"Beware the Batman" in 2013! New Animated Series

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

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Whoa, those opening titles are gorgeous. They looked more like really good 2D animation than 3D, and they reassured me that Murakami's gift for striking design and visuals is still very much in effect. I hope the show proper manages to do such interesting things with lighting and composition.

    Of course he is. It's Murakami's show, and he's chiefly an artist, so of course he's the main person responsible for every aspect of the show's design. He probably did do the core character designs himself, and is responsible for designing or at least approving the entire visual style of the series, in the same way that Bruce Timm was primarily responsible for the design style of B:TAS.


    He was one of its producers in its first couple of seasons, but the head creators behind that show were Duane Capizzi on the writing side and Jeff Matsuda on the artistic side (the character designs were Matsuda's). Also executive producer Alan Burnett, who was one of the core creators behind B:TAS and several of its sequel series. At the time, Murakami was the showrunner on Teen Titans, so I'm not sure how big a role he could've had in producing TB.


    A lot of the people who worked on The Batman have done great work elsewhere, including executive producer Burnett, supervising producer Michael Goguen (who went on to direct a number of Brave and the Bold episodes), producer Linda Steiner (who also produced TB&TB), and writers including Steven Melching (TB&TB, The Clone Wars), Greg Weisman (Gargoyles, Spectacular Spider-Man, Young Justice), Stan Berkowitz (the '90s Spider-Man and most of the DCAU shows), and Joss Whedon veterans Jane Espenson and Douglas Petrie.

    I think you're being too harsh on The Batman. It was the weakest of the modern Batman shows, but it improved over time, and there were some really impressive episodes in its run. In particular, it had a Berkowitz-scripted Riddler origin episode that was much better -- and more B:TAS-like -- than B:TAS's own Riddler debut.


    Glen Murakami was the head creator behind the original Teen Titans series, and is an associate producer of the new version as well, though it seems to be mainly Aaron Horvath & Michael Jelenic's show. (Horvath is a veteran of the MAD animated sketch-comedy show. Jelenic was a story editor on Jackie Chan Adventures and The Batman and a producer on TB&TB and the recent Thundercats.)


    Okay, you clearly don't know what you're talking about here. Basically Mystery Incorporated was Scooby-Doo a la The X-Files, with shades of Twin Peaks and H.P. Lovecraft, filtered through the comic sensibilities of Freakazoid! It was a smart, witty, satirical, visually bold, often surprisingly intense reinvention of the Scooby universe with strong characters and a rich mythology. It even had Harlan Ellison playing himself in a couple of episodes. It was Scooby-Doo for people who don't like Scooby-Doo, yet it was also a loving tribute to the tropes and conventions of the original. Regardless of the subject matter, it was a wildly creative and daring reinvention of its source material, and if Mitch Watson brings even half of that creativity and daring to Beware the Batman, then we are in for one hell of a roller-coaster ride.


    How do you know what it's trying to be? And how do you know the villains won't be compelling just because you aren't familiar with them? You're making a lot of very reckless and ill-informed assumptions.


    I've already explained to you why that's a nonsensical attitude. Mr. Freeze was obscure, deservedly so, but then Paul Dini made him one of the best villains ever. You're wrong to assume that characters are trapped by what they've been in the past. Characters get reinvented all the time, and many great, beloved characters are reinventions of characters that were originally lame or uninteresting.


    Obviously this is a definition of "cheap" I'm unfamiliar with. "Cheap" means inexpensive, having little money put into it. Naturally Disney shows are not going to be money-starved. So you're not making a coherent point here.
     
  2. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I absolutely love the opening titles!
     
  3. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Commodore Commodore

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    The opening titles weren't horrible, but they weren't impressive. The theme song itself isn't great.

    Well, then I take it back. I wish Bruce Timm was the character designer. Well, ok, thats not totally fair. Murakami had to design characters to be made with fairly bad CGI animation, its not like they were going to come off looking good no matter who did the actualy designing.

    Well, hopefully it wasn't too much and we won't be getting any of the idiocy that was the batman in this show.

    Honestly, it was the weakest show based off DC characters I've seen that wasn't Superfriends (and atleast that could be entertainingly goofy). I suppose the only DC animated show I've seen nothing of, The Zeta Project, could be weaker, and honestly its premise is (I think it was a Batman beyond spinoff with characters I can't remember, even after watching all the seasons of BB) but besides that slight possibility, its hard to find a worse DC animated show than The batman, and I'm not convinced that one exists.


