more sense that B5 would be an android than that he wouldn't.

I was a little disoriented by the absence of Cosmic Boy; the cartoon Legion didn't seem to have a leader. Maybe they're better than the comic book version, and don't need a leader! Maybe it's time to face up to something: magnetic powers may have seemed like cool beans when the Legion was introduced, but they've become kind of passe. I mean, how much free-standing iron would you expect there to be in the 31st Century? Exactly none; everything will be plastic and polymers.

Speaking of the Legion... my current vote on the Supernova Mystery is that it's Mon-El. I've heard some interesting theories, including that it's Ray Palmer using his powers creatively (Ray's power comes from white dwarf star material ... the same thing supernovas are made of!). But in the most recent Action, Superman learns from the Auctioneer that there are three Kryptonians on earth, and I don't think he meant Krypto. Making the New Earth Mon-El a Kryptonian solves a host of problems created by concept of the planet Daxam; Mon-El would be a teenager with a smaller build, like Supernova has.

If so ... Mon-El was awfully rude to Booster Gold; why? It also means that One Year Later, Superman still doesn't know Supernova is a Kryptonian. That's seems unlikely, doesn't it?

22 comments:

Ariel said...

I agree, the Batman cartoon has gotten much better this season. I also like the cross cartoon synergy: it's pretty obvious from the weapons he uses and his costume that THIS is the Robin that goes on to form the Teen Titans of the cartoon.

Wish they'd change Batgirl's dippy costume though.

Jon Hex said...

Supernova was dazed from a backhand by Booster.

He is not Kryptonian.

Your Obedient Serpent said...

I'm still leaning toward "Supernova is Booster, Somehow."

Whoever he is, it's kind of a pity that they came up with a pretty decent costume for a throwaway -- since we don't see any hint of him OYL.

Ununnilium said...

Note that Cosmic Boy, along with several other Legionnaires, is mentioned and seen as someone who doesn't happen to be with the group we're following right now. I like the fact that the Legion seems to be a huge organization that we only see part of - reminds me of JLU.

Anonymous said...

So you don't think the Dev Em from 52 is the third Kryptonian?

Anonymous said...

Upon reading the Kristin Wells/Superwoman wikipedia entry, I wondered if something like this is going on w/ Supernova. The powers seem to overlap and they might have a similar explanation.

I'm partial to the theory that Supernova is Booster Gold for the reason that it explains why SN seemed so invested in shaming BG.

-Alex P

Randy Jackson said...

I have to admit, the Batman cartoon has improved immensely. I think it has a lot to do with the writers leaning on the source material more than they used to.

Peter said...

Cosmic Boy turns up later this season played by Wil Wheaton.

Nimbus said...

You don't think Supernova might be the new Starman, who is going to be appearing in the JSA?

A supernova is an exploding star. And if it's a version of Thom Kallor/Star Boy then he originally had Kryptonian level powers.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how much they can be trusted, but didn't Wacker or Didio throw out the clue that Supernova is somebody who has good reason to adopt a new identity after the events of Infinite Crisis? I dropped IC after issue four and don't recall much of what I did read, but I don't think Mon-El fits this description at all.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, I thought that Krypto was the third Kryptonian--it's not like the Auctioneer specified that he was referring to humanoids from Krypton...

-Mindbender

SallyP said...

Everyone is rude to Booster, I think that it is in their superhero contracts or something. That said, I'm still pissed that Bea couldn't find the time to come to his funeral. Guy would have, except he's in Spaaaaace and probably doesn't even know.

The Fortress Keeper said...

The Batman cartoon has gotten much better. In a previous episode the season, the Penguin tried to assemble a team of villains to pull off capers - Ragdoll, Killer Croc, Firefly and a down-on-his-luck Killer Moth.

My favorite part was Ragdoll's suggestion for the team's name - Villains United.

Shadow said...

I am a huge fan of The Batman and their incarnation of Killer Moth is the most accurate yet (wish they didn't do Charaxes though). The entire episode was hilarious ("This time it's a penguin. Next time it can be a alligator!"). I think since they brought Robin in (clearly the one that will someday lead the Titans), they should have one episode where Batman encounters Slade and learns his motives behind trying to use Robin. It'd be a pretty cool tie-in.

Big Mike said...

You know... Supernova reminds me a lot of Martian Manhunter... have we seen Jonn yet in 52?

Bully said...

Supernova is Tony Stark. Why does no one see that but me?!

Jeff R. said...

I'm sort of confused at what Power Girl is now if she's not a Kryptonian...I thought that by the end of the Crisis she got her old, Earth-2-based origin back...

(And we see Jonn in the 'next issue' final panel of this week's 52.)

Tenzil said...

I don't know how much they can be trusted, but didn't Wacker or Didio throw out the clue that Supernova is somebody who has good reason to adopt a new identity after the events of Infinite Crisis?

Sounds like a villain. Like Marvel's "Thunderbolts"- a villain wishes to reform, but can't under his own identity (no one would trust him). So he creates a new heroic identity.

Any villains who have the powers exhibited by Supernova?

K26dp said...

I'm sort of confused at what Power Girl is now if she's not a Kryptonian...I thought that by the end of the Crisis she got her old, Earth-2-based origin back...

According to Busiek, she's an Earth-2 Kryptonian, which is different enough that she didn't register as Kryptonian by the Auctioneer. He also has ruled out the "third Kryptonian" being Krypto or the kid from the upcoming Johns/Donner run.

Jeff R. said...

According to Busiek, she's an Earth-2 Kryptonian, which is different enough that she didn't register as Kryptonian by the Auctioneer. He also has ruled out the "third Kryptonian" being Krypto or the kid from the upcoming Johns/Donner run.

Okay, that makes sense as far as the Auctioneer is concerned. But that still doesn't explain why Superman wouldn't have thought 'Oh, yeah, her' rather than concluding that there's someone he hasn't thought of...

Anonymous said...

Watch it turn out to be either Kon Or Match.

Bill Meisel said...

I watched the first episode repeat of LEGION today, and I liked the fact that here, the Legion inspires Superman rather than the other way around ( i know this is because of the Superboy brouhaha but I still thought it was a good solution.)