"Beware the Batman" in 2013! New Animated Series

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

  1. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    Gordon not liking Batman isn't new either. A lot of Batman origin stories begin that way. Already we're seeing him starting to come around.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Sure, and Alfred having an intelligence background isn't new. The point is that the emphasis is different, and that's what makes it worth doing.

    Really, I don't understand this hostility a couple of people here have to doing Batman in a way he hasn't been done before. That's exactly what B:TAS did -- it approached Batman in a way he'd never been handled in TV or film before, with some influence from Tim Burton's films but much more sophisticated and thoughtful and much more inspired by the Fleischer Superman cartoons and film noir. The Batman also tried to be different by presenting a younger, less seasoned version of the character who was more at odds with the police (at least initially) and presenting very different takes on the villains. The Brave and the Bold was extremely different by embracing Silver Age sensibilities and making every episode a team-up of Batman and another hero, and just generally being one of the wildest, freakiest, most daring shows around. Heck, even Adam West's Batman was extremely innovative, very different from the '40s serials and different from any preceding TV sitcom. Not to mention how different the Burton/Schumacher films were from the West Batman and how different the Nolan films were from the Burton/Schumacher. The history of Batman screen adaptations is a history of constant reinvention and deliberate departure from what has come before. BtB is no exception. So why are some people so surprised by that?
     
  3. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think it's a surprise, I think some people feel there is only one "right way" to do Batman... they want to see, and only see, THEIR Batman.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Except Batman has been done so very many different ways over the decades. And many of them have been right.

    Besides, that's not what they're saying. They're literally asking why anyone would choose to do a version of Batman that's different from previous versions. And that is a question that is rooted in a profoundly counterfactual premise.
     
  5. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    I have very little patience for people who demand a show/book/comic to be only a certain way. Literature gets boring real quickly when people stick to one path. I think it's great that we can have the Batman of Year One, the Batman of RIP, the Batman of the Nolan films, and the Batman of TAS. Short of a version of Batman that kills, there's all sorts of legitimate ways to interpret the Batman mythos.
     
  6. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Absolutely, I agree.

    It might not be what they are saying, but I think it's what's motivating the question. That the previous version is "right," ie, their version of Batman they want, all other versions are "wrong" because it's not how they want to see Batman.
     
  7. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    You guys realize this is Kirk55555's whole shtick? He hates Nolan Batman, he hates MOS, he hates anything that deviates from his own personally conceived notions of what a character should be. It's almost pathological. Hell, there might be the basis for a good Batman villain in there somewhere.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah... there are always people who are reflexively suspicious of the new. What they're forgetting is that the things they love were new once too. They gave those things a chance, and were won over, and found something they loved. It's sad they're so resistant to the opportunity to have that same experience again.

    I'll say this: I haven't been so immediately won over by a Batman solo series since B:TAS. The Batman was a show I was unimpressed by until its second season and only watched intermittently before then. The Brave and the Bold took a while to win me over and I thought it was kind of frivolous until they began pulling out all the stops and doing the really innovative and startling stuff. (Young Justice had a version of Batman I would've gladly followed in a solo series, but that doesn't really count, alas.) But I was sold on Beware the Batman after one episode, and I'm even more of a fan after two.
     
  9. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A shtick would mean I'm pretending to hate the stuff, I'm not. Also, I resent the implication that I hate Nolan's stuff because its new or not like my Batman. I hate it because the movies just suck. They feel like they take all day to finish, Christian Bale is a horrible actor and the stories go from boring me to death to just straight up making me angry with poor writing. Also, I still haven't seen MoS. While everything i've heard and read makes me almost certain that I'll hate it (since I hated the Nolan batman m ovies and this seems to be Nolan's batman with superpowers and a williness to cross a line even bale wouldn't) I still have some hope that maybe, somehow, I won't hate it when I see it on DVD. Its a slim hope, but mybe it will turn out better regardless of its really stupid stuff. Its unlikely, but I just weanted to say that I haven't given up all hope that it might be ok, so hate is a bit too strong of a word at this time. Its likely that it will be accurate, but I'm not there yet.


    As for new stuff, Batman: Brave and the Bold won me over instantly. So did Teen Titans back in the day, even though it was a weird show to see after getting used to the DCAU cartoons like B:TAS and Justice League. I can easily accept different takes on things, if they're done well. B&TB and Teen Titans were done well, and their differences made them unique and interesting. Even The Batman eventually became enjoyable.

