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Thread: Bruce Timm

  1. #31
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jokerz79 View Post
    STAS isn't my version of Superman but it was pretty great and I loved how they made Kara his "cousin" during the no other Kryptonians era of DC. It had some greats stories too like the Darkseid arc and Turpins death also the Late Mr. Kent is one of my favorite Superman stories ever. I also enjoyed Lana creating her own company. The DCAU isn't the best version of the DCU to me but it's a good representation especially for tv.

    & Yes the first 3 seasons of Batman the Animated Series and Mask of the Phantasm is the best Superhero series ever.
    My issues with the DCAU Superman stem mostly from the JL cartoon on. STAS was halfway decent in it's own right. But, like BTAS, it works best as a stand alone. I think it's somewhat diminished as part of a larger universe. Part of what made BTAS work was the "realistic" tone. Once you drop super-beings into that narrative, it is weakened a little bit. I've always pictured the BTAS as it's own universe. Before STAS, I always believed Superman existed somewhere in the BTAS universe but we just never saw him.
    Listen, lady! I am thirteen years old and driving a Bat-hog through the Amazon on a Tuesday morning! I am ALREADY winning!

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  2. #32
    All-New Member TaliaJoy's Avatar
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    As far as the DCAU is concerned, I only really know its Superman from Superman: The Animated Series, which I've watched almost in full, while I've watched barely any JL and no JLU. I used to really like S:TAS, but over time I've found it more and more underwhelming. Not bad, a "high quality product" overall, but not a very compelling take on the character or mythos either, to the point where I feel kind of negatively towards it. It doesn't help that I've now watched some of Batman: The Animated Series to compare it to, because sakes alive, B:TAS is WAY better than S:TAS (even though I'm more interested in Supes than Bats). The broad strokes of Superman's personality and portrayal feel roughly right, but in the details there's a lot that's not quite there. This may be somewhat hard to describe, but I've noticed that its Superman doesn't have the best emotional range, he seems "vaguely angry and determined" the vast majority of the time with episodes of "mildly jocular". Now, in theory I really like Superman being angry and jocular, but for one thing, it's tiring to see him rarely enter into other modes for any length of time, and for another, they don't go far enough even with those emotions to actually be interesting or compelling - hence the "vaguely" and "mildly". Of course, there's the obvious fact that this Superman gets beat up way too much, to the point where it almost feels like doing "damage control" on the very concept of Superman, as though being super-powerful and invincible is an inherent problem that needs to be fixed. I get needing to keep him challenged, and I don't mind a less powerful Superman in general, but this show is wrongheaded and overkill in its attempts to do so. I also think that it's one of the poorest versions of Clark Kent I've see thus far, simply because he's so boring it feels like they put as little effort as they could manage into his portrayal. The supporting cast doesn't get much effort put into them or chance to shine either. And there's just a current of being relatively uninteresting that runs throughout the whole show. There's not much of an interesting vision for the character, more just trying to make a generic, functional and non-objectionable version of Superman, rather than aspiring for anything more.

    THAT BEING SAID - I still have a very real soft spot for Superman: TAS. There are a few truly excellent episodes (Two's a Crowd, The Late Mr. Kent, Ghost in the Machine) and ideas and the entire thing is relatively high-quality overall. I still feel quite positively about the visual style and voice work, which is one reason I'm very grateful for Superman: Brainiac Attacks. Contra what DCAU fanboys may say, I find it MUCH better than S:TAS. I mean, it was just really enjoyable and charming and did a much better job focusing on interesting parts of Superman rather than just being a generic bore. And it's nice to see Clark Kent actually being utilized well rather than just superficially affirmed. I'd recommend it.

    But anyway, back to S:TAS - fundamentally, I like it. I just can't help but be disappointed as I see it actually has quite a few shortcomings and missed opportunities. Sure, it can be great sometimes, but it definitely does not deserve to be considered anywhere close to being one of the best depictions of Superman or seen as anything truly exceptional. They really could've tried harder to make it interesting and really utilize the best of Superman and they just didn't. Add to that, overall the episode quality track record is kind of so-so. Many episodes just aren't anything to write home about. Of course, not even B:TAS has a perfect track record, but it did a much better job making up for it, for one thing.