    I really like the original Teen Titans. TT Go! I really hate, and just hope it dies a quick death and is never mentioned again. Its actually kind of hard to compare TT Go and The batman. Objectively I think The BM is a worse show, but I hate TT Go! more because its horrible show thats taking advantage of the memory of a show I really enjoyed. I remember actually enjoying Jackie Chan Adventures, but its been years since I've seen it. TC didn't draw me in after two episodes, so I never watched more of it.



    I wasn't trying to insult Mystery Incorporated. Its fine if you like it. I've seen about five minutes of it, and it was just Scooby Doo with an art style and character designs that just felt a bit off too me, compared to other versions of SD. It could be a fine show, I don't know. I haven't watched any Scooby Doo in awhile (although I've seen a fair amount of it over the years). I don't really know what you could do with it that would be any different than all of the shows before it, outside of making them chase actual ghosts, but a SD animated movie (Scooby Doo on Zombie Island) already did that, and while it was a decent movie I don't know if that would work for a whole series. I'm the last one to say anything about people enjoying various cartoons. I watch a lot of stuff that would be weird to people.

    I think its a bit weird to see so much praise put on a franchise that can almost be used as a synonym for "formulaic", but I like a lot of the various versions of Power rangers, so I definately enjoy some formulaic stuff. The Harlan Ellison thing is really weird. I don't know why they'd have him play himself. How many Scooby Doo watchers know Ellison? I barely know him as the guy who was listed in the credits on a lot of B5 episodes, and the guy who wasn't happy about his Star Trek TOS script being changed, even though the changes I've read about seemed like neccessary changes (to be fair, i'm not a huge fan of City on the edge of Forever to begin with). I'm sure he's done a lot of great things (and contributed to a lot of the B5 stuff, and I really like B5) but he's a bizarre choice as a guest on Scooby Doo. Still, I have nothing against the show. I'm just saying that a guy who worked on scooby Doo would not be my first choice to work on a Batman TV show.



    Ok, fine. Its going to be a light hearted romp, in the style of TB&TB. Better yet, maybe it will be an outright comedy with basically no superhero stuff, like TT Go!. The dark imagery we've seen so far definately supports it not being a serious show. I'm not sure how I didn't make than connection before :vulcan:

    We're talking about Magpie, Professor Pyg, and Mr. Toad. The last one is just a ripoff from an old book, Magpie is just a bizarre looking villain, and Professor Pyg...will probably not be like the murdering character Grant Morrison used him as, but since I hated that, its fine with me. None of these three are big villain material. I don't know about Mr. Freeze or his history, because he's always been a major bat villain to me, but looking on wikipedia it was Paul Dini who helped make him relevant. Well, thats fine, but none of the people working on BTB are Paul Dini.

    Besides, I'm not even sure Paul Dini could do anything with Pyg, Mr. Toad and Magpie (and I'm a HUGE Dini fan). They're just not particularly interesting, and I don't think this show will have near the writing talent to do anything with these characters that almost define uninteresting obscure villains. B:TAS did a lot of ground breaking things, but DC doesn't allow its shows to do that anymore. Its all strictly about toy sales, with story being about 97th on their list of things that are important to keep the show running. Young Justice was awesome, but got casually cancelled. If B:TAS was made today, it would last 13 episodes before getting cancelled for Batman Go!.

    I'm saying the designs are poor, that they look like very little money was put into them. Like they grabbed the first moderately talented art student they could find, handed him a $20 bill, and asked him to design some extremely kid friendly version of Spider-Man characters.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That just goes to show that you can't judge creators by a single show, because Jackie Chan Adventures and The Batman were made by many of the same people. They both had Duane Capizzi and Michael Goguen as producers and Jeff Matsuda as head character designer.


    See, that's just it: you don't know. And the best thing to do when you don't know is not to jump to conclusions about what you think it could or couldn't be. The best thing to do is to actually find out. The whole series is now available on DVD, and the first season is on Netflix.

    What's different about SDMI is not the basic story format; it's still mostly the same formula of exposing a different fraud each week. What's different is the approach to that formula, the much wilder and more subversive, satirical take on it. It's taking the familiar formula and poking fun at it while also ramping it up to eleven. Plus, as I said, they deepened the characters and their relationships and added an overarching mythology arc that went extremely dark toward the end.


