Just forget the words and sing along

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Batman Animated

It was announced that DC Comics had commissioned two brand new animated shorts to commemorate the fact that 2014 is the 75th anniversary of Batman.  The second short went online over the weekend, so may I present, Darwyn Cooke's Batman Beyond.

You might be wondering who Darwyn Cooke is.  Cooke got his start at Warner Brothers as a storyboard artist on Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, and  yes, Batman Beyond.  From there, he was able to break into comic books, where his graphic novel DC: The New Frontier was a critical darling and sales success. 

Now that I've established his cred, onto the short!

Wow.  This is great.  My one complaint is it's too short.  I want  to know who sent the army of Batman robots after Batman.  That's the best Easter Egg in this whole thing:  that army of Batman robots at the end is every incarnation of Batman in animation...and a couple from live-action.  This is so good, and makes me want more of an official return to the Batman Beyond universe.

While we're on the subject, let's go back and take a second look at the first 75th anniversary short, Batman: Strange Days, which was conceived by Bruce Timm.  Timm, of course, has been the main creative force behind most DC Comics animation projects over the past 20 years, having been the showrunner for Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Justice League, Green Lantern: The Animated Series and the series of straight-to-DVD animated films.  Actually, he stepped down as head of the straight-to-DVD animated films a little over a year ago so he could pursue other projects...such as this.  

Yeah...I'm still kind of "meh" towards this one.  I can see they were going for an early Batman adventure, using a Batman design reminscient of his first appearance in the late 1930s, but it just comes across as a deleted scene from an episode of Batman: The Animated Series.

And while we're going through all this Batman animated goodness, may as well share the first trailer for the next DC straight-to-DVD animated film, Batman:  Assault on Arkham.  Rather than a popular story line in the comics, this one is based on the best-selling Arkham series of video games.

I like that the Suicide Squad is featured so prominently.  I made the same observation about Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox.  DC is stuck on doing films that focus on Batman and Superman, because, according to their research, those are the only ones that sell well.  So I guess the only way we're going to get films that focus on other characters is to give those other characters really prominent supporting roles.  So if this is the only way we get a Suicide Squad movie, so be it.

That being said, though, I'm really tiring of Batman and Superman adventures.  Come on.  Give us another Wonder Woman movie.  Give us a true Flash movie.  Give Batman and Superman a rest.  

No word on an official release date.  Following the official pattern, and with the next one, Son of Batman coming out next month, I'd wager this one is coming in the fall.  

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