Sam Register of The Batman Interview

Toddman

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Mysteryinfoman said:
I don't quite rememeber but what happened in the episode that it now may be banned?

There was a lively (but mostly stupid :p ) discussion about CN's apparent decision to hold off on re-airing "Wild Cards" a little while ago. This link should take you to it, and you can get a look at a few theories...

http://forums.toonzone.net/showthread.php?t=106694

This might be a question best asked of b.t., though...

Toddman
 
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b.t.

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Matt Wilson said:
You know, putting the line into context, it makes sense.

For ten years Timm and crew have pretty much been making cartoons for you guys. Justice League in particular has no real mainstream appeal. Kids are kind of alienated from these superheroes because the situations they are in aren't simple or relatable. I mean just compare JL's stories to previous shows. Batman Beyond has stories that appealed to teens and tweens with lots of high school situations and teen relationships. Superman is basically saving Metropolis over and over again from robots, aliens, psychos, and energy-suckers... the typical child-fantasy-superhero cliches, done right. JL's battles involve politics, the JLords taking over the government, revenge, company takeovers, etc. Nothing like previous shows. It's not as simple as "there's a villain in the city, we have to stop it". Though there ARE the occasional "there's a bunch of shameless cameos running about, we have to stop them" sequences that fill time.

Kids need a show more like Superman: TAS and Batman: TNBA. That's what I predict The Batman will be like. It's simple plot setups, but human conflicts. Personally I prefer that, myself.


hmmm....several months ago, you lambasted JL as being "just a popcorn show" (forgive me, i don't recall which thread it was in)....now, you're saying it's TOO complex, TOO "adult", i.e. that it should be MORE of a "popcorn show"....

this is why i'll never be able to please everybody with JL.....everyone has their own idea of what the show should be....not only can't anybody agree on what direction the show should take, some people can't even agree with THEMSELVES ;)....
 

MattL.

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Well, while I can't speculate and where Matt Wilson is coming from, I will say that with Season 2 while I enjoyed Superman not being knocked off camera and forgotten about I wasn't comfortable with the quasi Authority vibe that seemed to be trickling in a bit.

As I've said before I've always looked the animated DCU as an alternative to the grimness, deconstruction and pompusness of modern comics. A haven where action adventure and a little romance and escapism were still orders of the day. So Bruce, just my two cents plus a dollar fifty here..I'd rather this series not play the game modern comicbooks are playing and continue to offer a refreshing alternative to that where you can have Batman as a mysterious character but still watch the show with your little brother. Forget the gore, politics and porn. Bring the fun and keep the class.

Bruce, since you are taking the time to come here I want to say thank you for providing that along with some great design, art, storyboarding and direction.

One thing I've always really wanted to know, and I dont know how often you get this question. As a Superman fan I really enjoyed the STAS take on him for alot of reasons. That being the case I have to admit it was sort of disapointing to hear rumors or read in some interviews that you had a disdain for the character?

So, whats the real story? I recall in an interview you saying that you thought Superman made a bit more sense in the context of 1940. To some extent even as I fan I can agree because theres just something about the 40's background that makes Superman, Batman, and even Wonder Woman kind of pop out in a good way. Is that where you prefer adventures with him be set or do you just hate the Superman character outright? I'm not seeking to ignite flamewars its just something I'm genuinely curious about as a fan whos been following and liking your work for a very long time and who as a Superman fan believes the vison you helped to craft to be one of the best.

Oh and one other thing, you're right about Batmans eyes. Without the white slits, the magic is gone.
 

b.t.

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MattL. said:
As I've said before I've always looked the animated DCU as an alternative to the grimness, deconstruction and pompusness of modern comics. A haven where action adventure and a little romance and escapism were still orders of the day. So Bruce, just my two cents plus a dollar fifty here..I'd rather this series not play the game modern comicbooks are playing and continue to offer a refreshing alternative to that where you can have Batman as a mysterious character but still watch the show with your little brother. Forget the gore, politics and porn. Bring the fun and keep the class.

One thing I've always really wanted to know, and I dont know how often you get this question. As a Superman fan I really enjoyed the STAS take on him for alot of reasons. That being the case I have to admit it was sort of disapointing to hear rumors or read in some interviews that you had a disdain for the character?