    Again, you're letting your preconceptions trap you. As I already told you, this is anything but a conventional Scooby-Doo show -- it's Scooby-Doo for people who don't like Scooby-Doo. It's Scooby-Doo for people who like The X-Files and Twin Peaks and Lovecraft and Harlan Ellison and Star Trek and all sorts of other pop culture. The series is loaded with in-jokes and pop-culture allusions, many of which are very esoteric.


    The consistent theme in your comments is the fact that you barely know anything about the subjects you're discussing, but still believe that somehow qualifies you to talk about them at great length rather than actually trying to learn something about them. You learn a hell of a lot more by listening than you do by talking.

    Harlan Ellison is one of the great science fiction authors of the 20th century, a gifted wordsmith and fantasist who was one of the leading figures of the New Wave of SF in the 1960s and '70s. He's also an intensely polarizing and controversial figure who's made a career as a world-class curmudgeon, grouch, and loudmouth; his decades-long tantrum about "The City on the Edge of Forever" is just one facet of that.


    And you're speaking from profound and willful ignorance, and that blinds you, and that's very sad to see. You'll never understand these things as long as you treat your ignorance as something to be defended rather than corrected. And frankly I'm tired of trying to get through to you because it's clear you don't want to be gotten through to.
     
  5. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    The titles are slick, I am really interested in how this is going to turn out. I'm not so crazy about the designs of Professor Pyg and Toad that I've seen but I see potential in the animation to grow on me. Especially since I think I'm one of the few that got enjoyment from The Batman, there was some solid animation and fight choreography there if you gave it a chance.
     
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Commodore Commodore

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    I am not sure why but I am not seeing the titles. The link takes me to the page, I see the article and picture but no video. I thought maybe a pop up was being blocked and that did not help.
     
  7. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    ^^ It took forever to load for me. I opened it in another tab, went back about five minutes later and nothing-- but when I went back the next time it was there.

    I thought the title sequence was pretty cool, actually. The theme is odd for Batman, but I like it.
     
  8. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Same, went to youtube instead :)
     
  9. Captain Craig

    Captain Craig Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I also throughly enjoyed The Batman, the prior mention of disdain for it was the first I can recall seeing. I own the whole series and in lieu of having the BTAS I find it a good series.

    Now come on WB Animation, re-release BTAS complete collection again!!!
     
  10. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Commodore Commodore

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    Thats interesting, but it doesn't really let them off the hook for making The Batman. Maybe it proves people that made the batman aren't all bad, but it also supports my thoughts that people can make good shows but not transition well to making superhero shows.

    I did watch the first episode of season 1 online yesterday. It wasn't bad. I thought seeing their parents was interesting (if filled with cliches, like the parents who don't like the kid's friends, the parents who want their kid to grow up and do what they want them to do, the parent who wants their kid to just obey them) and I liked some of the character moments (like Fred having an almost unhealthy obsession with traps, and Velma/Shaggy apparently dating or something). I don't have netflix so I can't see it that way, and I'm not going to buy the DVD's when I'm not even sure if I'd like the show going forward (plus its pretty expensive, with all the different volumes you have to buy for season one) but, simply from that episode, it seems like a decent show. I'd probably watch more if it was on TV.

    Well, I wasn't really discussing Ellison, it wasn't really a subject in the conversation. I was just commenting on what you said about scooby doo, so the comment about me "barely knowing anything about the subjects I'm discussing" makes no sense. The whole point was that I barely know Ellison, and to me he seems like a weird guest on a scooby-Doo TV show. I'm sure he's a popular writer, he just doesn't write stuff I'd read. While I like Science fiction a lot, its usually in specific franchises. I almost never just read a science fiction book thats not connected to a franchise I already enjoy from other media, like Star Trek or Star Wars. I sometimes do, and it can be rewarding. The Dune series is a classic, and John Ringo's Troy Rising trilogy and Mike Resnick's Starship series were both awesome sci fi books I took a chance on.