     
  10. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    TL;RIAB (Read It All Before)

    Maybe you should stick to reruns of The Superfriends.
     
  11. Out Of My Vulcan Mind

    Out Of My Vulcan Mind Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Mitch Watson, one of the show's producer/writer's, spoke about the show at Comic-Con, addressing, among other things, why they chose certain villains to focus on. You can read his comments here.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    (EDIT: Oops, we cross-posted. Well, I went to all the trouble to write it out, so...)

    Here's another interview with Watson:
    http://io9.com/why-beware-the-batman-showcases-gothams-lesser-known-s-912887605
    I really like his perspective, that it's about choosing the villains that allow telling the character stories they want to tell about Batman and his allies. That's a very smart, thoughtful approach.


    Interesting. We've never had a Batman show that was this arc-driven. The Batman had story progression over the course of its seasons and some major changes between seasons, but I don't remember it feeling as meticulously planned out as this does.

    I just hope the "broken in half" season doesn't mean that Cartoon Network will show the first 13 this year and the back 13 next year. I'm eager to see what's coming up, and I don't want to wait longer than necessary.

    (By the way, remember that bit in the earlier interview about how each episode takes 9 months to a year to make? Turns out that's not uncommon for animation. I read a Legend of Korra interview this morning where they say each episode of that show takes a year to produce. They're already writing the fourth season, and the second hasn't begun airing yet.)

    Interesting bit about why they draw on established characters even if they have a totally new use for them:

    It's unclear what that "other thing" is, but it sounds like it's simpler from a legal standpoint to draw on an existing character rather than create a new one, even if all they do is take the name and a few surface aspects while changing the rest.

    Although Watson goes on to say that a lot of it is just throwing in Easter eggs, familiar names that the fans will catch. Arrow does that all the time, using characters whose names are from the comics even if they reimagine them as completely different people, the prime example being Felicity Smoak. I wonder how much of that is Easter eggs and how much is the legal/logistical "thing" Watson hinted at. And I wonder if the legal side of things has changed since the '90s, since B:TAS had no trouble creating new characters like Harley, Montoya, Veronica Vreeland, etc.

    I love this part, about Tara Strong reprising her TNBA role of Barbara Gordon:
    Read the full article -- the last couple of paragraphs involve a fascinating character story they've got coming up for Bruce/Batman, an episode that takes him to a dark and terrifying place psychologically.
     
  13. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That would have been a better snarky comment if you said Batman The animated series. I don't care if people make comments like that, but atleast have them be somewhat logical. :lol:

    I just read the article with Mitch Watson that a few people posted.

    So, that sounds kind of stupid. Ever villain is going to be an aspect of Batman's personality? This sounds like a silver age comic story. Batman gets split into a bunch of different Batmen, each with a different part of the personality (B&TB did a good episode like this, but it worked on that show). Except now some of the parts of his personality are women in S&M gear that have the brains of squirrels. It does make me wonder what part of Batman Pyg is. I never thought Bruce was secretly a eco terrorist :vulcan:

    that just supports my theory that they want to do a completely new superhero show, but they use the Batman liscense for legal/ease of use reasons.

    Now I really think that she's becoming a supervillain. It fits with these guy's desire to screw with everything Batman. I wonder if she'll take on a pre-existing gimmick (Maybe she'll be "The Absence", the Morrison supervillainess who had a hole in her head, or Sister crystal, another obscure Morrison era villainess, or maybe she'll be a tv show version of the female Crazy Quilt).

    It is cool that Tara Strong is voicing barbara, and its nice to have another good voice actor on the show.

    Great, Batman psycology in a TV show. mentally unstable Batman sounds like a really lame story (I know its been done in other things, and done well, but the whole paragraph makes this sound stupid). Batman being afraid of himself sounds hilarious, but BTB is definately not doing it for laughs. I wish that Murakami and Watson could talk about this show and actually say something that doesn't lower my opinion of their ability to make compelling television.
     
  14. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Just had a chance to see "Secrets" and absolutely loved it. This is far exceeding my expectations for the series already. The CGI I'm starting to warm up to. I have a suspicion that it will improve over time the same way as "The Clone Wars" CGI did.

