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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member DragonPiece's Avatar
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    Default Honest thoughts on Superman: The Animated Series?

    I'm sure we've had threads on this on the past, but I was just looking at this show again...and while it's good, it really is lacking in parts. I wish we got to see more Clark, the origin being so tied to Braniac is annoying, it pales in comparison to Batman TAS so much..I mean yeah, it's a solid cartoon, but I wish it adapted and took more from the comics. Saying this, I did enjoy the series at some points like Turpin's death: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0pcChyV6o4

    Honestly the buildup to Darkseid is the best part about the show imo.

  2. #2
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    Like a lot of things from back in that day and age, I thought a lot of things were good...except Superman himself. He was the least interesting part. The villains were good, the supporting cast was good, but then you get to the main character and he's bland as can be.
    "They can be a great people Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you. My only son." - Jor-El

    "Now why don't we step up here and everybody get stepped up, and let's get some stepped up personal space up in this place." - Phillip Jacobs

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member DragonPiece's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacred Knight View Post
    Like a lot of things from back in that day and age, I thought a lot of things were good...except Superman himself. He was the least interesting part. The villains were good, the supporting cast was good, but then you get to the main character and he's bland as can be.
    Yeah, I guess that's accurate. Maybe that's why I find myself not connecting with the show that well, Superman himself being bland.

  4. #4
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    I'll give them Mxyzptlk and Bizarro. To me they are the definitive versions, that I think are must see for anyone thinking of using the characters. Their Metallo is was better than any version I've seen in comics. And Dana Delaney's Lois was spot-on.

    The problem was that except for Lois their was really no continuity from episode to episode. I don't mean backstory or subplot stuff, but more that Batman or the X-Men or Spider-man had more realized worlds. You had things that were there in episodes that could hold your interest if the plot of the week fell flat. It might be Alfred's verbal wit or Hamill's Joker or Harley, one of the X-Men's expansive cast, Spidey's supporting cast. With Superman as other's pointed out the character himself wasn't that interesting and in some episodes he was literally the only thing that was a constant. So if the plot of the week didn't appeal to you the whole episode was a bust.

  5. #5
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    I think it's underrated, but not by much. It is more consistent in quality than B:TAS, which had some terrible episodes, but never reached the heights of the best episodes either. Even at it's low points, I think B:TAS got by on the atmosphere and the elegant distillation of the mythos it was adapting. This seriously didn't do for the Superman mythos what the other cartoon did for Batman's. I think it's very, very good and certainly the best you are going to get for Superman in the DCAU, but the character and his world lend themselves to so much better.

    I think I read an interview where Bruce Timm said Superman is not as intrinsically interesting as Batman, and that about says it all. Also on one of the DVD features, he said they brought in the Fourth World stuff because after a certain point, Superman didn't have many interesting villains or locations to utilize. Which is just straight up bonkers because they only featured the Phantom Zone in like two episodes, and the Legion of Superheroes in one. They should have brought Supergirl in earlier and utilized some of her stuff, or the Legion of Supervillains, the Fatal Five, Mordru, the Time Trapper or a Sun Eater if they wanted to broaden the rogues gallery. The Fourth World stuff was well done, but also feels a bit intrusive. That stuff has a stronger connection to Superman than most other corners of the DCU, but they are not regular features.

    On the plus side, they had the best version of Toyman, Brainiac was better than the post-Crisis version, and their solution to having Supergirl without her being a Kryptonian is so much more elegant than the weird ass stuff the comics writers came up with it's embarrassing.

  6. #6
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    I'm not a fan of the animated series. I loved Batman Beyond and BtAS, but StAS wasn't for me. Didn't care for the Justice League shows either. Superman was pretty weak character wise.
    Follow your inner moonlight, do not hide the madness. -Ginsberg

  7. #7
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    Given the show itself and the quote above, Bruce Timm simply isn't really a Superman fan, and it shows.

    He may have been a fan of the Fleisher Studio style and their 1940s Superman cartoons, and that's why he brought it into Batman: The Animated Series, but as far as Superman the character is concerned, I don't think he ever really got him.

    I much prefer the Ruby-Spears Superman even though that series is more kiddiefied.