    But taking chances, even on famous Sci Fi writers, can also be horrible. Arthur C. Clarke's Cradle was probably the worst sci fi book I've ever read. Besides the fact that the sci fi stuff and characters weren't very good, it had a lot of sex scenes, which were sometimes rather detailed, and took up more almost more space than the sci fi stuff. Just reading that pile has made it even less likely that I'd read a sci fi book by famous people I'm not familiar with (that part about Cradle doesn't have a lot of connection with ellison, I'm just using it as an example of what happened when I tried to read another famous sci fi author, I'm sure that kind of thing wouldn't show up with Ellison's stuff). I almost never read anything by any sci fi writer who wasn't Frank Herbert or a Star Trek/Star wars writer, and that includes never reading anything Ellison has ever written. That is not a statement about his abilities, its just explaining that he's just not the type of author I read, which is where my comment about not knowing him came from.


    Scooby-Doo and Batman are fairly different franchises (although they actually did meet once, which was actually pretty entertaining, it wasn't exactly a serious superhero story). Making a show about teenagers solving mysteries with their talking dog is a bit different than making a show about a superhero. The post earlier about the people making jackie Chan Adventures and The Batman supports my opinion that some people can make good shows, but not always transition to other types of shows and still make good stuff.
     
  11. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    Wasn't that a limited edition kind of thing?:confused:
     
  12. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    I think some people judged it for not being BTAS instead of taking it on its own merits. I can appreciate someone honestly not liking it or thinking it was good but some people seemed to just dismiss it out of hand.
     
  13. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It took me a while to get into both "The Batman" and "Brave and the Bold", but once I did I absolutely loved them. I suspect it will be the same for "Beware the Batman". Each animated series since "Batman: The Animated Series" has brought something different and unique to the overall mythos of the character and franchise IMO.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I agree. True, it paled next to B:TAS, but it wasn't awful, just relatively mediocre for the first season or two but with some interesting aspects, and improving over time.

    And I think a lot of people had trouble letting go of Mark Hamill and judging TB's Joker on his own merits as a character. I think Kevin Michael Richardson did an amazingly good job as Joker -- very different from Hamill's (though there was some Hamill influence on the voice he used), but a virtuoso performance in its own right. As amazing as Hamill was in the role, Richardson has one of the most astonishingly versatile and mutable voices in the business and he was able to give Joker an extraordinary performance range. There was one episode where Batman used VR to go inside Joker's mind, manifested as a virtual Gotham whose every inhabitant was an incarnation of Joker, and each one had a different voice and personality even though Richardson was playing every one. It was amazing, and for all his talents, Hamill could never have pulled it off as well.

    (And yes, in this show it was "Joker," not "the Joker." Since it was "the Batman" rather than just "Batman," I guess they wanted to maintain the contrast.)

    TB also had an interestingly creepy take on the Riddler (played by Robert Englund) and made much better use of Hugo Strange (initially played by Frank Gorshin until he passed away) than B:TAS did. And the direct-to-DVD movie The Batman vs. Dracula is a fairly good film, much more intense and adult than the show was able to get.
     
  15. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    ...or some reached an honest conclusion that the series was an inferior product. Not all productions have merit.

    The series is not held in the hearts of many for a reason...or several.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^I think the truth is in the middle. Compared to B:TAS, yes, it is inferior. But that doesn't mean it's absolutely horrible and worthless. It's just mediocre. At its worst, it's watchable. And sometimes it's actually pretty good.
     
  17. Captain Craig

    Captain Craig Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It may have been.
    I'd settle for just the core series with a trimming of extras, or none if they felt that was what made the set "limited".

    I'm just not buying a bunch of single sleeves that only have 6-8 episodes on them to complete the run. I don't have that kind of space.
    Same thing for the FOX Spiderman and X-Men.
     
  18. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I really like the opening sequence, it's unique and stylish IMO.

    I'm starting to think that I'm going to have to check out Mystery Inc. I never watched it because I figured it was just more of the same, but now I keep hearing about how good it was.

    As for BTB, I know at first I was annoyed that they aren't sticking to the regular villains and supporting characters, but as I think about it more I'm getting more curious to see these different characters. For a while now I've been wanting to learn more about the different aspects of the DC and Marvel characters' mythologies and this could be a good opportunity to see some new aspects of Batman's outside of the comics.
     
  19. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    ^^ Mystery Incorporated is excellent. One of the rare times that a re-imagining is actually superior to the original.
     
  20. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Mystery Inc. really was fantastic.
     

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