  3. #33
    Ultimate Member Robotman's Avatar
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    I loved Superman TAS. It introduced a new generation of fans to Darkseid and the New Gods. It’s still one of the best adaptation of Kirby’s Fourth World. So I will always appreciate Timm for that.

    But his last two DC projects show that he’s totally lost it. I always hated how he tried to live out these fanboy fantasies by having every female character what to be with Batman. Putting Batman and Babs together was absolutely horrible. I really thought they couldn’t make The Killing Joke even more misogynistic, but here we are. Who thought it was a good idea to make her a love sick puppy who gets rejected by Bruce?

    The less said about Batman & Harley the better.

    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    I've always seen the DCAU as basically a Bat universe first. Because everything revolves around him. It's sort of like a more serious version of the Batman Brave and Bold cartoon. This is why I've always had a problem with that version of Superman. I know he defined Superman for an entire generation but it's obvious he wanted to work with Batman and was forced to work with the rest of the DCU. The fact that something like Batman Beyond pre-dates a Justice League cartoon kind of speaks for itself. And it was usually at Superman's expense. In JLU he was the guy who was always the easiest to manipulate, and in BB he was controlled by a Starro for years. That tells you all you need to know.
    To Timm’s credit he salvaged a bad idea WB had requested and made it great. Apparently some WB suit wanted them to make a show about a teenage Batman. Timm and co took the idea, set it in the future, and made it work.

  4. #34
    Astonishing Member Bogotazo's Avatar
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    I think he wrote a decent Superman. He was a little bit Clark heavy. I understand why they did it but didn't like how weak they made him seem at times. I also felt there was not enough showing of Super feats, probably my main critique; not enough wondrous show of his abilities. His type of intelligence is also a bit harder to show on an animated kids show. That being said they definitely explored his Kryptonian heritage a lot with the zoo in the fortress of solitude, the phantom zone, etc. Rewatching some episodes as an adult, he definitely gave him more nuance than I originally gave him credit for. He showed plenty of emotion (such as his reaction at the end of Apokalips Now) and more complexity (the JLU Cadmus arc) than some might remember.

  5. #35
    Astonishing Member Bogotazo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaliaJoy View Post
    As far as the DCAU is concerned, I only really know its Superman from Superman: The Animated Series, which I've watched almost in full, while I've watched barely any JL and no JLU. I used to really like S:TAS, but over time I've found it more and more underwhelming. Not bad, a "high quality product" overall, but not a very compelling take on the character or mythos either, to the point where I feel kind of negatively towards it. It doesn't help that I've now watched some of Batman: The Animated Series to compare it to, because sakes alive, B:TAS is WAY better than S:TAS (even though I'm more interested in Supes than Bats). The broad strokes of Superman's personality and portrayal feel roughly right, but in the details there's a lot that's not quite there. This may be somewhat hard to describe, but I've noticed that its Superman doesn't have the best emotional range, he seems "vaguely angry and determined" the vast majority of the time with episodes of "mildly jocular". Now, in theory I really like Superman being angry and jocular, but for one thing, it's tiring to see him rarely enter into other modes for any length of time, and for another, they don't go far enough even with those emotions to actually be interesting or compelling - hence the "vaguely" and "mildly". Of course, there's the obvious fact that this Superman gets beat up way too much, to the point where it almost feels like doing "damage control" on the very concept of Superman, as though being super-powerful and invincible is an inherent problem that needs to be fixed. I get needing to keep him challenged, and I don't mind a less powerful Superman in general, but this show is wrongheaded and overkill in its attempts to do so. I also think that it's one of the poorest versions of Clark Kent I've see thus far, simply because he's so boring it feels like they put as little effort as they could manage into his portrayal. The supporting cast doesn't get much effort put into them or chance to shine either. And there's just a current of being relatively uninteresting that runs throughout the whole show. There's not much of an interesting vision for the character, more just trying to make a generic, functional and non-objectionable version of Superman, rather than aspiring for anything more.
    That's a pretty good point. I couldn't quite put my finger on it and you've put it closer. His emotional range was a little bit stunted. While Superman should typically have an even keel, he just didn't seem excited or scared or truly angry. Kind of flat, I guess. I can't say they didn't make him mischievous or clever at times, because they did. I guess he lacked in charisma? Which is a strange critique since I would say I like the voice acting overall.

