Gephyrophillia | Watch This Space #101

Originally Posted on 02/11/2004 by Jeff Harris

The new protector of Gotham City. Coming to Cartoon Network this time next yearSorry for the lack of updates. I've been busy doing a couple of projects for the site, and for the love of me, they've been taking up a lot of my free time as of late. Plus, there's not really much of anything going on these days. But I did have to chime in my opinions on something.

No, not the Pokemon movies on Toonami. Longtime readers already know how I feel about that. And for you new readers, my opinion is that it's a terrible, terrible, horrendous, idiotic, and asinine decision. Seriously, what the hell were Cartoon Network thinking?

Enough of that. I want to talk about The Batman.

To get ready to prepare potential moviegoers for next year's dramatic Year One revamp of the Batman movie franchise, Warner Bros. Animation, Kids' WB, and Cartoon Network are going to reintroduce The Batman in animation form. By using anime-inspired designs (kids love it!) rather than the Timm deco that had been prominent in most DC Comics-related animated series, the series is taking a complete 180-degree turn in way of translating the world of The Dark Knight Detective. There also appears to be a nod to Batman Beyond (which also chronicled the adventures of a very green Batman) in the background designs, relying on reds and black rather than the traditional blues. In addition to those changes, don't expect to see any of the familiar voice artists returning to their established roles, meaning don't expect to hear Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill voice Batman and The Joker, respectedly (sacrilege!). Don't expect any Robin or Batgirl either because this series is chronicling the early adventures of Batman. The series is tentatively scheduled to premiere this fall on Kids' WB and premiering on Cartoon Network six months later. Just hope this means that KWB will premiere it in September and CN premiering it in February 2005 rather than KWB premiering The Batman in January 2005 and CN premiering it that summer, just in time for the new movie. Wouldn't put it past them.

While I haven't seen a stitch of animation and very few character designs, I'm kind of excited about the revamp. Naturally, I'm with the consensus that there was nothing wrong with the original. Batman: The Animated Series is one of the two greatest American action series ever made (Gargoyles is the other), and Timm/Dini/Burnett's translation of the popular comic character has been considered a template of how to translate comics for television, changing the way Americans see superheroes four-color icons forever. Most people would normally be frustrated that WBA is getting rid of the original continuity for good. That hasn't been confirmed, though some of the changes rumored for the next season of Justice League scares me (it's not just changes, but Saban's Avengers-level changes into team).

Perhaps The Batman will be seen as DC's answer to Ultimate Marvel, which virtually revamped the legendary Marvel icons to today's younger demos. It's almost safe to say that Teen Titans isn't exactly set in the same continuity as the other DC-related shows and Milestone's Static Shock, so a separate animated continuity isn't that much out of the question. And unlike Ultimate Marvel, the look and feel of this new continuity will be consistant with each other. Just like the original continuity.

The Batman is probably the most anticipated series from Warner Bros. Animation since, well, Teen Titans. Heck, when the series changed direction from a futuristic Batman Wired series to a complete revamp of The Batman, the attention is perhaps going to be even bigger than Justice League. I'll be anticipating the series, and I can't wait until more details is unveiled.

*end transmission*

Jeff Harris,
The X Bridge Creator/Webmaster
February 11, 2004


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