    That having been said, there were a few episodes of STAS where they knocked it out of the park, but just a few.

  8. #8
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    I haven't seen it in maybe five years, so I don't entirely trust my memory. I remember being really freaking pumped when it was set to debut right along the beginning of 4th grade, and it was my favorite show after King of the Hill.

    Last I watched was the episodes with the Legion going back to his high school and Legacy, the two parter roughly based on Dark Side. Which I hadn't read back then. I liked them well enough but watching three episodes of the show in so many years makes it difficult to assess.

    From what I remember, I can easily understand why it won awards. It had a slick, streamlined (if stripped and watered down) post crisis interpretation of Superman that made it easy for anyone to dig into. The soundtrack was great, the designs and animations were consistently above average, and the voice actors were dead on. Daly, Delaney, and Brown even could have done live action had they made a movie in the late 80s, they fit the characters that well. There was a ton of action that you couldn't find in the Marvel cartoons and that springboarded the larger DC universe in cartoons, which is really cool.

    The idea that Superman was the least interesting part... well, young Clark was very much like his New 52 version and the older Clark had a nice bit of self deprecating humor, but I'll have to watch again.

  9. #9
    Better than YOU! Alan2099's Avatar
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    It was a good show, but not a great one.

    I think part of the problem was trying to make Super "cool" and mysterious. I remember one interview where they pointed out they didn't want Superman to stand there and explain things to the cops. He should just stop the bad guys and fly off so people never really know what he's about.


    Also, why didn't Prankster ever appear?
    That's Batman... maybe Spider-man... Not Superman.

  10. #10
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    Its a Byrne/Marvelized Superman adaption, focusing of Kirby characters above the actual core Superman mythos. Typical of non Superman fans who need him to be "Grounded" in order to "relate" to him. Much like the Post Crisis Superman books at the time. At least we didn't get the xenophobic Byrne dystopian Krypton.

  11. #11
    Fantastic Member Last Son's Avatar
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    I could have done with Superman being just a little bit more powerful and occasionally pulling off feats that we didn't think he was capable of. But there was so much fixation on him grunting and straining and struggling to perform the most mundane feats of strength that they forgot that superheroes are supposed to wow the viewers, not always stick strictly to the expectations of realism enthusiasts.

    It was a great show but not quite my ideal interpretation of Superman.

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
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    It's not a secret that it's not one of my favorite versions. That having been said, the stories were good. Really. My favorite episode was the one where the corrupt cop tried to kill Clark for investigating a man he set up on death row. That was kind of dark for a kids show. Especially at that time. In that sense, it reminds me a lot of the AOS from the fifties. The problem was he was just too depowered. Which seemed to be a theme with Superman in the nineties. L&C did it too. I think in those days, DC had too tight a leash on him and put too many rules on him. The most obvious example of this being them not being able to make Supergirl Kryptonian. One weirder example of this was the Legion episode where Brainiac goes back to his teen years to kill him before he can become Superman which makes no sense (the spin-off comic did something similar with Mxyzptlk). If the idea is to kill him before he becomes a threat, why not go back to when he was a child, or a baby? I think the answer was, they were trying to side step the question of whether or not he had powers as a kid. A big no-no with DC at the time. And that doesn't even get into his later treatment in JL or Batman Beyond when he got possessed by a Starro for years. He was the punching bag.

    He had good villains. Metallo, Parasite, Livewire, even his Luthor. Ironically, I think the one that falls a bit flat is his Brainiac. Who was the character they changed the most. Obviously Mercy never caught on the way Harley did with Batman. On the plus side, it was one of the first kids cartoons to feature a gay couple! When Maggie got injured in a fight with Intergang, her partner was by her side in the hospital (though obviously not stated as such). It's supporting cast also didn't get to shine in the same way Batman's did. Perry and Jimmy didn't do much. I think Ma and Pa had more to do than they did. I tend to see the DCAU as more of a Batman universe with everyone else as a supporting cast. In the JL cartoon, Superman wasn't the only one who got shown up by Batman. They turned Flash basically into a comedy relief character.
    Listen, lady! I am thirteen years old and driving a Bat-hog through the Amazon on a Tuesday morning! I am ALREADY winning!

