Sunday, April 06, 2008

Brave & the Bold


This (see photos) is the best news in quite some time.

Representations of our comic characters in other media are some of the main gyros that keep the DCU spinning. You can mock and revile the original Superfriends series all you want, but the fact remains that it hooked 14 years' worth of kids on heroes.

Both DC and Marvel realize that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Yet among fandom much lamenting and breast-beating is done to the tune of "How can they be so blind as not to make comics for kids?"

Um, yeah. Well, most of you singing that tune aren't reading all the Johnny DC titles, are you? DC is not only producing comics kids can read, they're producing comics specifically for them to read. You're just going to have to get used to the idea that many comics are NOT for kids to read. That includes, I might add, most of the comics I did read when I was growing up, which were positively littered with corpses. Children, you know, are not quite the delicate little things they've often made out to be. Bloodthirsty little savages, most of them, truth be told... .

I also note that those people can get darned snobbish about the material that is created for kids. "The Batman" cartoon, for example, was a good show and it got much better with time. Yet I've rarely heard anything about it (other than people complaining about the Joker's feet). No, it wasn't BTAS; it wasn't supposed to be.

Anyway, DC and the producers of "The Batman" figured out the same thing the Smallville people figured out, indeed, the same thing that comic book editors figured out in the Golden Age: having the main hero team up with other heroes is popular and excites great interest. In fact, the last season of so of "The Batman" was essentially a new version of Justice League Unlimited (not that most people noticed, because they took one look in the first season at a character design that didn't please them, then wrote the whole thing off).

This new cartoon, Brave & the Bold, is starting off with that idea, instead of figuring it out at the end of its run. Batman teaming up in succession with other DCU heroes (including the new Blue Beetle!), drawn in a kid-friendly way; excellent.

Try not to pick on this one the way you do the old Superfriends episodes, The Batman, the new Superfriends comic book, and anything else that is no longer geared specifically toward you. Let's just be happy that comics and comics-related entertained is being produced for all ages.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's a thing though. Kids actually love the violence. They want the bad guy to die. Unless the bad guy is cool. In which case he should be redeemed and join the heroes.

I mean, take Dragonball, arguably the most popular kids comic ever, it's popularity built almost entirely around including things borderline pubescent boys like. Dinosaurs and toilet humor and violence. Lots and lots of violence.

There's probaly something to be taken from that.

Anonymous said...

Well, as to "The Batman", the problem wasn't that it was originally geared towards only kids; just like BTAS, it had some elements kids would like and other elements for us adults in arrested development to appreciate. "The Batman" had BTAS-esque stories with the police force not trusting the Bat, officers changing their minds about him, Alfred arranging a date for Bruce but having to tell her that he couldn't make it because he's married to his work. None of that lends to the straight-line action plot that would fit in a kids-only show -- those are all things intended to appeal to adults.

The problem was that "The Batman" simply wasn't that good originally. Good enough to deliver at the kid level, I imagine, with Batman kicking butt. But depicting the Penguin as a boorish buffoon with ninja skills is just dumb. Having Batman accidentally create Mr. Freeze is just dumb (particularly when BTAS did such a good job of creating a bad guy that even a kid could empathize with). I can see what might happen here: anything I dismiss as "dumb" could potentially be turned around as "geared towards kids", but if we're going to do that, then "The Batman" becomes a commodity that is immune to appraisal or criticism, and what fun would that be?

If they wanted a straight childrens' show, they could have created a show that was clearly just that. Nobody watches reruns of "The Superfriends" and complains that Wonder Woman isn't spending enough time dealing with culture shock; it's clearly "kids' stuff" and is treated as such (and often dismissed as such, granted). But the guys doing "The Batman" were clearly aiming a little higher, so I figure they're fair game.

Deciding what's a "childrens' show" has been hard for fifteen years now, with even apparent innocuous fluff incorporating levels that only adults would care about. In 1995 or so, there was an episode of "Pinky and the Brain" entitled "The Third Mouse", which was of course a parody of "The Third Man" starring Orson Welles and Joe Cotton. How many kids are versed in postwar art films about penicillin fraud in Vienna? Not many -- and yet there it was on a Sunday morning at 10:30am. (Actually, P&tB did that sort of thing a lot.)

