"Beware the Batman" in 2013! New Animated Series

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Admiral_Young, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. Nagisa Furukawa

    Nagisa Furukawa Commander Red Shirt

    Dec 26, 2012
    Given Metamorpho is also confirmed to be appearing on this show, I wouldn't be surprised at all if the show builds up to the creation of the Outsiders down the line.
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Clearly the mass audience isn't. They wouldn't keep making Batman shows if they weren't what the public wanted. Comics fans may wish for more and different superhero shows, but the general public seems to have an ongoing love affair with Batman. I can't blame the makers of commercial television for going where the money is. They couldn't afford to keep making shows at all if they didn't get a large enough audience for them.

    Perhaps WB was waiting to see how the movie performed before gambling on a tie-in cartoon. Given WB's past track record with non-Batman superhero movies, I can't blame them for being cautious. Maybe we'll get a Superman cartoon in time for MOS2.

    Hmm, just for the heck of it, let's see...

    1966 Batman series: 120 episodes + 1 feature film = 62 hours
    Filmation Adventures of Batman (1969): 17 episodes = 8.5 hours
    Filmation New Adventures of Batman (1977): 16 episodes = 8 hours
    Burton movies: c. 6 hours (w/ commercials)
    Schumacher movies: c. 6 hours (w/ commercials)
    Nolan movies: c. 11.5 hr (w/ commercials)
    Batman: TAS/New Batman Adventures: 109 eps + 3 movies = c. 60 hr
    Batman Beyond: 52 eps + 1 movie = 28 hr
    The Batman: 65 eps = 32.5 hr
    Batman: The Brave and the Bold: 65 eps + 1 movie = 34.5 hr
    DC Universe Animated Original Movies: c. 8 films = 16 hr (w/ commercials)
    Birds of Prey: 13 hr

    If we add the various Justice League shows/films:
    Super Friends franchise: 31 1-hour segments + 78 half-hour segments = c. 70 hours
    Justice League/JL Unlimited: 91 eps = 45.5 hr
    Young Justice: 46 eps = 23 hr
    DC Universe movies: 4 movies = c. 8 hr (w/ ads)

    That's not even counting the '40s serials (its 17-minute episodes would be hard to fit into a TV format, and the first one's pretty racist) or the various Batman guest appearances on Scooby-Doo, Superman, Static Shock, and the like.

    But as it is, it adds up to c. 286 hours of Batman content, which would only fill up 11.9 days. Add the Justice League material and you get another 146.5 hours, for a total of 432.5 hours = c. 18 days. You could probably throw in various documentaries to pad it out, but we're still talking less than two and a half weeks' worth of content, which isn't enough to sustain a whole 24-hour channel. Even if it were 16 hours of Batman/JL by day and 8 hours of infomercials every night, you'd still have not quite a month's worth of content.

    If you added all the DC shows and movies, then you'd get significantly more content. Let's see, for Superman:

    Fleischer shorts: maybe 4.5 hr with ads
    Adventures of Superman: 52 hr
    Filmation animated Superman/Superboy cartoons: c. 17 hr
    Seven feature films (counting Supergirl): c. 19 hr
    '88 Superboy: 50 hr
    Lois & Clark: 43.5 hr
    Smallville: 109 hr
    '88 animated series: 6.5 hr
    S:TAS: 27 hr
    Legion of Super Heroes: 13 hr
    Krypto the Superdog: 19.5 hr
    DVD movies not counted above: c. 10 hr w/ ads

    Total: c. 371 hr

    Well, that's interesting. Cumulatively, Superman content onscreen considerably outweighs Batman content, even though the emphasis has shifted heavily in Batman's favor in more recent times. Now we're up to a total of 803.5 hours of content, which in our overnight-infomercial model would give us 50.5 days' worth of content, or just under 33.5 days of a 24-hour schedule.

    Let's see what else I can add in. Wonder Woman:

    '74 pilot: c. 2 hr with ads*
    Lynda Carter series: 59 hr
    '09 movie: c. 2 hr with ads

    * This would've aired in a 90-minute time slot, but these days there are far more commercials per hour.

    Total: 63 hr

    Other '60s Filmation superhero shorts: c. 13.5 hr worth (w/ ads)
    Filmation Shazam/Isis: 25 hr
    Filmation Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam: 18.5 hr*
    The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show: 65 hr (apparently!)
    The Flash (1990): 22 hr
    Swamp Thing movies: 4 hr w/ ads
    Swamp Thing: The Series: 36 hr
    Swamp Thing animated series**: 2.5 hr
    Human Target (1992): 7 hr
    Human Target (2010): 25 hr
    Arrow: 23 hr to date
    Teen Titans: 32.5 hr
    Teen Titans Go!: ??? (season 1 still in progress)
    Green Lantern: TAS: 13 hr

    *Had 25 distinct hourlong blocks, but only 12 distinct Shazam segments which would've been repeated alongside the 25 Hero High segments
    **Seriously. Its theme song was a pastiche of "Wild Thing" (Swamp Thing... You are a-ma-zing...) and it was cancelled after 5 episodes.

