On this episode of the Word Balloon podcast, a conversation with producers of the Cartoon Network animated series Batman: The Brave And Bold: James Tucker and Michael Jelenic.
The two come to the series with different sensibilities, Tucker is the encyclopedic DCU enthusiast who describes the show as "… the 100 page spectaculars I grew up reading, where there was a new batman story at the front, plus 3 or 4 golden and silver age stories all presented together. In my mind the gritty urban Batman was the same guy in the rainbow batman outfit or the one who fought aliens, or time traveled." He tells “gritty Dark Knight Style" Batman lovers who may dislike the light hearted direction B&B takes to consider their show "The Earth-2 Batman's modern day adventures."
Tucker is also fast to point out that Jelenic's role in DCU related animation should not be ignored, including last year's excellent script and story for the Wonder Woman Direct To DVD Animated Feature.
"I don’t think Michael gets the credit he deserves. Bruce (Timm) Alan (Burnett) and Paul (Dini) get credit and rightfully so, but Michael is right there with them...if you like The Batman season 4, if you liked the 2nd season of Legion Of Superheroes, if you like most of Brave and Bold they're all examples of Michael's ideas and point of view."
Jelenic graciously responds "That’s nice of James to say but at the end of the day animation is not a writers medium it's about the art and acting and music ...successful writers are able to bring a certain point of view, but I feel fortunate to take credit for many other peoples work in our productions."
Among the storylines and characters coming up in either teaser scenes or full B&B stories include a multi part continuation of the Starro story which began in this season's Challengers Of The Unknown teaser, The Batman of Zur-en-arrh, a sidekicks vs.mentors storyline, Firestorm, The Haunted Tank, The Metal Men, The Spectre, The Phantom Stranger.
Tucker says later in the season, they will combine two classic 1950's stories. “The First Batman” The one where Dr. Thomas Wayne dons the Bat-costume and the back story and pursuit of Joe Chill, the hired gun that killed Thomas and Martha Wayne. "I just finished editing the Joe Chill show. With this episode we wanted to let people know we can do the dark stuff for this one particular story...but we'll be back to our regular take on Batman the following week."
Through the conversation the guys get into many details about the previous DC animated series, and answer the questions like why aren't guest heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman coming up, or why shows Justice League Unlimited and Teen Titans ended despite their high levels of popularity with geek fandom."
Says Tucker, "With cartoons 52 episodes is the magic number; producing anything more than that is gravy because frankly kids watch re-runs like they're new...and the direct to DVD film's have taken over to satisfy those fans."