Scipio said...

"Having Batman accidentally create Mr. Freeze is just dumb"

You know, that was his origin before BTAS changed it...

Gyuss Baaltar said...

This excites me in many ways.

Especially with the prominent use of the rare latino superhero.

But will Blue Beetle's secret identity get the correct pronounciation of Jaime?

Anonymous said...

"You know, that was his origin before BTAS changed it..."

I didn't know that, but even so, going backward is sometimes not the same as going forward.

Interview with the "The Batman" guy". He states that, while the show is first and foremost for kids, they're also trying to please all audiences. I think the very same thing could be said of BTAS as well. But anyway, the guy came right out and said that it's intended to have non-kid appeal, so he's fair game.

Some excerpts from the interview:

"Because we wanted our sympathies to be with Bruce, to experience his various dilemmas as he grows to become a better Batman, we made the decision to avoid pathos with the bad guys (at least, on a regular basis; there are notable exceptions, of course)."

Ah, so two-dimensional villains that you're not able to sympathize with even a little. They're just bad guys to beat up.

"I think that in our collective memory, Bruce Wayne is a dashing guy in a tuxedo who drives a fast car."

That's just ... ... ... I really don't know what to say.

Gustavo said...

I think that, as I've been seeing in most blogs commenting on the matter, Jaime's inclussion is the biggets news here. Think about it: DC launches a minority character and actually stands by it. DC launches a replacement hero, and it's not just a bait to get support for the return of the original one. DC launches a new book with a new character ( a minority AND replacement one ), and it's a hit ( albeit a minor one, but you get my drift ).
And now, the ultimate validation: that character is crossing over to other media. Jaime Reyes, starring in one of DC's best books of the last 10 years, Jaime Reyes, teenaged, spanish speaking hero from El Paso, is getting an animated version.
It took the Legion over 45 years to get that honor. Think about it. AGAIN.

Scipio said...

"he's fair game."

If your "game" is attacking well-meant efforts to make our shared icons accessible to young viewers, thereby ensuring their longtime survival, then I suppose so.

"we made the decision to avoid pathos with the bad guys (at least, on a regular basis; there are notable exceptions, of course)."

GOOD. It's about time. Kids don't want sympathetic villains (And, frankly, for the most part, neither do I). They want to know clearly who to root for and who to root against. If you want stories where you always have to feel bad for the villains (and usually the heroes, too), there's always Marvel Entertainmennt.

""I think that in our collective memory, Bruce Wayne is a dashing guy in a tuxedo who drives a fast car."

That's just ... ... ... I really don't know what to say."

Yeah, that's exactly how I picture him. Probably the reason your left dumbfounded by this statement is that you're young enough that all you know is the angst-ridden, semi-crazy version of Batman they've been force-feeding readers for 20 or so years now.

Seems pretty clear you're not going to be satisfied with anything other than sympathetic murderers and criminals and a psychically-damaged hero. So, anything that's (well) designed for kids, you're not going to like.

Just be aware that "having appeal to adults" doesn't necessary mean having appeal to YOU.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, that's exactly how I picture him. Probably the reason your left dumbfounded by this statement is that you're young enough that all you know is the angst-ridden, semi-crazy version of Batman they've been force-feeding readers for 20 or so years now."

A dashing guy in a tuxedo who drives a fast car = Tony Stark, who occasionally finds reason to put on armor and fight crime, but at heart is a playboy millionaire. The playboy persona of Bruce Wayne is primarily a disguise -- and you can't tell me that wasn't the case as far back as Batman's first appearance. (Additionally, Bruce Wayne usually relies on a chauffeur, so even the act of driving a fast car is atypical for Bruce Wayne in his playboy disguise.)

"Seems pretty clear you're not going to be satisfied with anything other than sympathetic murderers and criminals and a psychically-damaged hero."

