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Herc’s Seen Saturday’s
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES!!
And THE BATMAN!!
Kids' WB Lives On The CW!!

Published at: Sept. 29, 2006, 11:23 p.m. CST by hercules

I am – Hercules!! The new season has kept us so hoppy we plum forgot the Saturday-morning cartoons came back last weekend. Happily the good folks over at The Kids WB hooked up with screeners containing this week’s (and last week's) episodes of “The Batman” and “The Legion of Super-Heroes.” The Batman “Team Penguin” is the title of this week’s “Batman,” and it introduces Batgirl to Robin, who was introduced to Batman in last week’s fourth-season premiere. Some interesting sibling rivalry develops because newcomer Robin gets to know The Batman’s secret identity and play in The Cave, while Batgirl resents being held at arm’s length. There’s also some business with The Penguin rounding up his own Villains United by gathering up some of the lesser-known bad guys. Those like myself - who haven’t paid much attention to “The Batman” in the past - may now want to consider setting their TiVos. (Note that SPOILERS for the remainder of the season ensue.) “We are finally getting a chance to do the Batman show we've always wanted to do,” series producer Jeff Matsuda wrote Ain’t It Cool in early September. “The first thing we did was go out and improve the writing. I emailed [“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” vets] Jane Espenson and Doug Petrie and asked if they wanted to do some episodes and they agreed. “Luckily they came on the same day and during the meeting we all just decided it would be better if they wrote a two parter together! So they went off and did a two part season finale with the introduction of Jonn Jonzz, the Martian Manhunter. They were so fun to work with and I saw the what I loved about ‘Buffy,’ ‘Angel’ and ‘Firefly’ in the way they broke down story and character development. The scripts came in and Michael Jelenic (story editor) and I close the door and giggled like school girls as we read. “Paul Dini also agreed to do a script for us and came with a new Harley Quinn idea for our series. He did a sweet job and put in a song and dance number with Joker and Harley (geek squeal!) in the episode. It was great to see Harley and Bats together again. “The season opens with the origin of Robin, and the death of his arents by Tony Zucco played Mark Hamill. Dick's dad is played by non other than Kevin Conroy, so we get to see Hamill and Conroy mix it up again! “The Dark Knight Returns 50-plus-year-old version of Batman is in this season as well, fighting an older more powerful version of Mr. Freeze alongside Nightwing and Oracle. “The Black Mask finally gets the animated treatment this season with his Kitty Pride: Welcome to the X-men/Home Alone episode. It's one of my favorite episodes of the season. Black Mask vs two meddling little kids, nice! “Brandon Routh and Allison Mack came in to record the Everywhereman Script (Chloe finally gets Clark!). Robert Englund in the Riddler origin story, Killer Moth, Zombies, and Louis Gossett Jr, Whew! “I also thought we needed to improve some of the art as well, so many characters went through a bit of revamping and honing. Batman, Bruce Wayne, Penguin all took a trip to the plastic surgeon and I think it went well. “I hope you'll give it a look, we really went all out this season to make a series we would love to see ourselves and so we did! Thanks for your time Herc!” The Legion of Super-Heroes Immediately prior to “The Batman” in most markets airs “The Legion of Super-Heroes.” As the proud and extra-nerdly owner of every one of the Legion’s comic-book adventures, I feel the geeky rush watching all the iconic DC heroes zipping to and from their bizarre upside-down-spaceship-looking headquarters in the Metropolis of 3006. As with Adventure Comics #247, last week’s pilot saw Legion reps recruit a Smallville-dwelling Clark Kent to join them in the future. But the TV show, in a nod to the CW’s “Smallville,” has the Legion come upon Clark before he first donned the cape, and before he first discovered he could fly. And the three visitors from the future are not Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad and Cosmic Boy, but Saturn Girl, Brainiac 5 and Bouncing Boy. And Clark isn’t recruited to be the butt of a initiation prank (*choke*), but rather to tame a newly escaped. Fatal Five. And there’s the fun for this longtime Legion fan: watching to discover which elements of the comic were kept and which discarded. Brainy is now more of a robot. Brin is more of a lycanthrope from the planet of Dr. Londo. Imra Ardeen of Titan is still hot, but sports pink bunny eyes. Plus? In a nod to certain legal issues, Clark doesn’t call himself “Superboy”; in this version, he goes by “Superman.” Every episode seems to feature Clark, Brainy, Saturn Girl, Bouncing Boy and Lightning Lad, but there are other members one expects will be rotated in and out as the series progresses. Triplicate Girl and Phantom Girl turn up in the pilot. Timber Goa … er, Timber Wolf is introduced in episode two. And we learn in the first two episodes that Cosmic Boy, Colossal Boy, Shrinking Violet, Element Lad, Dream Girl, Sun Boy, Tyroc, Blok and others are probably lurking just off camera. (No sign of Mon-El yet though ...) Have a gander! They’re fun! Saturday Morning. The Kids WB.





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Readers Talkback

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  • Sept. 30, 2006, 12:44 a.m. CST

    Fever dream

    by nemesisdarkside

    "Jane Espenson and Doug Petrie" "Paul Dini" "Joker/Harley song & dance number" "Mark Hamill/Kevin Conroy" "Brandon Routh and Allison Mack"<P>Did I really read all that stuff, or is this some weird dream of The Batman actually getting decent, that I'm soon going to wake from?<BR>Looks like Jeff Matsuda has worked his ass off to actually make this show resemble Batman finally.<BR>Will this move the show from guilty pleasure territory to sit down and "watch with my siblings" zone? I hope so. But we still have Dredlocked-Joker, don't we? ;D

  • Sept. 30, 2006, 12:51 a.m. CST

    If its got Harley by Dini

    by aestheticity

    then I'm watching it. And I've never watched this before.

