“Batman: The Animated Series” is one of the seminal animated creations of the nineties and is still considered a quintessential depiction of Batman. It’s a masterpiece of animation and meticulous storytelling. The voice work by Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as Batman and Joker are so definitive, that some fans can’t possibly imagine either character on screen without either actor portraying them. Here we are in 2017 with Bruce Timm reviving his animated version of “Batman” and what do we get? A very long gag involving Harley Quinn farting in the Batmobile as Batman sniffs it in with pleasure, all the while Nightwing retches in the side seat. This is the bar of “quality” we get with “Batman and Harley Quinn.”
When “Batman Beyond” was introduced in 1999, fans of old and new were given a peek in to a Batman for a new generation while also exploring what happened to Bruce Wayne’s legacy many decades in to Gotham’s Future. When the series took off, fans were able to see that the legacy of the Joker lived on, as he inspired one of future Gotham’s most violent army of gang members “The Jokers,” however we were never given a definitive explanation as to what happened to the clown prince of crime. “Return of the Joker” holds true to its title, spending a feature length narrative explaining what happened to the Joker and how he left a lasting scar on Bruce Wayne and his family.
Sue me but it’s pretty cool to be seeing a Hispanic man playing Superman for once; if only for one time in an Elseworlds tale. “Gods and Monsters” is set in an alternate DC Universe that has its own Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, and damn it they’re not the clean cut superheroes and titans we know them as. Imagine an alternate fate for the trio of titans. What if Zod programmed his DNA in to Superman and Superman was taken in by a Mexican farming couple rather than Kansas farmers. Imagine if Wonder Woman was from the new gods, and Batman was actually a bat like man who sucked people’s blood.
With Batman celebrating his 75th anniversary this year, I thought it’d be a good idea to remember Bruce Timm’s classic animated series about the Dark Knight. No animated series since has gained such acclaim and love from fans of all kinds. Whether you’re a nineties kid, a Batman fan, or an animation buff, there’s no denying “Batman the Animated Series” set the bar high. It was a masterpiece of storytelling, characterization, and mythology, all the while giving Batman a new dimension. It didn’t pander to kids, and often provided mature, complex, and morally gray tales of evil, crime fighting, and Bruce Wayne’s struggle to maintain his humanity under the cape and cowl.
These are our top five favorite episodes of “Batman: The Animated Series,” what are some of your favorites?
Apparently now there are multiple colors of the Lantern and multiple sources of emotions that can fuel power. And none of it has to do with merchandising. That bit if cynicism aside, Green Lantern gets his much overdue animated series from the Cartoon Network here in America and leads what is a pretty entertaining action science fiction series overall. It’s not as sophisticated as “Batman” or “Justice League” and rarely exciting as “Batman Beyond,” but as a Bruce Timm byproduct it serves its purpose as entertaining science fiction fodder that thankfully pretends the movie never existed.
“These envious wanna-be writers provide coverage for executives who don’t read much. And get this, they’re proud of not reading. One TV guy I met, full of hyperactive disdain, he sniped at me, “I don’t read comic books. I read scripts.” You’re lost pal. They don’t read comic books, they read Wizard Magazine! Or at least the publishers think they do. Either way the result is the same. For all the disgust you’ll hear about Wizard and its shoddy practices when you talk to publishers and marketing folks—and I have yet to hear a single good word from anybody about this thing that ought to come on a roll—for all of that, the publishers kow-tow.
Even though this tree killer here regularly cheapens and poisons our field. Aesthetically and ethically, they grovel. Even though this monthly vulgarity reinforces all the prejudice people hold about comics they cry to all the world that we’re as cheap and stupid and trashy as they think we are, we sponsor this assault. We pay for the @#%$ privilege. But really, when will we finally get around to flushing this thing, this load of crap, once and for all.” – Frank Miller on Wizard Magazine