Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Batman: Brave & The Bold is better than Batman: The Animated Series. Much better.

Yeah; I said it. You wanna make sumpthin out of it, buddy?

BTAS: brooding and morose, taking itself too seriously. Why, it's nearly a... a Marvel comic!
BB&B: still serious (Batman's still quite the hard-nose), but not taking itself too seriously.

BB&B has better art. I still remember how disappointed I was the first time I saw BTAS. This was before the current info-age, when I would have seen 10,000 spoiler images for 8 months beforehand, so the first time I saw it actually was the first time I saw it. How shocked I was! I was expecting to get, finally a detailed, beautifully drawn animated series that actually looked like a comic book I might already be reading. Instead, I got pointy noises and square jaws that would have embarrassed even Bob Kane.

BB&B is better promo for DC. You may not consider that an appropriate aesthetic considering, but, hey, marketing matters. BB&B is designed to use Batman as a means to introduce viewers to other DC characters. So far, we've already seen in three episodes the likes of Plastic Man, Blue Beetle, Aquaman, Fire, the Gentleman Ghost, Green Arrow, Clock King, Black Manta, Felix Faust, and Ocean Master. In BTAS, we saw... Robin and Batgirl. The opening sequence of BB&B actually builds the names of various guest stars into the layout; the opening sequence of BTAS doesn't even contain Batman's name.

BB&B is better characterization. This Batman is still a hard-nose (even harder than the BTAS one), but has a sense of humor. His scene where he mocks Felix Faust is priceless. And Batman's unique personality is shown off in excellent contradistinction against the guest stars. And Dietrich Bader is flawless as Batman, much to my surprise.

BB&B is better action. Each episode begins in medias res, and has little slow time till the end. Plus, no time is wasted on Bruce Wayne; it's all Batman. More happens in one episode then in a year's worth of JLA.

BB&B has better decor. Yep, you heard me. BTAS was clunky, with its overly long Batmobile and colorless Batcave. Every single bat-gadget in BB&B is stylish, with red accents and bat shapeyness. BTAS is a PC and BB&B is a Mac.

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While I am loving BB&B very much, I cannot agree that it is better than B:TAS. It is better at some things, and not as good at others.
Well, this ought to stir things up...

I didn't watch B:TAS. This one is lots of fun, takes itself seriously enough for my kids, and has enough throwback to Silver Age stuff to keep me entertained. It's not brooding, dark, gothic, or any of those other things that some love and I've never been able to see.

But what did you think of the new personality for Aquaman? I'm trying to think of who it seemed to be based on, but the closest I can get is Robert Preston in The Music Man. Which was...definitely not what I was expecting. And that's good.
I've been watching this show with my five-year-old son and he absolutely loves it. Sadly, we missed the first episode (he really likes the Ted Kord Blue Beetle; not familiar with Jamie) but we're looking forward to seeing another favorite of his, Green Arrow!
Batman TAS is much better -better animated, darker feeling. All this new BB&B crappy animation makes me wanna cry. Usually the animation is -almost a rule- not well done in today's cartoons with the exception of Samurai Jack, of course. Shame shame shame..
I am totally loving BBB very very much...so much so I may marry it. It's actually quite a fun show. I had reservations about it before it started but once I saw the first episode, I fell in love. It's a lot of fun to watch and the Aquaman episode just had me in stitches over how Aquaman was portrayed...so different then he has ever been seen before and it's great to have a fun Aquaman for a change and not a brooding woe is me, my kingdom blah blah blah aquaman.

I never watched Batman the Animated Series so I can't compare...but with BBB the tone a refreshing look.
My favorite moment of the series so far was Jaime's flashback to his "cat in a tree" rescue.
I never watched BTAS, so I can't compare, but I have to admit to loving the Brave & the Bold. It is just so much fun seeing all the secondary characters for a change! Fire! They had Fire for heaven's sake! And Jaime!

Plus, the Green Lantern is going to be Guy Gardner, and you KNOW I can't pass that up.
I can't fairly pick, since I grew up with B:TAS and BB&B is obviously for this generation of kids. But I think it would be more fair to compare Brave and the Bold with Justice League Unlimited, since TAS specifically kept things more realistic.

But I will say that I really doubt B&B will be as memorable as TAS. I was like 8 years old when I saw the first episode with Mr. Freeze, and watching it on DVD again I basically remembered the whole thing.
You prefer the zany, POW! WHAM! Batman over the Dark Knight Batman? Really??? And Dietrich Bader is flawless? Bader was on Craig Ferguson's show the other day and did his impersonation of Batman, with movements, al a la the old TV show. This cartoon is ZANY, over the top, and at times just plain silly.

