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Old July 22 2013, 12:04 AM   #434
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Re: "Beware the Batman" in 2013! New Animated Series

I just watched the first two episodes again, and made some more observations.

One: I noticed that they're evidently setting up an arc. In "Hunted," Bruce got a black invitation with a stylized A symbol, and referred to the Argus Club repeatedly inviting him to join. In "Secrets," he found a key with the same symbol in Dr. Ravencroft's desk. Watson did much the same thing in Mystery Incorporated, seeding references to the season's overarching storyline into the individual episodes. It's also reminiscent of Doctor Who and its "arc words" like "Bad Wolf" and "Torchwood." Apparently ARGUS is the name of a SHIELD-like organization in the DC Universe, founded by Steve Trevor and run by Amanda Waller. It was also referenced in Arrow as a government security organization. This Argus Club seems more like a secret-society kind of deal, though.

Two: It occurred to me, given that every setting in a 3D-animated show needs to be specifically built, that they probably wouldn't have gone to so much trouble to create that elaborate Stagg Tower location if they didn't plan to reuse it. So we'll probably be seeing Simon Stagg on a recurring basis.

Three: I think I owe Shane Glines a bit of an apology. I noticed that, although Magpie seemed to be dressed only in a bustier and panties, her midriff was lighter and more flesh-colored than the seemingly exposed skin on her upper torso, arms, and legs. Though it was animated to look like bare flesh, the coloring suggests that it's actually a skintight, sheer bodysuit and that only her midriff is bare-skinned. It's still kind of gratuitously stripperrific, but it's a bit more credible that she could make her acrobatic moves without her bust popping out.

Four: Damn, Grey DeLisle is an incredible voice actress, isn't she? Such remarkable nuance in her delivery. Publiusr, you talked about missing the great voice artists of the past, but there are some amazing ones working today, and DeLisle's one of the all-time greats.

Five: I noticed that this Lt. Gordon design looks kind of like J. Jonah Jameson with a bushier moustache. Somewhat appropriate, given his negative opinion of the superhero. Although I suppose the precedent for giving Gordon a flat-top hairstyle comes from The New Batman Adventures.

Six: I love it that when Bruce was in Ravencroft's office and signaled Alfred to call as a diversion, the sound effect of the beep on the Batcomputer console was the Batphone beep from the '66 series! Holy homage!

Seven: It was striking that they actually showed a flashback shot of young Bruce kneeling between his parents' bodies. I think that's the most overt depiction of that scene we've ever gotten in an animated TV series (although I don't remember how TB&TB's "Chill of the Night!" handled it). It certainly helps drive home that this show isn't being toned down very much for the kids.

Eight: I confirmed that the end titles credit Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo as Katana's creators (as well as crediting Grant Morrison and his artist collaborators for Pyg and Toad -- not sure if they credited Magpie's creators, since I couldn't see the credits for that episode as clearly). That's good to know, since Mike's become a friend of mine in recent years, and I'm glad to see he's getting credit and therefore royalties for his creation. (Batman is still credited to Bob Kane alone, even though it's well-known by now that Bill Finger deserves the lion's share of the credit. I imagine that more recent creators are more likely to have contracts that give them credit/royalties for screen adaptations.)
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