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Old July 11 2012, 07:02 PM   #46
Gojira
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

Kirkman1987 wrote: View Post
I like the Batman and Superman serials, but they've got nothing on Captain Marvel. Unlike the lame animated superman used in the serials (yes, lame even back then), Captain Marvel actually flew.

Those flying scenes are really good!!
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Old July 11 2012, 07:02 PM   #47
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

Warped9 wrote: View Post
I like this idea of a period Batman. If I were doing a retro Batmobile I don't think you need to adapt an existing car. Maybe I'd start with something like a '48 or '49. Cadillac as a template and work from there. I could envision something of a bat like symbol incorporated into the front end and bat fins integrated into the rear fenders without getting too outlandish.
The comics Batmobiles of the '40s were usually just ordinary cars with a bat-head symbol on the front and a vertical batwing fin on the roof/rear. This is a typical example.


I don't think you could do Lucius Fox in the '40s except as technical guy. Certainly not as someone running Wayne Enterprises.
Lucius Fox didn't exist in the comics until 1979, and his role as Batman's tech guy is unique to the Nolan films (although the comics in recent years have given Lucius a similar role).


I'd continue to ignore Robin.
Actually I think Robin probably makes more sense in a period context than he does today, because laws and attitudes about child labor were a lot more lax. Although he'd probably make more sense as a lookout, helper, equipment manager (a "batboy," so to speak), and the like than someone who's in there participating directly in the fistfights and shootouts.



Agent Richard07 wrote: View Post
I wouldn't mind seeing a version of Batman Beyond that's a continuation of the Adam West series. I'm sure West would jump at the opportunity.
They did that on Kim Possible, in the episode "The Fearless Ferret." (Riffing on the fact that Will Friedle, the voice of Ron Stoppable, was also the voice of Terry McGinnis.)
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Old July 11 2012, 07:06 PM   #48
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

A period film would allow you to do some things that mightn't have occurred to the comic's creative team while toning down some of the things they did do.

A possible conceptual starting point for a '40s era Batmobile.

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Old July 11 2012, 09:17 PM   #49
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

^^ Slick auto... Part of me is tickled, however, at the thought of Bats using a souped up Tucker Torpedo...
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Old July 11 2012, 09:53 PM   #50
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

I think that torpedo would need fins on the back and a bat head on the hood before I'd buy it as a batmobile.
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Old July 11 2012, 10:15 PM   #51
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

Admiral James Kirk wrote: View Post
I think that torpedo would need fins on the back and a bat head on the hood before I'd buy it as a batmobile.
I'm thinking of playing around with sketches and Photoshop to see what I can come up with.
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Old July 11 2012, 10:33 PM   #52
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

Please do.
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Old July 11 2012, 10:39 PM   #53
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

Christopher wrote: View Post
Kirkman1987 wrote: View Post
Even for a serial it's cheap. In a live action superman adaptation you should see a live action superman flying imo.
But Superman Returns used a CGI Superman for the flying scenes, and the Spider-Man movies use a CGI Spidey, and the Matrix movies used a CGI Neo, etc. The animated Superman in the '40s serials was the exact same principle, just with less photorealistic technology. Back then, people weren't as nitpicky about the realism of their visual effects as we've become. Images that look blatantly fake to us were impressive and convincing to them.

The "flying" Captain Marvel in the serials was just a motionless life-size dummy sliding on a wire in a straight line. The animated Superman of the serials flew with much more speed, dynamism, and fluidity. I think the latter did a better job of conveying the idea of what the hero was capable of, and that's more important to me than whether it was live-action.

And what makes you think it's cheap? Animation is a laborious, time-consuming process. And good animation, as you acknowledge this was, takes even more time and talent -- and therefore more money -- than bad animation. Not to mention the added complexity (and therefore cost) of compositing cel animation with live-action footage. It was probably a lot more expensive to animate those flying sequences in the Superman serials than it was to make a dummy and slide it down a pair of wires.
I don't want to touch on modern cgi too much, I'll just say I prefer physical effects. I have no real problem with the animation, I just prefer the Captain Marvel stuff. Does anyone have any idea who did the superman animation for this? The serial was made by Columbia, but I don't think Columbia had an animation department.

I don't know how cheap or expensive the animation was. I don't buy the compositing argument. compositing an animated superman onto the frame shouldn't be harder than having to draw layouts and backgrounds for the entire sequence. It's just a matter of photographing a cell over the live action frame. It may have been costly, but let's not pretend this one character being animated is like a Fleischer short or something.

They actually wanted to do a live action flying superman, but had problems pulling it off. It was only then that they fired the flying effects guys and resorted to animation.