    -Robin

  13. #13
    Fantastic Member Last Son's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    It's not a secret that it's not one of my favorite versions. That having been said, the stories were good. Really. My favorite episode was the one where the corrupt cop tried to kill Clark for investigating a man he set up on death row. That was kind of dark for a kids show. Especially at that time. In that sense, it reminds me a lot of the AOS from the fifties. The problem was he was just too depowered. Which seemed to be a theme with Superman in the nineties. L&C did it too. I think in those days, DC had too tight a leash on him and put too many rules on him. The most obvious example of this being them not being able to make Supergirl Kryptonian. One weirder example of this was the Legion episode where Brainiac goes back to his teen years to kill him before he can become Superman which makes no sense (the spin-off comic did something similar with Mxyzptlk). If the idea is to kill him before he becomes a threat, why not go back to when he was a child, or a baby? I think the answer was, they were trying to side step the question of whether or not he had powers as a kid. A big no-no with DC at the time. And that doesn't even get into his later treatment in JL or Batman Beyond when he got possessed by a Starro for years. He was the punching bag.

    He had good villains. Metallo, Parasite, Livewire, even his Luthor. Ironically, I think the one that falls a bit flat is his Brainiac. Who was the character they changed the most. Obviously Mercy never caught on the way Harley did with Batman. On the plus side, it was one of the first kids cartoons to feature a gay couple! When Maggie got injured in a fight with Intergang, her partner was by her side in the hospital (though obviously not stated as such). It's supporting cast also didn't get to shine in the same way Batman's did. Perry and Jimmy didn't do much. I think Ma and Pa had more to do than they did. I tend to see the DCAU as more of a Batman universe with everyone else as a supporting cast. In the JL cartoon, Superman wasn't the only one who got shown up by Batman. They turned Flash basically into a comedy relief character.
    Their rule about Superman being the last surviving Kryptonian was applied very inconsistently on TV. Lois and Clark had the New Krypton story arc where dozens/hundreds of Kryptonians escaped before Krypton blew up and colonized another planet. STAS had Jax-Ur and Mala appear in spite of them being from Krypton, so it's baffling that Supergirl was changed to a colonist of another planet settled by Kryptonians, and even more baffling that they had to change her name and make her unrelated to Clark.

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Last Son View Post
    Their rule about Superman being the last surviving Kryptonian was applied very inconsistently on TV. Lois and Clark had the New Krypton story arc where dozens/hundreds of Kryptonians escaped before Krypton blew up and colonized another planet. STAS had Jax-Ur and Mala appear in spite of them being from Krypton, so it's baffling that Supergirl was changed to a colonist of another planet settled by Kryptonians, and even more baffling that they had to change her name and make her unrelated to Clark.
    And the JL cartoon more or less ignored all these mandates. I think by then the rules were gone. Supergirl was openly called his cousin and the fact that she wasn't was never really addressed again. With the Phantom Zone, I think the fact that they could just be sent back there made them an exception. Supergirl wasn't going anywhere. But, yeah, L&C kind of got to side step the rules in the last season also.
    Listen, lady! I am thirteen years old and driving a Bat-hog through the Amazon on a Tuesday morning! I am ALREADY winning!

    -Robin

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member Soubhagya's Avatar
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    In my opinion its really great. The most attractive part to me was its action. It was really action packed. Slick animation too. Its a wonderful entry point for new fans. I did not watch it in its original language in my first watch. Later when i did see it, i could observe some really good voice work. It was my first Superman show. So, while slightly older fans may complain that he was not powerful enough, for me Superman's powers blew up my mind. I still remember it fondly when in its first episode he stopped that plane crash and fought Corben in that robot suit. For a young viewer that was all kinds of awesome. In my opinion the show holds up really well now and is quite underrated.

    Not having watched it in years and not having read Superman like others (i started reading since Rebirth) i can't say much except for my own thoughts. Let me post an article. I will simply say that i agree with the opinion presented here.

    http://comicsalliance.com/ask-chris-...imated-series/

    Edit: I did catch a couple of episodes in last couple of months. So, i haven't watched it in years would be wrong to an extent.
    Last edited by Soubhagya; 02-11-2018 at 07:50 PM.

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