So, whats the real story? I recall in an interview you saying that you thought Superman made a bit more sense in the context of 1940. To some extent even as I fan I can agree because theres just something about the 40's background that makes Superman, Batman, and even Wonder Woman kind of pop out in a good way. Is that where you prefer adventures with him be set or do you just hate the Superman character outright? I'm not seeking to ignite flamewars its just something I'm genuinely curious about as a fan whos been following and liking your work for a very long time and who as a Superman fan believes the vison you helped to craft to be one of the best.

it astonishes me somewhat that anyone could actually think that i could "hate superman outright"....i mean, no offense, but...sorry, i'm kind of at a loss for words....

i couldn't POSSIBLY produce 52 episodes of a series starring a character i flat-out hated, or had disdain or contempt for...life's too short!....sure, i 've WORKED on shows in the past, whose lead characters i had no love or respect for, but to put in the kind of man-hours that i did as producer/designer/what-have-you on S:TAS, my commitment to the character was absolute...my comments (from COMICOLOGY, right?) were, i thought, pretty clear on the matter...i've loved, respected and admired superman since i was a kid...i even dressed up as him for halloween, and brought my lunch to school in my beloved superman lunch-box....it's just that, by modern standards, he can come off as quaint, or corny or out-dated, if not handled properly...batman, by contrast, is MUCH easier to "get right"; with that outfit, the attitude, the whole mystique, he's AUTOMATICALLY "cooler"....if i had to choose one over the other, sure, i'd pick batman in a heartbeat; it doesn't mean i don't like superman, too; i just like batman BETTER...

i've admitted elsewhere that we dropped the ball with superman's portrayal in season one of JL, not out of malice, but merely inattention; thus we DID end up temporarily with the slightly daft, bland, cornball, boy scout...when we all realized what was happening, we took steps to re-vitalize him in season 2; i, personally, may have gone a little overboard in that area, as i wrote the entire superman/darkseid verbal throwdown scene in "twilight", myself (including the notoriously over-the-top "greasy smear on my fist" line)...i even wrote his "y' know bruce, you're not always right" line, allowing him to one-up batman (my "favorite" character, remember), in one of the rarest instances in the entire dcau canon...i wouldn't have gone to the trouble for a character i hated...

anyhow, i hope this clears THAT up...

oh, and gore, politics and porn aren't fun....? ;)
 

Grimlock

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b.t. said:
i've admitted elsewhere that we dropped the ball with superman's portrayal in season one of JL, not out of malice, but merely inattention; thus we DID end up temporarily with the slightly daft, bland, cornball, boy scout...when we all realized what was happening, we took steps to re-vitalize him in season 2; i, personally, may have gone a little overboard in that area, as i wrote the entire superman/darkseid verbal throwdown scene in "twilight", myself (including the notoriously over-the-top "greasy smear on my fist" line)...i even wrote his "y' know bruce, you're not always right" line, allowing him to one-up batman (my "favorite" character, remember), in one of the rarest instances in the entire dcau canon...i wouldn't have gone to the trouble for a character i hated...
I know we gave you a lot of guff as a board over how weak we thought superman looked in season 1. Just making sure you know we appreciated what you did in season 2. As a fan, i thought he was portrayed extremely well...acted a lot more like he did in STAS.

P.S. Loved the "Bruce, you're not always right" line!
 

Revelator

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b.t. said:
we took steps to re-vitalize [Superman] in season 2; i, personally, may have gone a little overboard in that area, as i wrote the entire superman/darkseid verbal throwdown scene in "twilight", myself (including the notoriously over-the-top "greasy smear on my fist" line)...i even wrote his "y' know bruce, you're not always right" line
Wow--they should let you write more of the show. Not only was "the greasy smear" line NOT overtop, it was the most memorable line in Superman's animated history, with the "You're not always right" line coming in second. I had no idea you were behind those--they should let you handle all of Superman's dialogue from now on. I once gathered a group of friends and showed them "Apocalips Now!," "Legacy" and "Twilight" back to back--when Superman said the greasy smear line everyone in the room cheered. We could practically hear Superman's balls clank.