I prefer the Marvel effects, but I give them kudos for at least having Superman fly. Serials were made so cheaply, they could have just had the flying offscreen or take out that element completely, but they didn't.

I love that classic car. It would be an awesome batmobile.
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Old July 11 2012, 10:59 PM   #54
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

Kirkman1987 wrote: View Post
I don't want to touch on modern cgi too much, I'll just say I prefer physical effects. I have no real problem with the animation, I just prefer the Captain Marvel stuff. Does anyone have any idea who did the superman animation for this? The serial was made by Columbia, but I don't think Columbia had an animation department.
I did a search, and apparently Columbia did have an in-house animation department that released a series of cartoon shorts in the 1940s, but it closed in 1948, just before the first Superman serial. The director of those cartoons, Howard Swift, had gone on to open his own studio, and he did the special animation effects for the serials.


I don't know how cheap or expensive the animation was. I don't buy the compositing argument. compositing an animated superman onto the frame shouldn't be harder than having to draw layouts and backgrounds for the entire sequence. It's just a matter of photographing a cell over the live action frame. It may have been costly, but let's not pretend this one character being animated is like a Fleischer short or something.
I was comparing the cost to that of live-action film by itself. It's more expensive to animate something on top of a live-action plate than it is just to show the live-action footage by itself.

Still, all the sources do claim that the animated flying sequences were done because of the low budget, which seems odd to me. Maybe animators just weren't paid very well back then?


I prefer the Marvel effects, but I give them kudos for at least having Superman fly. Serials were made so cheaply, they could have just had the flying offscreen or take out that element completely, but they didn't.
Personally I'd rather see Superman turn into a cartoon that can move fluidly and swoop all over the place than see Captain Marvel turn into a rigid dummy gliding in a straight line. Apparently audiences at the time felt more like you do, though, and didn't respond well to the animation.
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Old July 12 2012, 02:42 AM   #55
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

If I remember correectly the flying dummy effect was used at the most three times, the rest of the time they used effects simular to what we'd see on The Adventures Of Superman series.
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Old July 12 2012, 03:47 AM   #56
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

Christopher wrote: View Post
And of course Batman had to be a government agent, since everyone in wartime movies had to be a direct supporter of the war effort, and being an extralegal vigilante would've been too subversive.
Batman was also a government agent in the 1966 Adam West movie.

I love the 1943 serial as a strange example of WWII propaganda.

One thing about the 1943 serial that stuck out to me what Batman's undercover gangster alter ego, Chuck White. This especially tickled me when I found out that Chuck White was also the name of the new regional manager at the call center where I used to work.
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Old July 12 2012, 04:49 AM   #57
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post
Batman was also a government agent in the 1966 Adam West movie.
Not in the sense I mean. In the '43 serial he was a secret agent working for the federal government, with his true identity known to his superiors, and his mandate was to battle spies, saboteurs, and enemies of the United States rather than fighting domestic crime. In the '66 series and film, Batman was a duly deputized officer of the Gotham City Police Department, which was unaware of his true identity.
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Old July 13 2012, 03:59 PM   #58
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

Admiral James Kirk wrote: View Post
Please do.
Yes please!

I'm wondering how the comic version of the car (which had the big bat face on the front) would work with the center swiveling headlight... I can imagine the bat face turning back and forth with the light coming out of its eyes!!
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Old July 13 2012, 04:07 PM   #59
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

It shouldn't be too hard to incorporate a bat "face" into the front of the car. And while I wouldn't go with the overdone wing on the roof it shouldn't be too hard to integrate wings into the design. It would be distinctive without being ridiculous.

Although I'm primarily thinking of appearance now I could see incorporating hidden things that could be useful, similar to previous gadgets we've seen on the Batmobile as well as Bond's Aston Martion. A bullet-proof shield that rises at the back. Did they have bullet-proof glass in the '40s? Well, it's Batman so I suppose he could have it even if it didn't actually exist yet.
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Old July 13 2012, 04:17 PM   #60
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

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Did they have bullet-proof glass in the '40s? Well, it's Batman so I suppose he could have it even if it didn't actually exist yet.
http://www.angelfire.com/rock3/civil/history1.html
Laminated glass was discovered on accident by a French chemist in 1903.... This gave way to the development of a glass-plastic composite for use in automobiles. Although it was not immediately adopted by the automobile industry it found widespread use in the military as eyepieces for gas masks during World War I.
...By World War II glass laminates were commonly used as a form of bulletproofing. The bulletproof glass of World War II was much heavier that made today.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulletp...s#Construction
This design has been in regular use on combat vehicles since World War II; it is typically thick and is usually extremely heavy.
So it would've been available, but would've been unwieldy and added a lot of weight to a '40s Batmobile.
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