In Which The Author Realises That He Is Old

I'm not a vain man. Someone as disgruntled as myself has no time for vanity. But do you know the very worst thing about working with children, of any age bracket? The constant reminder that you are old. Every year, a new batch of children the same age, and yet every year, the remind gets louder and louder. I thought it was bad when they weren't alive for the theatrical release of Jurassic Park. Then Toy Story. It's gotten to the point where children I encounter on a daily basis have seen the Harry Potter movies, but never read the books.

It's not just kids. It's time itself. 20 years ago last Wednesday, Batman: The Animated Series premiered on FOX.

20 years. I need to sit down.

Besides being in the top three of best animated series ever, BtAS holds the distinction of being the best version of Batman, ever. Period. I'm going out on a limb, and saying better even then the comics that inspired it. I know I'd rather sit down and watch a couple episodes (which I blissfully own on DVD, and so should all of you) then read the majority of the comics.

Born of the Batmania that followed the release of the Michael Keaton/Tim Burton Batman films of the early nineties, thankfully the popularity of the character was the only thing that carried over (besides the theme music and the unfortunate design of the Penguin). The series quickly set up it's own world, and wonderfully (and somewhat uniquely) never gave an origin episode for the Dark Knight. The series starts mid stream, and you know what? You don't need one. Because everything you need to know about Batman is explained wordlessly in the opening sequence, which easily places in the top three of title sequences on TV, ever. Not just cartoons, all of TV. It is simply a masterpiece. Seriously, it never even says the title of the show. It shows you the show, inside a minute. For a fantastic analysis of the opening, read this.

And Bruce Timm and Paul Dini's take on the character would have far reaching influences. Besides providing us the definitive version of Batman, it also gave us the very best actor to ever play Batman, the very best actor to ever play the Joker, the best Batman movie (until Batman Begins came along) and birthed an entire universe that stretched from that somewhat bizarre beginning in 1992 with On Leather Wings, to the Superman Animated Series, Batman Beyond, and culminated in the almost fiendishly magnificent Justice League series. Add to that creating characters like Harley Quinn, which have went on to permeate every other version of the DCU, to an art style that is simple, and iconic. And continues to be an influence on the DC collective, from the direct-to-video films, to the video games, and the comics.

So, happy birthday Batman. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go sit in the corner and weep, while memories of the past slip into oblivion...

Via ComicsAlliance.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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