This is Shumacher, not Burton.
I guess I should check it out, but I was actually turned off by the opening credits and theme. I know it's supposed to be like "The Incredibles" (which I loved) but I keep expecting Batman to dance the Bat-tusi straight into the camera.
It's a pleasure to see Batman portrayed not as a driven vigilante who haunts the streets of his anarchic metropolis in a doomed quest to hold back the chaos and violence but rather as a two-fisted adventure hero with all the cool gadgets, out doing groovy superhero stuff.

The former version is cool, and I liked BTAS, but it's well past time for the latter interpretation to get some airtime. I want my bat-sub, dang it!
I would swear Ty Templeton is working on BB&B, it looks just like his work.
Agreed on all counts - but as good as Bader is, I can't stop hearing him say, two chicks at one time.
BB&B is definitely NOT Shumacher. IT is a late silver age comic, faithfully executed and punched up a bit to make it seem more modern than it is. It is Toth, and Infantino, and a little Haney. IT's a natural for all silver age enthusiasts and a badly needed lesson in good storytelling for younger folks who think it's all about brooding badasses and explosions and ripping people's arms out of their sockets. BB&B brilliantly anticipates a renaissance in our society's tone that will be in full bloom a few years from now. BB&B is easily on a par with BTAS.
Hear hear, Batamorpho.
BtaS intro is my favorite intro from anything, second only to the Huntsman theme from Freakazoid.
I think they are really so different you can't really compare them, beyond the basic "it's a Batman cartoon."

B:BB, though, is one of those series where I catch myself smiling at the end. Nothing big, profound, or earth-shattering, but a really neat and entertaining half hour.
Aquaman seemed to be a more heroic version of Gilderoy Lockhart from the Harry Potter series, right down to the fantastically horrible book titles.

Also, Fluke The Dolphin has my vote for Sensational Character Find of 2008 and should follow in Harley Quinn and Renee Montoya's footsteps and join modern DCU continuity.
I'm with ya. I love the new series, and never had much interest in the old Batman cartoon.
BBAB has earned a place in my heart for giving the world Aquaman as Bluff, Sexy Sea Captain.
I'm with ya. I love the new series, and never had much interest in the old Batman cartoon.

God, does it make me feel old to hear the 1990s series described as "the old Batman cartoon". To me, the "old Batman cartoon" is the Filmation 1968 series (which I was actually too young to see on Saturday mornings, at least not that I can remember; but it was in weekday syndication in my area all through the 70s).
I'm waiting for the inevitable food-centric villain to appear on B:B&B. In every previous Batman cartoon, there has been a villain created for that cartoon whose crime symbol was some kind of food. (And, as Scipio has pointed out, only in Gotham City does the phrase "my crime symbol" require no further explanation. Well, OK, maybe Central City too.) The 1960s Filmation series had Simon the Pieman. The 1970s series, also from Filmation, had Sweet Tooth. Even B:TAS had Condiment King. So I'm just waiting for Batman to team up with Metamorpho to battle the hot buttered evil of Professor Popcorn!!
I'm with ya. I love the new series, and never had much interest in the old Batman cartoon.

God, does it make me feel old to hear the 1990s series described as "the old Batman cartoon". To me, the "old Batman cartoon" is the Filmation 1968 series

OMG...that was my exact same thought too...Old Old Old! Where's my walker...

But you make a good point also on the food criminal...and I hope the creators of BB&B see this...Professor Popcorn would be awesome. Maybe he can try to JiffyPop the world or something.
BB&B is definitely NOT Shumacher... It is Toth, and Infantino, and a little Haney.

This. So absolutely this. Bob Haney is looking down and smiling.

I turned it on for grins and giggles (the Blue Beetle episode) and ended up burning dinner because I got so into it. True fun.

I can't say that I agree with Scip's assessment of BTAS, but everyone is entitled to their opinions. I can say that my nephews LOVE BB&B. They couldn't make it through an episode of BTAS.
Yeah, the consensus is sort of what I'd say: B: TAS is a better Denny O'Neil Batman series, but this is a better Bob Haney Batman series. It really does almost perfectly capture the strengths of its real comic-book namesake, the late-60s B+B.
the theme song is straight from The Tick, not epic like BTAS theme was and is, and no way can new batman cartoons come even close to the vocal talent of BTAS, i can't bear any other batman voice, but Brave and the Bold is definitely better than The Batman which is horrible (except for the creation of the evil ward/millionaire to mirror batman/robin) but yeah BTAS holds up a decade and a half later whereas brave and the bold will be gone and forgotten before long... why not give us more JLU instead, cuz those episodes rock so hard - Flash and Luthor changing bodies had me crackin up
"Professor Popcorn would be awesome."

(with thanks and apologies to Terry Pratchett)

PROFESSOR POPCORN: You have bad habit of popping up where you're not wanted, Batman!

