24 November 2008

Batman The Brave and the Bold



I finally saw the new Batman cartoon. I'm ashamed that I missed last week's premier but I can't have my Nerd-Fu cranked to eleven all the time. I wanted to dislike this new cartoon. See, I really liked the last show, The Batman. But more than that I was bitter about the cancellation of The Legion of Superheroes cartoon. I take my cartoons seriously and the Legion cartoon was my all time favorite DC based cartoon. I was also just bitter in general about the state of Saturday morning cartoons. With the end of The Batman and Legion it was also the end of the Kids WB which had been the last bastion of Saturday Morning goodness. I'm getting over that though. I've come to accept Friday night as the new Saturday morning.
So, I watched the new Batpants cartoon and it is pretty good. Just trying to judge it as it's own thing I like it well enough. This week's episode had Plastic Man. It is really hard to go wrong with Plastic Man. He is a perfect cartoon character. I thought they handled him well but his voice should have been more, I don't know... ethnic? I mean, his name is Eel O'Brian and he's a former criminal. He should not sound like some kid in a California Starbucks. But maybe that's just me. The show was campy and goofy and had almost no story but that's okay. It's a big step down from the stories being told on The Batman but it's okay. Dumb and goofy is fun. What saves the thing is that they did not camp up Batman. Yeah, they gave him the friendlier color scheme but he is really the same character as the previous cartoons. It's just the situations and the supporting cast that are campier. Batman is still Batman so I think the show will work. The real reason I will keep tuning in is the supporting cast. A cartoon with Plastic Man and Gorilla Grodd? I'm there. On a scale of one to ten, ten being The Secret Saturdays, I'd give it about a five. I'd give it's predecessor, The Batman a seven. It's not a bad cartoon but not a great TV show.
I have to question the logic behind the whole campy direction. Nothing Warner/DC does makes any sense to me. You have the biggest movie of the year and one of the biggest movies of all time in The Dark Knight and you immediately try to make your comics nothing like the movie by offing Batman and you make your new cartoon more like the exact opposite of the movie, the 60's Batman TV show. Does that make sense to anyone? Yeah, I liked the 60's show but it could not be more opposite of The Dark Knight and to tell the truth it did not bear a whole lot of resemblance to what the Batman comics were before the show.
Open letter to Warner/DC: I am ready to help you. Whenever you have an idea, email me first and I will tell you how horrible it is. I'm willing to do this for a fraction of whatever salary you are paying the idiots in charge at the moment. I look forward to your email.



Another question I have to ask is... who else noticed they stole the title sequence and music from Cowboy Bebop? I could not find a video of The Brave and The Bold's title sequence to post here but if you play the video up top you will hear the music. Then, check out the Cowboy Bebop clip. Not an exact lift but close and when you see The Brave and the Bold's actual title sequence you will see a lot of similarities. I'm not going to fault the Warners crew for this. I get that they are going for that 60's style and I also get that the Cowboy Bebop title sequence is the best TV show title sequence of all time and should by all means be imitated.
So, if the idiots in charge had emailed me and said, "hey Shannon, should we steal Cowboy Bebop's title sequence?" I would have said, "Great idea!". If they had asked, "should we make all our Batman properties the exact opposite of our hit movie?" I would have said, "not so much".

Your best pal ever,
Shannon Smith
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