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Old April 25 2010, 06:55 AM   #1
Thespeckledkiwi
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Batman Beyond and 'kid' friendly cartoons...

I started watching Batman Beyond again. It holds up very well and personally I like the darker utopia that they went with. Not everything is squeaky clean. There is a good, solid list of bad guys and personally, I find the new rogue gallery very refreshing in a way.

A lot of it is also very plausible and reasonable.

Too bad we never really got to see Metropolis or any of the other big cities either

But yeah to me it was a darker, grittier kid's cartoon. It was violent, it had some very adult themes and very real subjects (like drug use and such). To me, I remember that this is when cartoons started going a little more friendly to the kid audience. It's a shame as well.
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Old April 25 2010, 01:45 PM   #2
Christopher
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Re: Batman Beyond and 'kid' friendly cartoons...

In fact, Batman Beyond was intended by the network to be more kid-friendly, hence the younger hero and the high-school focus. The network execs explicitly asked for a Buffy-like show. Maybe they didn't realize how dark Buffy was.

And I hate the BB rogues' gallery, for reasons I've discussed before. Most of them have no personalities, no motivations, no tragic backstories or engaging character quirks like Batman's classic rogues. They're defined purely by their technological gimmicks, making them highly forgettable. The most interesting episodes of the series were the ones that brought back characters and story elements from the original Batman's era.

And we did see the future Metropolis in "The Call," didn't we?
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Old April 25 2010, 09:15 PM   #3
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Re: Batman Beyond and 'kid' friendly cartoons...

I was seriously thinking about getting the DVD's of this show. I wasn't interested when it first aired, because I had heard that it was aimed more toward kids, but the more I read the more I'm starting to think this isn't the case.

Can I assume you guys recommend it?
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Old April 25 2010, 09:18 PM   #4
Anwar
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Re: Batman Beyond and 'kid' friendly cartoons...

Christopher wrote: View Post
And I hate the BB rogues' gallery, for reasons I've discussed before. Most of them have no personalities, no motivations, no tragic backstories or engaging character quirks like Batman's classic rogues. They're defined purely by their technological gimmicks, making them highly forgettable. The most interesting episodes of the series were the ones that brought back characters and story elements from the original Batman's era.
Really? I found Blight to be one of the best Batman villains out there, frankly. I think he'd be a great enemy of present-day Bruce Wayne.
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Old April 25 2010, 09:38 PM   #5
Thespeckledkiwi
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Re: Batman Beyond and 'kid' friendly cartoons...

Anwar wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
And I hate the BB rogues' gallery, for reasons I've discussed before. Most of them have no personalities, no motivations, no tragic backstories or engaging character quirks like Batman's classic rogues. They're defined purely by their technological gimmicks, making them highly forgettable. The most interesting episodes of the series were the ones that brought back characters and story elements from the original Batman's era.
Really? I found Blight to be one of the best Batman villains out there, frankly. I think he'd be a great enemy of present-day Bruce Wayne.
Shriek was fairly interesting. And I bet we would have gotten a lot more on Inque if she showed up later.

Blight was a fascinating character.

The Royal Flush Gang coming back.

The problem is, Batman Beyond is different but the same as Batman TaS. It's so well done in my opinion because it adds another dimension.

Just saw the show about dog fighting That...that one is so depressing.
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Old April 25 2010, 10:00 PM   #6
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Re: Batman Beyond and 'kid' friendly cartoons...

RandyS wrote: View Post
I was seriously thinking about getting the DVD's of this show. I wasn't interested when it first aired, because I had heard that it was aimed more toward kids, but the more I read the more I'm starting to think this isn't the case.

Can I assume you guys recommend it?
Well I certainly like it, but I can't guarantee you will too. If you're curious then you might just want to track down either the pilot or the 'Return of the Joker' movie. The latter is easily one of the high points of the whole DCAU, right up there with 'Mask of the Phantasm'.

Or you could just check out some clips on youtube and see what you think.
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Old April 25 2010, 11:10 PM   #7
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Re: Batman Beyond and 'kid' friendly cartoons...

RandyS wrote: View Post
I was seriously thinking about getting the DVD's of this show. I wasn't interested when it first aired, because I had heard that it was aimed more toward kids, but the more I read the more I'm starting to think this isn't the case.

Can I assume you guys recommend it?
I guess the first and third seasons are worth watching, but I found the second season to be rather bland and repetitive (most of its episodes revolved around a student, a student's family member, a teacher, a counselor, etc. at the high school turning into a supervillain). Aside from introducing the Max character, it's a pretty forgettable season.