Oh, not at all! Murderers don't have to be sympathetic, and for that matter not all villains have to be murderers. But villains that are completely interchangeable except for crime M.O. -- which seems to have been a goal of "The Batman" at least early on -- are a waste. Perhaps I overestimate children too, but I figure most of them are capable of understanding motives and can detect maybe a couple shades of grey.

And as for the hero, I don't need an psychically-damaged Batman or a crazy Batman or a god damn Batman. Dedicated and driven is good enough for me. I'm just wondering how anyone could be passingly familiar with Batman and confuse him with Tony Stark.

Anonymous said...

"And as for the hero, I don't need an psychically-damaged Batman or a crazy Batman or a god damn Batman. Dedicated and driven is good enough for me. I'm just wondering how anyone could be passingly familiar with Batman and confuse him with Tony Stark."

Here's the thing. You want something, and you want it done a certain way. Instead of getting it, you got something similar but different. And instead of recognizing that it's merely not your cup of tea, you attempt to place a judgment on it and speak as though you're using objectivity.

There's nothing inherently bad about the way "The Batman" was done. Sure, you can say that this was "a waste," or that "could have been better." But at the end of the day, the creative staff chose to do it a certain way. You're the viewer. Creating a story isn't a science, it's an art. If you think that art has a right or wrong, than you're all mixed up.

There, I said it.

Anonymous said...

"There's nothing inherently bad about the way "The Batman" was done. Sure, you can say that this was "a waste," or that "could have been better." But at the end of the day, the creative staff chose to do it a certain way. You're the viewer. Creating a story isn't a science, it's an art. If you think that art has a right or wrong, than you're all mixed up."

Uh, I thought that was a given with all discussions of art: "right" and "wrong" are subjective. That's an underlying fundamental understanding that makes the entire discussion possible, and doesn't need to be disclaimed over and over unless you're afraid the other guy might slug you.

If you want, I'll rephrase it: "I do not find 'The Batman' appealing because it does not do a number of things the way they should, in my opinion (WHICH IS NO MORE OR LESS VALID THAN ANYONE ELSE'S), be done." Mind you, we are saying this about a show where the Penguin shoves his face into plates of food at black tie events and steals the silver on the way out, and the Pennyworths and the Cobblepots are age-old foes.

Mike Loughlin said...

Geez, I hope kids take to "Brave & the Bold," and I'm thrilled that Jaime is being used for the show, but I feel like I'm being blamed for something I didn't do. I watched 2 episodes of the recent Batman cartoon, and didn't like them. Maybe I'm too old, or they were lesser episiodes, but I didn't like the scripting or look.

If I were buying comics regularly anymore (stoopid bills), I still wouldn't pick up the Johnny DC and Marvel Adventures books for myself because they don't look like my thing. If they're around when my son and daughter are old enough, sure, I'll pick them up for my kids.

I won't, however, let my child read a book that contains graphic violence (not just corpses, but blood flying everywhere, guts or brains or whatever being spilled in vivid color), explicit sex or post-coital scenes (even with the naughty bits covered up), or swears. I find a lot of that stuff in comics that wasn't in the comics of my youth. Even old "Wolverines" seem tame compared to, say, new Spider-Man" comics. I'm not trying to turn back the clock, but I don't think the super-hero comics of the '80s and even early '90s had quite as much gore or "adult situations" as the comics of today.

Except that "Sword of the Atom" special.

Sorry to go on for so long. I understand what you were writing (unless, of course, my response here proves I don't :) and agree with most of it, even if it made me feel vaguely guilty.

BIG MIKE said...

Scip,

I agree that the cartoons are good and represent good all-ages entertainment.

But I cry foul on your statement that people shouldn't complain that the comics they read aren't for kids. I think it says a great deal about the state of the big two that they each need a separate line of comics for kids. The Johnny DC titles are great, but it begs the question as to why the JLU comic couldn't just be JLA... why couldn't The Batman Strikes be Detective Comics? It isn't the violence that's problematic. Comics have always been violence. It's the weird way that comics are sexified (sic) that I think makes them inappropriate as all-ages entertainment, and that's not really hard to fix. I think that the big-two, from editor to inker are more concerned with putting out four color fan-fiction than to making good all-ages entertainment, which is what superhero comics are supposed to be. Instead, they relegate that to secondary imprints.