Let's see how you like the taste of my BANG GRAINS!

throws a handful of exploding corn seeds
Sorry to make you guys feel old! I'm probably just as old as you guys, since I remember that Batman cartoon (in reruns during the 70s) too... but I think we have to face facts that B:TAS *is* an old Batman cartoon.
This new series is just too silver agey for me. I mean, ok, if you are a DC fanboy chances are that you'll be giddy and love the cheezyness of it all, but this really disappointed me. I mean, coming out of the huge success that was TDK they really should have put out an animated series that had the same mood of the movie - I'd love to see a series in the same style of the "gotham knight" animes.
I mean, coming out of the huge success that was TDK they really should have put out an animated series that had the same mood of the movie

This is the kind of thinking that has me not looking forward to the upcoming Spirit and Mandrake movies.

A dark and depressing cartoon? Ye gods. At least I have the simple but irreplacable joy of sharing B:B&B with my children, something I would not have with the cartoon you suggest.
I mean, coming out of the huge success that was TDK they really should have put out an animated series that had the same mood of the movie

Thing is, the latest Batman movie was a little too extreme for kids. It would be totally unfair to deprive children of Batman, so some compromise had to be reached. So the new Batman animated program was either going to be a silver age comic or "Lil' Batboy and His Clubhouse Pals." They went with the silver age comic. Funny thing though, there is such a weath of great storytelling in silver age comics, overlooked by some neophytes who naturally believe their Batman is the only Batman, that B:B&B may actually start a revival of STORY based storytelling and character development and mood will matter somewhat less. You can only make Batman so grim and gritty before he turns into a parody of himself. And someone get Christian Bale a Ricola...
Wow, you're a complete dumbass.
Anybody else notice that the wonderfully understated and dramatic Batman origin sequence was missing from the this morning's rerun of last night's episode (the Red Tornado/Christmas episode).

Was that an unbelievably coincidental screwup, or did CN get complaints about kinda blindsiding kids with the Crime Alley gunshots?
"Anonymous said...

Wow, you're a complete dumbass."

Well. There's no real arguing with that kind of reasoning, is there?

Welcome to the Debate Team!
Havign said what I said above, I'd go on to point out that B: TAS was hardly humorous. From the Joker's priceless reaction to Batman's death (and, indeed, the entirety of Batman's plan and its execution in "The Man Who Killed Batman") to Mister Freeze initially being beaten by Alfred's chicken soup and later teaming with an outrageous parody of Walt Disney, I think the show fit in plenty of humor and even occasional bits of whimsy.

It certainly wasn't DKR, and its Batman was quite capable of taking a joke, or being the butt of one. F'Heaven's sake, look at pretty much any episode centering on Harley Quinn!
My typo "B: TAS was hardly humorous" is clearly God giving Scipio an early gift for the holidays.
Thought-provoking post, but I'm still enjoying BTAS, BBB, and The Batman for their individual strengths, which they each play to very well.

It is unfair to compare the best possible streamlined animation style of 2008 to the best possible streamlined style of the early 90s. And the expectation that children's television cartoons be "detailed" and "beautifully drawn" is ridiculous. Detail works in a static comic book, but ends up demanding too much labor for too little reward in motion.

You are right that its great to see so many DC characters on TV, presented with clear characterization in actual, compressed stories. But why do you give a care that this is good promotion for DC?
Okay, I don't watch too much tv anymore so I'd never seen an episode of BBB. I saw a little clip, but couldn't get over Dedrich Bader's voice. Reading the above comments about Aquaman piqued my interest, so I went youtubing and OH MY GOD THAT SHOW IS HILARIOUS! BENDER IS AQUAMAN! I need to see the rest of these, stat!
Dietrich, rather. I expect John DiMaggio to reprise that voice for "The Incredible Hercules: The Animated Series".
Okay finally saw the first 3 episodes. I give. This show is the awesome.

Pretty different origin for Plastic Man, but considering how different his personality is in the modern age, it might fit better.

And if this were the Aquaman in the comics, it would never get cancelled.
The one thing I wondered about in the Christmas episode was why they bothered creating a new villain (Fun Haus) for this, instead of using someone like the Joker, Prankster, or Toyman.
And how many of us caught the Silver-Age reference with Red Tornado's secret identity?
Well, my son and I finally saw the inaugural episode of B:BB and loved it! We both enjoyed the Green Arrow part more than the Blue Beetle main story. I love how they camped up Clock King's already-campy costume to play up the "king" aspect (I wonder if giving him a German accent was a nod to Walter Slezak?). But I have to wonder; when Batman and Green Arrow were tied upside-down to the clock pendulum, why didn't GA's hat fall off??
"pointy noises and square jaws that would have embarrassed even Bob Kane."

The same Bob Kane that passed Bill Finger's & Dick Sprang's work off at his own, for decades, that Bob Kane? Not possible to embarrass him.
"Pretty different origin for Plastic Man, but considering how different his personality is in the modern age, it might fit better."

Um... that's not a NEW origin for Plastic Man. It's his original one. I mean, except for Batman being involved.
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