Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ranting and Rambling: Riddle Me This, Who is Batman?

Bruce Wayne.
But I mean, besides that.

Last Saturday, a new show premiered on Cartoon Network: Beware the Batman. Now, this show has not had.... shall we say the best sequence of events leading up to it.

To compare, the Legend of Zelda series. ...bear with me, please. The Legend of Zelda video game series has serious games, funny games, kiddy games, great games, and crap games. But with the Zelda fandom, here's the rule of whether or not a Zelda game is good: The previous game is the best, the newest game is the worst. Automatically. For example, when Wind Waker came out, people cried foul because it was different from Majora's Mask. When Twilight Princess came out, people cried foul because it was different from Wind Waker.

With me so far? Good.

Now, I told you that story in order to tell you this story: The year was 199_.  I don't remember off the top of my head. And there were two men named Bruce Timm and Paul Dini. These men gave us....
Batman: the Animated Series.

For those of you not in the know, this was, and still is, the very definition of Batman for an entire generation. It could be dark, it could be funny, it could make you laugh, cry, jump in fear. A lot of people consider it to be the perfect Batman adaptation. Not just cartoon, but adaptation. Oh yes. This show was so influential that people cry foul when Batman and the Joker aren't voiced by Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill (not going to lie, I originally typed in "Luke Skywalker"), their Animated Series actors. Sadly, the series ended up coming to an end after a redesigned final few seasons.

After that, in the mid-2000's, we got the WB's version: The Batman.
This version was not perfect, but not entirely bad. But many vocal fans cried foul, claiming that it wasn't as good as TAS. Then Batman: The Brave and the Bold came along.  Again, though the show was actually quite excellent, people complained that it didn't hold a candle to the mature storytelling of TAS.

And then, that show was cancelled to make way for the latest adaptation, Beware the Batman. So let's see. Fans of TBATB are going to be irked that their show was cancelled, and some are just plain irked that it's not TAS.* Rocky start, huh? But here's the thing. If I may quote Bat-Mite a la TBATB:

"Batman's rich history allows him to be interpreted in a multitude of ways. To be sure, this is a lighter incarnation, but it's certainly no less valid and true to the character's roots than the tortured avenger crying out for mommy and daddy. AND BESIDES, THOSE EASTER BUNNIES LOOK REALLY SCARY, RIGHT?!"

Is Batman a Dark Avenger? The World's Greatest Detective? A tortured soul? A light-hearted adventurer? Yes. He is all these and more. Because he's BATMAN.

There exists room for all opinions. It saddens me whenever I see someone write "This is going to SUCK" when all they know is that it's about Batman and it's going to be a bit different. If it sucks, it sucks. But give it a chance, will ya? I know I will. In fact, I'll be keeping you all apprised of my viewing experience as I post Recaps/Reviews of the episodes. There will always be a spot in my heart for Batman, no matter the adaptation.

*Also, to be fair, some fans (including myself) are irked about the cancellation of other DC shows to make room for this one, like Green Lantern: TAS and Young Justice.

1 comment:

  1. Neil Gaiman said it best, don't you think?