Sorry to take up so much space. I need to get a blog up and running again.

Scipio said...

"explicit sex or post-coital scenes (even with the naughty bits covered up), or swears."

I have to agree that, violence is one thing, but that sex and swearing are something else. As I've pointed out (I think) in an earlier post, violence is very much part of children's way of looking at the world; children are violent.

But sex and swearing (much of which has to do with sex) do not belong in a child's world.

Allan said...

which is what superhero comics are supposed to be

Big Mike, I really don't think it's possible for me to disagree with you more on this.

There is a perception amongst some that because so many of us were introduced to these characters during our childhood that they should remain as innocent now as they seemed back then. But then the key word here is "seemed". As Scipio pointed out so many of the comics we grew up with were filled with just as much "adult" content as today's work; we simply were too young at the time to appreciate it as such.

But even if that weren't true and comic books had always been as innocent and pure as you suggest (that is to say, absent of innuendo, since you admit that you are less disturbed by exposing children to violence than you are sexuality) I would still take great issue with the idea that that should be their natural state of being.

It occurred to me once when I was having an argument with my father on the worthiness of superhero movies, that the superhero genre is to my generation what the western genre was to his. During their formative years the Boomers were introduced to westerns via cheap serials and TV reruns starring Roy Rogers and The Lone Ranger, which they enjoyed as purely escapist fantasies without any thought to commentary or subtext. But as those same folks grew up they began to demand more from their entertainment than just simple white-hat, black-hat shoot 'em ups and the western genre suddenly became an excellent place for filmmakers to express ideas that they wouldn't be able to in more traditional dramas. John Ford progressed from Stagecoach to The Searchers, in Little Big Man Arthur Penn showed us that all those times the white hatted heroes shot at "injuns" they were actually participating in genocide and--most infamously--Sam Peckinpah gave us The Wild Bunch and showed us what monsters our western "heroes" could really be.

If this progression seems familiar, it's because it's the exact same trajectory the comic book medium has been on for the past three decades. If the genre at times seems darker and more overtly sexualized than it ever has before it isn't because publishers and writers are cravenly producing so-called "fan-fiction" (a term, which has always struck me as absurd when discussing comic books, since if they aren't to be written for fans, then who else are they to be written for--people who hate them?), but because those fans are now--for the most part--adults whose life experiences cause them to demand more from their entertainment than simple wish-fulfillment. Just as westerns made the logical evolution from Hoppy Serves a Writ to Unforgiven, so too does the superhero genre have to inevitably allow for works whose complexities and ambiguities match the everyday realities of the adults who still enjoy partaking in that particular form of imaginative fantasy.

Which is why it makes complete and perfect sense for the two companies to segregate their material into "kid" and "adult" divisions. Not only does doing so satisfy a greater majority of their potential audiences, but it provides a gateway to younger readers to someday enjoy the more adult versions of the characters they will inevitably come to want to read about (and, presumably, also provides a path back to the supposed comics of old for the more conservative readers whose false-nostalgia for an era that never really existed causes them to abhor the work written for their own age group).

And, Scipio, I agree that sex has no room in work meant for children, but I strongly disagree with the notion that all comics, simply by the nature of their medium, are inherently meant for children and therefore should be censored as such.

Allan said...

Oh, and that new cartoon looks like it could be pretty awesome!

Ames said...

Well, this is delightful news. I can't wait to see Jaime and other guest stars. Frankly I LIKE having the guest stars. I'd kill to have Guy Gardner and Booster Gold and J'onn and Black Canary show up.

And hey, I liked the Super Friends too. I had a terrible crush on Aquaman. Of course I was just a kid, but these things stick.

The Blot said...

