Saturday, October 20, 2012

What's Next On My DC List? (Cartoons) Batman

Oh yes, the very first series. To be honest with you, I was literally one year old when my brother was already watching this, however, it might have been re-runs but I do one have very vivid memory of an episode that I happened to see three times. It was quite funny, because different channels aired the show at different times, but all I saw - and remember - is that one episode.
Batman is following a lead but gets stopped by Poison Ivy in a huge garden during the night. Now, the episode ended on a cliffhanger with Batman being caught in Ivy's trap and unable to escape. And I NEVER saw how the episode continued. Of course, I can guess that he got away, but as far as I am concerned, that might have been too much for our Batman. Did someone save him? Did he have an ace up his sleeve? What happened there?! And you are not going to believe this, but while random google searching I actually came across a still from that very episode! So now I have proof to back up my memories!
As far as rating goes, this cartoon is the absolute favorite. The drawings seem to pop right out of the comics, both Batman and Bruce are portrayed wonderfully and it is from here that everybody got to know their favorite villains. You all remember Commissioner Gordon's white beard and hair, just the same way that you hear Alfred's voice in your head while reading this. This cartoon is absolutely the maximum you can ask for and I find that it is still somewhat better than many others!

I was at the perfect age when this cartoon started and I can tell you that I snatched it away from my brother and declared it my own! I still have the video tape on which I recorded the Sunday morning episode where Batman fights Mr. Freeze!
Batman Beyond is set in the future, where a young boy, Terry McGinnis, comes across the old and rusty Bruce Wayne, only to discover his secret identity. The two make a packet, as Terry is in need of money to help out at home and Bruce isn't able to protect the streets of Gotham anymore: Terry puts on the cape while Bruce mentors him.
I find that this cartoon is especially fun for people who only knew Batmen who were either Waynes or Robins before putting the costume on. Here we have a kid who has nothing but an honest and pure heart and our dear old friend sees something in him that is worth exploring. This shows you that anyone can be Batman and that is a very cheerful though for us kids with our little daydreams and "hate toward all of mankind" tendencies. Even if you are not a big cartoon fan, there is a 70 minute film that stars the Joker as the antagonist, in order to get a taste of what this series was about you should at least check that out!

Now, I only recently started watching this series, seeing that I've found out that it is drawn in the same style as the castoon The Batman vs. Dracula (click here to read my review!). I like it very much, and I can tell you this much so far:
This is set in an alternate universe. Basically if you wanted for the movie Batman: Year One (click here to read my review!) to continue, this is what you'd get. We start at the third anniversary of Bruce becoming Batman and he is yet to encounter all of his great nemesis: Joker, Penguin, Mr. Freeze and of couse Catwoman. I am already hooked! At the end of season 2 the police kind of realizes that they need the Batman, so Commissioner Gordon installs the call signal. Also, in season 3 Batgirl joins and in season 4 Robin does. So far the cartoon - although creating its own versions of the characters - resembles the original very much. I still got one more season to watch, can't wait to see what it still has for me!
First of all, if Batman was invented in 2004: this is exactly what it would be like. The story stays completely true to the source material and yet it is a whole new show. I love that Bruce is so young. He is young and yet in most of the adaptations he is already an adult who has been doing this for God knows how long. I loved Catwoman's costume with her huge ears and the Joker's rasta - it exceptionally perfect! Not to mention that Alfred has a bit of a temper and I can very much appreciate that when your master can be such a selfish ass sometimes! Even if he doesn't have his parents anymore that doesn't mean that he has no family. This cartoon is great fun, although it is very hard to show the Joker in any other form than a psycopath, still this cartoon is pretty much for all ages. Try and get a hold of it if you can. (Not to mention, best theme song ever, despite the f***ing creepy voice in the end.)

This cartoon is the perfect example of how Batman can be FUNNY!!! I know that he comes from a very horrible background, but this cartoon teaches you that when you do what you love - with the people you love - life is pretty great. In this version he is voiced by the very talented Diedrich Bader who does an exceptionally great job. If you saw this cartoon, you would understand by he could not be voiced by Kevin Conroy, but trust me, you will not shed one tear because of it! This cartoon is exceptionally about Batman (no Bruce version of him shows up) and in each and every episode he fights along side one of his team members from the Justice League.
Strangely enough, the first two seasons only starred, well, category B characters, but then by the third season they kicked it up a notch and presented us with the favorites like Wonder Woman, Hal Jordan's Green Lantern and of course Superman. The lastest has one of the funniest episodes in all of the show's run. I always loved how Batman works together with the others as he is considered to be one of the best friends one could ask for. Not to mention that beside Gotham being his priority, he is above everything else a hero, and a hero doesn't refuse a cry for help. If one of his friends call, he'll be there.
I'd like to mention three other episodes that are by far the best things ever written on paper. In the first one Batman's enemy is Music Meister (voiced by Neal Patrick Harris) who, of course, sings. It is a wonderful musical episode - one that you wouldn't usually think of as Batman's style. Yet, they pull it off perfectly. The second one is quite funny, as Batman is framed and in order to clear his name he needs help from the other side. This ends up in him working with Joker. In this cartoon Joker is just a plain idiot who actually is always stopped before killing anybody. However, this idiocy makes him incredibly entertaining as he's got these one liners that crack you up while watching. There is a scene where Batman takes him to the cave, where he discovers souvenirs from their fights and while crying in laughter he says "Oh, you do care!". The third episode is one where Joker finally manages to kill Batman. Like three-hundred times in a row. Joker is granted magical powers by mistake and he uses it to become the king of the world. He sings a song, which is a great, so listen to it! But again Batman outsmarts him of course, and I don't want to spoil it for you, but you will not see it coming!
The cartoon was cancelled recently after three great seasons. I love the design, the stories: I got to meet a lot of heroes whom I didn't know previously and I enjoyed every second of that. MOST importantly, although I have mentioned this before, this show is great because you can laugh! Laughing is necessary and all the darkness and depression that brought Bruce to who he is doesn't have to be forgotten for the readers and viewers to have a big of a laugh. Shortly I am going to discuss Superman and Batman's friendship and that will be a great example of how funny and entertaining Batsy can be without switching off his true self.
I'll admit that there are a couple of incredibly boring episodes among others, but it is worth it for those couple of shining jems, trust me!

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