I think you handled Superman's revitalization correctly--Superman is basically the inverse of Batman, who is outwardly dark but inwardly compassionate. Superman is outwardly a boyscout, but one who's never explored all the inner darkness he keeps sublimated for the public good. The hint that Superman, when stripped of his genuine boy-scout public personality and stripped down to his darkest core, might become an arrogant, bullying God obsessed with getting his way--an actual Nitzschean Superman--was ably suggested by Twilight. The only thing that keeps Superman from becoming a power-drunk, frightening overlord is the fact that he was raised by nice people from Kansas who taught him to appreciate the lives of everyday people. Darkseid is Superman's greatest enemy because he brings out the worst in Superman--he makes him forget about Kansas and think about vengeance and brutality.

Oh, and go apesh*t with the gore, politics and porn. While you obviously have to appeal to kids, don't let people try and keep you in the kiddies playground. There's more than enough superhero programming out there for 7 year olds, but the only reliable source for superhero cartoons that can be watched even when you get older is still Timm and company. You are performing a rare public service by proving that action/adventure animation in this country can aspire to more than just disposable entertainment whose virtues die out with childhood.
 

Zergrinch

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Revelator said:
[snip]

The hint that Superman, when stripped of his genuine boy-scout public personality and stripped down to his darkest core, might become an arrogant, bullying God obsessed with getting his way--an actual Nitzschean Superman--was ably suggested by Twilight. The only thing that keeps Superman from becoming a power-drunk, frightening overlord is the fact that he was raised by nice people from Kansas who taught him to appreciate the lives of everyday people. Darkseid is Superman's greatest enemy because he brings out the worst in Superman--he makes him forget about Kansas and think about vengeance and brutality.
This exact theme was suitably covered in STAS (Brave New Metropolis, Legacy), as well as in JL (A Better World).

Revelator said:
There's more than enough superhero programming out there for 7 year olds, but the only reliable source for superhero cartoons that can be watched even when you get older is still Timm and company. You are performing a rare public service by proving that action/adventure animation in this country can aspire to more than just disposable entertainment whose virtues die out with childhood.
Ah, but the very theme DC's superheroes represent -- is it not tailored to appeal to children? What better way to ensure an continuous money stream than by hooking 'em in while they're young?

As for the admonition to Timm by not bowing to the whims of people wanting to confine him to the children's playground, there are enough limitations as it is. I believe Mr. Timm himself once described himself as a "relatively large fish in a small pond", but a mere drop in the ocean known as the entertainment media industry. Ultimately, he has to follow instructions of the suits "higher-up", else he goes hungry... :D
 

Fone Bone

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b.t. said:
it astonishes me somewhat that anyone could actually think that i could "hate superman outright"....i mean, no offense, but...sorry, i'm kind of at a loss for words....

i couldn't POSSIBLY produce 52 episodes of a series starring a character i flat-out hated, or had disdain or contempt for...life's too short!....sure, i 've WORKED on shows in the past, whose lead characters i had no love or respect for, but to put in the kind of man-hours that i did as producer/designer/what-have-you on S:TAS, my commitment to the character was absolute...my comments (from COMICOLOGY, right?) were, i thought, pretty clear on the matter...i've loved, respected and admired superman since i was a kid...i even dressed up as him for halloween, and brought my lunch to school in my beloved superman lunch-box....it's just that, by modern standards, he can come off as quaint, or corny or out-dated, if not handled properly...batman, by contrast, is MUCH easier to "get right"; with that outfit, the attitude, the whole mystique, he's AUTOMATICALLY "cooler"....if i had to choose one over the other, sure, i'd pick batman in a heartbeat; it doesn't mean i don't like superman, too; i just like batman BETTER...

i've admitted elsewhere that we dropped the ball with superman's portrayal in season one of JL, not out of malice, but merely inattention; thus we DID end up temporarily with the slightly daft, bland, cornball, boy scout...when we all realized what was happening, we took steps to re-vitalize him in season 2; i, personally, may have gone a little overboard in that area, as i wrote the entire superman/darkseid verbal throwdown scene in "twilight", myself (including the notoriously over-the-top "greasy smear on my fist" line)...i even wrote his "y' know bruce, you're not always right" line, allowing him to one-up batman (my "favorite" character, remember), in one of the rarest instances in the entire dcau canon...i wouldn't have gone to the trouble for a character i hated...

anyhow, i hope this clears THAT up...

oh, and gore, politics and porn aren't fun....? ;)
I love Superman too. The lines you gave him in Twilight were great. Gotta ask: Did you write Darkseid's imfamously controversial line: "Loser!"? Or his much better received line "This is where you belong Superman... Under my heel!!!"?