I hate to change subjects, but has anyone noticed that the rolling head of Pantha makes its first reappearance in Booster Gold #8!?! Check out the preview for it and the Pantha appearance here

plok said...

I caught a few episodes of The Batman when they first came out, and although it wasn't bad, and there were quite a few things to like about it, it didn't impress me much.

Then I came back to it some time later, and was wowed. So that was my mistake, there. I'm gonna go get 'em all on DVD. Good recommendation, Scipio! This turned into a fine show -- for kids as well as adults.

As to Tony Stark...in my opinion Anonymous has got this venerable character all wrong: to say Tony Stark is "at heart" a millionaire playboy rather misses the point that Tony Stark is a man with a damaged heart. Now, Marvel may have got rid of the defective organ itself (a mistake, in my opinion), but what it stood for is still a big part of the Iron Man character, even in the current, deeply unsympathetic interpretation which I hate. A millionaire playboy? Tony Stark's got problems: in his first few years he had to wear a clunky metal chestplate under his shirt at all times, and bemoaned the fact that this meant he could never tell Pepper Hogan how he really felt about her. This is Marvel: there are no people who are millionaire playboys at heart.

Yes: Bruce Wayne is a dashing guy in a tuxedo who drives a fast car. At least, he can be. Tony Stark can't.

And Allan, I agree with you generally, but I think you give things like Civil War and Countdown too much credit if you're comparing them to Little Big Man and Unforgiven, you know?

Scipio said...

Thanks, Blot; I'm really not sure how to feel about that. I mean...

what does the Rolling Head of Pantha need a body for? But who knows... maybe it'll get rid of it by the end of the story!

Scipio said...

"This is Marvel: there are no people who are millionaire playboys at heart."

Thank you for making me laugh out loud!

Allan said...

And Allan, I agree with you generally, but I think you give things like Civil War and Countdown too much credit if you're comparing them to Little Big Man and Unforgiven, you know?

Okay, how about if I compared them to Wyatt Earp and Heaven's Gate (to name two ambitious adult westerns that aren't consider artistically successful by most folks)? I think my point still stands.

Marcos said...

Someone please explain to me again why it's OK to show kids violence but not sexual innuendo? I've never quite got that.

Sure, I understand that they don't grok sex, whereas they grok violence, but since they're naturally tending toward the violence it seems like something we should maybe steer them away from rather than toward...

Anyway. I feel The Batman started out poorly, especially the theme music (what was that with the creaky voice saying "The Batman" at the end of the opening? That made me laugh out loud, which was presumably not the intended effect). But it definitely improved over the years, and I'm sad to see it go.

On the other hand, I think Spectacular Spider-Man and Legion are amazing and I can't wait for B&B.

Marcos said...

Oh, as far as Bruce/Tony: the comparison is as old as the character of Iron Man, who has been seen since his debut as a riff on Batman. But the two are different, and I think, based on the previews for the new film, it does as good a job of capturing Tony as Batman Begins did with Bruce...

♫ Tony Stark makes you feel
He's the cool exec with the heart of steel... ♫

Zeta said...

You had me at animated Jaime Reyes. <3

plok said...

Ha!

Wyatt Earp and Heaven's Gate!

Yuh got me, Allan...

plok said...

Also interesting (to me, anyway) is Nighthawk, Roy Thomas' "evil" Batman from the Avengers, who later became a glory-seeking enemy of Daredevil, before changing his ways to join the Defenders.

Had a heart murmur!

I'm a pretty big 70s Marvel zombie, but man I love coming here and killing my darlings...must be something wrong with me...pardon me while I angst...

MaGnUs said...

Awesome news!

jettblackberryx said...

I tried watching "The Batman" on more than one occasion and it wasn't just ONE character redesign that I hated but serveral.

I love Batman cartoons but this one left me cold (I wasn't that hot for Batman Beyond either).

So I missed the new "Justice League" featured in the Batman though I will give any new series a try.
I didn't care for Teen Titans because of the character designs.
Legion of Super-Heroes is okay but I don't care for all the character designs there either but they are better than Titans.