But I definitely recommend Return of the Joker. A fantastic movie, and the best animation in the entire DCAU canon.


Anwar wrote: View Post
Really? I found Blight to be one of the best Batman villains out there, frankly. I think he'd be a great enemy of present-day Bruce Wayne.
Powers/Blight was one of the only interesting villains in the show, and they killed him off after one brief season.


Thespeckledkiwi wrote: View Post
Shriek was fairly interesting.
To me, Shriek was symptomatic of what was wrong with BB rogues. Here's this acoustic engineer who's developed a sonic weapon and is trying to sell it to Powers. Okay, makes sense. But Powers tells him to use it to kill Batman and suddenly he's an assassin in a fancy costume. Why? What would motivate an engineer to become a hired killer? Why is he casually willing to commit murder in order to sell his product? And why would Powers think it was a good idea to give the assignment to some engineer rather than a professional hit man? It's never addressed. It's totally random. With no motivation, there is no character.

And the majority of the BB villains were like that -- all gimmick, no personality or humanity to connect with. A great letdown after the richly characterized villains of B:TAS.
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Old April 26 2010, 01:23 AM   #8
Anwar
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Re: Batman Beyond and 'kid' friendly cartoons...

Eh, most of TAS' villains stopped being all that sympathetic or interesting after the first 2 or so appearances. Mad Hatter, Two-Face, etc.

Joker was never that well-developed, but Hamill's performance makes you ignore that.

It's the same with some of Spectacular Spiderman's villains: I didn't let it bother me that Doctor Octopus would just decide to conquer the world after a lab accident fused his harness to his skin. I didn't let it bother me that Vulture remained a criminal after Spidey caught him the first time, I didn't let it bother me that Sandman and Rhino decided to remain mere thugs instead of using their new awesome powers to make money legitimately (since Tombstone paid their bail they weren't criminals anymore).

So Shriek being an assassin didn't bug me either.
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Old April 26 2010, 02:08 AM   #9
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Re: Batman Beyond and 'kid' friendly cartoons...

Anwar wrote: View Post
Eh, most of TAS' villains stopped being all that sympathetic or interesting after the first 2 or so appearances. Mad Hatter, Two-Face, etc.
But at least their personalities were defined at the beginning. You knew why they did what they did, even if it wasn't explored in depth later on. Like I said, motivation equals character. As Kurt Vonnegut said, "Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water." Characters are defined by their goals and drives.

Once Shriek was deafened and came back for revenge, then he had a motivation, albeit a simplistic one. But in his initial appearance, the motivation was missing.

Joker was never that well-developed, but Hamill's performance makes you ignore that.
I thought the Joker was very well-developed in TAS for a character who's defined by his lack of rhyme, reason, or identity. He was a bully, a narcissist who couldn't stand not being the center of attention, a hypocrite who laughed at others' pain but couldn't stand to be laughed at, a brilliant psychological manipulator, an abuser. His motivations and personality were extremely well-drawn even without a backstory.

It's the same with some of Spectacular Spiderman's villains: I didn't let it bother me that Doctor Octopus would just decide to conquer the world after a lab accident fused his harness to his skin.
The motivation there was pretty clear to me. He was a milquetoast before, repressed and browbeaten, sick of being unappreciated for his brilliance but too timid to do anything about it. The accident altered his personality to release his inhibitions and let him act out all the anger and frustration he'd been too afraid to act on before. The world hadn't given him the recognition he deserved, and now he had the power to take it.

I didn't let it bother me that Sandman and Rhino decided to remain mere thugs instead of using their new awesome powers to make money legitimately (since Tombstone paid their bail they weren't criminals anymore).
Uhh, that's not how bail works. Bail just gets you out of jail after your arrest and before your trial, and is a sort of security deposit to guarantee that you show up for your trial, because if you don't, you lose the money (or else the bail bondsman you borrowed the money from will lose it and come after you to take it out of your hide), and you just get more charges leveled against you because you're a fugitive.

And at least SSM took the time to establish Marko and O'Hirn as characters first before giving them powers. We had a sense of who they were.
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Old April 26 2010, 03:25 AM   #10
Anwar
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Re: Batman Beyond and 'kid' friendly cartoons...

Yeah, Shriek's initial motivation was mainly that he didn't have any money left and Powers would support him if he killed Wayne. They just didn't bother showing him as becoming desperate enough to do that, although later scenes (like when he attacked Terry at his lab) showed he always had a violent killer instinct.