    Really like the dynamic between Jim Gordon and Batman....I think that this is the biggest physically we've seen Gordon. He kind of reminds me of a younger version of The Dark Knight Returns Jim Gordon. Nice to see Babs. Magpie was introduced in an interesting way. I guessed wrong at the twist. I know we've literally spent pages discussing this one facet of the show, but I love what they're doing with Alfred.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "Tests" wasn't bad, though it's the first one to disappoint me a little. Anarky hasn't yet won me over as an archnemesis; there's potential there, but by design we know little about him yet, so there's not as much to grab me from a character standpoint as there was with Magpie. And his attempts at villainy started out a little small with the street vandals. (Are they the same graffiti artists we saw Batman scare off last week? Probably, since they have to create a new digital model for every new character.) If anything, the final scene kind of gave away that he's not quite the mastermind he imagines himself to be, since Batman was able to outsmart him fairly easily. He's going to have to raise his game considerably to be the "Moriarty" the producers have talked about. Also, I'm not entirely sold on Wallace Langham's voice performance. He's not bad, but he's not necessarily the best actor they could've gotten.

    The stuff with Tatsu was pretty good -- I like how they're working her gradually toward deducing Bruce's secret, rather than just having her stumble into the Batcave. And it's letting us learn more about Batman's operation, like the secret library. Plus, now that I'm getting used to the artistic style of the show, I'm really seeing the beauty in her character design.

    The Batcycle that turns into a hang glider was a cool surprise, but it's most implausible. That would be one hell of a heavy gilder, or one hell of a light motorcycle.

    The one thing that really frustrated me was that whoever boarded and animated the shots of Bruce and Alfred playing chess didn't know the first damn thing about chess. You don't move a king that way, and you don't physically knock over the king to win the game! Come on, people, you spend 9-12 months making each episode and you couldn't take the time to consult with someone who knows the rules of chess, or even just copy the moves from a documented game? Very disappointing. Given how important the chess metaphor was to the episode, they should've taken more care with this.
     
  16. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know the character from the comics but I was disappointed that a character named Anarky would have such a prototypical costume. He should look more unrestrained if you ask me than a white retread of the Spectre.

    The weakest of the three episodes so far. This one was just a little too by-the-numbers, most of us have seen these kind of tests play out like this in many shows. It was OK but doesn't have me contemplating a rewatch like I have with Secrets.

    If those criminals were the ones from the previous episode that is a nice bit of continuity even if the decision was financially motivated (if the model reuse played into that).
     
  17. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Anarky's look reminded me of Moon Knight.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's actually not that different from the character's original costume, except that it's white instead of red and doesn't include the wide-brimmed hat. Presumably the change to white was for the sake of the chess-kings metaphor, so he'd contrast with the black-clad Batman.

    Besides, technically, if you take randomness to its ultimate extreme, you get a uniform, undifferentiated whole. If parts of the whole are different from other parts, then there is some structure, some order, on at least a local scale. So in a sense, a field of pure white symbolizes the ultimate form of chaos.


    It was a bit much for Bruce Wayne to admit to Tatsu that he has his own Danger Room. That's not the kind of training facility one would expect from a billionaire playboy. Plus scenes like that are such a cliche in superhero cartoons.
     
  19. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thius episode was ok. The stuff with Katana was a bit confusing. I get why he's testing her, and I kind of get the test of her getting into the library, but what did that book leading her somewhere have to do with anything? Was it planned by Bruce to have her follow him to the place he was fighting Anarky, or was that just a coincidence? Also, it wasn't much of a test. For all Katana knew, that just happened to be a book Bruce or Alfred was randomly reading while reasearching a buisness matter or something. Just because it might have been the most recently used book in the room didn't mean that it had special significance.

    Anarky definately didn't seem like "batman's moriarty" this episode. He just seemed like a crazy guy about as threatening as an average bat villain. He was still better than Pyg or Toad, though. I thought he'd be portrayed as a bit more of a threat for being a supposed bug arch nemesis of batman, but he actually came off as a bit whiny. He could improve in time, and he wasn't bad here, he just wasn't quite what I expected. Overall, this was an entertaining enough episode, although the show still hasn't won me over.
     
  20. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    It will be interesting to see if this is "ground floor" Anarky and if he steps his game up as the series progresses.



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