Alan
jettblackberryx@yahoo.com

plok said...

Dude! Sounds like you hate everything.

mella said...

Neat!

SallyP said...

I...I just want to watch Batman teaming up with other heroes. Does that make me shallow?

totaltoyz said...

"Having Batman accidentally create Mr. Freeze is just dumb"

You know, that was his origin before BTAS changed it...


Point of order: That was only on live-action TV, with Adam West and rotating Messrs. Freeze. In the comics, the man who would be Freeze spilled the freezing solution on himself; Der Fleidermaus was nowhere around at the time.

I have to say I'm already intrigued by this cartoon, especially because that teaser image features the new Blue Beetle and the very old Green Arrow!

Citizen Scribbler said...

Yes, it looks like this new show will take place in the Haneyverse, where Batman can have any kind of story with all manner of guest stars. We'll know for sure if we hear he'll be teaming up with Kamandi and The Unknown Soldier.

And the new Booster issue? I laughed so very hard at the Freedom Fighters reveal. Wednesday just can't come fast enough...

-Citizen Scribbler

totaltoyz said...

Yes, it looks like this new show will take place in the Haneyverse, where Batman can have any kind of story with all manner of guest stars.

I'd love to see a team-up of Batman with the Golden-Age Dr. Mid-Nite! Present Doc as an old, retired hero (not mentioning any specific times), and Charles McNider as an old friend of the family, a medical school colleague of Thomas Wayne, instrumental in young Bruce's upbringing after his parents' deaths, but Bruce unaware of his secret identity.

Derek said...

I... I just can't feel bad about not watching The Batman because of the character designs.

I will admit that great writing can overcome horrible art, but everyone seems to agree that the writing wasn't great, at least in the first season or two.

But an uncouth gremlin Penguin? A raver Joker? A goth Riddler?! I see no reason why things have to be "extreme"-ed to appeal to kids. I certainly didn't need it.

So yeah. I don't feel guilty about not watching Loonatics Unleashed, and I don't feel guilty about not watching The Batman.

The Brave and the Bold looks cool, though.

(Side note: do we know how Jamie's name is pronounced, or are we just assuming it's "HAY-me" because he's Latino? I know the Constantine mispronunciation is addressed several times in his comic, but I don't recall anything about this in Blue Beetle. Just askin'.)

Your Obedient Serpent said...

Allan:
Wow, that comparison to Westerns was impressive. Good insights.

Totaltoyz:
Cool idea with Dr. Mid-Nite -- putting him in a role similar to the Gray Ghost in BTAS.

Scipio:
Generally, I don't harsh on The Batman. I quite like the visual style, and the redesign of most of the characters. I may be the only person to say so, but I thought their take on The Joker was impressive and scary.

I didn't watch more than a couple of episodes for three reasons:
= It just didn't grab me.
= I didn't like their "takes" on several of the villains -- particularly The Penguin and Man-Bat, who've always been among my favorite characters.
= Broadcast networks seem to be lazy about tagging their SatAM kidvid with "new" tags that my DVR will recognize. Wound up missing most of LSH for the same reason, and that was one I was TRYING to get.

I have, through the good graces of the digital revolution, managed to catch a few later episodes online. The show really picked up with the introduction of Robin.

The Batman's biggest flaw was that it came right after the proverbial Hard Act To Follow. B:TAS is about as close to the "Definitive Batman" as anyone could get -- and that's speaking as someone who as almost 30 when it debuted.

I'm very much looking forward to an Animated Haneyverse -- I'm delighted at the idea that, maybe, we've grown up enough that we might be able to allow the most tragic victim of Grim-And-Grittification to slip his tongue into his cheek again.

David Thiel said...

I think that "comics snobs don't watch TV made for kids" is a bit of a straw man argument. Geeks consider all manner of media intended for kids first and teens/adults second.

I'll admit it: "The Batman" didn't grab me either. No, I didn't like the character designs, and it wasn't simply because they were "extreme." "Batman Beyond" was "extreme," and I liked it just fine. It's just that the production design (and more importantly, the writing) of the latter was appealing and the former...well, wasn't.