  • Sept. 30, 2006, 2:38 a.m. CST

    Legion

    by chavee

    As a fan of the Legion for almost 30 years, it was great to see them finally branch out from the printed page. Since I was a kid I always hoped that they would have a Legion animated series. I taped the 1st episode and i've watched it 3 times. Better than I ever hoped.

  • Sept. 30, 2006, 6:39 a.m. CST

    Seen both, both good

    by darquelyte

    I guess it takes 2 years for an good animated superhero cartoon to "find" itself, and the third year to really take off. JL/JLU followed that pattern, as does The Batman. The first season was ok, the second season with Batgirl showed much improvement, and the first episode this season was really really good. I was surprised how "dark" it was for a Kid's CW cartoon. Having Mark and Kevin do roles as important influences on Robin's life was genious. I also like what I read about upcoming shows...I'm very interested in seeing those eps. Legion also was much better than I had thought...it wasn't "dumbed down" for the kiddies. Making Clark be Superman is a nice change, as is the look for Brainiac 5. I actually have high hopes for this whereas before I thought it might go the way of Teen Titans. Good stuff CW, keep it coming. ~ÐL

  • Sept. 30, 2006, 7:15 a.m. CST

    Kevin Conroy

    by Manos

    It was good to hear Conroy as Dick Grayson's dad last week. He's been THE voice of The Bat for what, over two decades now? He brought a credibility to the role that no one else has. I enjoyed last weeks ep, and was glad to see that it stayed true to Dick Grayson's origins, but I still miss Kevin. Here's hoping that there are still DVD releases in the future with him, Hamil, Lester and the rest of a fine vocal cast.

  • Sept. 30, 2006, 9:34 a.m. CST

    Best of Both Worlds?

    by Big Bad Clone

    Bringing in writers and elements from old series sounds great. A bigger problem still stems from some of the villians having far different looks/motives, etc. They seem more like Elseworld takes on the characters. Mr. Freeze is just a dick in these series. But I do like that they brought in some lesser villians and injected some life into them. The design and changes to Firefly work great as even Dini and Timm could do nothing with him. I'll at least check it out now.

  • Sept. 30, 2006, 11:47 a.m. CST

    How about "Superlad" instead of Superman?

    by ZeroCorpse

    I mean. . . It's so obvious, and it fits.

  • Sept. 30, 2006, 12:52 p.m. CST

    This article gets it another shot from me

    by jackinitraw

    but after what they did to the Joker...it'll be tough to forgive them. The writing on this show was terrible before. TERRIBLE.

  • Sept. 30, 2006, 2:22 p.m. CST

    No more talkbacks about Venture Bros?

    by ZeroCorpse

    The last episode was fucked up. Why no love?

  • Sept. 30, 2006, 2:34 p.m. CST

    HERC, there better be a SNL tb tonight!!!

    by Shermdawg

    We need another Dane Cook hatefest!

  • Sept. 30, 2006, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Better than Batman TAS?!?

    by nemesisdarkside

    Hahahahahahaha.<BR>Hahahahahahaha.<BR>Hahahahahahaha.<BR>Hahahahahahaha.<BR>Hahahahahahaha.<P>To each his own, I guess! BigBadClone, you're definately right on the Firefly/lesser villians obsevation.<BR>For the record, I'm cool with Ultimates-style revamps and stuff, but only if done excellently. AND not at the expense of what came before (R.I.P. JLU) The Batman is an alright show, but better than Batman TAS? Please!

  • Oct. 1, 2006, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Liked it more when Batman was solo...

    by Prof. Pop-Cult

    ...But now Robin is on the show. Great. (Honestly, I've never cared for the kid.) I thought it was cool when Batgirl was introduced first. I would have preferred Robin being introduced next season, not this one, so we could have had another season of Batman and Batgirl together. As far as the villains are concerned: They should start evolving Joker's look toward his traditional style (no dreads, more proper suit attire). The Riddler is actually pretty good as he is now -- this version of Riddler isn't better than the BTAS version. I would say it's equally as good, but different. The worst revamped villain is definitely Mr. Freeze. Clayface might be second. (However, they are introduced a "new" Clayface this season, whose origins will be more in line with the comic books' and BTAS'.)

  • Oct. 1, 2006, 12:47 p.m. CST

    The Batman

    by thecheesegrommit

    is really beautiful to look at but I feel they're catering to the kiddies in this version. I definately don't feel Bruces motivation to be Batman. He just seems to be a guy who puts on a custume, no dark side at all. I think the supporting players are coming along nice. Team Penguin was just goofy!!! Still have no idea why we needed a new Batman anyway, the old one wasn't broke.

  • Oct. 2, 2006, 6:30 a.m. CST

    Like all SciFi Geeks, The Standards Drop

    by Redbox

    And you still come up with reasons to love it! I am DVR-ing the both shows and while Batman looks nice, except for most of the villians, the writing, while better than previous years, isn't near the quality of the real Animated series. I am watching, but more or less, just because there isn't much else. If the Venture Bros. was on at the same time I would even remember this shows name. Legione of Superheros is just as boring and tame. However JL season one started boring too. And that show really found its way eventually as did Teen Titans. I felt the same way about both shows as I do about these shows, so maybe.....naw, I'm just being a forgiving SciFi geek. I have to learn to move on. Problem is, Batman VS Dracula was really very good. Damn! I need those straight to video Paul Dini movies Now!!