    I mean just look at some of these scenes. The very first one, it's clear Luthor has the upper hand in this conversation with regards to confidence Superman sounds defensive and a bit cardboard-child in his "You'll never control me Luthor. Never!"

    Or 5:21. "Let her out, or I'll...". I just isn't very strong.



    A lot of this comes down to Superman being on a kids' show. Now that I'm thinking more on it, Superman not appearing in many places outside of Metropolis and needing a space suit kind of removed the potential for the savior imagery that I typically like with Superman. He seems more like just a regular superhero with a local do-gooder's agenda than the world's most inspirational one ever. There isn't a lot of talk about his grander purpose or serving humanity as a whole. Again, it's a kids' show. But I think they could have fit it in.

  6. #36
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    Something I blame less on Timm and more on Tim Daly and Andrea Romano (which pains me to say, because Andrea Romano might've been the greatest talent in all of the DCAU history) was Superman's somewhat lethargic speech pattern. He just wasn't particularly energetic in his delivery, regardless of what emotion he put on display.

  7. #37
    Incredible Member Lokimaru's Avatar
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    Growing up on Super Friends and This Stas was a bit of a let down with how Weak they made Superman. Guy was getting knocked down every few seconds by something when his deal is supposed to be tanking everything thrown his way. Look at how Superman tanks that Lightning Bolt in that clip, That's what Superman does. Stas version would have gotten fried by it or at the very least knocked from the sky. Take the Giant Ape, what would have been a Titanic (heh) city destroying fight for Stas is child's play for Ruby-Spears. I swear they went out of their way to remove Batman's weakness from the old shows (No Utility Belt = Batman in deep shit) yet heaped a ton more on Superman. It's Ridiculous.

  8. #38
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lokimaru View Post
    Growing up on Super Friends and This Stas was a bit of a let down with how Weak they made Superman. Guy was getting knocked down every few seconds by something when his deal is supposed to be tanking everything thrown his way. Look at how Superman tanks that Lightning Bolt in that clip, That's what Superman does. Stas version would have gotten fried by it or at the very least knocked from the sky. Take the Giant Ape, what would have been a Titanic (heh) city destroying fight for Stas is child's play for Ruby-Spears. I swear they went out of their way to remove Batman's weakness from the old shows (No Utility Belt = Batman in deep shit) yet heaped a ton more on Superman. It's Ridiculous.
    THIS is basically my criticism. RS is MY Superman. And TAS is, if not the opposite of that, seems to go out of it's way to make him underwhelming. To give you an idea, in the first episode of RS, he lifted a tank over his head with one hand while holding Lois in the other. In TAS, he had trouble lifting a tank with BOTH hands and flying away with it. I have a hard time believing the "more powerful than a locomotive" part of the Superman mythos when it comes to TAS because I'm not sure he would be able to stop a train. This seems to be a nineties thing generally. Lois and Clark did the same thing. Their idea of "humanizing" him seems to consist of "how can we make him less powerful?" school of thought. Fortunately, things like Smallville and even the new movies have gotten him out of that pattern. RS wasn't without it's faults. The dialogue was hokey and some of the villains were ridiculous, but overall it got the character right. The ideal Superman would probably the RS with the stories from TAS.
    Listen, lady! I am thirteen years old and driving a Bat-hog through the Amazon on a Tuesday morning! I am ALREADY winning!

    -Robin

  9. #39
    Legendary Member daBronzeBomma's Avatar
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    I'm glad Superman got a successful solo animated show in the 1990s, I just wish Timm and Dini had brought on an equal creative partner who was as in love with Superman for STAS as Timm was with Batman on BTAS.

    STAS was clearly just a paycheck to Timm, whereas BTAS was clearly a passion project for him.

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