The sense I had with "The Batman" was that it wasn't made for kids first and adults second, it's that--like "Teen Titans"--it struck me as being made for kids first and adults never. It seemed to be holding a big sign reading "Grownups, go away." Perhaps that changed over time, but honestly, that's not my problem; it's the show's responsibility to put its best foot forward right away, not mine to keep coming back and hoping it gets better.

And "serpent" is dead-on with the basic problem "The Batman" faced: it came shortly after the definitive Batman cartoon. In my view, it was unnecessary. Why reinvent a wheel that had already reached the Platonic ideal of what a wheel should be?

I was surprised to see all those JLA characters in the "Batman" toy line, and that does make me feel like I missed out a little bit. Yet, there's also a pretty tremendous JLU cartoon, so again, "The Batman" seemed redundant.

All of that said, "The Brave and the Bold" could be a lot of fun, and I'll certainly give it a shot.

Gustavo said...

(Side note: do we know how Jamie's name is pronounced, or are we just assuming it's "HAY-me" because he's Latino? I know the Constantine mispronunciation is addressed several times in his comic, but I don't recall anything about this in Blue Beetle. Just askin'.)

It's the spanish pronounciation, the whole family speaks spanish, his sister is called Milagro... maybe some schoolmates call him otherwise, but we are to assume the Reyes call him with the spanish phonetic. Something that may be addressed in this week's all-spanish ish, btw.

Derek said...

Okay, cool. Thanks, Gustavo.

Luke said...

I like the look of the new The Brave and the Bold cartoon, at least from the characters we have seen so far. Actually, I liked The Batman after a while, and dig The Spectacular Spider-Man and the now-ended Superman and the Legion of Superheroes as well; the only thing I question about TBATB is why was The Batman cancelled/concluded just so they could introduce a new Batman show? But other than that, looking forward to seeing beard-less Green Arrow, and of course Aquaman! Are Geo-Force and Katana too much to ask?

Anonymous said...

And "serpent" is dead-on with the basic problem "The Batman" faced: it came shortly after the definitive Batman cartoon. In my view, it was unnecessary. Why reinvent a wheel that had already reached the Platonic ideal of what a wheel should be?

I wouldn't go so far as to say BTAS was a "Platonic ideal", though it was darn good a lot of the time. Of course, BTAS also gave us the episode with Fagin (from "Oliver Twist") living beneath Gotham with two alligators on leashes, so let us not forget there was bad with the good.

But still, that's the maddening thing about "The Batman": it's like the production team didn't start out and say, "Let's look at BTAS and study what works, and try to improve upon it". It's more like they studied at the feet of Joel Schumacher, and so help me God nobody better argue that "Batman and Robin" was a perfectly worthwhile interpretation of the Batman mythos.

totaltoyz said...

Are Geo-Force and Katana too much to ask?

Control the fist of death, Scipio....

melashaan said...

It's good to hear someone else excited about the Brave & Bold cartoon. All you hear on Newsarama is abject horror that something with Batman might have a shred in humor in it. Personally, I like Sprang, I like humor, and I think it's the lack of humor that has hurt comics.

At my local shop, Ron the Awesome (the owner) talked about how humor and a general moment of relief from constant seriousnness is the best gateway for new readers of any age to enter comics. But, he said, existing fans say they want humor and without fail bypass it for the Serious Business. So the light-hearted stuff that can reach a larger audience winds up being killed prematurely, if it ever gets off the ground at all.

It seems that modern creators are afraid to mix serious storylines with levity, and that's what I think would help bring in new readers. Don't shy away from anything serious, but don't be stiflingly nihilistic and humorless.

rohan williams said...

I haven't seen much of The Batman, but I fully intend to pick it up on DVD once I get the fourth season of B:TAS out of the way. I wasn't a huge fan of the character designs at first either, but I picked up 'The Batman Vs Dracula' on DVD and loved the heck out of it. One of the scariest portrayals of the Joker in a long while, right there.

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