I like that adults can love Justice League but don't forget about the kids. They're the reason a lot of folks got into Batman and Superman in the first place. You don't need to impress us with "gore... and porn". We already love these characters as is and it would be a shame if the next generation couldn't because they've become too adult oriented. Politics are always good though.

What do you think of this new Batman cartoon anyways? Since you're here do you feel as a fan that you're looking forward to it or do you have disdain for it because you're not involved? I wouldn't blame you either way.
 

Killtacular

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b.t. said:
hmmm....several months ago, you lambasted JL as being "just a popcorn show" (forgive me, i don't recall which thread it was in)....now, you're saying it's TOO complex, TOO "adult", i.e. that it should be MORE of a "popcorn show"....
No. I think of Justice League as a popcorn show and, say, Superman as a smart show. Justice League's plots are so epic that they're popcorn to people like me. The complexity works against it, and often makes the stories too implausible (or James Bond-ish). Superman's plots showed restraint, and sometimes cliche, but they have strong character, great dialogues, human conflicts (well, except for a couple of episodes). I do not think of that show as "popcorn" at all. I hope Justice League Unlimited is heading back in that direction, since it's half-hour stories and different highlighted characters in each episode.

I just think the characters should be carrying the plot, and not the other way around, I guess.
 

MattL.

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b.t. said:
it astonishes me somewhat that anyone could actually think that i could "hate superman outright"....i mean, no offense, but...sorry, i'm kind of at a loss for words....

i couldn't POSSIBLY produce 52 episodes of a series starring a character i flat-out hated, or had disdain or contempt for...life's too short!....sure, i 've WORKED on shows in the past, whose lead characters i had no love or respect for, but to put in the kind of man-hours that i did as producer/designer/what-have-you on S:TAS, my commitment to the character was absolute...my comments (from COMICOLOGY, right?) were, i thought, pretty clear on the matter...i've loved, respected and admired superman since i was a kid...i even dressed up as him for halloween, and brought my lunch to school in my beloved superman lunch-box....it's just that, by modern standards, he can come off as quaint, or corny or out-dated, if not handled properly...batman, by contrast, is MUCH easier to "get right"; with that outfit, the attitude, the whole mystique, he's AUTOMATICALLY "cooler"....if i had to choose one over the other, sure, i'd pick batman in a heartbeat; it doesn't mean i don't like superman, too; i just like batman BETTER...

i've admitted elsewhere that we dropped the ball with superman's portrayal in season one of JL, not out of malice, but merely inattention; thus we DID end up temporarily with the slightly daft, bland, cornball, boy scout...when we all realized what was happening, we took steps to re-vitalize him in season 2; i, personally, may have gone a little overboard in that area, as i wrote the entire superman/darkseid verbal throwdown scene in "twilight", myself (including the notoriously over-the-top "greasy smear on my fist" line)...i even wrote his "y' know bruce, you're not always right" line, allowing him to one-up batman (my "favorite" character, remember), in one of the rarest instances in the entire dcau canon...i wouldn't have gone to the trouble for a character i hated...

anyhow, i hope this clears THAT up...

oh, and gore, politics and porn aren't fun....? ;)
Bruce, thanks for taking the time to answer the question and I sincerely hope I did not offend you. I asked that question not so much because I honestly believed you did hate Superman, but because my impression was of your feelings on the Man of Steel were actually mixed so I literally wanted to know if it was just me or what. My impression was just that, an impression and I wanted to clarify things because..well like you say, if you hated a character why would you devote all this effort? Thats why I had to ask.