    Total: 289+ hr

    And other DC superhero feature films (all w/ ads):
    Steel: 2 hr
    Catwoman: 2 hr
    Watchmen: c. 3.5 hr
    Jonah Hex: 2 hr
    Green Lantern: 2.5 hr

    Total: 12 hr

    So, still not counting old movie serials (or the DC Nation shorts, which could be inserted at various places to pad out short runtimes), we've got 1167.5 hours of DC superhero content in existence, which at 16 hours a day would provide 73 days of content. It's possible I've gotten my sums a bit wrong here and there, but we only need a rough figure.

    So a 24-hour Batman channel is pushing it, but an all-DC superhero channel with overnight infomercials is arguably within the realm of possibility.

    EDIT: Okay, I just reread this whole post, and I have one question: Why the hell did I just do that? :lol:
  3. TheCrow

    TheCrow Admiral Admiral

    Sep 4, 2008
    ^Guessing you were stuck in your writing and needed a distraction?
  4. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

    Jul 22, 2004
    Arizona, USA
    Yeah, I would love to see them do something with someone other than Batman. My top picks would be Superman, Aquaman, Flash, or Wonder Woman.
  5. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Feb 27, 2002
    I would love to see another Superman or Justice League animated series. Outside of them I'd love an "Aquaman" or "Wonder Woman" series based on Azzy's current book. I suspect that we might get something Superman wise soon. I'd be curious to know if they've received any pitches over the last few years. Batman has that immediate built in audience thanks to his popularity. I have no idea why we haven't had another Superman animated series. The DTV's involving him seem to have been successful sales wise.
  6. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 6, 2001
    Sac, Ca
    I remember there were rumors of a new Superman cartoon a while back, possibly around the time of SR, but I guess the lack of interest in that movie kind of killed off those plans.
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    There was a Superman cartoon of sorts at the same time as Superman Returns, namely Legion of Super Heroes, which featured a young Superman as a cast member. (It was going to be Superboy and the Legion of Super Heroes, but they ended up not using the Superboy name. It's unclear whether that was due to the legal disputes over ownership of the title at the time or done in order to tie into Returns. But it premiered 3 months after SR was released and ran for two years.
  8. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 22, 2011
    Washington State, USA
    The episode descriptions sound interesting. I definately plan to give the show a chance. I can ignore the sub par design if the story is good. I just hope it doesn't go completely obscure with the villains. I like stuff like that, but I'd also like to see the classic villains at times.
  9. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 22, 2010
    to your immediate right
    I want an Aquaman series based on the B&B cartoon/Brian Blessed inspired version.
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    I don't think the design per se is a problem; sure, Batman's new look will take some getting used to, but the same went for his B:TAS design. I feel that Glen Murakami is one of the best visual/character designers working in animation today. My problem is more with the execution of those designs, the choice to realize them in 3D rather than 2D ink-and-paint style. I'm not convinced that's going to work very well.

    Well, that depends on what you consider obscure, I suppose. If you only know Batman villains from TV and movies, then most of the villains here will be completely new. But a lot of them are characters who have had a significant presence in the comics without ever having been portrayed onscreen before, like the Pyg and Toad characters who were pretty major in Grant Morrison's run in recent years.

    Besides, sometimes obscure villains can be reinvented in ways that make them breakout stars -- the archetypal case being Mr. Freeze, a bottom-of-the-barrel minor villain that B:TAS gave a new lease on life to. Maybe you could make a case for the Clock King as well. That's the cool thing about adaptations -- they give you a chance to try new variations on old ideas, and sometimes you find great untapped potential in an obscure character.
  11. Captain Craig

    Captain Craig Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 7, 2003
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    ^Who says there's anything wrong with it? It's hardly unusual for TV/film adaptations of comics to come up with new costume designs for the characters. Sometimes it's because the comic designs don't work as well in motion, sometimes it's just because different artists have different ideas and different tastes. So the better question is, what's wrong with doing it differently?
  13. RJDemonicus

    RJDemonicus Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    RJDiogenes of Boston
    The Bat-Channel. I like it. :D