Basically it was a rushed storyline.

Joker wasn't that well-developed since he was the same character in every appearance. But he's not supposed to be a developed character as much as he is simply an archetype/plot device.

I would've liked it if they showed Otto as having revenge fantasies on Norman and others from his first or second appearance onwards rather than 5 minutes before he became Ock. That way it would show he was repressed rather than just a wimp.
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Old April 26 2010, 03:54 AM   #11
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Re: Batman Beyond and 'kid' friendly cartoons...

RandyS wrote: View Post
I was seriously thinking about getting the DVD's of this show. I wasn't interested when it first aired, because I had heard that it was aimed more toward kids, but the more I read the more I'm starting to think this isn't the case.

Can I assume you guys recommend it?
I do. It was really enjoyable - a fresh update on the Batman saga. Cool so see young punks shocked when they pick on an elderly Bruce Wayne and get their but kicked.

The new, younger Batman is good and the new costume/power suite a big upgrade. Makes sense that Batman can fly.

I also really enjoyed the Return of the Joker movie where the original Joker resurfaces to face off against the new Batman despite Bruce trying to keep Terry away from the Joker.
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Old April 26 2010, 05:34 AM   #12
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Re: Batman Beyond and 'kid' friendly cartoons...

I couldn't get too into "Batman Beyond". I don't think there was much wrong with it...it was just too much of a radical departure from the other Timmverse shows that came before it for me to get comfortable with it. However, I do think "Return of the Joker" was one of the best things to happen to the Timmverse, and the quality of that feature alone makes me grateful for the existence of the series.

My other favourite thing about it is the episode "Meltdown". I really hate what the episode of "The New Batman Adventures" called "Cold Comfort" did to the character of Mr. Freeze, but I think "Meltdown" redeemed the character, giving him a MUCH more satisfying send-off from the Timmverse. He became someone the audience could connect with again and we got a moving conclusion to his arc. "Subzero" was okay too, but I think "Meltdown" was the best story he got involved in since "Heart of Ice".
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Old April 26 2010, 05:47 AM   #13
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Re: Batman Beyond and 'kid' friendly cartoons...

I liked BB, but agree the villians were shitty. The concept was cool though. I never saw future Metropolis. I would love to see a series like this with old man Supes with the beard and Lois long gone, would be interesting. A grittier, more jaded Superman who has to rediscover his beliefs. Maybe the New Batman could help him in a sort of role reversal. Batman bieng the more optimistic one, while still bieng dark.
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Old April 26 2010, 06:38 AM   #14
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Re: Batman Beyond and 'kid' friendly cartoons...

Christopher wrote: View Post
Anwar wrote: View Post
Really? I found Blight to be one of the best Batman villains out there, frankly. I think he'd be a great enemy of present-day Bruce Wayne.
[

Powers/Blight was one of the only interesting villains in the show, and they killed him off after one brief season.
Two but I believe if they continued, Blight would have came back for more. Just they ended it too quickly to really get into the characters.


Thespeckledkiwi wrote: View Post
Shriek was fairly interesting.
To me, Shriek was symptomatic of what was wrong with BB rogues. Here's this acoustic engineer who's developed a sonic weapon and is trying to sell it to Powers. Okay, makes sense. But Powers tells him to use it to kill Batman and suddenly he's an assassin in a fancy costume.
Part of that is wrong. Shriek was used to demolish the historic district of Gotham. Part of which, Bruce wants to keep going due to his parents dying there. Powers wants Shriek to kill Bruce then to eliminate the threat and then Batman get involves.

And the majority of the BB villains were like that -- all gimmick, no personality or humanity to connect with. A great letdown after the richly characterized villains of B:TAS.
This is...wrong. You can't look at TaS as simply a vacuum within a medium. What TaS did was draw from years of other materials to create their universe. Beyond had to come up with basically scratch material. It ended way to quickly to really do anything or flesh out their characters. A lot of shows are wonky for a few years before really finding their pace. Futurama, X-Men Evolution...Just to name a few.

I agree as well that some of the villains like Spellbinder are a bit bland. but I but them slack because basically they didn't get a lot of episodes in.
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Old April 26 2010, 07:58 AM   #15
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Re: Batman Beyond and 'kid' friendly cartoons...

I give major props for Batman Beyond's ability to come up with interesting new villains (without years of comic continuity to pick and choose from), but it's also true that the best episodes involved old Batman foes (Mr. Freeze, the Joker). It definitely deserves its place in the Timmverse.
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