Like I said I viewed the animated DCU as a refreshing alternative to the stuff going on in the modern comics and I wouldn't want to loose that in favor of a adults only Authority kind of take. In the comicology interview when speaking about one of Alex Ross's works in terms of hyper realism you basically asked the very good question of "where is the romance in that? where is the escapism?" ..and I very strongly agree. Even though I love his art and the work he's done with Paul. Its the whole exception to the rule thing you were talking about with Watchmen. Its in addition to that, that I also feel kids shouldn't alienated from mainstream superheroes wether its in terms of appropriate material or even just things that would intrest them.

I guess I'm just saying that, don't lose the spark. The sense of fun, The sense of wonder and of course, the sense of humor. The League doesn't need to even remotely resemble the Authority to be intresting or "relevant" and edgy is highly overated.
 
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Revelator

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Zergrinch said:
This exact theme was suitably covered in STAS (Brave New Metropolis, Legacy), as well as in JL (A Better World)...As for the admonition to Timm by not bowing to the whims of people wanting to confine him to the children's playground...

Not quite: BNB was a what-if scenario based on a fantastic premise and so was ABW, while Legacy depended on Superman getting brainwashed for his darker side to emerge. In Twilight Superman is acting out his darker impulses in actual continuity and without the excuse of being brainwashed and deceived--it's the nastiest, angriest, most immature portrait of the character ever conceived in the animated universe, far nastier than the lordly Supermen of BNM and ABW. The self-involved Superman of Twilight is so consumed with rage and humilation that he'd throw away his life and step on anybody else's just for the ghost of a chance of beating Darkseid to a pulp.
(Considering how definitive Timm's Superman is, it's rather hilarious that Time magazine's recent article on the character doesn't even have the briefest mention of the animated series.)

The children's playground remark was actually directed more at people on this board, since I think Cartoon Network, aside from the letterbox issue, has treated Timm as wellas could be expected.

Matt Wilson and his "Justice League's plots are so epic that they're popcorn to people like me" schtick aside, I thought the second season of this "popcorn" show was far smarter and more interesting than the bulk of Superman. If you're handling seven essentially-Godlike characters, it helps to have plots that would practically require the intervention of Gods, and in the best episodes of "Justice League, the way the heroes characteristically respond to what the plot and situations demand of them negates any niggling character/plot hand-wringing about which carries which.
The second season was not an unbroken string of successes, but "Twlight," "Tabula Rasa," "A Better World," "The Secret Society," and "Stracrossed" are proof of the compatibility of large-scale, somewhat complex plots with large-scale character studies. If Justice League will no longer be following the seven-hero, hour-long format, it's less because the format never worked properly than because such a format cannot be extended much longer without using up the writing staff's ingenuity: without revamping the show it'd be hard to see how the staff could create another season finale with the same impact as "Starcrossed."
 

b.t.

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Fone Bone said:
I love Superman too. The lines you gave him in Twilight were great. Gotta ask: Did you write Darkseid's imfamously controversial line: "Loser!"? Or his much better received line "This is where you belong Superman... Under my heel!!!"?

I like that adults can love Justice League but don't forget about the kids. They're the reason a lot of folks got into Batman and Superman in the first place. You don't need to impress us with "gore... and porn". We already love these characters as is and it would be a shame if the next generation couldn't because they've become too adult oriented. Politics are always good though.

What do you think of this new Batman cartoon anyways? Since you're here do you feel as a fan that you're looking forward to it or do you have disdain for it because you're not involved? I wouldn't blame you either way.

i wrote both the lines you quoted...plus most of batman's controversial one-liners, including the "cry me a river" scene, the "longer grapple" bit, and the "just hit me real hard" line....so, you can blame me for that:D...

we've ALWAYS tried to balance the "adult" aspects of the show with more kid-friendly elements, from b:tas onward, and will continue to do so....it ain't always easy, but we keep trying...

as for "the batman", i'm looking forward to seeing it...what little i've seen so far looks promising; VERY different, but promising....
 

b.t.

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MattL. said:
Bruce, thanks for taking the time to answer the question and I sincerely hope I did not offend you..

not at all, i was just...THROWN a bit.
 