    I don't know, but that was a very interesting info dump. I wonder if DC and Marvel ever consider launching their own channels, especially since streaming appears to be the future of home video (I wish they'd come up with a different name for that-- it sounds gross). Sadly, if they did, DC would have the far better channel.
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Overall, perhaps, but there have been some good Marvel shows. I just finished a Netflix Marvel binge that began with the '90s Spider-Man and X-Men animated series -- still my favorite screen adaptations of both titles, and the shows that made me a Marvel fan -- and ended with The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, which was a smarter, more solid show than I remember it being, although its cartoony and unexpressive animation style worked against the sophistication of the writing. It also included X-Men Evolution, which was the most mediocre X-Men series in writing, but had the most consistently gorgeous animation of any Marvel show I've ever seen, and competitive with the very best of DC animation too.
  15. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Dec 7, 1999
    You think the 90s Spider-Man is better than Spectacular Spider-Man? I had a great deal of nostalgia for it, but I rewatched it a few years ago and forgot how kiddie it was... or that Spider-Man wasn't allowed to punch anybody :lol:
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Yes, the violence was toned down, but violence does not equal maturity -- just the opposite, really.

    Spectacular was excellent, but I never warmed to its character designs. The '90s show at its best had absolutely gorgeous animation from Tokyo Movie Shinsha, the best animation studio in Japan, although unfortunately the quality fell over time as the budget was slashed. And yes, sometimes the writing was corny, but then, so was Stan Lee's. I feel the '90s show did the best job of capturing the flavor and style of the original comics, both their sophisticated character writing and their cheesy melodrama and wild action. I also loved its rich orchestral music, and it had great casting.

    The '90s show also deserves credit for handling the Alien Costume/Venom storyline better than the comics did. The third movie's version was based directly on what the animated series did, with the costume changing Peter's personality and making him more dangerous rather than just taking him out on patrol while he slept and draining his energy.
  17. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 22, 2011
    Washington State, USA
    I know some obscure Batman villains. Still, I have no desire to have Batman fight villains like Magpie, Professor Pyg (who I loathe, but thats just because of some very bad grant Morrison Batman comics, I suppose he could win me back by being actually interesting on the show), Ten Eyed Man, Polka Dot Man, KGBeast, Cluemaster, Maxie Zeus, Crazy Quilt (not totally a Batman villain, but close enough), Doctor Phosphorus, Film Freak, etc every week.

    I love obscure Superhero stuff when its done right (Batman: Brave and the Bold is an awesome show, and did some interesting things with a lot of obscure people) but for a more serious Batman show I wouldn't want an endless parade of supervillains that are obscure because, honestly, they suck, atleast in general. B:TAS did some interesting things with some obscure villains (like Clock King) but it didn't have some kind of gimmick where it relied on only obscure villains most people have never heard of (and for good reason).

    B:TAS was also just a generally awesome show with great people working on it. This is a CGI cartoon that has none of the people I associate with great DC animation working on it. I guess (looking at the small crew section on wikipedia) Executive Producer Sam Register worked on teen titans, which I enjoyed, but that means nothing when it comes to Batman. One of the writers worked on Young Justice, which is a very good thing, but this seems to be a completely different show. Don't get me wrong, I want to like Beware the Batman when it comes to TV. I just hope the whole "obscure villain" thing is not actually a thing, just a coincidence that the first few episodes have bizarre villains. If not, I don't know. I'll totally admit that if someone like Bruce Timm or Paul Dini had their names on the show I'd have a lot more faith in it, but these guys are going to have to work very hard to make it interesting. I hope they do, but I'm expecting something closer to average or mediocre. I hope to be proven wrong, and I can easily see myself being won over by the show, but my expectations are not very high at this point.

    I loved the 90's Spider-man (It needs a full DVD release. If X-men could get one, why not Spidey?). I could not get into Spectacular at all. Its art style was just really cheap looking. It looked like some random, cheap disney cartoon with Spidey. Maybe it was good, maybe it wasn't. I doubt I'll watch it. That said, it is literally impossible for it to be worse than the current Spider-Man cartoon, so if nothing else thats something nice I can say about it.
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    I don't see how it's a gimmick. We've seen countless stories with the familiar villains by this point. Why wouldn't the creators of this show want to explore new possibilities, new characters? Why is it bad to try to do something that hasn't been done before? I can't begin to understand that attitude.

    And like I said, just because characters suck in the comics doesn't mean they can't be reinvented into something far more interesting. Mr. Freeze sucked until Paul Dini came along. Deadshot was a lame, one-time Silver Age Batman villain, but then Steve Englehart totally reinvented him in the '70s and the Suicide Squad comic transformed him into a rich, fan-favorite character. A character's past failure doesn't preclude future success.

    Those are contradictory statements. Glen Murakami, one of the creators/showrunners of BtB, worked as a character designer on every core B:TAS series (i.e. everything but Static Shock and The Zeta Project), as well as a storyboard artist on B:TAS, a producer on Superman: TAS, Batman Beyond, and Justice League, and a producer and co-writer on Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.

    Register is the executive VP of Warner Bros. Animation. He's been executive producer of pretty much everything they've done for nearly a decade now.