Doomsday

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b.t. said:
i wrote both the lines you quoted...plus most of batman's controversial one-liners, including the "cry me a river" scene, the "longer grapple" bit, and the "just hit me real hard" line....so, you can blame me for that:D...
Fine I'll blame you for the best lines of the episode and probbley the show. I agree with Matt Wilson on how JLU is treating its episodes is looking good. The 30 minutes will be hard to make an episode more epic but less time for pointless fights, The Terror Beyond, or changing an episode so much around that it doesn't seem like a 2 part episode but instead of being 2 separate episodes, Hereafter. Now the only thing that scares me with the change is there be less character development. But it might work because we can see how our old heros take in charge of 2 other heros. So JLU will be a smart show but probbley not as smart as what BTAS was. Still JL have some very smart episodes in season 2 but some scenes in those episodes weren't needed, Doomsday fight with JLord Supes which I loved and will like to see a rematch again someday.
 

DerekPowers

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Matt Wilson said:
No. I think of Justice League as a popcorn show and, say, Superman as a smart show. Justice League's plots are so epic that they're popcorn to people like me. The complexity works against it, and often makes the stories too implausible (or James Bond-ish). Superman's plots showed restraint, and sometimes cliche, but they have strong character, great dialogues, human conflicts (well, except for a couple of episodes). I do not think of that show as "popcorn" at all. I hope Justice League Unlimited is heading back in that direction, since it's half-hour stories and different highlighted characters in each episode.

I just think the characters should be carrying the plot, and not the other way around, I guess.

I really dont get you're statments in this and a few past posts on this thread, calling JL a more "complex" show, in comparison to btas, tnba, stas, or bb. In fact, i'd have to say its QUITE THE OPPOSITE. :D

perhaps it depends on youre definition of complexity. if by complexity you mean (and, just for the record, i love JL, BUT i feel compelled to reply to those comments honestly, so...), as you put it, unrealistic, james bond-ish type stories, then yeah, JL is more "complex". but why use the word complex?? id say btas and stas were by far more complex than JL. they told character driven stories, with complex, often deep plots, involving all sorts of emotions and highs and lows. JL, by comparison, as i've always been upfront about saying, sort of pales in comparison, in that respect.

I'd say JL is actually more of a "fun" or "popcorn" show, as you put it. And, when done right, that can be very very effective. I'm not saying a show based heavily on action or "popcorn" or whatever cant be good. Episodes like "Maid of Honor", "Tabula Rasa", and "Only a Dream" prove that point, imo.

But, JL stories were not fleshed out the way stories were in such btas classics as "the demon's quest" or "two-face parts 1 & 2", which by comparison, were FAR MORE complex than anything i've seen on JL. BUT, JL has other things going for it. I really felt like the prison break scene in "Tabula Rasa" is a good example--HEROS, this show is about heros (which is why i almost fell off my chair when i saw that re-vamped JL art w/ all the god like heros flying out of the sun-lite bg, i was like, yes, now this is JL!). Its about villians as well, but on a more, i dont even know how to describe it (b. t., maybe you can give us some insight into how you define this show, versus the others, kind of what you're going for). its more about feeling i think, more about getting the point accross with less information.

Tabula Rasa wasnt terribly complex--we had no explaination of how amazo was made, versus most btas and stas eps which always tried to atleast somewhat explain far-fetched happenings. In JL, things just happen, sometimes with no explaination, and we have to just accept it. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt. I think a good example of where it failed was the whole sun story in "eclipsed". that was too simple, and too un-inspired, it just felt empty, like, oh, the suns going to go out, oh, they fixed it, no real threat for something that should be very complicated. A place where it really worked i think was in "a better world", simply having the alternate universe JL and those amazing costumes, thats what the show is about in a way, i think. maid of honor had plenty of great scenes too. ww is great for achieving what im talking about. kind of making you suspend your disbelief, in a way. like, i always thought ww was kind of corny, what with her red, white and blue costume and all (even her name), but when they can make its so she kind of transends all that, i dont know, theres something about it. i especially liked the scene at the begining of moh, when shes flying infront of the helicopter, before she smashes, or whenever she comes flying directly at the screen in smash mode. its seems to be about like getting characters like ww and mm and hg to look good, they make those costumes LOOK GOOD, if that makes any sense. sort of turning these characters into ICONS (very much from a visual standpoint), no matter how obscure or how second rate they may seem (or acutally are in the comics), thats what its about, and JL is CHOCK FULL of icons, when done right.

so, without going on too much of a rant, i really think the complexity of eps like "the late mr. kent", "world's finest", "the ultimate thrill", the eps i list above, and the list goes on, were far more complex than JL. and i wont even get into when JL actually self-parodies itself, like that superbowl scene at the end of "the secret society", that is JL at its worst imo, because in order for us to suspend our disbelief with such little information, we need to beable to take the characters seriously at the very least.

so, does that make JL more of a "kids" show, imo? no, i dont think so. perhaps it is less of a kids show (at the moment), simply because, with ALL DUE RESPECT to the creative team behind JL, its just not as good of a show, imo, as its predecessors. I truely think we're gonna see JL hit its high note in JLU, i really believe that, and i LOVED watching this show develop and evolve, and as i've stated before, i believe it is the best new cartoon on tv right now (yes, BETTER than samurai jack), but its not as good as btas, stas, or bb, and it has A LOT of problems (cough~plot holes~cough). and simply for that reason its more of an adult show because we're willing to let some of that stuff slide, since we're such fans of it, the comics, and its predecessors. we pick up on the in-stuff, we can apprieciate it more if it tries something and falls on its face. I think kids respond more to, is it a good show? yes or no? not that its not a good show, but its predecessors were pure art, and that transcends age and demographics, and makes them much much more kid-oriented, because of the way it stimulated them, and me, as a kid. anyway, peace.
 
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Killtacular

the race wars had begun
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Episodes of JL that I consider examples of characters carrying the plot (or "character-driven") are "A Better World," "Only A Dream," and "In Darkest Night." They aren't WEAK or BAD plots by any means. In fact, they're (for the most part) strong BECAUSE of the characters. That's how it should be. Episodes where the plot carries the characters are "The Terror Beyond", "Maid of Honor," and "Wild Cards." These are episodes I'd rather do without.

BB: ROTJ and Mask of the Phantasm are also stories that are incredibly character-driven, which is why they work so well. Heart of Ice also. And Old Wounds.


p.s. I wasn't really a fan of "Only a Dream," but it did explore character weaknesses, so I feel I should commend it somewhat. I'd have included "Comfort and Joy," but that was so shmaltzy/sappy that it felt just as ridiculous as a complex JL ep.

p.p.s. DerekPowers, that's what I meant by complex. Absurd plots crashing into each other. I didn't mean that they were complex on a philosophical level, no way. Though having an episode that's TOO simple could work against it, especially if it's a two-parter ("Metamorphasis").
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
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b.t. said:
i wrote both the lines you quoted...plus most of batman's controversial one-liners, including the "cry me a river" scene, the "longer grapple" bit, and the "just hit me real hard" line....so, you can blame me for that:D...

we've ALWAYS tried to balance the "adult" aspects of the show with more kid-friendly elements, from b:tas onward, and will continue to do so....it ain't always easy, but we keep trying...

as for "the batman", i'm looking forward to seeing it...what little i've seen so far looks promising; VERY different, but promising....
I LOVED Batman's one-liners. They were so funny coming from him. Darkseid's "Loser!" was also fine with me. Seemed so desperate and appropriate. You should write more episodes. Come to think of it you should direct more too. You can really see the quality when you're involved.:)
 

Supremus

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b.t. said:
....it's just that, by modern standards, he can come off as quaint, or corny or out-dated, if not handled properly...batman, by contrast, is MUCH easier to "get right"; with that outfit, the attitude, the whole mystique, he's AUTOMATICALLY "cooler"....if i had to choose one over the other, sure, i'd pick batman in a heartbeat; it doesn't mean i don't like superman, too; i just like batman BETTER...
I am always a little surprised when people say Batman is cool and Superman sucks, but then I look at how badly Superman has been treated over the last 10-15 years, not just in the comics, but also in the live-action Lois & Clark and Superboy shows, and suddenly it's not such a big mystery that people prefer Batman.