    The head writer will be Mitch Watson, who was previously showrunner on Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated, which was a wildly creative, fresh, offbeat, often surprisingly dark and deconstructive take on the Scooby franchise -- not so different from Brave and the Bold's approach to Batman in some respects. I'm looking forward to seeing what Watson brings to the writing.

    It is not. They want to avoid repeating what previous shows have already done over and over, to establish their own identity with new characters before they start bringing in the familiar ones. If you'll recall, both prior Batman series did much the same thing. The Batman used a lot of the same villains, but didn't bring in Commissioner Gordon until season 3, focusing on different police characters. The Brave and the Bold didn't use the Joker until halfway through the first season, and sparingly thereafter. And other major characters like Robin, Catwoman, Superman, and Wonder Woman also didn't appear until relatively late in the series (although there were rights issues in the latter two cases).

    The whole series was available for streaming on Netflix until yesterday, so I would've thought it was all available on disc too. But apparently it isn't, at least not on Netflix, which is strange. It looks like the first two seasons may be available for streaming on Amazon Prime, but I'm not sure.

    Now, that's most unfair. Just because an artist's design style isn't to our personal taste, that doesn't mean he lacks talent or that the people responsible for executing his designs are lazy or cheap. I didn't care for Sean "Cheeks" Galloway's character design style for Spectacular, but that's just a difference of taste. The actual animation was superb, particularly on the action sequences.
  19. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 22, 2011
    Washington State, USA
    Mr. Freeze is not Mr. Toad, Professor Pyg, or Magpie. He had potential, even if it wasn't revealed until B:TAS. Batman has fought a lot of lame villains over his existence. There is a reason some endured and became popular, and some mostly dissapperared, and I doubt this show will be making Magpie or Mr. Toad relevant.

    Well, I wish he was a character designer for this show, then :vulcan: I wasn't trying to say anything bad about people I didn't mention, I just don't know a lot of them. It sounds like he's done some good work. But, according to wikipedia, Murakami was a producer on The Batman/ That is the worst cartoon based off a DC superhero I've ever seen (and i've seen a lot of DC animated cartoons). That whole show was just horrible in basically every aspect. The character designs ranged from mediocre to downright aboinations (The Joker especially was so bad the designer should have been locked away) and the writing just plain sucked.

    Honestly, just working on that show kind of takes away from anything else he's done. I loved a lot of the stuff you listed, but that show was just horrifyingly bad. Maybe he was just producer in name only, but it still makes me worried, since being associated with that show is basically the worst project any of these people could be associated with. I'd have less issues if you told me he was the "genius" behind teen Titans Go! Atleast that show had no chance of being good (its whole premise is just being Cartoon network comedy #4567). The Batman doesn't seem to have been arranged in the same way, at one point it must have had potential.

    Well, I don't watch Scooby-Doo, so I can't say anything about that. Its not really filling me with confidence if Scooby Doo is his most well known work, unless ace the bat Hound is a major character in Beware the batman and it just hasn't been announced. Still, this may lead to a batman/Blue Falcon & Dyno Mutt crossover, and I'd be all for that (it may sound stupid, but if BF & Dynomutt can make it onto Scooby Doo, Dexter's Lab and Harvey Birdman, they could make it to a CGI BM cartoon).

    Well, you probably shouldn't use The Batman in an example, since that was easily the worst cartoon series with DC characters I've ever seen (as the above paragraph probably made obvious). As for B&TB, its a whole different show and concept. Its not really comparable it to Beware the Batman. It was fun and entertaining, and in general didn't take it self too seriously (although the few times it did, it did it well). Beware the Batman is trying to be a more normal superhero cartoon, just without compelling villains. There is a reason they're obscure. A lot of the obscure people were just lame ideas, and not very workable ones in some cases when it comes to serious tv shows. I want it to work, but this show will probably last about as long as GL:TAS and not be as entertaining (and this is coming from someone who was very disappointed and underwhelmed by GL). I want to be proven wrong, but I'm not going to be shocked if I'm not.

    It just looked cheap to me, like so many of the cartoons the various disney TV channels produce. I'm not saying someone didn't work hard on it, its just that its really simple and very unimpressive. I suppose its better than Teen Titans Go, but thats not an accomplishment. I'm looking at pics right now on google, and they are just so lame. Not that better designs mean anything from a story standpoint(Ultimate Spider-man is a horrible tV show, and it has decent designs) but spectacular SM's designs are just immediately off putting and make me not want to waste any time with the show. It could be awesome, but I can't get past the fact it looks like a generic disney cartoon.
  20. Out Of My Vulcan Mind

    Out Of My Vulcan Mind Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 27, 2002
    Wherever you go, there you are.
    You can see the opening title sequence for the show at EW here.