Unlike Batman, Superman is a difficult character to "get right", and I just think most people haven't seen the real Superman. Batman's personality and his particular brand of heroism probably also resonate more with most people than Superman's boy-scout ideals.


b.t. said:
i've admitted elsewhere that we dropped the ball with superman's portrayal in season one of JL, not out of malice, but merely inattention; thus we DID end up temporarily with the slightly daft, bland, cornball, boy scout...when we all realized what was happening, we took steps to re-vitalize him in season 2;
As one of the more prolific critics of JL (around here anyway), I am actually encouraged by reading this post. I was obviously one of the (many) people who were concerned about the way Superman was being handled, and I am glad to see you at least recognize things weren't quite right. It's one thing to get something wrong and not know why(believe me, I know :)), but it's not so bad if you have an idea of what it takes to fix it.

b.t. said:
i, personally, may have gone a little overboard in that area, as i wrote the entire superman/darkseid verbal throwdown scene in "twilight", myself (including the notoriously over-the-top "greasy smear on my fist" line)
At the risk of sounding like I am sucking up here, I personally preferred how Superman was written in Twilight to the rest of the season. Some of the dialog could perhaps have been tweaked a little, but I thought he felt like a character again, unlike the cardboard guy who just got smacked around in season 1, and the little Clark/Bruce exchange at the end was such a refreshing change to the usual "all bets are off" and "enough" lines that had previously passed for dialog. I wish that little bit of antagonism would have been explored more later in the season, but then a few episodes later, suddenly they are drinking coffee in the BatMobile!?

I was even one of the few people like liked Batman's lines in Twilight. I thought the dialog in season 1 was far too "safe", and after Twilight, I was a little disappointed that was the case for most of the rest of season 2 as well. And btw, if I ever hear Wonder Woman say "Hera!" again, I think I'm going to have an aneurism :)

To me, characters like Superman seem more super when they are in more realistic situations and environments where they can't just time-travel or super-speed their way out of trouble. If everything around them is super or epic, it makes the characters seem less super. I guess that's one of the reasons why BTAS was so popular. I am also a huge fan of the classic Fleischer Superman cartoons, and even though Supes wasn't that powerful, and he did get smacked around a lot, he felt so much more like Superman in that style, period, envirnment, etc, than the current BladeRunner-Metropolis comic version. I think STAS found a good balance between those two extremes. JL, not so much. Superman is more about adventure than sci-fi, in my opinion.

I hope the new 30-minute format for JLU means we will get more stories where character takes priority over epic'ness again. I am not against the occasional epic, but it should only be an occasional treat.

b.t. said:
oh, and gore, politics and porn aren't fun....? ;)
There's gotta be a Bill Clinton joke in that somewhere?
 

MattL.

Active Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2001
Messages
1,030
b.t. said:
not at all, i was just...THROWN a bit.

Well, in retrospect I think it was a simple case of me getting the wrong vibe from interviews where you mentioned your debates with Alex Ross, the problems with season one and also perhaps misparsing the line from the Comicology interview where you stated "I think Superman makes alot of sense in 1940, I don't think he makes sense today".

Like I said, it was a mixed impression. I guess I was thinking "..okay, if thats how he feels then how come he put in so much effort to do one of the best damn versions of Superman I've ever seen? His work would seem to indicate alot of love for the character."

Maybe it was just a simple fanboy thing of being to used to the guy that loves Batman also being the guy that hates Superman, which seems to happen alot. Myself, I could never choose between the two.

I guess as a Superman fan I can be over sensetive about it simply because like you say, he so often gets easily dismissed as "corny" these days. I think its a bum rap and I really appreciate the way you and Paul could bring the character to a modern audience without turning him into the Punisher with heat vision or something. Its intresting, because there are people I know who couldn't give less of a damn about Superman in any other form yet if I mentioned STAS all of them say "Oh yeah, I liked him there! In that show he was cool."

Okay, now a total artboy question. How the heck do you get those marker colored peices on the popcultureshock site to look so good?! Any tips?
 
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